Classic Air-Sea and Land Fly-in at Roache Harbor.

We had a great time at the Classic Air-Sea and Land Fly-in at Roache Harbor. There were a few classic aircraft at the little airport right there at the resort.

There was a 1938 stagger-wing Beachcraft that was the hit of the show. It was a beautiful flame red color, spotless with a chrome spinner that you could comb your hair in. The radial Jacobs engine was spotless clean and the locals were marveling that it was not leaking oil. Apparently they are famous for this. The second interesting plane was a STOL conversion of a J3 cub. Or at least that was the consensus of the locals. It was designated an experimental aircraft. It had lots of modifications to the wing for the “Short Takeoff and Landing”. It also had oversized tires for soft fields. Inside the cockpit was where it looked most like a J3. The back seat stick had been removed, and there were a couple of modern instruments in place. Otherwise it looked very 30’s.

This is an interesting airfield. It is a gated community and the main street is called Cessna street. The signs declare that the street is a taxiway and has rules for how close you can drive to an aircraft, etc. The landing strip is actually rather narrow. We watched a twin land and deliver some folks and there was only a couple feet to spare beyond each wheel and the wings were over the grass beside the runway. It looks more like a country road than an airport runway. It has a rather pronounced hill in the middle, and you have to taxi on the runway. Landing fee is $10 and overnight parking is $5. There is a wind-up meter to turn on the landing lights after hours. To my way of thinking. If you can wind up the timer, you don’t need the lights anymore. Oh well, these modern conveniences tend to boggle the simple yachtsman’s mind.

Then we went to the classic car rally. Again the hits of the show in my mind were the flame red Ferrari Tostesterone and the 1968 Gull door, stainless steel Delorme. The rear window of the Delorme even had lettering indicating the positions of the “Flux Capacitors.”

The classic boats are just as impressive. They are of 1930’s vintage mostly and they have lots of mahogany and varnish.

Besides all of this activity there is a reenactment scheduled for the same weekend at the American and British Camps here on San Juan Island. This is an important bit of history right out of the civil war era.
They were reenacting the pig wars of the 1860’s. For 13 years the British and American forces occupied this island until a treaty was signed. This gave the San Juan Islands to the US. Otherwise they would have all been part of Canada. The group came to Roache on Saturday and reenacted the peace ceremony. It was complete with bagpipers representing the British and the US infantry with their fifes. There were lots of dignitaries in period costume and cannons fired and all.

Judy and I found this all so interesting that we motored around to Garrison Bay and anchored there Sunday. From there we were able to paddle our canoe ashore and join the people in the State Park doing the reenacting. They were all in their period costume and would react to our questions and presence just as though they were members of the group encamped there in the 1860’s. Many of them were very good actors and very knowledgeable of the history and the persona they were creating.

Now we have traveled forward in time to Anacortes Washington, September 2, 2004. We are waiting for our daughter and son-in-law, Renee, and Neil, to show up for a three day voyage with us back to the San Juan Islands.

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