Monday, September 5, 2011
After three windless days of mostly motoring through the islands, day four finally brought wind, much to our relief. Hearing over the radio that the orca whales were near our destination, we happily tacked our way in that direction. While enjoying an afternoon cup of tea under sail, we spotted the hoard of whaling boats off in the distance so we sailed to a spot where we thought the whales may pass through, heaved to, and came to a stop, where we basked in the sunshine and waited to see what would happen. As we drifted through the water we saw whales in the distance, heading our direction. We were treated to a most spectacular show, as the whales passed within twenty feet of our boat, leaving us all in awe of being so close to such an amazing animal.
After a very satisfying afternoon of sailing and sunshine we pulled into a tiny slip at the impossibly adorable, somewhat corny, white steeple town of Roche Harbor where we bought fresh dungeness crab and shrimp on the dock. Back at our boat we feasted on our crustacean bounty up on deck without utensils, tearing the shells off, dropping them overboard to feed whatever lurked below, tearing off chunks of bread, dipping it in greek olive oil, and washing it down with local white wine. We must have looked like heathens to all of our neighbors. It is one of my most cherished dinner memories. Sigh.
Dinner was followed by a walk through town up to a mausoleum constructed by a Knight Templar. We wandered at dusk through deep dark woods in an old graveyard to a ring of pillars that towered over a stone round table ringed with stone chairs, each chair at the table a tombstone for a member of the family that rested below. One pillar remained unfinished to represent how man's work is never finished. We arrived back in time for the silliest sunset I think we have ever witnessed, complete with cannon fire and a loud-speaker announcement which paved the way for a musical number that accompanied nature's beauty as the boys hurled rock after rock into the water.