Rosario Resort – A Honeymoon Destination!
An Accidental HoneymoonOn Thursday evening, Sherrie & I took off from our home port in Anacortes, with the intention of spending 3 or 4 days out crabbing, salmon fishing, whale watching, visiting Garrison Bay, just cruising the San Juan Islands. On our way out, we experienced some engine heating problems (See article on Marine Engine Cooling) and so decided to beach the boat and do some diving to try to clear the problem. Our efforts were not very successful so, on Friday afternoon we determined to sail from anchorage at Center Island and proceed up to the old Rosario Hotel and Spa in the East Sound on Orcas Island. We had planned to go there on our honeymoon last march but foul weather spoiled our plans. After several hours of sailing under light winds and using our inflatable with its 3.5 hp ob as a push tug, we pulled into Rosario.
Anchorage near Rosario Resort & Spa is somewhat tricky with 50 to 60 Ft. depths within yards of the shoreline. Rosario has moorage available but in the tourist season, reservations are essential. There are also a few buoys available but they are filled fast. Even the buoys are in 50′ – 60′ of water.
Wether on a buoy or your own anchor, Rosario has a $25.00 per night landing fee to enjoy the facilities. If you want to take advantage of the spa facilities, expect to pay an additional $$20.00 which grants access for 4 people per boat. Day use trips of 4 hours or less are cost free for access to the dockside facilities but do include the spa.
Our first night, Friday, we spent at anchor, dingying in for a walk around, dinner at The Cascade Bay Grill & General Store, followed by a dip in the hot tub, time in the sauna, a swim and a shower. Returning to the boat, we spent a quiet night anchored in 50′ of water with our stern 30. from the beach.
On Saturday, we pulled anchor and limped into the fuel dock to try to fix our engine heating problems. We had noted several divers listed on their bulletin board and were resigned to hiring one of them if we could not fix the problem ourselves. (See Marine Engine Cooling). Fortunately, we were able to flush the debris from our system. We replenished our ice supply, bought an ice-cream cone, and we fortunate enough to find a vacant buoy.
After a few hours of relaxing and reading books on the boat, we returned to Rosaio via the dinghy and took a walking tour around the grounds and through the mansion. This is truly an incredible facility! The history here is amazing and the preservation remarkable. I remember stopping in here some 45 or 50 years ago, for a hot meal after 2 weeks of boat camping with my parents and two other families. It was a wet and smokey couple of weeks and we must have been pretty ripe as they gave us the banquet room, well isolated from the rest of the guests. Today, I think they might have found us a private cabin. At any rate, the improvements and amenities have come so far in that time span, that it is hardly comparable.
After touring the grounds and walking through the museum, we again enjoyed the sauna, hot tub and pool. We were going to retire to the boat for a quiet dinner but got sidetracked by some wonderful music coming out of the bar at The Mansion Restaurant. We spent several hours listening to a great local talent (supported by several family members), consumed a few drinks and a dozen oysters, and then finally retired to the boat.
Sunday was uneventful! Took the dog for a walk on the beach and then sailed/motored back home.
While we had not started this trip with any intention of having it be a honeymoon, it turned out to be so. The same powers that diverted us from our initial course last March, contrived to direct us here for a wonderful weekend. I would highly recommend Rosario Hotel & Resort to any wayfarers so fortunate to find themselves in the area!
Ken & Sherrie