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Showing posts with label Jones Island boat camping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jones Island boat camping. Show all posts


Get your Camping, Resort, and Marina Reservations in the San Juans -NOW- before it's too late

       Okay,  here it is, the day before Valentines Day, and you are stuck on  finding the perfect Valentine.  How about a reservation at a B&B in the San Juans for some time in July or August. Or a cozy romantic restaurant dinner date in a  Friday Harbor eatery.

      Enough with Valentines, by the time you read this, you're either in the dog house, living on your boat, or should be making summer cruise plans. In any case its probably not too late to get that reservation at a campground or marina.

      When planning a San Juan cruise you don't need any reservations to have a great vacation, but some people feel better knowing there is an open slip or warm bed waiting their arrival.  As a suggestion you might consider making a reservation at a popular stopover for just one or two nights in the middle of your cruise, leaving the rest of your time free to go where the wind blows you, simply staying where you happen to dock or anchor. With a speedy power boat all the San Juan islands and parks are within an easy run no matter where you start or plan to end up. A more sedate  pokey sailing type vessel  may be somewhat limited how far it can run before the sun sets.

     Even if you don't reserve some fancy resort for a stopover visit you can still make a day time visit to Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor, Deer Harbor or many others, park that yacht for free, or anchor and dinghy to the dinghy dock,  then armed with a fistful of quarters enjoy a wonderful, blissful, rejuvenating, hot shower.  You will get back to the boat refreshed and ready to continue your vacation anew.

Free showers in the San Juans while boat camping

 Hot showers are still free at Lopez Village.
Check it out here >>>  Lopez Village Free Hot showers


Jones Island is the Absolute Best Marine Park in the San Juans - Period

This is a reposted post I think is very worthwhile.

Jones Island offers a wonderful experience for boat camping and exploring the San Juan Islands. Its proximity to major marinas and harbors, such as Deer Harbor, Roche Harbor, and Friday Harbor, makes it a convenient and attractive destination.

Starting your kayaking adventure from Deer Harbor, with its calm waters, can be a great option for exploring the surrounding areas. Roche Harbor, known for its resort and as a departure point for trips to Canada, is another nearby destination that adds to the appeal of Jones Island. Additionally, Friday Harbor, the largest city and port in the San Juan Islands, is relatively close, making it easily accessible for supplies or further exploration.

With its strategic location and the variety of neighboring destinations, Jones Island offers a great balance between tranquility and accessibility. It can be an ideal choice for families looking to enjoy boat camping and explore the beauty of the San Juan Islands.
This post is all about Jones Island Marine Park in the San Juan's

         All of Jones is a state park, the north cove is preferred by power boaters and sailors alike, inside you will find a protected bay with docks and anchor buoys, plus room to anchor if the five buoys are in use.

Map locating Jones Island - post describes camping facilities

        The south cove is favored by kayaker's, there are several campgrounds and the island has running water, fire pits and picnic tables. On a sunny summer weekend it would not be unusual to find several large groups camping with many first time kayakers in guided tour groups.  Offshore are a few anchor buoys.  The south cove is not protected from San Juan Channel traffic or winter storms so the beaches are piled with sun silvered driftwood.

Jones Island State Park in the San Juans

        The North Cove is absolutely wonderful, There is a brand new dock, anchor buoys, a steep gravel beach (good for dinghy's), and room to anchor. The cove is protected from all but the worst north winds (very infrequent) On shore are lots of tent sites, each with picnic table and fire rings.  There is a nice mowed lawn area for games and grazing deer.  Bathrooms and running water are clean, cool, clear and convenient. 

Jones Island in the San Juans - blog post describes campground

            The island has several hiking trails, rated, easy and moderate. From the trails are magnificent views of the surrounding islands, and waters.  Bring your camera to Jones, you will want to preserve the memories to show your friends that aren't as fortunate as you.

Boat camping at Jones Island Marine Park in the San Juan Islands



Marine Parks of the San Juan Islands and Surrounding Area

Below is the marine parks list
             followed by reviews, charts, and pictures
                         in the order listed.
        This is not all the parks, just the ones you may want to make part of your cruising. It's unlikely you can visit all in one trip and still do a decent job of sightseeing. You should plan multiple visits to the San Juans.
Many people choose Jones as their favorite for just hanging for a few days, so Jones is first.
For hiking, Sucia, or Pelican Beach on Cypress Island are the best, but all the parks have hiking trails.
      Some parks are in a convenient location when you need to spend the night and you're between destinations, Saddle Bag, Eagle Harbor, and Odlin would fit this description.  Most parks with docks have picnic tables on the floats, which are very handy for extending your living area, socializing, and meeting other boaters.
        For marinas/etc. where you can get fuel and provisions try this list >> Marinas - fuel - beer and ice - slips for rent

  • Jones Island
  • James Island
  • Clark Island
  • Doe Island
  • Obstruction Pass
  • Pelican Beach
  • Eagle Harbor
  • Cypress Head
  • Matia
  • Patos
  • Sucia
  • Stuart Island  (Prevost & Reid Harbor)
  • Spencer Spit
  • Odlin County Park
  • Washington Park
  • Deception Pass Park
  • Saddlebag Island
  • Sidney Spit Marine Park (Canada)
Click here to go to complete description and maps of above listed parks


Twenty Five Boating Chores to do before next season arrives in the San Juan Islands

             Some chores are critical and some don't apply to all of us, but everyone has boating and sailing things to do before getting underway.     

         This website is supposed to be about  sailing and boating in the San Juans, so if I am stepping out of line here -- be sure to quit reading.

           For me and probably most of us, I pretty much quit boating during the winter months but I do go out a little and still must take care of routine chores.  I procrastinate more than I should and sometimes I win, but more often my procrastination causes me more problems and to spend more money.

         Recently I've done a few very important chores, and some busy work which is more fun, and I'll list off a few right now. Maybe a few readers will be reminded of something they forgot to take care of last season.

The numbers and order mean nothing but I think it looks cool to make lists.

  1.  I just pulled completely apart my  trailers four wheels and bearings. Oh gawd what a greasy mess. I went through one and a half  rolls of paper towels.  One wheel had runny grease, so runny it ran out like heavy oil and it was lighter colored than the grease in the other wheels.  But it was full and showed no signs of not doing its job. I figure water must have gotten in and mixed with the grease, but I have seen frothy water contaminated grease and this didn't look like what I've seen. I cleaned it all up inspected the seal lip and repacked everything. All the brakes were totally covered and saturated with grease and brake lining debris making a black mess, which explains why the brakes never work as good as my other trailers. I have made a mental note to replace all backing plates and brake components next time. (more procrastination) Honestly now, they still work good enough, I hope. I ended up repacking two wheels completely, one I looked at and put back together and one just got some grease added . I feel confident about my bearings now and don't have any worries for upcoming road travel.
  2. I cut off the dinghy line that was too long and got caught in the prop last summer.
  3. My last window leak has succumbed to Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure because I got smart enough to apply it to both the inside and outside surfaces.
  4. I have refilled about a dozen non refillable propane tanks. (fyi - my cost is about $1 per canister and I do not in any way suggest that anyone refill non refillable bottles)
  5. I built a kicker motor adapter bracket so my 5hp Honda sits sideways and now clears the water as well as the dinghy's gelcoat while being carried on the mother ship.
  6. I have added rigid SS standoffs after dropping the dinghy and rope burning my hands.
  7. I have built two kerosene lamp holders so I can hang my lamps from the ceiling hooks.
  8. A few months ago I touched up the bottom paint.
  9. I added a vinyl drip rail gutter to the cabin roofs, a project that I worried about being able to apply straight but it turned out to be really easy and looks great.
  10. I added a site tube to my water tank, so I can see the water level without putting a flashlight behind the tank and then guessing.
  11. I haven't yet, but I do have the yellow pad I'm going to use to create a ships manifest list of everything stored on board including where each item is stored. Then I plan to transcribe the list and print out a good looking copy to be kept in my ship's log book.  Yes it is true, I can't remember where I put things.
  12. I built a new front hatch using half inch Lexan and something that looks a lot like oak.
  13. I have taken satellite screenshots and loaded my laptop with all the likely ports of call for my up coming Sunshine Coast cruise to Princess Louisa Inlet in the middle of June.
  14. I bought two used Canadian charts, since my chart plotter doesn't have anything north of Vancouver.
  15. I changed my motor oil last fall so it would sit with mostly fresh oil through the winter.
  16. I have upgraded my bicycle to  tires full of that anti puncture anti leak glop stuff.
  17. I already wrote about fixing the stoves oil drip valve adjustment so it actually is adjustable.  I was forced to do that from prior procrastination caused problems, but I still want credit.
  18. I got on my stomach in a half open hatch, and with a mirror and flashlight checked the water level in my batteries.
  19. I traced my windlass wiring and discovered an off/on switch I had forgot about. Now my windlass works again after hand hauling chain last year.
  20. I added a mid-ship cleat on the starboard side, the PO must have always tied to port or didn't see the need for proper spring lines.
  21. I installed some good looking golden maple click-lock flooring that closely matches the old teak, at least in color.
  22. I accidentally broke off my am/fm radio antenna, but it still works pretty good so I just cleaned up the fiberglass shreds and pushed a rubber cap over the jagged end.  
  23. I replaced all the uv damaged tie cords on my cabin top kayak rack.
  24. I have built and installed all the components to convert my Livingston dinghy to sail, some fine tuning is still needed but I have had several successful (and fun) sea trials. I may just procrastinate and go with it as is, I can finish up the little stuff later.
  25. I just started what was to be a simple port side light relighting. It seems banging on the light wouldn't cause it to work anymore. When I turned the brass screw heads, both stripped so I drilled them out. After pulling off the lens I grabbed the drilled studs with vise grips and broke them off.  Now there is no way to reattach the lens and I have not even gotten to why the light doesn't light up. More on this later, I'm on way to Ace to find 2.5" x #6 brass screws, I know, "fat chance."
Still to come this year I hope:
  1. Fix the bimini tie downs, not done yet
  2. Drill or make a drain hole for the front hatch (limber holes were forgot, don't ask)
  3. Fill flat fenders with more air and look for leaks.
  4. Find plates that fit in sink or cut a quarter inch off the pretty fishy painted ones my wife likes.
  5. ???

I hope your commissioning chores are as fulfilling as mine are. Lets see wax or polish, what's the difference again?
Saddlebag Island quiet times


This sites purpose


Before ever going boating in the San Juans, I thought about it a lot.
 What's the right boat? Where will we put in, and park the car? Where will we go, spend the night, get gas. What about the horrible currents, Scary Deception Pass and whirlpools. Was it foolish, reckless, or endangering my family. 
The list of questions was endless and it was frightening making that first big step.


Cruisers Packing List - don't forget the ?

      If your a beginner to the San Juans as well as a beginner to cruising (boat camping) you may find some useful advice here.  But some people don't like being told what to bring or what not to bring, or ask for directions when they are hopelessly lost.  So stop right here if you recognize yourself, and move on.

boating packing list

        Okay, now that the captain and skipper have quit reading lets see if we can ease the pain somewhat.  I'm not going to try to be all inclusive here, but just some little reminders to get you thinking about your cruise.  Obviously you have a spotless well equipped boat and many things are already on board.
  • I'll bet you don't have an underwater flashlight, they are great for teasing sea creatures after dark, and will add hours of entertainment time to answer your children's "I'm bored" comments. (hint, stick a cheap flashlight in a ziplock bag) Now tie it to the end of your boat hook and poke it under water
  • How about heavy duty zip lock bags, or the ones they sell at the outdoor outfitter stores for river running, you know for your cell phone, ipod, camera, wallet, etc, etc, etc.....
  • speaking of waterproof have you got any good wood matches in a waterproof container?
  • here's one you really miss and then its too late  - chap-stick with spf 99 (how high do the #'s go?)
  • remember that hat that blew off into the water?  ditto for glasses!  you need a chin strap or leash.
  • OK, this is a good one, get a second or third corkscrew, uh huh! (try em at home to make sure they work well)
  • Dramamine in all forms for everyone
  • cheap little led flashlights, lots of em, they're cheap
  • plastic kites for beach fun, don't forget the string
  • multi-function tool that you carry in your pocket all the time
  • boat cleaning supplies, wax, polish, paint thinner to remove tars you track on board with your shoes. We seem to do our heavy cleaning while on a cruise, I see others doing the same.
  • misc. boat repair supplies and tools. (sail tape) get a bottle of soft scrub it's my best friend (paint thinner too)

These are just some starter ideas, feel free to add your favorites.
Since some folks really benefit from in depth detailed instructions and are lost without to-do lists, I have added below a list created for a general travel article.
Click here and read more >>>>>