Scooters on San Juan Island...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by CaptnJim, May 27, 2014.

  1. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    We are settling in for our summer on San Juan Island. Grocery shopping this morning stocked up the fridge on the boat. The most important thing on my to-do list today: get the scooters out! It has been a couple weeks since we left the Tropical Tip of Texas.

    San Juan Island (in the Pacific Northwest, between the mainland of Washington State and Vancouver Island, British Columbia) is idea for scooters: the island is about 10 miles x 16 miles, some nice two-lane roads that wind through hills and valleys in the island's interior. The fastest speed limit on the island is 45 mph, so anything bigger than our PCXes is overkill.

    While moving the scooters from the cargo trailer (in storage) to the marina, we had to shuttle them... to the trailer with the truck, Joan drove the truck back, I rode my scoot. Left the truck off at the marina, then 2-up back to the trailer to get the other scooter. The only other time we've ridden 2-up with these scooters was when we moved the 5th wheel from one RV site to another in the same resort in Arizona... about 6 blocks. This stretch from the marina to the storage area has a steep uphill pull most of the way. We wondered how the PCX would do with this... no problem at all!

    More about the ride here...

    http://captnjim.blogspot.com/2014/05/whew-i-needed-that.html

    And a few photos...

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    Home sweet home for the scoots, for the summer...

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    Driving the whale watch boats is interesting work. Never the same thing twice. BUT, I am looking forward to our free time here, and some scooter exploring.

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim
    #1
  2. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    The "San Juans" are one of Washington state's most precious gems....what a place to summer (and scoot) Make sure you get your share of the local seafood (if you enjoy seafood) The crabbing and shrimping opportunities are also quite good there.

    Jealous!
    #2
  3. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    Not directly scooter related...

    I have family in the Seattle area. My uncle was a 747 captain for Northwest Airlines and his hobby was sailboat racing. I forget the make of his boat, but I want to say it was a Cal or Catalina 30'. He and my cousin did the Vancouver-Honolulu TransPac race two or three times.

    Anyway, when I was still in college many years ago, my mom, stepdad, stepsister and I went with my uncle, aunt and cousin on the boat on a cruise through the San Juans. It was one of my favorite vacations...the Islands are beautiful and there are so many things to do besides sailing...which also rocks.

    Here are two old photos I found of my stepdad at the helm of the boat and my uncle and my stepsister sitting in the cockpit with the boat trimmed up heeling over to starboard and tacking upwind:

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    #3
  4. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    The San Juan Islands are an amazing place. It is considered one of the premier boat cruising areas in the world. We have extensively cruised our boat in this area in years past, and this is our third summer working here. We are retired, but my wife enjoys what she calls "fun summer jobs." I drive whale watch boats here, she works in the office of the same company - she keeps the seats full. Last summer, we worked a lot - we're supposed to have fewer days/hours this year. We'll see.


    We live on our boat here. When we aren't working, we can untie the dock lines and head out. Overnights to the Canadian Gulf Islands or to Victoria on Vancouver Island are easy. Or, drive the truck on the ferry and go to the mainland. This summer, we are looking forward to exploring on the scoots. There are 3 other islands here serviced by the Washington State Ferry; we have been to all of those islands by boat, but that limits the land exploring. Not an extensive system of roads on San Juan Island, but the roads are great for scooting.

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    Amazing diversity on these islands: fancy resorts, B&Bs, state parks, private islands, quiet anchorages, expedition companies, unique shops, and one of the big draws: the whale watching. The boats I drive do scheduled trips and private charters. The scenery is breath-taking, the wildlife viewing is great. On any given trip, we might see Orcas (Killer Whales), humpbacks, minke whales, Stellar Sea Lions, seals, bald eagles, and more. Every trip is different.

    I'm hoping to have some scoot reports during the season; depending on how the work-time/play-time proportions out.

    Jim
    #4
  5. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    The wife and I used to truck our scooters (a Honda Ruckus and a Honda Metro) up to Anacortes from Puyallup. We would park our red Toyota Tacoma in the parking lot, unload the scooters, and go straight to the front of the line to get onto the boats. We would take the boat to either San Juan or Orcas Island and stay for a few days and tour the islands.

    Later, the wife wanted a bigger scooter, so we got her a SYM HD200. As our last trip before moving to the big island of Hawaii, she road the SYM, and I rode my XL883 to Anacortes, and took the boat to Orcas for a few days. Great places to ride. I think my favorite rode on San Juan is called Crow Road. Not an earth shattering road, but just a beautiful winding road through great farmlands. Wish it went on forever.
    #5
  6. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    My daughter lives in Lakewood, near Tacoma, and I was thinking about scooting up there this summer.

    Might have to take a side trip to the San Juans. You're motivating me.

    You're truly a blessed man, Jim...:D
    #6
  7. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    Do it! If you want a hotel on Orcas Island, we stayed at the Orcas Hotel. It's just above the ferry boat dock. After a nice ride, you can eat at the hotel. Then snag a late' and sit on a little deck up a floor or two and watch the ferry boats come and go. Stay a few days or whatever. On San Juan Island, we stayed at a bed and breakfast.

    In Wa. State, a scooter, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian literally gets to go to the front of the line. First on. First off. It's great. It can be a bit iffy for a car driver to make it off of an island on a Sunday. Sometimes they can't get onto the last boat as it's full up. Then, it's catch a boat Monday and tell your boss why you are missing a days work.

    ...But never happens with scooter riders!!



    #7
  8. DOUBLE-O G

    DOUBLE-O G Smooth Operator

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    Looking good Jim!

    I hope you guys have a great boating season!
    #8
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I have been to the PNW but never on a bike. It's on my bucket list. Until then I'll just make do with your reports and pics.
    #9
  10. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    if yer coming through seattle or are nearabouts anywhere between sekiu and port townsend, lemme know and we can grab a beer :evil
    #10
  11. adoptamutt

    adoptamutt Adventurer

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    The San Juans are a treasure !

    The last time I was there was 2003, so I must visit again soon. That time, I went in my Chevy truck with a Lance camper on it. Took the ferry from Anacortes to San Juan. It was a final trip with my old 14 year old dog, Kenji, who was dying of cancer (Lymphoma). He really perked up and enjoyed his final road trip. :cry I had him since he was 9 weeks old. A month after the trip I had to put him down.
    #11
  12. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    We checked in at work today. I start tomorrow, the Blonde will ride as first mate on a boat I'll be running after a thorough inspection, but she doesn't officially start 'till Monday. It is supposed to be a gorgeous weekend.

    The boss told me to take the boat for a "thorough shake-down - run it around the island or somewhere else you enjoy." I told Joan to pack us a lunch. :D First guest trip for that boat is Saturday.

    The weather weasels were calling for rain today, but they missed it. We ran some errands with the scoots today... no time for a long ride, but it made the errands downright pleasurable. In Friday Harbor, everything is uphill from the marina - I could get spoiled by riding up those hills.

    At one stop, we got the "those are SO cute," comment. Personally, I think it is a very manly looking scooter. :evil

    Best wishes,
    Jim
    #12
  13. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    The last two summers, we didn't make it to Seattle while we were up here. If that changes, I'll drop you a note. Same thing if you find yourself north.
    #13
  14. elamofo

    elamofo Been here awhile

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    Sounds like you're saying we should take a car and leave our scooters at home? :D:D:D
    #14
  15. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Or, take the scoots, tell the boss you couldn't get your car on the ferry, and spend an extra day. :evil
    #15
  16. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    No scooter content today - I spent the day working on, then doing a shake-down on one of our boats...

    First day at work for me - this boat hasn't been run for a while, so needed a thorough shake-down (no passengers). I did have a cute first mate along, though...

    http://captnjim.blogspot.com/2014/05/first-day.html

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    Blonde at the helm...

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    Best wishes,
    Jim

    I'd rather be scooting. :evil
    #16
  17. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    Nice.

    I don't think there's much that's nicer than being at sea...it's not for everyone, but for some of us, going to sea is part of our being.

    Like I said, you are blessed man. That's a nice boat and the helmswoman seems to be cooperating...:D
    #17
  18. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    There will be some scooter content here again - soon, I hope... I wasn't expecting to get occupied at work until next week. Today was crew training, more maintenance, more shake-down and cleaning. When I got back to our boat after work, the Blonde said, "We need some scooter time. Soon."

    I agree.

    I have trips this weekend, she won't start until next week. She has been busy doing work on our boat, laundry, grocery shopping... I expect things to settle into a routine once we have all the boats ready for the season and crew trained. Then, we'll get more riding in.
    #18
  19. DOUBLE-O G

    DOUBLE-O G Smooth Operator

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    Looks cold! What's the temp?
    #19
  20. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Not as warm as south Texas! :D Temp in that photo was in the low 60s, but feels a lot colder than that on the water at speed.

    Today was the first day with guests onboard this season, and a lot warmer (in the upper 60s :lol3)...

    http://captnjim.blogspot.com/2014/05/thats-what-im-talking-about.html

    And a preview...

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    Nice way to start the season.

    Joan doesn't start until Thursday, and I have the next few days off... a commitment with friends from Texas tomorrow, and THEN there will be some scooter time!! :clap

    Part of the reason we have come to the San Juan Islands is for the great, cool summer weather. We are both warm weather fans, but we enjoy this getaway from the summer heat of south Texas.

    You know the song... "going where the weather suits my clothes." And hoping there won't be too many more days where we have to be bundled up like that photo.
    #20