A special history cruise | Letter

On a recent Sunday, May 15 to be exact, a band of 40 intrepid seafarers (including me) set out from Orcas on the Eclipse Charters’ Orcas Express to apprehend the ghosts of smugglers, who plied the Salish Sea, trafficking whiskey, opium, Chinese immigrants and anything that could bring a profit when brought from Canada to the U.S. Although our gallant captain, Dan Wilk gave us a great tour through the Islands and even across the Canada border (briefly), we found no smugglers, even the ethereal kind. Lack of evidence, however was made up for by the fine tour booklet, and a lively running commentary by the Historical Museums’ director, Clark McAbee. Party Chef Denise Willk and her helpers kept us fed with Chief Chef Mary’s h’ors deuvres, clam chowder, salad, desert and relaxing drinks of all kinds.

Did you know that the Orcas Hotel had hidden doorways and heat duct spaces that could hide unsavory persons or illegal items?

Stay tuned for next year’s Cruise into History to learn things you never knew about our islands!

Margot Shaw

Orcas Island