Overview of Destinations
South Puget Sound
For beauty, cruising in South Puget Sound is similar to cruising the San Juan Islands, except the crowds aren't there. Neither are the restaurants.
South Sound has a number of excellent marine parks and several marinas, such as Jarrell’s Cove, Longbranch and Boston Harbor. Plan to enjoy the scenery, swing on the anchor, catch some fish and swim a little. Except for Olympia and Gig Harbor, don’t plan to go to town.
Central and North Puget Sound
Anchor out, dine out, enjoy the scenery, and have a jolly old time in these waters. The towns and cities of Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Des Moines, Waterfront restaurant, downtown Seattle Winslow, Bremerton, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Seattle, Edmonds, Kingston, Port Ludlow, Everett, Langley, Coupeville, Oak Harbor, LaConner, Anacortes, and Port Townsend offer a world of interesting stops. Anchorages abound in this area. Wintertime cruising is mother’s milk for the locals. In the summer they all go north for vacation.
One new marina must be singled out—the Bell Harbor Marina on the Seattle waterfront. Close to shopping, dining, and the excitement of downtown Seattle, the Bell Harbor Marina is destined to be a legend. For a cosmopolitan experience, it can’t be beat.
“The Waggoner is absolutely essential.”
Mike & Allison Lambert, Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Patos Island, San Juan Islands San Juan Islands
With their mountainous terrain, protected waterways, quiet anchorages and busy marinas, the San Juans are a paradise. We have spent weeks enjoying the San Juans, and each year we go back for more.
Montague Harbour Marina, Gulf Islands, B.C. Gulf Islands
Read the San Juan Islands paragraph above and make it Canadian, only with more dining, more anchorages, and more marinas to spend time at. Each September we like to spend a week in the Gulf Islands. In fact, we think September is the best cruising month of all.
Next to San Francisco, Vancouver is the most worldly city on the west coast of North America.
Not the biggest or the most glittery, but the best. See Vancouver from False Creek, or from the new Coal Harbour Marina in Vancouver Harbour, or by bus from the elegant Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island in Howe Sound
Princess Louisa Inlet
It takes effort to get there, but the reputation is earned. Princess Louisa Inlet is majestic.
Books have been written about Desolation Sound. It’s beautiful, rugged and remote, yet with pockets of civilization.
A week is good, but not enough. Toba Wilderness, Desolation Sound. Two or three weeks are more like it. You’ll bore your friends with your tales when you get back home, and you won’t care.
North to Sullivan Bay
To expand your cruising grounds north from Desolation Sound to Sullivan Bay we’re talking about four-week cruises in well-equipped boats. Amazingly, the scenery only gets better. High mountains, anchorages in bowls carved into the rock, dangerous tidal rapids (except at slack water), and a small number of gourmet dining spots that will please you. Best for the more experienced boaters.
Bunsby Islands, West Coast of Vancouver Island West Coast of Vancouver Island
Rugged and dangerous. Likelihood of high winds and steep seas. Rocks. Little contact with the outside world. Fog. Two to four weeks required. No finer cruising anywhere. When you’ve circumnavigated Vancouver Island, you’ve accomplished something.
Beyond Cape Caution
It’s hard to believe that anything could improve on the waters south of Cape Caution, but somehow the central and northern B.C. coast manages to do it.
We’re talking about time, now. Four weeks for part way, six weeks to hurry through and back again, eight weeks to do it right. Thousands of miles of shoreline, deserted anchorages, abandoned camps and villages, even an abandoned city. Abundant fishing. High mountains, eagles, raven, mink, cougar, wolves, bear, deer—all kinds of wildlife. Few people. You’re on your own.
Carry ample fuel, water and food. Mostly protected waters, but a few areas where the seas can sink a boat. Typical anchorages 10-15 fathoms deep. Paradise for those lucky enough and skilled enough to make the trip.