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Old 05-03-2016, 14:54   #16
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

The San Juan Islands are great! Too bad you only have one week. I've been on Orcas Island for ten years and still discover new places. With one week, major re-provisioning shouldn't be an issue. Here is my recommendation:

Day 1
Anacortes to Fossil Bay or Echo Bay on Sucia Island
(some dock space in Fossil Bay, quite a few mooring balls in Fossil Bay and fixed rope ties (I don't remember what they're called) in Echo Bay. Lots of anchoring room in Echo Bay.
Day 2
Enjoy hiking and crabbing at Sucia.
Day 3
Sucia to Reid Harbor on Stuart Island.
Mooring balls, a few spaces of dock attached to shore, some detached docks and lots of anchoring space. If you are up to a several hour hike, walk out to the west end lighthouse. It is a beautiful setting and the trail is not difficult.
Day 4
Reid Harbor to Roche Harbor
This is only a couple miles so allows more time on Stuart. Nice shops, good restaurants and a surprisingly well stocked small grocery store. You can stay at the marina or anchor out. July 4th has fireworks and there are hundreds of boats anchored. . .it's large!
Day 5
Roche Harbor to Rosario Resort
Rosario Resort offers a bit of history and luxury. If you stay at the marina, you have use of all resort amenities which include three swimming pools, a jacuzzi, sauna and showers.
Day 6 - Part 1
Rosario Resort to the visitor dock in Eastsound
Anchor or take up one of the mooring balls, then dinghy to the dock. Spend several hours walking around the quaint village, having lunch and shopping. There's a large supermarket, though with only one day to go, it's not much help.
Day 6 - Part 2
Eastsound dock to Spencer Spit on Lopez Island
Mooring balls and anchoring here. A nice walk on the beach.
Day 7
Lopez back to Anacortes

Do use a tide and current guide in planning your transits. If you have extra days, spend more time at Sucia or Stuart.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 05-03-2016, 15:17   #17
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
In a 23 foot boat, don't plan on too long a day's travel. Take your time and just enjoy. 1 week is not much so:
Anacortes- Spencer Spit ...or James Island (Mooring not anchor at James as it's rock bottom)
Spencer to Friday Harbor (have a night on the town) or Eastsound
Maybe Sucia or Stuart Isl next... you have to go to one of these... wild and great.
Then think about returning via a stop at East Sound/Friday Harbor etc
+1,

Parks moorings all over. A couple things to consider, Ried + Prevost, Sucia, Roche, fishermans bay are all Parking lots in the high season. Think up to 100 boats packed. All of them are great to see but you will have lots of company depending on the tiem of year. A week is not alot of time if you hope to sail, Reid to Sucia for example can eat up a whole day. You might think about circumnavigating lopez and shaw or some variation. Alot of the smaller islands like James and Matia don't see the big traffic. You could easily eat up a week going around lopez alone or lopez and shaw.

Some other nice spots

Indian Cove, can be warm enough to swim
Matia, little cove south of the parks dock

Its a crappy ancorage but Doe Bay is a nice treat for a final stop before heading back to anacortes, they usually have live music on weekends.
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Old 05-03-2016, 20:19   #18
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Are you trailering your boat up from CA? If so why not take the ferry from Anacortes to Sidney BC and launch there. Then only a very short hop to the Canadian Gulf Islands - way better cruising than the San Juans. The Cdn $ is worth 74c US - so you save lots of money, help keep BC's economy afloat and you can look for property to buy in case Donald wins in November.
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Old 05-03-2016, 21:52   #19
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

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Anchoring at Sucia is usually fine. I would not miss it.

Sucia is a great place, but the East anchorage is really a mess when an Easterly comes up in the middle of the night.

I have a trimaran, so it's not rolly, but guess what? YES IT IS in that anchorage ! Nobody gets any sleep in that scenario.

Try the rather shallow anchorage between Sucia and Little Sucia.
Usually not crowded and it's not subject to the dreaded Easterly.
Shallow bay is nice, but avoid the cabbage bottom in the SE corner.
If you get a chance, grab the little hook in the SW corner. Nice and flat even when a Westerly picks up.
You don't want to be in a very crowded Shallow Bay raftup that's dragging in the middle of the night with a bunch of sleepy partiers...don't ask how I know.

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Old 05-03-2016, 21:53   #20
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Wow! Thank you all for the many suggestions and words of encouragement! I will take your advice and suggestions and start mapping a trip. Looking forward to spending some time in such a beautiful location.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:20   #21
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian NAMT View Post
Are you trailering your boat up from CA? If so why not take the ferry from Anacortes to Sidney BC and launch there. Then only a very short hop to the Canadian Gulf Islands - way better cruising than the San Juans. The Cdn $ is worth 74c US - so you save lots of money, help keep BC's economy afloat and you can look for property to buy in case Donald wins in November.
He's only got a week and those two ferry rides, truck and trailer storage etc are going to be very expensive too.
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:04   #22
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Anacortes to Sucia
Sucia to Pender Is
Pender to Stuart Is
Stuart to Jones Is or Deer Harbor
down to Friday Harbor
Back to Anacortes...

Guidebook: San Juans Afoot and Afloat
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:05   #23
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Since you are going to trailer your boat up I would strongly suggest you consider leaving from Anacortes. It is a couple of hours further than Seattle and much closer to the San Juans. Anacortes has excellent marina facilities and is a destination in its own right. Just a thought. I would also strongly second the recommendation for Shawn Breedings book on cruising the San Juans. It is pretty recent and would be an excellent keepsake and remembrance of your trip.
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Old 06-03-2016, 18:38   #24
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Check out some of the blogs of the Sail & Oar mafia out of Anacortes, Yeadon and Mcmullen, google will turn it up. Lots of small boat sailing trips through the salish sea. Will give you a realistic expectation for getting around in a small boat, while seeing alot and having fun. Also look at the local paper websites, San Juan Islander etc, as individual islands have things going all summer and it may steer your trip.
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Old 06-03-2016, 19:11   #25
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
A great place to "treat" yourself.

a free download to help with planning

Download the 2016 Waggoner Cruising Guide - Waggoner Cruising Guide

For currents

get one of these



and one of these



Excellent publications...used them for years....if you want good results read and understand the instructions for use. For the OP, tide and current in the San Juans is a determinative factor in choosing a route..don't try to buck the current if you want to sail. I like to wake up and choose the next dock or anchorage over a cup of coffee using the charts and tide and current tables..after all we go where the wind blows us. Don't disregard the weather
at the time your there, particularly if you want to use Juan de Fuca.
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:13   #26
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Re: Sailing in the San Jaun Islands

Love the area, I live in Victoria but have friends on Orcas so I go over pretty regularly.

Watmough bay is stunning, but also pretty spooky! Def worth a stop, though the holding seems a bit iffy
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