Most of us have been there by car, but for many seafarers at Semiahmoo, Anacortes may just seem a bit out of reach. Well, it’s not, and it’s surely worth the extra couple of hours it might take to voyage down there. In fact, a long weekend trip to Anacortes might be just the thing for the last summer adventure through the San Juan Islands that could a hefty dose of local community entertainment to boot.
The best time to sail or boat through from Semiahmoo to Anacortes is around the end of spring through early Fall. The average temperatures are the warmest they’ll be throughout the year, and you might get a chance at a close encounter with some Orca whales in the area. The distance is roughly 33.6 nautical miles due south, which will take an approximately 4 hours and 50 minutes to navigate at 7.0 knots. It’s not at all a difficult day trip to take on a good day, but you might want to consider taking a couple of days to enjoy the many stops along the way.
Leaving Semiahmoo Marina, you can head south towards Sucia. Pass Orcas Island on your starboard side and Lummi Island on your port. Continue south through Rosario Strait and continue on to pass Blakely Island to starboard and Cypress Island to port. After you’ve passed Cypress, you’ll head way towards Guemes Channel to reach Anacortes.
An alternate route would be to cross the Bellingham Bay after navigating Hales Passage, keep Sinclair and Vendovi on your starboard. This will offer you a completely different navigational course with its own equally impressive views.
Where to dock
There are a few docking options in Anacortes, but your best option will probably be the Cap Santé Marina. This is a public dock managed by the Port of Anacortes. It’s a modern marina that can accommodate an impressive 950 boats up to 130 feet in length. The marina is open year-round and is a great access point for most of the city of Anacortes. It’s also close to marine services if ever you need to make emergency repairs. Downtown Anacortes is just three short blocks to the west.
Another great option is the Anacortes Marina. It’s a private marina that has 466 open and covered rental slips. They can accommodate boats from 32 to sixty feet in length. They offer many onsite services including laundry, showers, storage units, a full-service repair yard, fuel dock, and many others. If you’re looking for something that’s less hectic, this marina will be your better bet. It’s also not too far from all the action in Anacortes.
What to do in Anacortes
Once you get to Anacortes, you’ll be drawn into the charm of a small boating community that’s full of culture. Anacortes is known for its events, particularly its festivals. You can peruse through the many art shops and merchandise stores. You can also take the nature route and enjoy a nice hike on Mt. Erie Park or the beach at Washington Park. There is a local bus service that can connect you to the outer reaches of the community, or be sure to bring your bicycles.
The Rockfish Grill and the Brown Lantern Ale House are just two of the many great eating experiences you can enjoy in Anacortes. You can also check in to the Anacortes Cinema of you need a break from the outdoors.
Kayaking the many waterways of Anacortes is a must; you might get another chance at a whale encounter. The Anacortes Farmer’s Market is always full of local artisanal goods you can enjoy.
Whether you plan to just sit back and relax at the beach, hike a trail, go dolphin watching, sit by the lake, or see what’s happening downtown, you’ll find it all in Anacortes. Make sure to set enough time to spend there because you might not want to leave so soon