Chief Mate Donna
Journey to the Islands
When I see people get on the ferry, they let their troubles melt away.
Getting to the San Juan Islands is an adventure all its own. Donna is a chief mate for the Washington State Ferries and guides visitors and locals alike through the 172 islands.
“I love being able to take people to the San Juan Islands. The scenery is amazing.”
Voices of the Islands - Chief Mate Donna
During her 14 years working for the ferry system, Donna has seen a variety of wildlife from the deck. Deer swim between islands and graze on passing cliffs, whales, porpoises and harbor seals duck in and out of the waves, and eagles circle the sky, looking for their next meal. Passengers can catch a glimpse of this wildlife before reaching one of the three main stops.
Lopez is a biker’s paradise. Although not flat, Lopez offers some of the islands’ easier cycling terrain, and leads visitors to the charming Lopez Village, where delicious food, local art and music are abundant. Drivers wave in passing and rolling farmland meets mountain-view shores on this quiet, “friendly island.”
“Orcas Island is another stop. The vistas from Mt. Constitution are spectacular.”
“The final stop is San Juan Island. When you dock at Friday Harbor you can walk right into town.”
The “gateway to the San Juans,” Friday Harbor welcomes ferry passengers to explore the history, wildlife
“Every island is unique and each one kind of has its own culture. I feel very lucky to share my home with people.”
About the islands
Discover what makes each island unique and make a plan for your next visit!