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Old 11-01-2015, 02:06 AM   #41
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Marin, Why the dislike of Roche?
With the exception of a masive harbor development in Doha, Qatar called "The Pearl," Roche Harbor is the most pretentious, look-down-your-nose place I've been on the planet.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:49 AM   #42
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I agree Marin.
I prefer Friday Harbor but won't go in there from May 1 to Sept 15.
The U.S. customs people in both are still awful.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:32 AM   #43
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With the exception of a masive harbor development in Doha, Qatar called "The Pearl," Roche Harbor is the most pretentious, look-down-your-nose place I've been on the planet.

I feel the same way about G dock.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:28 PM   #44
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You will find it very worthwhile to join "Active Captain" and it's companion Ap: "e-boat cards". Both are free and available for both Apple and Android devices. There are several user groups for the areas you are interested in. If you are already a member, send me a friend request on "e-boat cards" I've spent the last 34 years sailing and cruising the San Juans and Canadian Gulf islands, and just completed a 14 day shake down cruise to Desolation Sound in our new (to us) Helmsman 38 trawler. I believe these are among the finest cruising grounds in the world.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:40 PM   #45
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I forgot to mention it, but mid July to late August are by far the best times to cruise in the PNW. There are many weather windows outside that, but they cannot be predicted, and unless you live here, you can't take advantage of them. Given the expense involved in getting here, and the charter, I strongly recommend the July-August period. Warm sunny weather during that period is almost guaranteed. Out side of that, you could end up spending much of your precious vacation in the rain.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:45 PM   #46
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I agree with you about Roche Harbor. Reminds me of Sun Valley in that regard, but, right around the corner is Garrison Bay, which is very worth visiting. And if you need a bit of provisioning, its a pretty quick dinghy ride to Roche.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:01 PM   #47
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Sharp .. or anybody ..
What's there in Garrison Bay?
I've anchored in Nelson Bay (years ago) and don't know much of anything about just south of Roche Harbor.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:53 PM   #48
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As you leave Roche turn south, follow the channel just past Henry Island to Delacombie Point and turn east into Wescott Bay. About a 1/8 mile in Garrison Bay will open up to the south.

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Old 11-01-2015, 07:05 PM   #49
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As far as Roche goes, maybe you reap what you sow!
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:30 PM   #50
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Eric--- Garrison Bay is a pretty neat place. It is the site of English Camp, the British garrison headquarters during the so-called Pig War which ultimately resulted in the determination of the final border between Canada and US (a decision made by the German Kaiser). There is a restored blockhouse and couple of other buildings including the "formal" English garden that remain from the British occupation.

Anchoring is good in firm mud. There is a dinghy dock at the English Camp park.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:54 PM   #51
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As far as Roche goes, maybe you reap what you sow!
Or spun the other way.... the people who don't see it are usually the reason that it is.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:02 PM   #52
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Sharp .. or anybody ..
What's there in Garrison Bay?
I've anchored in Nelson Bay (years ago) and don't know much of anything about just south of Roche Harbor.
You exit Roche Hbr on the west side. Enter "Mosquito Pass". Follow it almost to where it ends on West side of SJ Island. There is an entrance on the south side of the pass. It goes to " Westcott Bay". Before you actually get into Westcott, there is another entrance on South side of the channel. By water its not much over a mile from Roche. Shallow, quiet. great anchorage. State park, dinghy dock and the English Camp left over from when the English laid claim to the island. Old block house and many of the buildings still standing. The still fly the Union Jack during the summer.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:51 PM   #53
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Thanks all,
Nice to know there's a good anchorage there especially w the park and dinghy dock. Last time we came through we anchored in Fisherman's Bay. Mooring buoys everywhere. Hard to belive how they can turn a public domain into private facilities. Was going to Spencer Spit but thought about how big and protected Fisherman's Bay seemed to be .. but only found a very small part of the bay usable. And the bottom was covered w some slimy green mud and grass. Don't plan on going back there.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:57 PM   #54
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Thanks all,
Nice to know there's a good anchorage there especially w the park and dinghy dock. Last time we came through we anchored in Fisherman's Bay. Mooring buoys everywhere. Hard to belive how they can turn a public domain into private facilities. Was going to Spencer Spit but thought about how big and protected Fisherman's Bay seemed to be .. but only found a very small part of the bay usable. And the bottom was covered w some slimy green mud and grass. Don't plan on going back there.
Fisherman's Bay can have a surprising amount of current. Can make docking tricky. Not a great place to anchor, but I am looking forward to taking our bicycles there. The marinas are pretty good. Lopez is relatively flat and supposed to be a great biking place.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:17 AM   #55
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Lopez has a nice Saturday farmer's market in town. I don't know if it's a year round event; we've only been there during the spring and summer.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:48 AM   #56
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Pnw

Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Sharp .. or anybody ..
What's there in Garrison Bay?
I've anchored in Nelson Bay (years ago) and don't know much of anything about just south of Roche Harbor.

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Here is a picture of Garrison Bay. English Camp and a dinghy dock is over by the flagpole.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:46 AM   #57
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I agree with you about Roche Harbor. Reminds me of Sun Valley in that regard,
[snip].
Ok, so I have now removed a remnant from the PO in view of all this. The sticker was on a side window in the pilothouse, low and forward. Did not really notice it.

The PO loved the place, has a condo there. Apart from one trip to Alaska all he ever did was go from Seattle to Roche. That's how you get 1935 hours on a boat in 30 years. He and his wife stayed in the condo and kids stayed on the boat. He has a place at Sun Valley too!
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:14 PM   #58
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Roche Harbor has an intersting history and is worth visiting once for that. Before I switched to flying floatplanes exclusively I flew into Roche's little runway a number of times to have lunch at the waterfront restaurant.

At that time it was little more than a funky harbor community. Then they started all the commercial development and the place took on an entirely different character. I've met a number of local boaters who used to frequent Roche "back when" but who now no longer go there. The reason given is generally the pretentious attitude and atmosphere today.

Obviously the place has great appeal to some given how crowded it's been when we've cleared customs there. But it's not the kind of experience we want out of boating.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:26 PM   #59
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I did that w my ultralight aircraft in the 80's. Not long after they disallowed ultralights.
Friday Harbor was a free for all pattern wise. Some comercial pilots valued time more than safety and flew straight in.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:59 PM   #60
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One man's Ganges is another man's Roche Harbor I suppose.

Maine is great, but requires more attentive summer seamanship (fog, lobster pots) and has smaller weather windows. Having done both, (but admittedly less in Maine), would still pick PNW if I had to pick one for a first timer vacation. Not to mention another day of travel for the man from Down Under.

Speaking of which, Melbourne Cup day today! Any punters here?
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