We awoke to calm waters as we cruised into Victoria this morning with the sun shining over the snowcapped Olympic Mountains. We had an activity-packed day getting to know the fun, small city of Victoria. Some of us enjoyed historic walking tours and visiting the Royal British Columbia Museum, while others toured the secret gardens and biked around the city. In the evening, we enjoyed a cocktail reception at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which had exhibits celebrating the symbiosis of trees and fungal networks and showcased art from female Indigenous leaders of the area. It was a full, fun day of sun to start off our time on the British Columbia leg of the trip.
National Geographic Quest
As we awoke for the last full day of our marvelous expedition together, we set eyes upon the striking lands that are the San Juan Islands. Pulling into the dock at Friday Harbor, located on the largest island, San Juan, we cleared customs smoothly and had a little bit of free time to explore the town. Bustling even at ten in the morning, small shops filled with aromatic coffee, fresh pastries, and sparkly crafts kept our attention until soon it was time to return to the ship once again. We set sail and weaved through the smaller islands. Harbor porpoises glinted in the waves, flirting with the ship and disappearing below. Our arrival at Sucia Island shortly after lunch yielded a remarkable playground for us to explore. The large, horseshoe shaped island with thin islets scattered about offers fascinating geology around every bend. Unique formations in the sandstone caused by algae eating away at the rock create beautiful honeycomb shapes along the shore. The aptly named Fossil Bay has hidden treasures of ammonites and hardened crabs for those with keen eyes and the patience to look. We strolled, hiked, and even kayaked in the flat, calm waters of the bay. We returned to our home one last time to celebrate our journey, including the friends we have made and the memories we won’t forget.