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Bellingham a staging point for Salish Sea exploration, and beyond?

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by Kings Gambit, Aug 27, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,201 posts, 271 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor


    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  2. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    2,897 posts, 544 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Bellingham would be an excellent location. You are right at the front door to the San Juan Islands.

    Another site might be Sydney BC on Vancouver Island.

    Both would be on my short list.
     


    Kings Gambit likes this.
  3. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    883 posts, 180 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Sammamish, WA Everett, WA
    As John says Bellingham or Annacortes would be on my list. It is a over a half day motoring closer to the playground and you don't worry too much on how the tide is running.

    I'm in Everett but day sail from there several times a month.

    Les
     


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  4. Mark Maulden

    Mark Maulden

    Joined Jan 25, 2011
    1,373 posts, 76 likes
    S2 11.0A
    US Anacortes, WA
    Anywhere you go around here, us folks are very friendly..Bellingham Bay can get rather snarly at times due to winds vs current..Anacortes is an excellent area with several marinas..Sydney is good but is a ferry ride from Anacortes or from Port Angeles to Victoria. But, once you're at the boat, you're in Canada. Clearing via car or walkon vs by boat..LaConner has good facilities but is an hr motoring out to the bay via Swinomish Slough..Friday Harbor has a nice marina but is also a ferry ride. There are numerous marinas throughout the San Juan islands and Gulf Islands. Suggest you get a copy of Waggoners and spend some time reading and calling...There is no marina that I would say to avoid....
     


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  5. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,201 posts, 271 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    Thanks, Mark and others. I started with Bellingham for the "one-stop" location advantage, among others. If I truck up the boat from Ventura or other then I need a yard with a lift on the destination end that can recommission it, a slip (low $$ if possible) that it can go into right away, plus reasonably quick access from the freeway. I don't wish to have a ferry ride to get to the boat. Squalicum Marina looks like a good bet for those reasons. There's also Blaine Harbor. As exploration of Puget Sound is not on the near horizon, presently, I wish to be closer to Canadian waters. There are few other considerations as well.
     


    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  6. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    883 posts, 180 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Sammamish, WA Everett, WA
    I was very happy with SeaView in Seattle when I hauled out this feb. aReasonable prices didn't try and upsell. Their Bellingham location has even better pricing.

    Les
     


  7. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    2,897 posts, 544 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    KingsG my cousin works for the Port and I examined moving there this past Summer. Rates were fair, services are plenty, people great. One of the largest facilities in the Pacific NW. More wind than Everett. Met a commercial fisherman on the dock while looking at the available slips. He volunteered positive feelings for the Port and the locals. As I tell myself, the marina is not a lifetime commitment. It would be a great start to your move north.
     


  8. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    2,747 posts, 155 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Must give Semi-ah-moo (private, condo slips) some consideration, ditto Blaine (public). Right on the border with Canada, White Rock close for clearing into BC by cell. A few miles across Georgia Strait to the Gulf Islands. South entrance to the Sunshine coast. Small, clean, wide docks and friendly staff. No longer a full service marina. Pump out, fuel, nice bath facilities, reasonable fees. Close to I-5. Kept our boat there for three years. Moved south to Shelter Bay, closer to Mukilteo home.
     


  9. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    2,747 posts, 155 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Good idea, Mark. PDF file available online.
     


  10. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,201 posts, 271 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    So, I noticed in Waggoner's guide Port Roberts, which I knew nothing about. Looks like a very convenient jump-off point to Canada (since it's practically in Canada). Say, Squalicum to Port Roberts; PR to Vancouver;--then Vancouver to where ever.
     


  11. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    883 posts, 180 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Sammamish, WA Everett, WA
    The pain of Port Roberts is you get to clear customs and immigration twice getting there (by car). Then a third time if going up to gulf islands.

    Les
     


  12. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,201 posts, 271 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    Well, in this scenario I was planning to arrive to PR by boat from Bellingham Harbor as I would not cross the international border. Then, clear customs somewhere further up in Canada. Also, I've been told it's possible to get a special permit for boaters to clear Canadian customs by cell phone (underway). I suppose if they ask you to come in or somewhat, that could be a problem.

    PS: See below
    By private boat
    If you are arriving by private boat, proceed directly to a designated marine telephone reporting site and call the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) at 1-888-226-7277 to obtain CBSA clearance. Certain private boaters may now present themselves to the CBSA by calling the TRC from their cellular telephones from the location at which they enter Canadian waters.
    https://travel.gc.ca/returning/customs/entering-canada
     


    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  13. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    883 posts, 180 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Sammamish, WA Everett, WA
    Yes there is "call in" customs both ways. For both it requires separate in person interviews and fees. They can always require an in person clearing. And it doesn't work if even one person onboard doesn't have the card
     


  14. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,201 posts, 271 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    I see. It appears that what one might get is a CANPASS for private boaters. You have to call ahead at least 30 min b/f your arrival to a reporting location. If a CBSA agent is there to meet you at the "dock", you can check-in w/ the personal interview; if the agent is not there you get to proceed to your Canadian destination and you're done, I suppose. The fee is CAN $40/ 5-yr period for each applicant; so, for wife and me CAN $80. Any passengers w/o the permit would complicate things, certainly. There are check-in stations at False Creek and at Coal Harbour in Vancouver, as well as at the Royal Vancouver YC Jerico Dock. So, no hay problema. Depart Point Roberts, arrive Vancouver at False Creek. [Although, that is pretty far for a sailboat's one day's travel--probably near 70 n.mi.] Phone ahead using the CANPASS etc. [I guess it's Point Roberts--not Port Roberts.]

    "The boat owner/operator must remain at the point of arrival until the ETA reported to the TRC has elapsed. No second call to the TRC is required. If there is no officer waiting to meet the boat when it arrives at the reported ETA or actual time of arrival, whichever is later, the boat may proceed to the final destination and passengers may disembark."
     


    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  15. vetch

    vetch

    Joined Dec 3, 2011
    59 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina C27
    US Bellingham WA Bellingham
    I keep my boat in Bellingham at Squalicum Harbor. Prior to this we were in Blaine. The two marinas are run by Port of Bellingham. Overall I preferred the marina and facilities in Blaine. Just felt cleaner and safer. Squalicum harbor is right in the heart of the homeless population in Bellingham. I have never had any issues but they end up changing the gate codes because people break into the showers and bathrooms at nights. Having said that I live South of Bellingham and it's another half an hour drive to get to the boat. So I like being closer to the boat.

    We looked at Anacortes since I grew up there. The price was comparable on the surface but they up-charge you for everything. You want a dock box? That's extra. You want a parking pass? That's extra.

    From Bellingham I can be to Friday Harbor in one long day or Sucia Island in one easy day. From Blaine to the San Juan's your first stop and last stop every time will most likely be Sucia, Matia, or Patos.

    If your not living close and want to be in the Canadian Islands quick but be moored in the USA I would consider Blaine. If you want to go to the San Juan Islands I would consider Anacortes or Bellingham.
     


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  16. Mark Maulden

    Mark Maulden

    Joined Jan 25, 2011
    1,373 posts, 76 likes
    S2 11.0A
    US Anacortes, WA
    I know of no marinas in Anacortes that upcharge for dock boxes /parking passes etc..you can go to the east side of the strait and have a "direct shot" to the Gulf Is assuming conditions in the strait are good. Get a good wind/tide opposition and things can get lumpy. Real lumpy..especially out of Pt. Roberts...Cruising from Anacortes, the time to Sucia vs Fri Hbr is about the same. From Sucia, you can go up the outside or up the inside depending on where you want to go. From Fri Hbr, you can go north cross Boundary Pass to the Gulf Is. Study the charts.
     


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  17. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,201 posts, 271 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    Some years ago on a charter out of Anacortes (Beneteau 35s5) we made the loop Sucia, Bedwell, Thetis (Telegraph Hbr), Ganges, Roche, Friday Hbr, then return Anacortes. Nice 7-day trip. We've visited the Gulf Islands twice more (C&C 38 and Bavaria 42) since then at sites between Todd Inlet and Nanaimo; and twice now between Vancouver and Quadra Island by way of Pender Hbr and Desolation Sound (C&C 38 and Hanse 495)-- a total of four weeks along that route. We're looking to go further up; into the Broughtons and points beyond. I need my own boat up there for that. If I could I'd put it at Powell River; and maybe I can at some point. But for now we're looking for a spot near the Canadian border inside the USA with good services to launch from. This discussion has already been very helpful.;)
     


    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017

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