San Juan Islands
When my parents both retired they bought a boat in the picturesque San Juan Islands in Washington. After four summers of a children-less existence on the water they arranged to fly me up to visit. I had just received my incredible Canon 1D Mark II and could not wait to give it a proper go around.
I flew from Burbank to Seattle/Tacoma airport, caught a shuttle to a seaport, and took my first flight on a seaplane. Now it’s important to note that I’ve been flying for longer than I can remember and am very comfortable on planes. That seaplane scared the begeezus out of me.
Taking off in the middle of Seattle, climbing to a few thousand feet with only a thin bit of aluminum and a window that could open between me and certain death. I was, however, in the copilots seat — which was fantastic. Captain Bill handled that plane like only a seasoned pilot could over that hour and a half journey. Landing on water is a very different experience than hard tarmac (at least to me): the hard pop of landing is still there, the pull back as the plane slows… but then there’s nothing, just bobbing in the water.
I flew in to Friday Harbor and met my parents at the dock. Walking on a jetty with your luggage is a bizarre feeling. During those two weeks we saw a family of Orca whales just feet from our bow (they even jumped!), fish like I couldn’t believe, and some of the most massive and luxurious boats in the northwest.
There is one image that I took which really captured the essence that I experienced, however. It was taken at Roche Harbor (the veritable Beverly Hills of harbors from what I surmised) just as the sun was setting. The water was beginning to darken as the calm sea make a remarkable mirror that made the light simply dance.