PNW Trip

Several years ago, Mrs. Bull and I fulfilled a long held dream of a Windjammer cruise in Maine. It was a wonderful 5 days in Penobscot Bay. I think the San Juans are similar in many ways. We're interested in a 3 or 4 day crewed charter. I see some on the web, but would be interested in recommendations. Thanks.
We met this guy once years ago.  Great looking boat, Pearson 44.  Charters out of Bainbridge, Island, which is just west of Seattle.  They do a San Juan trip that maybe you could tailor to your plans, like get picked up in Port Townsend or something so the trip to the islands would be a little shorter.  
 

https://sailbainbridge.com/sail-the-san-juans/

 

Bull City

A fine fellow
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North Carolina
My brother, sister and I FaceTimed earlier. I think we're together on:

  • Couple of days in Seattle, hitting some of @IStream's suggestions, then
  • Port Townsend for the WBF and the Olympic Peninsula, then
  • Ferry to Victoria for a few days, then
  • San Juans

Here, we have a divergence. Mrs. Bull and I would like to do a crewed charter to see the SJs, but the others are lukewarm at best. Maybe we'll see some of the SJs their way, and then part company.

If I were to travel 3,000 miles to the SJs, and not do 3 to 7 days of cruising such a beautiful cruising ground, I should be "shot and sent to the Russian Front."

 

Veeger

Super Anarchist
My brother, sister and I FaceTimed earlier. I think we're together on:

  • Couple of days in Seattle, hitting some of @IStream's suggestions, then
  • Port Townsend for the WBF and the Olympic Peninsula, then
  • Ferry to Victoria for a few days, then
  • San Juans

Here, we have a divergence. Mrs. Bull and I would like to do a crewed charter to see the SJs, but the others are lukewarm at best. Maybe we'll see some of the SJs their way, and then part company.

If I were to travel 3,000 miles to the SJs, and not do 3 to 7 days of cruising such a beautiful cruising ground, I should be "shot and sent to the Russian Front."
Ayup! I think the crewed charter option would be the most enjoyable for you.  I don't 'do' tourist very well.  Lines, walking, waiting, booking, reserving, walking, wasting time waiting on your next 'event', walking, hurrying to get to your next event, too hot, too cold... (While walking is 'good' for you, it's a heck of a way to be 'on vacay')  If you're not walking, you're driving, parking, driving, looking for a parking spot, over paying for a parking spot, hoping that the next restaurant you see won't be too busy, wondering why it's not busy...

Getting up early while out on a boat, fresh coffee, a dinghy ride, maybe taking a hike on an island trail (that's 'good' walking), snacking on some goodies, anchor down, dark-n-stormies mixed up, feet up, BBQ on, boat watching, whale watching, too many pics of bald eagles, yeah, I'm ready.....

Seattle-nope

Pt Townsend-Yup

San Juans-only if by boat or you'r in a rental for a week

Mt Baker ski area drive-Yup

Black ball ferry doesn't run to Anacortes, and the Sydney BC / San Juan island ferry isn't currently running and may or may not be by Sept. 

Option is to take Sydney/ Tsawwassen ferry to Vancouver.

Chuckanut drive south out of Bellingham is nice with a good seafood oyster bar restaurant.

Then you're back near Anacortes and can do the islands if you want.

2nd the skip Seattle part.
See Level has it right* 

*The Oyster Bar which is only 10 minutes from me is really nice but the best one in a 75 mile radius will remain untold, except to my house guests...

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
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These sound good. I think @PNW-LSJ was kind of cautioning against aimlessly wandering around to soak in the urban flavor. I'm glad to have some specific ideas. I have seen a a bit about the CWB, and I feel I would enjoy it very much. Is is in the construction zone?
The CWB is in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The waterfront construction is on the saltwater Puget Sound side, so you're good there. I'll second Ish's suggestion of the Chihuly exhibit at Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is). If you can, schedule your visit around twightlight. After the sun sets and they turn on the lights, the outdoor portions are even more dramatic. 

 

Ishmael

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@Ishmael & @DDW we were thinking of going to the San Juans from Victoria. Can it be done or do you have to go back to Port Angeles??

I really want to see Ish, so we can compare knee scars.
In normal times, we would just sail you over to Roche Harbor, you taxi to Friday Harbor and catch the Anacortes ferry as walkons. It's a nice day trip. Who knows what the schedules and regulations will be, but we could find out what's involved.

 

DDW

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@Ishmael & @DDW we were thinking of going to the San Juans from Victoria. Can it be done or do you have to go back to Port Angeles??

I really want to see Ish, so we can compare knee scars.
Can't get by ferry from Victoria to the San Juans directly. As I recall you couldn't even when the Washington State Sidney ferry was running - east bound I think I recall it went straight through to Anacortes, where you would have to clear customs and get back on a ferry to the San Juans. But if you can get someone to run you over on a boat.... it is a short and beautiful trip. Even back through Port Angeles it will be a little circuitous - ferry to Port Angeles, drive to Port Townsend, ferry to Coupville, drive to Anacortes, ferry to San Juans. I think that is how it has to be done these days. I've travelled between Seattle and Victoria/Sidney I think every possible way: all three ferries, the Clipper, airliner, float plane, sailboat, motorboat. Haven't done kayak or swim it yet. But most of those have not run since early 2020.

If you want to stay in one place in the San Juans, you could to worse than Roche Harbor. I don't think anyone complains about that place other than maybe the price. They have accommodations for larger parties. I don't really know what the AirBNB situation is in the islands. 

 

Autonomous

Turgid Member
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If you end up in Roche Harbor and have time to burn check out the MM Mausoleum. Some people think it is cool. I think it is... icky.

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
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If I were to travel 3,000 miles to the SJs, and not do 3 to 7 days of cruising such a beautiful cruising ground, I should be "shot and sent to the Russian Front."
I would say if you’re going to travel that far, skip Seattle —sure, it’s got its cool things, but it’s really just another big U.S. city you can always go see—and go to the San Juans/Gulf Islands, and the west coast of Vancouver Island, Ucluelet/Tofino.  The west coast is spectacular and unique.   Big whales, big waves, big eagles, big weather, big trees.  :) Go out salmon fishing. Kayak Barkley or Clayoquot Sound. The Olympic Peninsula is ruggedly beautiful, but to experience it well you need to walk the coast and camp (and it’s basically totally undeveloped on the Pacific Ocean side north of La Push).

 
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In September, you'll want to charter a nice power boat with big windows to look out at the chilly, gorgeous scenery.  So here's another option: https://www.nwexplorations.com/  I've never used them but I've always admired their fleet.  I'm sure they could rustle up a crew if you really wanted but if you've got any boating chops at all you'll have no problem in the San Juans.

 

Ishmael

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Can't get by ferry from Victoria to the San Juans directly. As I recall you couldn't even when the Washington State Sidney ferry was running - east bound I think I recall it went straight through to Anacortes, where you would have to clear customs and get back on a ferry to the San Juans. But if you can get someone to run you over on a boat.... it is a short and beautiful trip. Even back through Port Angeles it will be a little circuitous - ferry to Port Angeles, drive to Port Townsend, ferry to Coupville, drive to Anacortes, ferry to San Juans. I think that is how it has to be done these days. I've travelled between Seattle and Victoria/Sidney I think every possible way: all three ferries, the Clipper, airliner, float plane, sailboat, motorboat. Haven't done kayak or swim it yet. But most of those have not run since early 2020.

If you want to stay in one place in the San Juans, you could to worse than Roche Harbor. I don't think anyone complains about that place other than maybe the price. They have accommodations for larger parties. I don't really know what the AirBNB situation is in the islands. 
You could get a trip on the WSDOT ferry that went from Sidney to Anacortes through Friday Harbor; I did it several times in both directions. You have to catch the right sailings, though. In summer I think they run a trip around all the San Juans. 

 
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eric1207

Anarchist
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Seattle
Be up on the Canada covid border regs/tests.  I sure wouldn't want a surprise quarantine.  All great suggestions above.  PM sent.

 

hdra

Anarchist
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You could get a trip on the WSDOT ferry that went from Sidney to Anacortes through Friday Harbor; I did it several times in both directions. You have to catch the right sailings, though. In summer I think they run a trip around all the San Juans. 
I wouldn't count on that ferry coming back next year - WSDOT barely has enough boats and doesn't have enough crew to service its domestic routes.  Things got feral in the San Juans (and everywhere else too) around Christmas, I think we were down to 2 boats on no known schedule.  They can't build boats fast enough to get more in service by the summer, and politics (and shitty hours and pay for new hires) seem to be clogging up the process of hiring enough staff.

Another option might be to charter a flight with San Juan Air to fly from Victoria to Friday Harbor - we're trying to get over to Victoria this spring to pick up our boat off a ship, and it seems like it may be our only option if we don't want to bring a car.  It's not too pricey if you can split it in a group.  Kenmore Air (the seaplanes) is a lot more expensive - they say they have to fly Victoria-Vancouver-Friday Harbor rather than direct airport to airport -maybe they can't clear in/out at the harbor?

 

bmiller

Super Anarchist
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Buena Vista, Colorado
You need more time for this trip, waaaaay more time.

I've bareboated twice on a trawler, once on a sailboat, cruised my own trailer boat and done a road trip in my truck mounted camper. Each time was marvelous. 

On the road trip we took the ferry as far west as we desired, can't remember right now where, then island hopped our way back. At that time you paid to travel west on the ferry but just hopped on to travel back east.

If you do have a car and ferry out try and stay at Rosario on Orcas. If your lucky there will be a silent movie show complete with the accompanying live music. Do they still do that? 

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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1 hour ago, bmiller said: Orcas. If your lucky there will be a silent movie show complete with the accompanying live music. Do they still do that? 
Speaking of Orcas - go pay Karl Kruger of Kruger Escapes a visit.  He’s “the dude”!  (He has stand up paddle boarded solo to Ketchikan, AK, and is an experienced sailor and all around waterman.)   If you’re looking for a sailing charter. https://krugerescapes.com

 

Bull City

A fine fellow
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North Carolina
I'm looking into a 3 to 4 day cruise in the San Juans. So far, I've heard back from Scott Renzi at North West Sailing Adventures:

https://nwsailing.com/

They seem to offer some nice options that would be nice for Mrs. Bull and me. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience with, or knowledge about them.

Thanks.

B.C.

 

Quilbilly

Member
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104
If you are going to Port Angeles after Port Townsend, a half day trip up to Hurricane Ridge will get you the whole  sea level to alpine experience. The views are very impressive, I don't know what mountains are like in North Carolina.

 

Bull City

A fine fellow
7,186
2,822
North Carolina
I'm looking into a 3 to 4 day cruise in the San Juans. So far, I've heard back from Scott Renzi at North West Sailing Adventures:

https://nwsailing.com/

They seem to offer some nice options that would be nice for Mrs. Bull and me. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience with, or knowledge about them.

Thanks.

B.C.
This did not work out. They seem to have a minimum charge for 4 people, which I understand. No one else in our party are not interested, and that's too much of a premium.

To me, visiting the Puget Sound area for 2+ weeks, and not cruising the SJI's for 3 or 4 days would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower - maybe worse. 

A lot of the other cruise operations are booked for September.

:(

 
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