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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-27-2011 06:12 PM
HathewayB You've probably got your answers by now, but if you still have not made up your mind...

San Juan Sailing is great, especially for 1st timers in the San Juans or Canadian Gulf Islands. They have a great skipper's meeting on the Friday afternoon/evening before your charter starts on Saturday. They cover in great detail all the charts, tide schedules and current charts (very important in the SJ's) and all the safe anchorages and passages. The hand out charts showing all the hazardous rocks, and there are a lot out there! They have very informational discussions about where and when to see whales and how to respectfully, and legally, view the whales. As reminders to infrequent charter boaters they also cover anchoring and docking techniques and they provide suggested itineraries around the Islands. Also, if you sign up for their Friday sleep-on-the-boat option they include a nice BBQ right after the skipper's meeting, which is a lot of fun and you get to meet the others that you will be sharing anchorages with during the week.

A couple of added advantages to Bellingham, IMO...easy access from I-5, very convenient and close provisioning grocery stores, free and accessible parking at SJS. Very, very convenient.
04-14-2011 05:49 PM
FishSticks Chartered a trawler from AYC the last week in August 11 years ago.. My only time on a power boat. There was zero wind the entire week. Had a great time and AYC was first rate.
04-14-2011 05:02 PM
watchoverya San Juan Sailing (San Juan Island Sailing Charter San Juan Yacht Charters San Juan Islands Sailing School BareBoat Charters Pacific Northwest Sailing) out of Bellingham is fantastic. Great boats, great people. B'ham (IMHO) is the place to start from if you want the best (northern) part of the San Juans.
03-10-2011 09:10 PM
Checkov Thanks all, this is great info.
03-09-2011 01:06 PM
jrd22 I think Moorings is in B'ham also. I see their boats out here. Anacortes will be an hour or two shorter trip each way, you have to cross Rosario St. regardless.
I thought I heard about a charter outfit in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, but don't remember the name.
03-09-2011 12:25 PM
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
AT least if ya come out of B-Ham you'll likely have some wind in the Summer, unlike Anacortes...
And Rosario can have some very nasty currents. I have not sailed out of Bellingham, so I cannot comment.
03-09-2011 12:23 PM
CharlieCobra AT least if ya come out of B-Ham you'll likely have some wind in the Summer, unlike Anacortes...
03-09-2011 12:18 PM
n7cjv Sorry, I genericized a bit. Starting from B'ham, you have to go around Lummi Is and cross over into the islands. Depending on where you're going, this could be ~3 hrs. Sometimes the winds from the straits can funnel down through here and things can get a bit rough depending on tide etc. The "3 hrs" is actually 6 hrs cuz you have to go back. On a week long trip, this can be a significant piece of time. My point was that perhaps starting from Anacortes might give you more time "in the islands" depending on your itinerary.
03-09-2011 07:29 AM
djodenda I'm sorry, Mark, but it's not necessary to cross the Georgia Straits to get to the San Juan Islands from Bellingham. Probably a toss-up between Anacortes and Bellingham to get to the San Juan Islands as far as the difficulty of the passage (generally a few easy hours)

That being said, Anacortes is technically on one of the San Juan Islands...(Fidalgo)

At any rate, either place is a good place to start, and both AYC and San Juan Sailing have excellent reputations.

Have a great trip, and let us know when/where you are leaving. We'll keep an eye out for you.
03-09-2011 12:26 AM
n7cjv AYC is a good reputable charter company. Starting/ending in Anacortes would save you about a day assuming you want to stay in the islands. Chartering in B'ham would mean crossing the Georgia straits (in/out) which can get get somewhat tenuous depending on WX and your experience. If chartering with AYC, get good instructions on how to enter/exit marina. You have to follow markers for ~3/4 mi.
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