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Old 12-08-2012, 21:57   #1
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San Juan Islands for a Newby

We have a 25 foot jet boat and have spent hundreds of hours in the rivers of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

We will be in the Seattle area near the end of August and are considering a cruise in the San Juan Islands. Since we are new to this part of boating we would appreciate any tips or ideas.

Our current plan is to launch at Mukilteo Park and cruise up the to the San Juans. We are interested in camping on the boat and need to know the best places to anchor or moor up. The last week of August do we need to get reservations? Is the Washington State Park mooring system a good place to look?

Is the fishing good enough we can count on catching enough for some of our meals?

Are there any significant tide issues we need to be concerned about?

Do we want to hang around the bigger islands or are the small islands more scenic and less touristy?

Thoughts from those that have done this would be appreciated?

Thank you
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Old 13-08-2012, 11:37   #2
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Re: San Juan Islands for a newby

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverdad View Post
We have a 25 foot jet boat and have spent hundreds of hours in the rivers of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

We will be in the Seattle area near the end of August and are considering a cruise in the San Juan Islands. Since we are new to this part of boating we would appreciate any tips or ideas.

Our current plan is to launch at Mukilteo Park and cruise up the to the San Juans. We are interested in camping on the boat and need to know the best places to anchor or moor up. The last week of August do we need to get reservations? Is the Washington State Park mooring system a good place to look?

Is the fishing good enough we can count on catching enough for some of our meals?

Are there any significant tide issues we need to be concerned about?

Do we want to hang around the bigger islands or are the small islands more scenic and less touristy?

Thoughts from those that have done this would be appreciated?

Thank you
How long are you planning to be on your boat?

Launching at Muikilteo will cost you 2 to 4 days. I would recommend driving to Anacortes (90 miles from Seattle). There is a City park launch and parking at Washington Park and a Marina on the west side of Anacortes. On the east side thereís a Port of Anacortes (Cap Sante Boat Haven). Good place to provision up. The Port of Anacortes fuel dock has the best prices on fuel.

I would get Waggoner Cruising Guide or Northwest Boat Travel from a library or purchase it on line. They run about $25. Gunkholing the San Juans by Al Cummings and Jo Bailey-Cummings is another good detail and history book to get. More details on the San Juans. If you plan to spend more than 7 days in State Parks you can get a year pass. You can get the pass from any ranger who will come out to get the overnight fee. At the smaller State Parks they may not show up every night.

There arenít too many State parks on either side of Whidbey Island. You have to get to Deceiption Pass on the east side of Whidbey Island before getting to Hope Island, Cornet Bay and Deception Pass Marine State Park. There are a few State Parks around Port Townsen.

They are all first come fist server and donít take reservations. The main marines of Friday Harbor (City/County run), Roche Harbor, Deer Harbor and Rosario do take reservations but will get you in if you donít have reservations.

Friday Harbor is the biggest town in the San Juans with good stores to provision up. The rest are just marinas with little stores.


Is the fishing good enough we can count on catching enough for some of our meals?

I would not count on it. All though crabbing can be good. Your time would be better spent visiting the different sites rather than trying to catch a fish.

Are there any significant tide issues we need to be concerned about?

At Deceiption Pass, Admility Inlet and Cattle Pass (between San Juan and Lopez Islands are the only places to worry about. With your jet boat you shouldnít have any problems. Itís the boats that can only go under 8 to 10 knots that have to watch the currents.

Do we want to hang around the bigger islands or are the small islands more scenic and less touristy?

The books I mentioned will give you a good idea of what most places are like.
Most of the State Parks are on the northern edge of the San Juans. Mostly only accessed by boat or float plane. There are boat taxis that transport kayakers or campers to those islands. You won't fine many tourist in the State Parks as they only have camping and moorages.

Friday Harbor is the most populated. Itís a nice town and the center of action in the San Juans. Moorage doesnít cost too much as itís City/County run. The private mariners will get to $2 a foot.

Gordon.
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