A Week of Sailing in the San Juan Islands (2009)
Well, we're back from a week of cruising in the San Juan Islands, and it was our best trip there yet.
Here's the chart of where we went:
Bellingham Bay to Sucia Island
Sucia to Stuart Islands (two nights there)
Stuart to San Juan Island
San Juan to Lummi Island
Lummi back to Bellingham
There were six of us on a Pearson 38 that we chartered from San Juan Sailing. It's the largest boat that we've bare-boat chartered so far:
There's a full photo gallery from the trip at
Sailing the San Juan Islands 2009
There's a longish video with stills and moving shots here:
<object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6047585&server=vimeo.com &show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portr ait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6047585&server=vimeo.com &show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portr ait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/6047585">Sailing for a week in the San Juan Islands</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
Things we learned:
1) Despite a winged-keel, the 1991 Pearson 38 did well to weather and in stronger winds. With new sails, she's a great sailor. She's also for sale.
2) Using a wheel for the first time in two years took only a little getting used to, and it was less tiring in strong winds with a bit of weather-helm.
3) It was great to maneuver a boat that could back up half-way straight.
4) Having full time refrigeration was something I could get used to, and the hot water was nice as well.
5) Manual bilge pumps for pumping out a holding tank sometimes don't work.
6) Having a lot of beam (12.5 feet) didn't significantly increase storage space in this boat.
7) After sailing in the San Juans several times, I could go again.
8) The Dreamspeaker guides for the area are excellent.
9) Having a kayak and an 10 foot dinghy was sometimes useful, sometimes not.
10) I wouldn't mind doing Desolation Sounds next year, for two weeks.
Some sample pictures from the gallery:
Son at helm.
Sailing toward Sucia Island.
Son caught us four large rock crab at Rosario docks, so we had a crab feast.
End of week breakfast de-brief at the Anchor Locker cafe in Bellingham Marine.
One thing we've known for years: If you have kids, don't put off sailing with them.
As noted, there's a full photo gallery from the trip at
Sailing the San Juan Islands 2009
Nice! Glad ya enjoyed my backyard and come again.
Do it again!
Looked like a great trip, nice photos too.
I did a week long trip on our 24' 1966 Owens mahogany cabin cruiser with my family when I was a kid, and it was one of the best weeks of my life. I'm hoping to trailer my Catalina 22 1,000 miles north next summer to do a 2 week cruise in the San Juans with my wife.
My favorite part (as a kid) was motoring around in the bay of Sucia Island on my rubber raft- catching dogfish, playing in tidal pools, and hiking on the Island. I also had a lot of fun in a marina in Victoria, where the water was so clear I could see the fish swimming in the water and catch them easily by putting the bait right in front of them!
What was the best part of your trip?
There were many best parts. In Rosario, a guy turned on the underwater lights on his boat, and our kids could see fish, plankton, eels, and jellyfish all doing their nocturnal things.
My son was very proud to catch the four rock crabs for us to eat.
Maybe the best was when we were ghosting along in San Juan Channel with the wind, and a Dall porpoise came and jumped out of the water at the stern and bow of our boat. Sailors are supposed to like that sort of thing, and we certainly did.
You definitely hit the weather on the nail head...This year in particular has had Hot weather with wind...not always the case and usually the opposite.
Your comment about sailing when the kids are young has been the most upsetting factor of our current boat ordeal..My oldest now is close to flying the coop, has a full time job and boyfriend..Daddys little girls are aging and we just missed or third sailing season in a row....I have too quit thinking about it or I will get myself all worked up again.
Glad you enjoyed yourself.
Very envious indeed. As many of you know, you were in my favourite yet to be visited locale. Thanks for the report, off to check out your site.
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