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San Juan Trip Advice

Discussion in 'Pacific North West Cruisers' started by Full Circle 473, May 24, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Full Circle 473

    Full Circle 473

    Joined Dec 29, 2015
    67 posts, 7 likes
    Beneteau 473
    US Mukilteo WA
    Can I get some of your expert advice on off the beaten path destinations in the San Juans? We will be doing a 4 day trip with the "boys" (the Admiral and the other women will be joining us later in the summer). Looking for anchorage sites that provide either hiking, kayaking, oysters, fishing or other outdoor activities. We have all the toys and have been to all the usual places (Friday Harbor, Sucia, James, Fishermans Cove, etc). Looking for some of the lesser known sites. Thanks!
     


  2. David in Sandusky

    David in Sandusky

    Joined Nov 8, 2007
    1,045 posts, 98 likes
    Hunter 27_75-84
    US Sandusky Harbor Marina, Lake Erie
    Aleck Bay at the south end of Lopez is great to get away from the crowd. I would think that kayaking there and in the two bays nearby would be good. Watched an eagle take a fish there, then take it up in a tree to eat. Seals and lots of birds, too. We saw a pod of around 20 Orca go by through the rocks south of the entrance one morning as we left, and a Minke diving in the tidal race there another time.
     


  3. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,166 posts, 1,642 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    I’ve not been able to anchor yet I do enjoy traveling through Mosquito Passage and Wasp Passage for the beautiful images they offer. There are many spots along the way that offer anchorage opportunities. Garrison Bay is one along Mosquito Passage. History revolves around the Pig War. (The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between the United States and United Kingdom over the British–U.S. border in the San Juan Islands, between Vancouver Island and the mainland.)
     


  4. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,228 posts, 368 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    This may not be off the beaten path enough for the OP but hiking was mentioned and we did several hikes on San Juan island when we visited there several years ago. We did both of these hikes getting there by car but I am fairly sure you could find both from the water.

    First is Mount Young and Bell point plus the Bay of Pigs mentioned by jssailem. I believe this hiking is easily accessed from Garrison bay. Very nice views from up on top https://www.visitsanjuans.com/attractions/mount-young-bell-point

    Second hike also on San Juan Island is Mount Finlayson on the South end of the island. The attached picture is of the trail map taken from where we parked. This hike might be a little trickier finding from the water but I think we saw sailboats anchored near what is called "Third Lagoon" on the attached picture. You would need to research this more to make sure you could anchor close enough to find the trail but I think possible.
     

    Attached Files:



  5. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,166 posts, 1,642 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Half the fun and intrigue of the San Juan Islands is getting there. From Mukilteo you have several routes that each provide opportunities for adventure and some seamanship skills.
    Depending on your boats configuration you have 4 routes to escape Possession Sound and reach the islands. 2 of the routes would require careful planning of your departure to arrive at the choke points at specific times to permit safe passage.
    • The Swinomish Channel has depth restrictions and tide level considerations. Depending on which keel configuration your boat has you would need to time your "run of the Ditch" to assure there is enough water to get by the skinny parts. The route offers much to entertain the mariners on your boat with stops at La Conner or Anacortes for sustenance or replenishment.
    • The Port Townsend Canal has height restrictions, but is a great route to speed up your trip by avoiding foul waters, traffic and slowing currents if you time your trip correctly. The navigation skills taught to young sailors will be life long lessons that will enrich their future sailing experience. "I remember the time Dad took us under the bridge on the PT Canal. I would swear that the mast was going to hit the bridge and come down. But we just slipped under it like no bodies business. It was cool."
    The other two routes generate further tests of your mariner skills.
    • Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan D Fuca. This is a major sea-lane with all sorts of rules that require an alert crew and skipper. If big ships are a fun thing, then this is your play ground. The major shipping lines run all manner and size of Cargo ships through Admiralty Inlet. These beasts steam through the 3NM wide gap doing 17-20 knots. Even when your well clear of the shipping lane which they are required to use, watching them approach can give you the 'OMG I'm the deer in the headlights' feeling as the giant beast steams towards you only a mile away. Then there is the adventure known as the Strait of Juan D Fuca. It can be a peaceful lake (4000 sq miles of opening to the Pacific Ocean) or it can be a tempestuous sea that convinces you you need a 3rd reef in your sail.
    • Or Deception Passage. Now there is a fun stretch. Arrive at the entrance at the right time and you can flush your boat through to the Islands at 14 knots. Arrive a the wrong time and your not getting through at all. Fortunately there are great spots on both sides of the passage to wait the 4 to 6 hours till the tide changes. On the East side two spots offer anchorage or buoys to use. Hope Island or Cornet Bay. Both areas offer water time recreation while you are waiting the tides to change in your favor.
     


  6. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,621 posts, 431 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    If you've never done it, you can drive over Deception Pass. There's a lookout where you can stop and gaze at the rushing waters below and then put yourself into that picture:yikes:.

    DP.jpg
     


    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    jssailem likes this.
  7. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,166 posts, 1,642 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Great Image @Kings Gambit. Image is taken looking South from Fildago Island. This image is showing the currents of an Ebb Tide. West is to the right where the Strait of Juan D'Fuca resides. To the left is East and the sheltered passage known as Saratoga Passage. Water depth under the bridge 15-18 fathoms. At the bottom of the image is the secondary passage known as Canoe Passage. Not favorable for deep draft boats. Lots of rocks and very narrow.
     


  8. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,175 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Coming out of Everett? Four days not much time, but Coupeville in Penn Cove is a very nice anchorage and stopping point just off Saratoga Pass. Usually find plenty of anchoring spots west of the pier. http://cometocoupeville.com/to_do_in_coupeville.html

    Continue through Deception Pass to Watmough Bay on the southeast side of Lopez. Good anchorage and nice hiking trails around Iceberg Point.
    https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/watmough-bay-trail
     


    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  9. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,493 posts, 457 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    +1 on hiking around Iceburg Pt. But I come at it from opposite direction (only public access afaik) - Anchor in Barlow Bay and walk up past Agate Beach Park and up the hill to the turn off to Iceburg. If feeling adventurous there is a bay at Iceburg the use to reef net for salmon that makes ok daytime use. Climb up the cliff to take in more of the point.

    Les
     


  10. Full Circle 473

    Full Circle 473

    Joined Dec 29, 2015
    67 posts, 7 likes
    Beneteau 473
    US Mukilteo WA
    Thanks for all the ideas. I will report back as yo what we did. Thanks again.
     


  11. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,175 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    You're welcome. Hope you have a nice trip. Look forward to a report and pics.

    What happens after the four days then later in the summer when the others join up?
     


  12. Full Circle 473

    Full Circle 473

    Joined Dec 29, 2015
    67 posts, 7 likes
    Beneteau 473
    US Mukilteo WA
    We have at least 3 trips planned this summer after the "boys" weekend. The remaining trips will have the admirals and is therefore much more civilized.
     


  13. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,175 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Oooh, whatever does that mean? Lots of marina time?
     


  14. Full Circle 473

    Full Circle 473

    Joined Dec 29, 2015
    67 posts, 7 likes
    Beneteau 473
    US Mukilteo WA
    That means, sailing, shopping, sailing, going out to eat, sailing, hiking, etc.. Still lots of fun, but just a little more layed back and less alcohol then the guys trip.
     


  15. Full Circle 473

    Full Circle 473

    Joined Dec 29, 2015
    67 posts, 7 likes
    Beneteau 473
    US Mukilteo WA
    Trip Report: Had a fantastic 4 day trip!
    Day 1: Everett to Watmough Bay via Deception Pass. Watmough Bay is beautiful and easy to get too. Did some hiking and fishing. Hiking was great, fishing, not so much. Definitely a return destination is in the cards. IMG_5545.JPG

    Day 2: Watmough Bay to Parks Bay via Friday Harbor. Another winner and another return visit is planned. Very close to Friday Harbor but seams like middle of wilderness. Paddle boarding and kayaking in the Bay. Beautiful! IMG_5543.JPG

    Day 3: Parks Bay to Port Ludlow. Nice sail thru San Juan Channel, then wind died and motored to Port Ludlow. IMG_5544.JPG

    Day 4: Return sail to Everett. Little wind following current. Great 4 day trip with good friends and great times.

    Thanks for all of the advice!
     


    jssailem likes this.
  16. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,166 posts, 1,642 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Great report. Very nice pictures. New spots to put on my card. Thanks.
     


    Full Circle 473 likes this.
  17. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,175 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Very nice. Great pics.
     


  18. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,175 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Hi Les, regarding Barlow Bay. At the head of the bay I see a very long ramp that extends out to what appears to be a public dock. Have you ever tied up there and how much water is there at the very end? https://mapcarta.com/23918380
     


  19. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,166 posts, 1,642 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    upload_2018-6-16_12-48-8.png
    Here is a copy of my latest chart. Does not look good. Les has the local knowledge.
     

    Attached Files:



  20. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,175 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Map only shows two, but your chart shows three. Of those, the one on the left extends out the furtherest at indicates 1.5 fathoms at zero tide at the end. Might work, unless it is private.
     



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