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Old 04-15-2015, 10:39 PM   #1
gpt
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ruination of the SJIs

just spent the last 3 days 'on board' cruising the San Juan Islands: Lopez, Orcas, San Juan, Waldron, John's, Spieden, Sucia, and all the rest. 6 transient Orca, hundred of Rhinoceros Auklets , pelagic birds in lots of spots, lots and lots of bald eagles, thousand of pinnipeds hauled out here and there. weather was so so with a very rough time across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the way home, 2-4' swells with 40k winds.

we based in Roche harbor at the old timie Hotel De Haro, rippled floors and all. everywhere we looked, developers are at work, overtime. virtually ALL of Friday harbor has now been subdivided along with pretty much all of Roche harbor. big signs advertising 'sold' lots and infill building occurring everywhere i looked. "cute" row sort of housing of questionable construction demanding monster prices. it is just astonishing to see this happening particularly in such a treasured location. no more 'quaint' feeling to the oldest parts i am familiar with after 30 years of poking around. launch a kayak at Roche, $35! say what??????

if you have a mind to explore, don't waste any more time in getting there.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:51 PM   #2
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And the problem is? Jim
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:56 PM   #3
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Kinda like launching websites... gotta pay to play ...
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:28 PM   #4
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Jim, Roche Harbor has become the northern most point of Marin County, California. I lived on Whidbey (Island County) in the early '70s, when the region was 'relatively' undiscovered, affordable and pleasant! Don't go up to Telegraph Cove unless you want to risk a coronary!
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:29 PM   #5
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Same thing happened on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Tofino and Ucluelet were quaint little fishing villages when I was there in the late 70's. Fast forward 30 years and I wanted to show it to my wife since we were visiting in the area. Huge resorts and condos, upscale restaurants and tour boats galore. Not a fishing boat to be seen. $350 a night and up to stay there. $10 / half day to park on the beach at long beach. I believe they call it progress but IMHO they paved paradise.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:37 PM   #6
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Cloning of America. Cookie cutter development gone awry. I guess the locals voted all that stuff to be built.
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:46 PM   #7
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The people who work in the grocery store in Friday Harbor can't afford to live on the island. They ride the ferry from Anacortes every day. They can't afford to live in Anacortes either, so they have to drive from Mt. Vernon, Burlington, etc., pay to park at the ferry terminal and walk on the ferry. At least a 2-hour commute each way, every day, for a job as a grocery checker.

The only way to see the San Juans these days is by boat, and then you have to get started every day at dawn so you can be at your destination by noon or you won't find moorage, or a state marine park buoy, or even room to swing on your anchor.

Seattle is drowning in high-tech money, and it's washing over into all the out-of-the-way places in western Washington, from the San Juans to Winthrop and beyond.

It's not like the San Juans have just been discovered. It's been going on for decades. Twenty years ago, the most common automobile on Orcas Island was a Mercedes with California plates. Now it's a Tesla with Washington plates.

If you want to visit, go after Labor Day. It won't be any cheaper, but it will be a lot less crowded. The weather can be sublime in Sept. and Oct.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:37 PM   #8
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Austin will never be same either....
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:28 AM   #9
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the developers on the SJIs will sink their own ship. while most of the islands are connected via underwater cable for electricity, not all are by any stretch. those that are 'off the grid' really on a small group of supply landing ships such as the Pintail for propane, and other fuel sources. groceries? well they are a long way away. its the infrastructure that will raise it's ugly head before much longer with all of this development. sewage and water will become real issues as all of this development continues. cell coverage remains a pipe dream in many locations and i don't see that changing very soon, but that's really not a drawback anyway.

i have to agree that you need to skip the summer months. right now, Roche harbor is about 1/3 full. the billions of dollars in vessels are all 'on the hard' in Anacortes to avoid the winter winds. soon, they will all be back plying the waterways in the islands, a nautical traffic nightmare.

i had to chuckle about the reference to Telegraph cove, what a disaster.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:24 AM   #10
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It's that way pretty much all over.

When I was scuba diving in teens and college years I longed to beach bum in the Florida Keys. Wouldn't even bother to go there today.

More recently my working years frequently took me to the Florida panhandle (Eglin & Tyndall AFBs and NAS Pensacola) and I thought it would be a great place to have a waterfront cottage. We were just there this winter and it looks like several million other people had the same idea. In Destin you can't even see the ocean from the road any more, just wall-to-wall condos and malls.

What we need to do is invent a time machine that lets us travel to places we wanted to travel to, when we wanted to go there!

If you want solitude, the north woods are still pretty good. Still lots of peace and quiet in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:49 AM   #11
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My understanding is that these developers (with names like "Landed Gentry") are from back east, New York in particular. I predict a lot of empty houses in the future, they have no clue about what life is like in the PacNW, in particular, the islands, in the winter. All they see is waterfront.

Another note, GPT, water is already an issue. The tribes seem to be laying claim to it all.

Developing....
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