K-Pod orcas seen from the shore; photo by Libby Baldwin

K-Pod Returns to the San Juans

Over the weekend, orca enthusiasts on the island were thrilled when several members of K-Pod were reported as inbound from an area to the north called Race Rocks. Sure enough, a couple of hours later they were seen making their way down the southern end of San Juan Island. Several whale-watching operators trailed them as […]

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Photo by Drew Harvell

Sea Stars Going Extinct?

Around these parts, the orcas and seals get a lot of attention, but they aren’t the only species of fascinating and beautiful wildlife that can be found here. Far from it, in fact. Whale-watching may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of water activities in the San Juan Islands…unless […]

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images

How Would an Oil Spill Affect the San Juans?

Some environmentally conscious folks have launched a project to find out. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Georgia Straight Alliance have undertaken a research project to find out what would happen if an oil tanker began leaking into the Salish Sea, which is the collective name for the waters around southern Vancouver Island and the […]

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The Blackfish Effect and San Juan Island

One of the hottest films of 2013 wasn’t about an apocalypse, a star-crossed beautiful couple, or superheroes. It was about killer whales. Blackfish, a documentary filmed directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, began as an investigation into the events leading to the death of veteran Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. What it has turned […]

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Photo courtesy of the Town of Friday Harbor

Big Plans To Bring More Sunshine to Sunshine Alley

If you’ve been to San Juan Island, chances are that you’ve stumbled upon Sunshine Alley. It’s a rather nondescript pathway that shortens the trip between the main drag in town and Nichols Street, beginning just behind the gap between the movie theater and Haley’s. Mostly, it’s known as the road that leads to the public […]

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Islander Mike Martin celebrates the Hawks' victory in a bold way!

Have You Seen the Rock?

I’m referring, of course, to the rock on Beaverton Valley road. You may have passed it a million times on your way to and from a sightseeing jaunt here on San Juan Island, and never noticed it before – unless it was painted! “Why would anyone paint a rock?” you might ask. We have a […]

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AP photo by Larry Steagall

Ride the Ferries to a Seahawks Victory!

Seattle Seahawks fever is higher than it’s ever been, and that is of course because the Hawks are in the Super Bowl for the second time! The first was after the 2005 season, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Hawks were defeated. This game will pit them against the Denver Broncos at Metlife Stadium in […]

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Photo by Libby Baldwin for San Juan Excursions

A New Year Means a New Chance to Save our Orcas!

As you reflect back on 2013, you may remember moments of both triumph and tragedy in your life. You may think about the highs and lows of the year and use those memories to reflect on what you want to change, or what kinds of New Year’s resolutions you want to try and keep this […]

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Rather proud of this photo!

A Floridian’s First Snowfall in Friday Harbor

Hi! I hope that all of you folks who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful day. This was my first Christmas away from my family, but fortunately I had some wonderful people on the island who made me feel included, and the day was relaxing and peaceful. We had our first snowfall of the winter last […]

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Juvenile bald eagle, photo by Heather Callin

Wolf Hollow Helps Keep Our Wildlife Wild!

As residents of San Juan Island, we hear plenty about the multitude of wildlife conservation efforts that are a huge part of life here – from shore-based whale-watching, to the annual Christmas Bird Count, to keeping a safe distance from our 4,000+ harbor seals. But there are so many people living here who are working […]

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J-8, also known as Speiden, is the most recent loss in the southern resident orca community. She and three others will be honored at this year's Day of the Dead ceremony.

Beloved Orca Speiden Missing and Presumed Dead

The months of October and November are not unusual months to see orcas in the San Juan Islands. Although the peak season is May-September, our southern resident community of orcas, most notably J-Pod, tends to stick around and have been sighted every month of the year historically. What was unusual about October 16 was the […]

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Internet

Unplugged on San Juan Island!

As islanders, so many of us are entirely dependent on our connections to the outside world, those necessary evils called cell phones and Internet service. For many, it’s the only way we can keep in touch with family, friends, and current events. So the big event this week – a complete shutdown of cell and […]

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Fall arrives in Friday Harbor

Experiencing Fall on San Juan Island – For the First Time!

Greetings from the newest blogger for the inn! My name is Libby, and I’ve just joined the team. I’m thrilled to be here, and also thrilled to be experiencing the “off season” here on San Juan Island for the first time. I’ve been coming here during the sunny, exciting summer season for the last three […]

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Carl Zichella

Friends of the San Juans Speaker Highlights Energy Positives

Carl Zichella, Director of Western Transmission, Land & Wildlife Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, gave the keynote address at the Friends of the San Juans annual meeting. Carl is the organization’s lead staff for western U.S. Renewable energy transmission siting and serves on a nationwide team working on renewable energy development issues. In this role, […]

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Decoration with an  firtree branch, globe and toys on a white background

Green Christmas Tips from a San Juan Island Green Leader B&B

Bing Crosby may have dreamed of a White Christmas, but on San Juan Island, we prefer the REduce-REuse-REcycle mantra. Christmas is no exception. Here are a few tips to help you bring the 3-RE spirit to your home: For the Tree: Choose LED Lights If live trees are wrapped with miniature lights, the lights should […]

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Halloween Oct 1981

DIY Halloween Tips From Friday Harbor B&B

The Friday Harbor Fire Department Thrift House has a whole rack of Halloween costumes out. Even better, they have lots of colorful garments and linens for those who like to stretch their imagination and create something unique, avoiding the toxic dyes and petroleum-based products of ready-made costumes. If you’re going for a scary look, you […]

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Whale Breaching 4

Court Rules that Federal Agency Failed to Protect Thousands of Whales and Dolphins from Navy Sonar

A federal court has ruled that National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) failed to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. In an opinion released late Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas, U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California, […]

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San Juan Island has its share of "characters," and this B&B Blogger particularly loves Cow and Pig

More San Juan Island Characters

What is it about small communities and islands that breeds “characters?” You find them in every small town, every remote enclave; they are the people who feel free to express themselves in whatever way they choose, and seem to be accepted – good, bad, or indifferent – as just another part of the whole. They […]

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L119 and Her Mother Matia

Orca Calf L-119 is Named

After several weeks of public voting with more than 2,500 votes counted, Southern Resident Community Orca calf  L-119 has received her name! Though the voting was close, Joy is the winning name by about 100 votes. Joy is a fitting name as this playful calf has brought joy and hope for these endangered whales.Read more […]

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Lummi Nation Totem

Kwel Hoy’ – “We Draw the Line”

The Lummi tribe has declared their strong opposition to the Coal Project and on September 15th embarks on a 1200-mile long  road trip Lummi style, a Totem Pole Journey through the sacred landscapes of the West, to unite the west in saying NO to coal export. Kwel Hoy’ means “We Draw the Line.” The House […]

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