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tip 04-21-2010 10:34 AM

Planning small San Juan trip
Any PNW sailors here? I am planning a trip this summer from Bellingham to Snug Harbor (NW San Juan Island) in August.

Where would be a good place to overnight in between? Should I go the North side, maybe stop at Sucia? Or go through the islands and overnight somewhere in between?

Thanks for any input!

blt2ski 04-21-2010 10:51 AM

ummmmm, YES!

Reality is, either way will be good, Or do a loop, go north going, go south thru on the way home. There in reality is, not a wrong or right way. You may wan to look at weather forecasts, take the open route, which I will hazard is the north route for you, do that on the less windy day, the middle route on the windier days, Altho if normal N to NW winds 10-20 show up, take you pic.

I'll also get you some pics of the mast work I did too. not sure version 1 works well, there will probably be a version 2 at some point.


tip 04-21-2010 11:29 AM

Do you think I could do the whole trip to Snug Harbor in one long day? (If I plan currents, wind, etc correctly)

erps 04-21-2010 11:39 AM

I measure 33 NM from Squalicum Harbor up Hale Passage, across the top of Orcas, down President Channel, up Spieden Channel to the entrance of Roche Harbor. If you leave towards the end of a flood, you might get a little boost up Hale, hit the top of Rosario around slack and then ride an ebb down president and out Spieden. Six hour trip to Roche @ just over 5 knot average?

erps 04-21-2010 11:41 AM

Jones Island is a nice stop if you want to break up the trip.

erps 04-21-2010 11:52 AM

Is Snug Harbor the little bay behind Davidson Head? I thought I knew most the bays in the San Juans, but I'm not familiar with that one.

mitchbrown 04-21-2010 12:12 PM

Hi Tip

Either way you go you could stop here at Deer Harbor, lots of room to throw out the hook in 20 to 40 feet of water, or get a slip if you like. Nice little store at the marina and a fuel dock. Nice people as well. It usually takes us about 2 hours to get to Roach Harbor from here.


tip 04-21-2010 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by erps (Post 595616)
Is Snug Harbor the little bay behind Davidson Head? I thought I knew most the bays in the San Juans, but I'm not familiar with that one.

My bad, I just looked and Snug Harbor is just the name of the marina... it's near the head of Mitchell Bay.

CaptKermie 04-21-2010 01:33 PM

If Sucia looks attractive to you then that would be a nice halfway stop. It has good protection from NW winds and Fossil bay has good bottom holding power. I have been there several times and have always enjoyed it. From there it would only be another 3-4 hours to Mitchel Bay. Trying to slog the whole distance in one day will take away from the enjoyment and make it onerous. Going through the islands would be more scenic and offer more protection and places to escape inclement weather. Sucia is called the jewel of the san juans for good reason.

watchoverya 01-22-2011 11:49 AM

I'm with CaptKermie. Thru the islands is faster, maybe more scenic and definitely has the benefit of having a lot of places to stop (Parks Bay on Shaw Island across the channel from Friday Harbor is really nice for example). Downside, like everwhere else if there's no wind, one motors.

Over the top of the San Juans is great sailing and Sucia is the jewel. We do not like the crowds in Fossil Bay and Echo Bay prefering Fox Cove (only 4 mooring balls, no other room, beautiful sunsets) or Shallow Bay (which feels like one is moored in the channel).

Either way, find/buy the current atlas for the area. Big miles in the San Juans are only possible with a favorable current AND winds.

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