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Author Topic:   Seattle & San Juan Islands
RFK posted 01-06-2001 12:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for RFK   Send Email to RFK  
We are in the process of planning a trip to Seattle and environs. Majority of our boating has been in the mid-west. Would be interested in hearing from folks using small Whalers in the waters around Seattle. We will be trailering our 16SL.
Hoop posted 01-06-2001 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     
RFK - My wife and I vacationed in the San Juan islands and on Vancouver Island. BC, last August. We flew and took the Clipper Ferry from one island to another and had a great time. Salmon fishing is BIG on the inside passage (between Vancouver Island and the mainland). Current is pretty serious on the inside passage; it can get up to 12 knots at the narrows.

There are two resorts at Campbell River, BC, that use Whalers exclusively as their fishing guide chartered boats. I've got photos and just need to get in gear to put them on the 'puter. The two lodges at Campbell River are Painter's Lodge (upscale) and Dophin Resort (more to my liking). Launch ramp is some miles away. Can you imagine my reaction when we arrived at the Dolphin Resort and a dozen Whaler 17 standard's were at the dock? I had had no idea.

One note, and can't remember where I read it, is that max fuel allowed in trailer boats on ferries is 6 gallons in the tank, with one extra tank permitted, for a total of 12 gallons. Lots of web presence for British Columbia, et al.

Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is the capital of BC and is beautiful. It actually gets less rain than Seattle does, which surprised me.

On our trip we flew to Seattle, spent a day there, then took the Clipper Ferry to Friday Harbor in the San Juan's. Stayed there for a couple of days ... definitely a great stop ... You can get there with boat and trailer on a ferry. Then we went on to Vancouver Island.

Passports or birth certificates with original seal imprints can get you into Canada.

San Jose, CA

whalernut posted 01-06-2001 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Hoop, I`ve seen a fishing show on TV that had that lodge on and all of those `17 Standards. They are awsome fishing boats, I have a `16 Currituck. Boston Whaler has discontinued the `17 Standard, is that ridiculous or what? Another recent Boston Whaler blunder! Regards-Jack Graner
Dick posted 01-06-2001 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
We live in Seattle and have a 1999 17 Montauk. Haven't taken it to the San Juans yet but are planing a trip next summer. Lots of great boating water here and a lot of Whalers.
For starters pick up a copy of Evergreen Cruising Guide Washington Waters. their stock #1.2 $22.95. It's a great book, I have been using one for years.
Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about facilities, launches etc.
I am sure you will enjoy your trip to our beautiful part of the world.
BW27 posted 01-06-2001 08:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW27  Send Email to BW27     
We have trailered and used our 17 Montauk all over the Puget Sound area. Most communities have launching/parking facilities and nearly every community has a marina or public dock. The water conditions on Puget Sound and/or San Juan Islands are nearly always moderate enough for your 16 to handle. You will certainly see a lot of classic Whalers where ever you go. Be sure to spend some time in the San Juans. Great launching & parking in Anacortes with an easy run into the islands. Good Inns to stay at in the small ciites. There are facilities for beach camping throughout the islands.
dburton posted 01-07-2001 02:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for dburton  Send Email to dburton     
I used to live in Bellingham, WA. (north Puget Sound about 20 miles south of the Canadian border). It's where I first met my 18' Outrage. Bellingham has a wonderful public marina. It is a great place to start for a San Juan Islands cruise. Last May my wife and I went to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island) from Bellingham. It is about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour cruise and then stayed in a Bed & Breakfeast. The moorage was relativley cheap (I don't remember exactly how much but I wasn't offended). Friday Harbor is the largest town in the San Juan's. It is a beautiful spot. You won't want to leave.

Earlier last spring, April I believe, I was out for a solo cruise and happended upon a pod of Ocra whales in the San Juans. I have also seen Gray whales in Bellingham Bay.

Bellingham Bay is also a great place to crab. I have almost always gotten my limit (6 per person).

The water in the San Juans can be very interesting. You can go from virtual flat water to a churning channel of cross currents within a few miles. When the weather kicks up I have been in 6' - 7' swells. I usually isn't sudden. The weather forecasting is quite reliable. If you're in the San Juans there are many places to put in if you get stuck in bad weather.

Anacortes is a good location to launch from. I never have but I have been there by water.

Almost all of my boating has been in the San Juan's and it has to be the best any where for scenery, fishing & crabing and crusing. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me (see my profile).

RFK posted 01-08-2001 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Thank you all so much. Dick, I really appreciate your lead on maps. Will certainly follow-up on that. Will follow other leads on e-mail.

Jim, this makes the subscription price all worth it!

Again, thanks,


andygere posted 01-08-2001 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My wife and I did an extended kayak tour in the San Juans last year (I paddled a boat that I built in my garage). Washington State Parks has an extensive system of anchorages and floats for cruising boats of all sizes. One of the nicest is Stewart Island, just north of San Juan Island. It enjoys a natural harbor, and the Parks system maintains tie-up floats with picnic tables for on-board camping, and outhouses on shore. Fees are reasonable, but I understand it gets busy in the summer. We went in late September and had the place to ourselves. On shore camping is also nice, although some sites are limited to human powered boaters. Currents can be treachorous between islands, and purchasing and learning to use the current tables and chart are a must. That said, I would reccommend it to anyone, and my only problem now is whether to return with my kayak or my Montauk.
Shadowcatcher posted 01-09-2001 01:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Shadowcatcher  Send Email to Shadowcatcher     
I have been anxious to get up there myself. Sunday I was checking on whale watching advice from BC tourism and GORP. March and April are the recommended times, as dburton notes.

Anyone have advice for the best places to go/stay for whale watching trip with an 18' Whaler. Northern Victoria Island looks like an adventure. It would be great to stay somewhere that is accessible only by private boat.

Thanks -- Brian

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