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Old 11-30-2014, 12:43 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by kingfisher24 View Post
16 inches of rain per year….is darn near a desert……

and 26 inches a year on the island…is not a lot of water….

i just read a joke……

austin texas boasts 32 inches a year…….all in one night

not trying to disparage sequim….but to dispel the notion that the islands are excessively wet……

I was just trying to clear up some of the confusion about the area. It is difficult for many to realize just how much the area can vary weather wise. Orcas is about the same distance from here as is Forks. You talk about 26" of rain a year while Forks sees 150" a year.

I found this among the definitions of a desert. "A desert is any region so arid because of little rainfall that it supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all." Trees and vegetation grow so rapidly around here that I have to cut it back several times a year just to be able to get in and out of my driveway.

We have been here for 15 years now and wouldn't trade it for anything.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:02 PM   #184
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Been following this thread for awhile now. Just jumping in here to say hi.
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:13 PM   #185
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thanks for stopping in

the adventure continues

one bad thing about life on orcas…….the longer one is here the less one wants to leave

been on the island is guess for about six weeks….the weather is terrible…..

just kid din

the weather is different every day…..fraser valley weather…pacific coast storms…rain…sunshine…subfreezing temps…to a balmy 50ish today…..

did not imply that sequin was a desert…16 inches of rain is …well it is

so the pacific northwest is blessed with a myraid of different weather scenarios…each unique and …..fleeting it seems….

so we are still learning island ways…


and want to get to shaw and lopez..but have not got the ferry schedule in our minds…need a ferry mentor…..

all is well…looking forward to the lavish seafood buffet at the rosario mansion new year's eve…...
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:12 PM   #186
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There is a must-have WSDOT phone app (iOS and Android) that gives ferry times and live updates on available spaces. Search the app store for WSDOT.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:21 PM   #187
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Homesites on Orcas Island

Great travelog. I read it beginning to end.

We were on Orcas Island a few years ago and I was more than impressed by a subdivision constructed on the north side of the island. I don't remember the name, but it was built in a rain forest and every effort was given to minimizing damage to the ecosystem. You didn't buy property there, you bought rights to a 100' diameter circle on which you could build your home. There were seaview and lakefront sites (a small canoe-sized lake) as well as non-waterfront sites. I've been in design and construction all my life and never has a subdivision struck me like this one. It was magical.

Orcas Island is a long way from Texas (as you know) and we could never seriously considering building a second home there, and with kids/grandkids in Texas and on the east coast moving permanently was not really an option. However, I've never forgotten the place and wonder if you've checked it out. Did it survive the recession? Is it fully built-out? Did it impact on you like it did on me? (Visiting it in winter could be an entirely different experience.)
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:46 PM   #188
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housing on Orcas

well it is different……it is rural…..villages…communities…not towns…not stop lights…not fast food…not big box…no hospital…excellent medical clinics…but if really ill, or emergency one needs to belong to an airlift/helicopter ambulance.

seems most construction occurred in the early 90's…lots of summer homes and rental cottages as tourist flock here in summer especially…

Orcas is the nature island…kayak in the sea or in the many lakes here.

the largest state park in washington is here…Moran state park…no housing on Mt Constitution(which is the centerpiece of the park) except or the rosario highlands…
seems the mayor of seattle and a shipbuilder…robert moran…came and bought orcas island in the early 1900's and built a mansion on cascade bay…rosario point…donated most of the land to the state park…camping…fishing…bird watching….the sea all around…it is an island.

many houses are on buck mountain and in olga, and doe bay and deer harbor and eastbound and westbound….

anyway housing here is a challenge…we are wading right into the fray as if we had good sense….

today we are being pounded by 40 and 50 MPH winds from the south as remnants of a typhoon hit the west coast…..

no fear …we are in the rain shadow…

I'm being followed by a rain shadow
rain shadow…rain shadow…

sorry Yousef…(cat stephens)

so winter time in the san juans…had to close crescent beach drive because of waves pounding the shore and large driftwood….

airstream is now parked at the "storage barn" corner of crescent beach and olga road…the site of a drive in movie in the past and a skating rink.

along with dead boats, other sobs and a 80s kind of airstream…they all have blue tarps on top…but mine…my leak stopped…for the moment…


there are more stories than you can count of how people came here on a whim or accident or whatever….and just don't leave…or don't want to…IT IS MAGICAL…BEWARE…STAY AWAY
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:37 PM   #189
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The Anacortes ferry schedule can be viewed here.

The general ease of getting a space on each ferry is listed here. At the upper right of the first link, there are "Best Travel Times" links for early, mid and late winter. There will be reservations available as of January 1, but I would expect that there will always be some "drop in" spots available on each ferry.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:46 PM   #190
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i know about the ferry schedule

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Old 12-12-2014, 09:42 AM   #191
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Eagle Lake Preserve

Don't recognize the name, but it sounds like the place. Let us know what you find out about it.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:35 AM   #192
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the pineapple express

was much touted as it approached thursday with and warnings and reports to beware of 70 to 90 mph gusts

and it did blow and it is a sight to see as the ocean wrestles with the huge amounts of driftwood…large trees and other items of a wood nature in a ringer as they grind against the shore hour after hour….

the island is a rock…and over time water and slop and moss and tree dripins …how do the trees grow in rock…. make a slop of soil that grass and ferns and even large trees grow in…and as in nature…..nature wins…

as we awoke to the result of the howling winds an ancient fir tree on the mansion grounds hit the dirt and barely missed a house…not mine

so the storm is over..and it was hardly noticeable from my perspective…sunny days and lower temps in the forecast….

calm seas and light winds….

how do i get a sailboat that looks like an airstream::

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Old 12-13-2014, 01:13 PM   #193
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The weather is all part of the adventure.

Amongst the usual rain, sun, extreme heat and extreme cold, we have had ice storms, snow storms, hail, a hurricane and an earthquake


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Old 12-14-2014, 03:35 PM   #194
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Getting to another island is pretty much an all day venture. Walking onto the ferry works for Friday Harbor, and in the summer there is a shuttle bus to other parts of the island. But if you want to whale watch at Limekiln, it is best to have a car. Island life has its quirks, as you have found.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:23 PM   #195
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just sailing along

on cascade bay……beautiful weather….it changes just a bit each day…so one day is just a tad different than the next….the sunrises, regardless of the cloud cover…or the dawning of the day …each …is just exquisite…..

the weather…the climate is so complex in this area and it makes for very interesting weather….

finally made it to cascade lake …which is above cascade bay for a brief walk around today…..it is on the far southwest edge of moran state park…..

still exploring eagle lake ... near olga…..

a full report later….
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Old 12-24-2014, 07:16 AM   #196
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christmas comes to Orcas

merry christmas to all…..

the best christmas we ever had, and the first of many on ORCAS….we have found our dream place…our final resting place……

we are in negotiations….have put a contract on …our forever home….

think good thoughts and help us secure this place……

once nailed down….

we'll show pictures…….
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