Half a century ago, Orcas Island Golf Course was carved out of a 54-acre estate homestead from the 1800s, rendering a nine-hole course whose contours take advantage of the area’s gently rolling hills and natural water hazards. When developers began salivating over the scenic stretch of land five years ago, local contractor and golfer Kendall Taylor swooped in and saved the course from being transformed into a holding facility for wayward cereal-box mascots, and he has maintained it through the present day with the help of his wife and children. Covered in astoria bent grass, the course boasts a bucolic atmosphere that echoes the traditional fairways and greens of Scotland. Golfers can tackle the course from a choice of four tee stations, looping through twice for a satisfying 18-hole journey, or hone their skills at a driving range. Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole course * Length of 3,010 yards * Course rating of 67.8 * Slope rating of 115 * Four tee options * Link to scorecard
For more than 30 years, Coastal Pacific Aviation has taught altitudinal abecedarians the methods of airliner helming. A licensed flight instructor will escort you through a unique 30-minute introductory tutorial to replicate the operational motions of a jumbo jet with greater accuracy than pointing a fan at your face while sprawling on a table Superman-style. Aerial coxswains maintain control of the simulation from beginning to end as they settle into the captain’s chair of a Boeing 747 simulator concordant with the ones used to prime pilots-in-training for the high skies. For a more encyclopedic session, Groupies can add an extra half-hour for an additional $100 fee.
Canadian Comedy Award-winning funnyman Gerry Dee, known to some as “Gerry Dee – Sports Reporter” on The Score and the star of the upcoming CBC sitcom Mr. D, channels his years as a father, collegiate hockey player, and physical educator into a night of poignant laughs on his “Life After Teaching” tour. Gerry’s gift of gab and guffaw-extracting demeanor has eclipsed his sports career, making him one of the most sought-after comedians in both Canada and its trouser landmass called America. The first Canadian in 27 years to win the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, where Robin Williams and Dana Carvey once battled to the death, Gerry garners empathetic laughs with his intrinsic charisma and sharp observational humour about the foibles of marriage and the unbearable lightness of offspring.
Since 1962, owner and U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain Terry Buzzard has gotten to know the San Juan Islands and surrounding miles of water pretty well. Having hauled mail for the Post Office, salvaged wrecks, assisted in oil spill cleanups, and ferried passengers throughout the San Juan Islands, he has built quite a resumé of seafaring. This relationship with water isn't so surprising considering he began boating at the age of 3 when he was allowed to pilot a single-horsepower boat by himself with his trained rescue dog, Rusty.
Regardless of the actual job he's performing, Terry is always drawn to whales. By 1978, this fascination lead him to chartering trips specifically for whale watching, especially toward the schools of orca that made the region their home. Looking back, he's pretty certain his boat was the only one in the area at the time dedicated to the thrill of witnessing some of the world's largest and most beautiful animals. Today, the waters are spotted with various boats filled with passengers snapping pictures of the great aquatic beasts and shouting ululations whenever one smacks its enormous tail against the water, takes a playful leap, or belts a Mariah Carey song.
Terry's boat, the 110-foot Island Caper, provides generous sightlines to all passengers via its spacious outdoor deck and ample indoor viewing areas, and is decked out with a 34-speaker sound system. In business for 50 years, Island Mariner Whale Watching also employs a seaplane to help spot whales and guide tours. With his chief navigator––a 5-year-old airedale terrier also named Rusty––Terry is right out there amid the excitement, ferrying whale watchers and sharing his life-long passion.
The veteran athletes at Peregrine Expeditions nurture their already intimate relationships with Mother Nature during skiing and climbing excursions into the icy peaks of Mount Baker or jagged rock faces of Mount Erie. Backcountry skiing courses hone snow-skimming techniques, and intense skiing tours toe the border between the United States and Canada on two-day treks that embark each morning from a hut at base camp. Adrenaline junkies foray into Forbidden Peak for two or three days, conquering the ins and outs of navigating ice, performing mountaintop rescues, and backpacking in challenging conditions. Kid-specific expeditions tone tiny muscles and teach bird calls used to ask eagles the way to the nearest latrine as youngsters grouped by age engage in courses that span one to five days.