San Juan Island Lodging WA Friday Harbor

e-newsletter August 2011
Featured Recipe
Friday Harbor Dining
Photo of the Month: Sea Otter and Pup
Mollie's Meals & Treats
Like Us - Facebook & Twitter
Stay for Free
Brickworks Art Market
Orca Sightings
R.I.P. Westside Free Pile
Featured Recipe

 Salted Caramel Mousse     

Eggs Benedict  



Several months back, we had the pleasure of enjoying a meal prepared for us by one of our guests (yes, there's a switch!).  


Jonathan topped his lovely brunch off with an intriguing salted caramel mousse that had us practically licking the cups. We tweaked the recipe a bit, and have been serving it for dessert at the inns as well as at Coho Restaurant.  


With our thanks to Jonathan, we offer it as this month's featured recipe - we think you'll enjoy it as much as we do.



  Salted Caramel Mousse

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Coho Restaurant's  

2 for $70  

is still a popular choice, especially in these long days of bright light.


If you come in between 5:00 and 5:45, you've got plenty of time for your 3-course meal, bottle of wine, and dessert, and can still enjoy daylight activities or watch the sunset with a rosy glow and happy tummy!


Call (360) 378-6330 to make your dinner reservations.      


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Photo of the Month
Sea Otter and Pup
Sea Otter and Pup


Our local orcas are so magnificent, it's hard not to place all our attention on them.  But there's more to these waters than orcas.  Whale watch captain Jim Maya regularly gets lovely photos of all kinds of wild life, as seen in this shot of a sea otter giving her pup a ride.


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Gift Shop  

Mollie's Meals and Treats 


Doggie Biscuits


Our innkeepers have been busy baking up fresh batches of doggie biscuits.   


The current flavors include Garlic, Charcoal for fresh breath, and the ever-popular Peanut Butter.   


All the products are made with 100% people-grade ingredients, many of them organic and grown right here on the island.  There are no preservatives and no additives - except for love.  All you have to do is add the tummy rubs!  


You can purchase fresh Mollie's Meals and Treats biscuits treats through our  order page.

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Enjoy "Fan" Specials


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Stay for Free!


Earn a free stay!  Sounds too good to be true.  Find out about this and other Fans Only Specials on Facebook:


Harrison House Suites


Tucker House Inn


Harrison House Suites &
Tucker House Inn Newsletter




Over the years, we've discovered there are generally two types of visitors who come to the island in the summer. There are those who "see it all" in one day, and those who can't seem to pack enough into their day to "do it all." We try to caution each type to relax and slow down to Island time so you can take it all in. But with limited vacation time and so much to do, we understand how difficult that may be particularly in July and August when the Island hosts its peak number of guests.   


For those with flexible travel schedules, September is one of the most perfect months to enjoy the San Juan Islands. Many locals who live here part-time will never miss the opportunity to visit during September.  The weather is still balmy, the adventure tour operators are still running, all the restaurants are still open, and there are fewer crowds. This is a magical time when the island slowly begins its subtle transformation to Fall with incredibly beautiful light and amazing Indian summer. With children back in school, getaways this time of year tend to be less family-oriented and a bit more relaxing and spontaneous.


We have several special packages and promotions for September travel so be sure to check our website or call us for details. As always, repeat guests enjoy 10% off a stay of two nights or more during shoulder and quiet seasons.


We hope to see you at the inn again soon.




Anna Maria & Dave


Brickworks Art Market 


If you visit in early September, you can catch the last of the Friday Harbor Art market at the Brickworks. This inaugural run was scheduled only for four weeks on Thursdays, August 11 to September 1st, 5 to 8 pm.


One of Many Artisan Booths at the New Brickworks Art Market; Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Brast

The Brickworks is that old concrete block building, just down the street from the Inns on Nichols Street, right next door to Coho Restaurant. This is actually an historic industrial building that has been lovingly restored for use as a year-round farmer's market and public event center.


The newly initiated Thursday night art market features quite an eclectic mix of local artisans and crafters. A lone saxophone player breathes out soulful notes that drift across the alleyway, creating a mellow, jazzy atmosphere. It's a lovely way to enjoy a summer evening stroll before dinner.


Organizers of the event plan a full season in 2012, running from June to September.



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Orca Sightings


Another good reason to visit in September: our resident orca pods are usually still with us. This year there have been many sightings of what we call the super pod, which is all 88 whales of the Southern Resident community.


One venerable favorite, J1, known as Ruffles because of the wavy shape of his massive dorsal fin, did not return with the pod this year.  The Center for Whale Research estimated Ruffles to be the oldest male orca in our resident population, if not the entire Pacific Northwest. Researchers calculated his birth year at 1951, making him almost 60 years old the last time he was seen in November 2010.    


J1 Ruffles on September 9 2009

J1, Ruffles, on September 9, 2009 by Astrid van Ginneken. Astrid writes "It shows our beloved J1 in all his strength and splendor as the master of sea.." Photo courtesy of


With the average life span of a male whale being only 30 years, Ruffles lived much longer than expected, becoming an orca icon by his easy-to-identify dorsal fin. Visitors loved seeing him arc through the water, and researchers have a special fondness for this first whale to be given an alphanumeric designation in the early 1970's. Though he is now considered deceased, he lives on in our hearts, and in the orcas he sired.


Through biopsy samples, NOAA researchers have been able to identify seven whales which were most likely fathered by Ruffles, and now his grandchildren are playing in these waters. The newest is K-44, the first born to Deadhead (K-27); this calf was first spotted off Lime Kiln Point State Park on July 6 of this year. But there are other babies too: J-47, K-43, L-115, and L-116 have all survived the winter and will be named soon; L-117 will be named next year.


(Note: After surviving their first winter, new calves are given common names in the Whale Museum's contest held each summer. The name generally reflects a bit of its heritage, personality, or circumstances of its discovery. As an alternative to consumerism, the Whale Museum offers Orca adoption packages to help support ongoing research to ensure the long-term well being of our orca population. Each of the whales is recognizable, and the thrill of seeing "your" whale can be quite a special moment.)


K27 and 2-Month Old K44 in Georgia Strait on July 31, 2011; Photo by Miles Ritter, Courtesy of


According to the meticulous notes kept by whale researchers, 2010 paled in comparison to 2011 in the number of orca "pass bys" at Lime Kiln Point State Park. Maybe you'll be lucky this September and see them yourself from the rocky shores of San Juan Island.



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R.I.P Westside Free Pile
We are sorry to report that the island's Westside Free Pile has been eliminated.  After an unfortunate fire that destroyed most of the goods, the county decided the Free Pile was illegal.


An island institution for 12 years, the Westside Free Pile was a place where people could drop off their use-able goods and others could help themselves.  The epitome of Recycle-Reuse, it was a popular, quirky site for visitors, and a favorite spot for locals to find parts and pieces for creating all kinds of art projects and more. 


Founder Kevin Roth will have a temporary Free Pile at the San Juan County Fair, and plans to begin research for an alternative site that meets county requirements.   

If you would like to contribute an article or photograph, or have an idea of something we should include in our next edition, please let us know. 

You can also follow our news on our blogs: Harrison House Suites Blog, Tucker House Inn Blogand Coho Restaurant Blog


 Contact us at:
Harrison House Suites 235 C Street  360.378.3587 800.407.7933

Tucker House Inn  275 C Street  360.378.2783  800.965.0123

Friday Harbor, WA, San Juan Island 98250


We appreciate your staying at Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites and want you to enjoy your experience long after your return home.


So as a token of our appreciation, please accept our gift of 10% off any photo from local photographer Mike Bertrand. 


To make your selection, visit Mike's website, or contact him before you come out to set up an appointment for a special viewing.  

Mike Bertrand, 360 317-6622,  


Take the island home with you!  And again, thank you for visiting. 

Ferry Coming into Friday Harbor with Mt Baker in Background
Ferry and Mt Baker


This offer is valid up to one year from the date of your stay. Please provide Mike with your reservation confirmation number.