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Outdoor Activities

Sailing the San Juan Islands in Fall

Just because school has started does not mean boating season is over. Far from it!
For many sailors, the elements really come together in the fall when the winds pick up, the tourists go away and wildlife comes alive.
That is why this is a good time to consider chartering a crewed vessel such as the 55-foot Jeanneau Northwind operated by Sail the San Juans sailing charters based in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
Previously owned by a Hollywood film star, Northwind features an exquisite teak salon with supple leather seating and rich amounts of natural light. Fifty-five feet of comfort and luxury with spacious cabins, abundant seating, and a teak-laid cockpit provide an inviting atmosphere.
Everything on vessel was designed from the keel up to be a comfortable charter yacht for long passages. All of the cabins feature their own private head compartments (sink, hand held shower, and powerflush toilet.) Amenities include separate heating controls, opening hatches for fresh air, and ports that bring in natural light. The cockpit is covered by a large dodger that protects from the elements, while state of the art electronics insure your safety at all times.
Two Sailing Tour Options
Six day trips focus on the San Juan Islands a rich archipelago of hidden coves, abundant wildlife, and forested islands located in Washington state. These protected waters are perfect for first time sailors as well as seasoned veterans. There are options to join a trip on some weeks or your group or family can book the entire yacht.
Twelve day wilderness trips are also available to explore the southern portion of the Inside Passage located in British Columbia. Deep fjords, waterfalls and snow-capped mountains provide the backdrop for these spectacular trips. These cruises are ideal for return guests who have already sailed in the San Juans and are looking for more of an extended wilderness experience. They feature longer passages on some days and less shore time than in the San Juans.
Sample Day Itinerary from the Six Day Tour
If this doesn’t get your adventure juices flowing, I don’t know what will!
Day Two – Monday: After exploring Sucia we set course for Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. On our way to Roche we will sail up the west side of Orcas Island. (we often see porpoise in this area) You may even catch a glimpse of abandoned lime kilns hidden in the forest along the shore. We will serve lunch underway today. Arriving in Roche the beautiful Hotel De Haro (once the home of Limestone king, John McMillan) will greet you along with a cute little white church, a beautiful garden and an unusual monument.
There is also the remains of the 13 lime kilns that helped pave the streets of Seattle in the late 1800’s. After a short stay we motor up Mosquito pass to Garrison Bay where British Camp is located, the quaint museum/monument for the “Pig War” that took place between the Americans and British on San Juan Island. Need more exercise? There is a great hike nearby to a viewpoint at the top of Mt. Young where British soldiers once stood watch.
We often spot Orca whales nearby off the west side of San Juan Island and the salmon fishing can be good near here in the Fall. If you want to try some of the best oysters you’ll ever taste-we will hop in the zodiac and pay a visit to Westcott Bay Sea Farms and pick up a few dozen for an appetizer.
 For more information: (800) 729-3207; http://www.sailthesanjuans.com

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