Card no 401 - Arianne US-2075923
San Juan Islands
Country Card Sent From: USA
Place Card Sender Lives: Oak Harbor, WA
Date Received: 13th February 2013
Distance Travelled: 1,274 miles
Time Taken: 4 days
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S. state of Washington.
In the archipelago, four islands are accessible by passenger ferry operated by the Washington State Ferries system.
In the 1850s the US claimed Haro Strait as the international border, while Britain claimed Rosario Strait, with both sides laying claim to the San Juan Islands. The escalating dispute led to the Pig War in 1859 and the resulting San Juan Dispute, which was a protracted diplomatic confrontation. Effectively a stalemate, with no clear legal arguments, it continued until the boundary issue was eventually placed in the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany for arbitration in 1871. The border, through Haro Strait, was finally established in 1872.
The islands are famous for their resident pods of Orcas (Orcinus orca). There are three resident pods that eat salmon but also some transient orcas that come to take Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). Other marine mammals include the River otter (Lontra canadensis), Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), Common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) and other cetaceans.
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