Originally published: 8/21/2005; 4:07:15 PM
8/3/05, San Juan Islands–We made a short motor north to Orcas Island to a small port called Rosario. Rosario was built by a Seattle pioneer and shipping magnate, Robert Moran. We were able to get a mooring ball this time, fairly close to the dock. [We had a reservation]. We got everyone to shore in one trip. Well, almost one trip. Dad, Nancy, John, and Sally took the dinghy. Dave and Brian took the kayak. Dave came back in the kayak alone and got me.
Rosario Mansion is now a resort. For $25 we got a mooring ball and access to the two pools, sauna, and hot tub. I hadn’t brought a suit, thinking it would be too cool to swim but Dave fixed me up with an extra from his vast collection of gear and apparel. Boy was I glad! The pool felt great and the view of Orcas Island was beautiful.
We rented a car from the concierge and drove to the top of Mt. Constitution, the highest point in the San Juans. The CCC built a tower on the summit in the 20’s which provided us with a 360-degree view of the islands.
We cruised on into town and had some chips, salsa, guac, and beer at an open-air Mexican place called Bilbo’s. It was delicious. [Note: The patio is only open during lunch].
The highlight of the day was at 6:00. Moran outfitted his mansion with a small theater, a Steinway, and a huge pipe organ. Local resident, Christopher Peacock, plays every night except Sunday. He tells stories about Moran’s life and the history of the mansion. Behind the piano they lower a screen and show slides from Moran’s personal photography collection as well as nature shots from local artists.
Dave, Brian, and I downed a Full Sail Pale Ale at a little bar by the marina and headed back to the boat for grilled steaks.
On to San Juan Islands, 8/4/05 — Rosario to Inati Bay
The view of Rosario mansion from our mooring.