The ferry ride was short and lasted about a half-hour. Also, the ship appeared to be close to full. To buy time, anything from candy to draft beer could be purchased at an on-board convenience store. Snowcatcher and I preferred to stay out on the deck savoring the brisk sea breeze.
Some of Washington State’s bread and butter can be observed while being shuttled to Whidbey Island. For instance, a large shorefront logging mill as well as a huge boom used to move cargo on and off of large naval vessels. One-way passenger fees on this shuttle was between 3 and 4 dollars. Our fee for two passengers and one SUV rang-up around 16 dollars. In my opinion, the ferries are affordable conveniences often maximizing time. To drive around the southern end of Pugent Sound and back north would have cost us close to a tank of petrol and 40 dollars, give or take.
Soon after the boat started bearing north, we began to prepare for docking and our exit.
Once on Whidbey Island, we headed north through picturesque farm and forest land. I was actually surprised how many homes dotted the landscape. I guess I was expecting Gilligan’s Island or something. Oak Harbor was really bustling with activity. I didn’t realize until now that a military base was only a stone’s throw away. A short distance farther north and we reached our camp area at Deception Pass. At the pass proper, the bridges joining Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island have walkways on each side. This allowed for some good photo shots from above the water.
The first Europeans to see this strait were Spanish explorers sailing under Manuel Quimper on the Princess Real. Joseph Whidbey of the George Vancouver expedition found and mapped the strait on 07 June 1792. It was named Deception because both Whidbey and Vancouver initially thought Whidbey Island to be a peninsula.
Fast tidal flows and large whirlpools may be seen from the bridges. We hiked the area while the tide was coming in. The water’s speed was awesome. Deception Pass has additional colorful history. If you ever have a spare minute, check it out.
Next stop, The North Cascades.