Thecruising life

Published on Thu, May 25, 2006 by Carol Hogan

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The cruising life

By Carol Hogan

Portland residents John and Linda Wilson, and their dog Maggie, a Bichon Frise, pulled into Semiahmoo Marina last week on Voyager, their 36-foot Grand Banks trawler.

“We’re spending the whole summer here in the northwest,” said John of their itinerary. “We’ll probably go back in August. We just go where the wind goes each day and have a good time.”

So far they have visited ports in Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Oak Harbor, Anacortes, Stewart Island and Roche Harbor, as part of the Grand Banks rendezvous. “We spent a week there then went to Sucia and stayed in Echo Bay and Fossil Bay, and then headed here. We plan to stay at Semiahmoo for a few days and work our way back toward Puget Sound.”

This is the Wilson’s second Pacific Northwest trip. In 2004 they cruised both sides of Vancouver Island, the Gulf and San Juan islands and worked their way back to Portland from Port Townsend.

“We have no schedule. Every day we wake up and we’re not sure whether to go or not go.If the weather’s good we stay where we are. It just depends on how the crabbing is or the oysters are.”

Y’all Come
With summer fast approaching, more cruising sailors will soon be stopping by Blaine and Semiahmoo harbors for layovers on their way to destinations both north and south.

If you’re planning a short stay at either location and need a place to stay overnight, or longer, it’s best to notify them in advance. According to Harbormaster Pam Taft, you can telephone the harbor office with your arrival information at 360/647-6176, fax them at 360/332-1043, email blaineharbor@portofbellingham.com or call them on VHF Channel 16.

“We don’t take reservations, but if the visitor spots are full, we’ll find another dock for them, we never turn anyone away,” said Taft. Daily moorage fee is 50 cents per foot per day with 30-amp electricity included. If you arrive during office hours, register at the harbor office. After hours, use the self-register visitor envelope.

If you’re headed for Semiahmoo Marina, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. Harbormaster is Lou Herrick.
The number of slips they have available varies on a daily basis and if your vessel is over 44 feet, there aren’t a lot of end ties available. Moorage fee is 80 cents per foot per day, 30-amp power is $3 per day and 50-amp is $5 per day. Telephone them at 360/371-0440, fax 360/371-0200, email semimarina@bbxmail.net or call on VHF channel 68.

Semiahmoo Yacht Club’s “Nauti Friday” summer barbecues are in full swing on the patio at Semiahmoo Marina. The informal get-togethers draw many members and guests to celebrate TGIFriday. Participants bring a side dish to share along with whatever they want to barbecue and there’s a new firepit to ward off the evening chill. The charcoal’s just right by around six p.m.

Shelter at Sucia Island
The International Yacht Club (IYC) of White Rock and Blaine donated $25,000 to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission earmarked for construction of an enclosed shelter at Fossil Bay on Sucia Island. IYC purchased all the building supplies and the Washington Sate Parks and Recreation Department is supplying the labor.

“It has a beautiful view and it’s a one of a kind heavy duty, fully-enclosed shelter with a cement pad. I think there’ll be a barbecue pit close to it. I believe it will be called the IYC Shelter,” said commodore Bob Buzubiak. “Our club’s been around for about 48 years and we’ve been going to Sucia almost that long so we wanted to give something back to the community. We hope it will be finished soon and then we’ll have an official opening.”