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Our Brief Maritime Adventure

It was hard to say good-bye to the Olympic Peninsula, but it was so fun to take the ferry back to the "main land!" The kids were as excited about our 30 minute journey from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island as they were about any other portion of our trip. We have spent some time in Port Townsend before, but took some time to enjoy the shoreline and the Northwest Maritime Center this time. If you have any interest in boats, especially those of the wooden variety, this is your place! Such cool stuff to oogle at even if you'll never set foot on a boat. PS. Wooden Boat Festival is held in Port Townsend in September!

 Yes, it was still raining as we explored the rocky shore... and treasures were found!

My little sailors

A few ferry tips: you'll want to get your hands on a local sailing schedule (can be found almost anywhere including visitor's centers, hotels, gas stations). This will tell you which ferries go where and when, much like a bus schedule. Walking on the ferry is usually no problem. However, if you'll be driving on you will most likely need a reservation. Reservations can be made over the phone a minimum of two hours prior to the departure time. Even once you have a reservation, you want to arrive about 30 minutes early to be ready for loading.

If you have a tendency for sea-sickness, you'll want to pop that dramamine. Although this huge vessel isn't easily tossed, weather can change rapidly and if you are inside (as opposed to out on the deck) the rocking sensation multiplies. (I'm no scientist, so I don't know why this is, but my stomach can tell you it's true!)

Once you are on board, get out and mingle! It's fun to hear where people are from and where they are going. Both times we've taken a ferry, we've seen people board with only backpacks and canine-friends in tow. People with a spirit for adventure who like to travel light (and reduce their carbon footprint) tend to use this mode of transportation - that's my own personal observation!

My daughter purchased this great journal at the Northwest Maritime Center. It comes complete with a compass!

The cold air didn't seem to bother the kids. They were on a whale watch! (Sadly, none were spotted.)


Once you arrive at your destination port, the chances are good you still have a bit of driving to do. Our next stop was Oak Harbor which is a pretty town with plenty of amenities - a real change after the seclusion of the peninsula. Deception Pass is another potential stop on your trip (camping anyone?), although  just driving across the bridge that takes you from Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island is magical in itself. Fun fact: the water you pass over connects the Strait to the Sound. There is a state park here and plenty of wildlife - get out those binoculars!

Below is the view as we drive over Deception Pass.

Tomorrow, look for fun on and around Camano Island - this is where we spend the remainder of our trip. This very rural sea-side community is a great spot for families, especially since the addition of an elaborate new Rotary Park for kids!

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