01/22/2008: "Regarding Sale of Historic Orcas Landing"
Dear Commissioners and to whom it may concern, Gordy Petersen
In case you do not know the Orcas Landing dock and buildings are for sale and could be lost forever, if the wrong owner takes possession.
We are career boaters who have landed at the Orcas Landing for much of our boating life. We are concerned about the issue of the sale of Jacobson's Orcas Landing. We would like to lobby for the continued use of that Landing for our community and San Juan County.
Daniel and I have worked off the dock for the last 18 years with our company Orcas Island Eclipse Charters tour boat. Orcas Landing is a historic port of call, and we are calling out for your help and support . Orcas Island has no official Maritime Port of Orcas.
We must work together to seize the moment to protect this Historic Maritime location, and keep commerce and trade viable in this important part of Orcas island. All outer islands use this landing for the ferry foremost. It used to be an important fuel stop.
We have been there each summer. No less that 25 boats a day use that dock for pick up and drops for the ferry as well as mail stop and all services. There are rental cars, bus stop, W.S.F. services, also the dock has a new lower float for sea planes. The planes use to come there.
Because it is cost prohibitive,..everyone has turned a blind eye as to the value and significance of the Orcas Landing Dock. A private party could take away this historic site forever.
If the Islanders can save Turtleback Mountain, Can't we save the Orcas Landing. For over a century it has been a safe spot to land and refuel, get groceries, and a jump off point for journeys north and south. For years the Russell's managed to keep up with the use and the flow of travelers with out too much trouble. Always a colorful atmosphere on such a busy landing.
The work and labor of love, job done by the present owner Steve Jacobson is phenomenal. Not a job for the meek at heart and pocket book. Done in the true spirit of our community to insure the landing is preserved and has stayed open to the public. Investing more than his share to preserve the dock and building. It is renewed and ready for the next step.
It would be a crime to let the landing go from open use for boaters of our county and beyond. The Orcas Landing is a essential stop for all our outer islands and locals .
As well as with the development of the Orcas Village, people will need more open space and public park use. Water front marine parks are in limited supply on Orcas Island. Join the Ports, Friday Harbor and Orcas what ever it takes. Lets share the wealth a little bit. Opportunities are now on the horizon at the Landing. It is a great office space, restaurant, retail outlets. All making revenue for the owner and offering jobs to the community.
Lets Preserve and Protect the Orcas Landing. It is the most important port this side of San Juan Channel. All the Coast Guard small boats and Home Land Security stop there almost every day for a wind and water spot.
We have seen a nice change from the dedication Mr. Jacobson has invested to Preserve this Maritime piece of History, to open space for the Public. Every one of us has a stake in having a public maritime port at the Orcas Village.
Please lobby for us, to the powers that be to work cooperatively with the W.S. Ferry, County, Port Of Orcas, Preservation Land Trust, ......ideas?,and as in Waterfront park for the village and travelers in San Juan County.
Please don't let the Orcas Landing be lost to private non use.
Thank you for passing this along.
Denise and Captain Daniel Wilk
Orcas Island Eclipse Charters