New Year’s Eve at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island

Rosario resort

The Rock ‘n Row tied up to the pilings at Olga, on our way to the Olga Cafe.

It feels really good to be back out on the Rock ‘n Row again. She’s been docked up since October while I’ve been doing some much needed work in the engine compartment – tuning the engines, cleaning the bilge, installing a bilge pump, fiberglassing in a new bulkhead, and installing raw water pumps among other things. This trip feels particularly good because my brother and his wife joined us for a New Year’s trip to Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. After all the work, it’s great to have the resort and my family together as a little reward.

This marks our fourth trip to Rosario, and it never fails to impress. As soon as we could secure the dock lines and plug in shore power, we made a bee line for the hot tub.

Fishing in East Sound

A beautiful morning for fishing in East Sound, near Rosario Resort

For those who don’t know, moorage at the Rosario Resort also gives you access to the spa facilities, which includes a sauna, lap pool, and hot tub. In the winter, the rates are only $1 per foot. That means for $40 per night, the four of us get shore power, wireless internet, and access to the spa! What a great deal! You can see why we keep coming back here.

Our first morning at Rosario, my brother and I got up early to head out and catch some fish. A couple Greenling were too small to eat, but made great crab bait. The fish and wildlife department extended the crabing season till the end of the year, so we’ve got two days left to crab. Our traps are soaking as I write this, so hopefully they’ll be full of crab when I check this morning.

Crabbing in East Sound

Cascade Bay, where Rosario Resort is located, doesn’t have very good crabbing. All we caught were starfish.

Today is New Years Eve. So far, this trip has been amazing. Everything has come together to provide a magical weekend. The wind has been dead calm, the sun has been shining, and the moon is full – providing lots of light at night. I recently learned that the calm, cold snap that occurs this time of year is called Halcyon Days, which is taken from Greek mythology. They are a period of 7 days in winter when storms never occur. That pretty much describes New Years weekend in the San Juan Islands. It was exactly this same way last year too.

Yesterday, we cruised on over to Lopez Island because the crabbing is better, and to do a little shopping. As we were trying to set the anchor, one of the engines stopped unexpectedly. Rushing to the back, I saw that we had clearly backed over our dingy line. I had forgotten to bring the dingy in (which we tow behind the boat) before anchoring and the line had wrapped around the propeller shaft, stalling the engine. Rookie mistake! It took about 30 minutes to unwind the rope with a pike pole. No harm, no foul.

Olga Cafe

Cruising to the Olga Cafe, just south of Rosario Resort.

This morning, we’re going to cruise on over to the little town of Olga and have breakfast at the Olga Cafe. Olga has a dock that is free for day use and also provides over-night moorage for $0.50 per foot. No electricity hookup, so be forewarened. Still, it’s a great opportunity for boaters in the area to stock up on groceries at the little store there or enjoy the Olga Cafe’s signature Scalibet Cakes – a crab cake made up of pieces of scallops and hallibet! And yes, it *does* taste as good as it sounds.

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