turtleback farm inn

turtleback farm inn cookbook cover

Guest Comment: Browsing through your cookbook …


Dear Susan,

Browsing through your cookbook at our last great breakfast at Turtleback Farm, I could tell right away that it was something special. Reading through it at home, I discovered your friendly inscription. Every recipe sounds delicious, and the instructions are clear and concise. I also appreciate the marginal tips and comments, reflecting your accumulated kitchen wisdom. It is hard to choose what to try first, but I think it will be the stewed ginger rhubarb.

We live in a rural and peaceful place (in Ohio), but we were enchanted by the utterly different and beautiful surroundings on Orcas—the old-growth forests, the ever-changing views of water, islands, and mountains, and the nestled-in fields of Crow Valley. It was one of our best vacations ever, not least for your thoughtful hospitality.


orcas island wooden boat society

Come Row Our Boats Day – Sunday, July 28


Come Row Our Boats Day
Sunday, July 28, 1 – 5 p.m., Deer Harbor Marina

The Wooden Boat Society of the San Juans is sponsoring a free, Come Row Our Boats day. Participants are invited to take our boats out on their own or we will have experienced boaters to accompany them. Life jackets will be required and available but please bring your own if possible. All ages are welcome. Children and young adults are particularly encouraged. Please join us and experience the many pleasures of rowing small boats. The event will be held at the Deer Harbor Marina, Sunday July 28. Questions? info@woodenboatsocietyofthesanjuans.org.

white whale off of orcas island

The White Whale – Sighting off of Orcas Island


Here’s one of the newest members of the Biggs (transient) community. Its really special and unique. Notice the pigment coloring? It has a dilute gene. A dilution gene is a popular term for any one of a number of genes that act to create a lighter coat color in living creatures.

This little orca is part of the T-46b family. Trey took a couple of photos last week. We’re not sure if it’s a male or female.

Tom Averna
Deer Harbor Charters

sunset on the water orcus island

New York Times Selects Orcas Island – 1 of 52 Places to Go in 2019


“The horseshoe-shaped Orcas, one of the largest islands that make up the San Juan archipelago, has gained fame in recent years for its impressive tide-to-table culinary scene and experimental wines, attracting among others, Oprah Winfrey. (In 2018, Ms. Winfrey bought a 43-acre estate on the island for a reported $8.275 million.) A new wine enterprise, Doe Bay Wine Company, is presenting its Orcas Project in 2019 — a collaboration between acclaimed winemakers and vineyards in the Pacific Northwest. Ventures from the James Beard-nominated chef Jay Blackinton, who owns Hogstone, a former pizzeria now featuring ambitious nose-to-tail fare, and its more upscale counterpart Aelder, are also on the horizon. Another addition to the island are the luxury suites at Outlook Inn, in the town of Eastsound, overlooking Fishing Bay. If you want to hike, or ride a horse, the island’s Moran State Park will be adding trails to its 38-mile network this year.” – Daniel Scheffler, New York Times