“Beat the Heat Flotilla 2017”
San Juan Islands, Washington
September 1st –8th, 2017
Join us for a weeklong cruise in the beautiful Pacific Northwest’s San Juan Islands this coming Labor Day. This is the perfect time to escape the hot Texas summer for some cooler weather, spectacular scenery, and fantastic sailings.
The San Juan Islands are a magical archipelago of over 450 islands in Washington state. Flotilla leaders, Mark and Pam Boelens have lived and cruised these waters for the past several years and will share the beauty of a land where the seas meet the mountains. If you enjoy unforgettable views, abundant sea life (Orcas, Humpbacks, Dolphins, etc), watching majestic eagles swooping in for their morning meals, Norman Rockwall like marinas, and bonfires on the beach in a place with rich history, come join us.
In early September, the winds fill back in after the summer lulls to make for pleasant day sails. There is nothing like sailing in a nice breeze aided with a 3-knot current doing 9kts and then encountering a pod of orcas feeding on salmon, or the occasional humpback surfacing as they migrate south for winter. We will guide you in navigating the currents, anchoring in large tidal swing inspiring coves, and handling / avoiding potential foggy conditions.
We will be chartering boats with our good friends at San Juan Sailing, in Bellingham, WA. You can charter either a sailboat or trawler.
Booking Your Boat
Browse and select your charter boat directly with San Juan Sailing:
You should find their web-site easy to navigate, explore boats, and book accordingly. You can view the availability of their entire fleet by selecting a boat, viewing that boats availability, and then selecting the option to view all boats availability.
Please let them know you are with “Texas Sailing” when you make your reservation.
If looking to share a boat, let us know. We will see what we can do to help match candidates, and potentially provide a captain.
There are several great options traveling from Austin to Bellingham, including flights to Bellingham, Seattle, or Vancouver, Canada. San Juan Sailing’s web-site provide a great overview of travel options:
Be sure to arrive in plenty of time to attend their mandatory Captain’s Briefing at 4:30 on Friday afternoon:
Fri., September 1st - San Juan Sailing check-in begins at 2pm and they host a mandatory safety and chart briefing for all captains from 4:30 to 5:15. Allow time in your schedule to provision food and beverages. We will board boats after the briefing for the evening and enjoy a Texas Sailing celebration.
Sat., September 2nd – We depart with the morning tides for a week-long flotilla. Wind and weather will dictate our cruising schedule but will likely find ourselves at Roche Harbor, Rosario Resort, Sucia Island and other quiet anchorages.
Fri., September 8th – We return and must be off the boats by noon. The Bellingham airport is close-by and the flight to Seattle over the islands and Puget Sound is remarkable. Alternatively, spend a few extra days exploring the area by auto with a one-way rental to Seattle and direct flight back to Austin.
1. Flotilla Management Fee is $350 per boat for Texas Sailing Members – pay to Texas Sailing once you have booked your boat. Non-members are welcome, subject to approval, with a non-discounted flotilla management fee of $650 per vessel.
2. Charter Fee for boat and insurance dependent upon your vessel, and is paid directly to San Juan Sailing. Again, let them know you are with Texas Sailing.
3. Airfare and misc. ground transportation and optional hotel nights depending on your travel schedules.
4. Provisioning dependent upon your dining habits.
5. Marina Fees – We will likely stay in two to three marinas with slip fees about $60-$70 dollars per night depending on your vessel.
Expect cool nights and refreshing mornings. All boats have heaters, if needed, and most have dodgers to protect you from the wind in the cockpit while sailing. It warms in the afternoon, but rarely will you need shorts. Most will sail in comfort wearing layers and wool cap, with wind blocked by the boat’s dodger. Don’t plan on swimming, but enjoy cool air, great walks, and awesome scenery.
Please feel free to contact Mark Boelens, Texas Sailing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. We require a minimum of 3 boats and will cap the flotilla at 10 boats.
Happy to answer any questions you may have and make sure this is the right trip for you. Boats get booked quickly so don’t delay too long.