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-   -   The San Juans and Puget Sound (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/cruising-liveaboard-forum/41790-san-juans-puget-sound.html)

buttonsmachine 03-30-2008 06:16 AM

The San Juans and Puget Sound
 
Would anyone like to share their experiences of cruising the San Juan islands area? I read somewhere that it becomes very crowded in the Summer time, and that many of the beaches and coastlines are privately owned and so access is limited. Does this go for people with their own boats as well, or is it true more for land-bound people? Is it possible to drop anchor, and then camp and explore? Any insights to this would be a help. Thanks.

CharlieCobra 03-30-2008 12:12 PM

While it gets pretty crowded in July and August, there's still plenty of places to do what you want if ya have a boat. There are many state parks one various islands to anchor, moor and go exploring. Get "Gunkholing the San Juan's" for good info on all the spots.

jrd22 03-30-2008 12:48 PM

Ditto what Charlie said. Like all popular cruising areas the San Juans get busy during the best weather- July and August. The most popular places like Friday and Roche can be a zoo. While most of the islands have homes built on the beaches there are lots of good anchorages and many, many parks, some with mooring bouys. There is generally good holding ground for anchoring. You want to respect residents private property and privacy, but almost all the beaches are public up to the high tide line for good walks and tidepools. There are some islands that are private and they are posted, and also some marine preserves (Yellow Is). Use common sense and be VERY careful with any open fires, the islands are extremely dry at that time of year (they may look green but they are tinder dry) and most have limited to no fire fighting equipment. I would recommend buying "Waggoners" cruising guide as well as "Gunkholing" both have info. on all the "secret" anchorages and little known marine parks (there is one by us that frequently doesn't have more than one boat in it during August weekends). September is our favorite month for cruising, less crowded and still warm, but the San Juans are great year round. I would recommend that you venture into the Canadian Gulf Islands as well while in the area, even more beautiful IMHO. Have fun.

John

jimmyb116 03-30-2008 12:54 PM

If you want information on the gulf islands let me know its our favorite stomping ground maby we will run in to you. We don't go to the San Juan's much as we cant be bothered with customs etc.

Stillraining 03-30-2008 01:21 PM

Ya... Like He said...But Worth the bother other way around...:)

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmyb116 (Post 291856)
If you want information on the gulf islands let me know its our favorite stomping ground maby we will run in to you. We don't go to the San Juan's much as we cant be bothered with customs etc.


Geosailor 03-30-2008 01:23 PM

Ditto the others. We chartered out of Anacortes a couple of July's ago - and while we made slip reservations for Roche and Friday Harbors ahead of time, I'm not sure we needed them. There was also ample room on mooring balls in all the popular spots.

We picked up Migael Scherer's "Cruising Guide to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands" and "Exploring the San Juan and Gulf Islands" Cruising Guide by Don and Reanne Douglass ahead of time. We had never cruised in the area - and these books were invaluable in helping us plan. For our first trip, we stayed in the San Juan Islands the whole week, but won't hesitate to venture further next time.

We didn't find the lack of shoreline access to be an issue, with so much water to explore, getting out wasn't a priority. We did spend a nice afternoon wandering on Stuart Island while moored in Reid Harbor.

I would add that at least one night in Roche is mandatory. No matter what your perspective, the evening flag ceremony and the mega-yacht bunch are worth the fare for one evening, not to mention a decent meal and shower.

Faster 03-30-2008 01:36 PM

The San Jauns can't be crowded in summer - because all you Yanks are in our Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound!:D

Seriously, though, both areas have their pluses. The biggest knock on the San Juans and the southern Gulf Islands is the cool water temps year round. Another major factor that can catch newbies unawares are the tremendously strong currents in the northern San Juans and southern Gulf Islands in the border areas.

As you head north beyond the Gulf Islands, water warms up and swimming is more enjoyable. Should you get to Desolation Sound there are the additional pluses of several fresh water lakes withing easy hiking distances of some very nice anchorages.

In between are must-sees like Jedidiah Island, Jervis Inlet and Princess Louisa Inlet, not to mention Tribune Bay on Hornby (weather dependant).

In 25+ years we've always found a spot for the night - and discovered some neat one-boat nooks along the way.

Plumper 03-30-2008 01:58 PM

Hey! You guys are giving away all the secrets. The truth is Canada sucks since the dollar has gone up (or yours down) and you probably can't afford to come here. Our booze is expensive, we are not very friendly and our laws concerning everything evil in the US are somewhat lax. Trouble. Canada is nothing but trouble. Loads of terrorist lined up along the border looking for a way into the States too. I'd think twice about bringing your boat up here.

Faster 03-30-2008 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Plumper (Post 291883)
Hey! You guys are giving away all the secrets. The truth is Canada sucks since the dollar has gone up (or yours down) and you probably can't afford to come here. Our booze is expensive, we are not very friendly and our laws concerning everything evil in the US are somewhat lax. Trouble. Canada is nothing but trouble. Loads of terrorist lined up along the border looking for a way into the States too. I'd think twice about bringing your boat up here.

LOL... but Plumper makes some valid points;)

Stillraining 03-30-2008 08:01 PM

Some of us just arnt to bright and gluttons for punishments..:D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Faster (Post 291885)
LOL... but Plumper makes some valid points;)



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