I'll start with a shot of Mt. Baker taken from Bellingham Bay and then take a look around the bay from the shore. Next we will journey into the Bay and the San Juan Islands where we'll see Baker from various distances and perspectives. We'll cover both flora and fauna that inhabit this wondrous area, both in the sea and along the shore.
The tour begins at Squalicum Marina, one of the largest on Puget Sound, mooring some 1,400 power and sail boats including a shrinking commercial fishing fleet. The marina is encircled with a highly popular paved walkway for cycling, walking, or just viewing.
The city wraps around the bay and our foresighted parks department has provided plenty of green space from which to enjoy the water. And they connected the parks with paths and trails. Boulevard Park sits on the east side of the city and is another favorite for walking, picnicking, or just sitting and drinking coffee. Continuing south, the walk way becomes a trestle over the water as one moves toward the Old Fairhaven Historical district and Marine park. Below is Boulevard Park and a commercial gill netter fishing for salmon just off shore.
From the trestle we can see the Alaska ferry that visits us twice a week transporting goods and tourists to various ports in South East Alaska. Wednesday and Thursday evenings are sail boat races on the bay.
Along the trail will be numerous sea and shore birds such as the stately, ever present Great Blue Heron patiently fishing along with shore.
Other shore creatures abound along the trail as well: Sea Stars and River Otters coming down to the bay to fish.
Here is a sunset to the west taken from the trestle and the evening sun on the Canadian mountains to the north.
With our abundant rain, moss, ferns, and trillium are found growing in the nooks and crannies of our garden.
Heading out into the bay on our way to the islands, we have additional treats such as Dungeness Crab for the taking and viewing harbor seals, mom and pup.
When out in the islands we can look back to see Mt. Baker from most all of the islands. Here we see it from Blakely Island Marina and from Echo Bay, Sucia Island.
More wildlife: Bald Eagles and an ancient aerie.
A stellar's Sea Lion and a Humpback Whale's tail often frequent this area.
A tug boat tows a log boom into Deer Harbor, Orcas Island. The Lady Washington visits the islands and Bellingham each summer.
Roche Harbor Marina on San Juan Island is a very popular for boaters and general tourists alike as the island does have car ferry service. In the late afternoon sun sits the chapel on the hill (note the boat shadows on shore).
Beautiful Madrona trees with their distinctive red peeling bark are found throughout the islands.
Spectacular sunsets are seen every night in the islands.
Beauty here is not all on or from the water. Just a few miles south on the Skagit River delta is one of the largest tulip bulb growing areas in the country, supplying Holland with its bulbs to send back to the US.
So as not to leave the impression that it is always boating or growing season up here, we do have winter once in a while. And you have probably heard that we get some rain too.