Do you have any experience in sailing? Why not charter a sailing yacht and explore the magnificent San Juan Islands next summer? That could be a wonderful adventure for you and your family!
There are many different ways of doing a sailing vacation. You can charter a yacht and sail it all by yourself or you can hire a skipper. If you don’t feel comfortable enough with your sailing skills, the skipper will take care of the day-to-day running of your yacht, leaving you free to do anything you like. The skipper will help you become accustomed with a new yacht or area, and he will give you sailing tips and answer any questions as you sail. Another option is to join a flotilla. Many flotilla itineraries include special events like shore parties and fun regattas, and give you the chance to mix with other sailors.
The sheltered waterways, bays and fjords that extend from south of Seattle through British Columbia and into spectacular Southeast Alaska, are some of the world’s most spectacular cruising grounds. Puget Sound connecting the Pacific Ocean via the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Pacific Northwest offers nearly 300 islands and some 2000 miles of shoreline. The San Juan Islands are the most popular charter area in the Puget Sound and also in the Pacific Northwest. This cluster of inhabited islands and barren rocks is located some 60 nautical miles north of Seattle. With more than 200 rocky islands and a dozen state parks left undisturbed, this is a good chartering area for beginners; the waters are reasonably protected even in storms off the Pacific.
The historic seaport town of Anacortes is a pleasant one and a half hour drive north of Seattle. Surrounded by water and dotted with several marinas, Anacortes has rightly earned its title as “Gateway to the San Juan Islands.” All the beauty and intrigue of the San Juan’s and Gulf Islands are within cruising destination of the town.The weather is generally mild all year long. The summers are mostly sunny with temperatures ranging from the low 70’s to the low 80’s (19-25 C).
Much of the cruising area of the Pacific Northwest is in the “rain shadow” of high mountains that block many of the weather systems that come in off the Pacific Ocean. The result is that rainfall can be as little as 20 inches annually in some areas. From May to October the winds are mostly moderate (6 – 18 knots). This varies by locality and time of day with the fresher breezes occurring in the afternoons in the more open areas and the lighter and more variable winds occurring among the islands.