If you are thinking about exploring and unwinding amidst the charming and alluring San Juan Islands, there is no better way to do it than to hire a sailboat charter and crew. With fascinating surprises hidden around every bend of this tiny group of islands, a sailboat charter trip is truly worth the money spent.
However, the greatest attraction on a sailboat charter through the San Juan Islands are the area’s resident pods of orcas, contentedly coursing the island channels from late Spring through the Fall. Because orcas notoriously follow the marine food chain, you are bound to see groups of aquatic creatures and dense schools of fish, particularly salmon, eluding their dynamic predator. Hordes of harbor seals, river otters, Steller sea lions, porpoises, and minke whales add to the fauna spectacle. There is also a chance to spot rare migratory birds in this corner of the sea. Furthermore, if so inclined, you can even fish for Pacific salmon to sample its delicious and healthy fare.
Whether starting out on your aquatic safari under sail or finishing it, the highly regarded Whale Museum in Friday Harbor is a must stop on your whale trail. In fact, it is practically etched into every tour’s itinerary.
With over 172 islands and reefs in San Juan County, where the San Juans are located, the water and land trail to wondrous sights and cultural landmarks is nearly endless.
A perfect spot to de-stress and unwind
As you gaze out on the horizon while navigating calm, pristine waters, you will find all the tension in your body start to dwindle as you inhale the reenergizing salt air. Furthermore, if the aquatic wildlife somehow failed to excite you, the idyllic landscape and amenable climate serve a perfect environment for lovers, couples or just those who embrace Mother Nature. You can laze around and soak in the romantic atmosphere to your heart’s content. In fact, sailboat charters are famous for offering overnight cruises and serving as an enchanting venue for weddings.
If you are more of the adventurous type, you can add island hopping to your itinerary as you sample the cuisine and culture of each main island: San Juan, Lopez, and Orcas. Each offers a lively and feisty personality that will never tire or bore you. If you are really lucky, you might be able to join the wooden boat festival and schooner races held periodically on the island.
There is no shortage of land-bound activities during a sail through the San Juan Islands. Shops, museums, art galleries and restaurants abound. State parks and other forested reserves are within a stone’s throw, should you want to complement your sea sightings with some land-bound discoveries.
There is truly nothing more fulfilling than a sail through the San Juan Islands for a taste of both human- and nature-induced delights. There is a charter company that even enhances your experience by transporting you on a traditional, high-mast schooner of old.
SAN JUAN ISLANDS SCENIC BYWAY, VisitSanJuans.com
San Juan Islands Forum, TripAdvisor.com