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Old 04-27-2015, 12:00 AM   #1
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Visit to Bellingham

Out in the PNW for a few days visiting our daughter and son in law in Bellingham. Looking forward to walking the docks and generally exploring in Bellingham tomorrow. Any advice from local forum members for "must sees" etc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:03 AM   #2
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Tall order, kimo sabe! There is a huge amount of things to do around here, depending on what your preferences are.

Are you staying only in B'ham or visiting Seattle also?
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:16 AM   #3
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Breakfast

homeskillet.good cheap food.sunnyland
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:20 AM   #4
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Go to the airport and take a flight around the San Juan Islands on San Juan Air. Pretty unbelievable. Then have dinner and watch the sunset from Keenan's on the Pier.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:11 AM   #5
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Gate 3 at Squalicum Harbor is usually unlocked because that is where the majority of the brokerage boats are located. Plenty of boat watching there. The harbor also has several good restaurants if a meal is needed.

Other than the harbor I would recommend a stroll through Fairhaven, although the weather today is typical Bellingham (damp and overcast).
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:19 AM   #6
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Stop in and talk to Brian Pemberton. He is one of the bright lights regarding Grand Banks and cruising in the PNW. He can be found at Northwest Explorations at Squalicum.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:07 AM   #7
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Scout,
Thanks re the gate being open .. at least one. After we got tired of going to Starbucks at B&N and then to Pacific Marine Exchange we'd just about written Bellingham off our list of favorite places.

We spend a lot of time at LaConner (our boat being there) but there's not much there unless you're very pretentious and enjoy driving around a little town at 8mph and noticing how many people look at you. But we ate the best meal we'd had in many years there for only $100 ... or was it 150? Thinking of restaurants we like the "Little Cheerful" in downtown Bham.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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Tall order, kimo sabe! There is a huge amount of things to do around here, depending on what your preferences are.

Are you staying only in B'ham or visiting Seattle also?
Just staying in Bham....thanks for the response.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. We will be here for three more days so we will check out as many of the suggestions as the weather allows! :>)
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:39 PM   #10
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An interesting side trip is to take the little ferry over to Lummi Island and drive around over there. The ferry slip is on the Lummi Indian reservation at Gooseberry Point, the tip of the peninsula that forms the north side of Bellingham Bay. The ferry runs across Hale Passage to the island. Despite the name, Lummi Island is not part of the reservation. There are a couple of nice local restaurants on the island and some great views of the San Juans and the Strait of Georgia. And you can check out the reef net boats on the shore at Legoe Bay. These and a handful on Lopez Island are the last active reef net boats in the area.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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An interesting side trip is to take the little ferry over to Lummi Island and drive around over there. The ferry slip is on the Lummi Indian reservation at Gooseberry Point, the tip of the peninsula that forms the north side of Bellingham Bay. The ferry runs across Hale Passage to the island. Despite the name, Lummi Island is not part of the reservation. There are a couple of nice local restaurants on the island and some great views of the San Juans and the Strait of Georgia. And you can check out the reef net boats on the shore at Legoe Bay. These and a handful on Lopez Island are the last active reef net boats in the area.
Sounds really nice. We ate somne of the Lummi smoked salmon for appetizers last night...it will be interesting to see the net boats. We have few Indian net fisherman ion Lake Michigan so it will be fun to compare vessels.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:30 PM   #12
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Sounds really nice. We ate somne of the Lummi smoked salmon for appetizers last night...it will be interesting to see the net boats. We have few Indian net fisherman ion Lake Michigan so it will be fun to compare vessels.

Well, you're in for a surprise. Reef net boats don't have engines or cabins or anything. They are hulls that are adapted for reef net fishing. They're anchored in pairs and the artificial "reefs" are stretched out in front of them to funnel the salmon up between the boats.

It's a fascinating technique that's no longer used because it's not as productive as methods like seining or gillnetting. But if one is interested in not beating up the fish at all, reef netting is the best way to do it.

They are used for catching sockeye salmon, which some people feel is the best salmon to eat, and the folks who reef fish today do it as a hobby. They do sell to some local restaurants like Anthony's for example. And the restaurants pay a very high premium to get them because the fish area beautiful as they've not been beat up at all, either in seine or gillnets or dragged through the water on a hook and line.

Here's a photo of a Lummi Island reef net boat and a diagram of how reef netting works. I've been out on the boats a couple of times and it's fascinating to watch the process when the fish are running up past the island. The boats are launched off the beach on dollies on old railroad tracks.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:16 PM   #13
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Marin: I'd be surprised if the reef net skiffs or any of the other equipment is in place at this time of year. You could talk to my former associate, Riley Starks at Nettles Farm. He would know if there is any reef net gear in the water. He's a reef netter and also owns Lummi Island Wild.

http://www.nettlesfarm.com


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Old 04-27-2015, 07:47 PM   #14
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Marin: I'd be surprised if the reef net skiffs or any of the other equipment is in place at this time of year.
It isn't. It's all sitting in the yards across the road from the beach. The boats go in the water late in the summer for the sockeye run. The same is true of the handful of reef netters on Lopez Island.

The boats are still interesting to see and one can probably strike up a conversation with one of the fishermen if they're about.

Last year the sockeye run up the west shore of Lummi was almost nil as for whatever reason the fish all chose to go "outside," up Haro Strait and Boundary Pass to Georgia Strait. No telling what they'll do this year......
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:28 PM   #15
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Good food, Fairhaven Fat Pie Pizza - one of the best pies I have ever had! And I have been around the country.
If you want a view of the water, Anthony's and Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant - Bellingham, WA they are right on the water facing the harbor. I usually go to Giuseppes as I know it's more authentic knowing the owner.
If you want to see one of the islands or get out into the bay and can be a deck hand you can pm me and I'd be happy to take you out. However I run a FD slow boat.
Whale watching - that too is popular here in the area.

Is there something in particular that you want to do or see? What is your favorite thing to do? (Other than enjoy the water...) Maybe we can point you in the right direction.

I'll PM you with my cell if you want more local info or suggestions.

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Old 04-28-2015, 05:17 AM   #16
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You guys could drive down to Anacortes, leave your car at the ferry landing, and take a ferry ride to Friday Harbor. You will get a pretty good idea what our San Juan Islands are like.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:27 AM   #17
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I second the ferry ride through the San Juans. I try to do that every time I come out to the PNW.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:17 AM   #18
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Thanks for the recommendation Bryrick! We are going to be in Bellingham toward the end of the month and look forward to trying Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:25 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the suggestions. After working at our daughters till early afternoon, we checked out the marina yesterday after a nice happy hour at Anthony's.
Met fellow forum member Bob Cofer and learned more about the PNW cruising. Thanks for the hospitality and the tour of your awesome GB Bob! The paint job looks great!
Today some more maintenance around daughter's house and tomorrow we go to Lummi Island. Thurs morning we have a flight back to Michigan and our boat should be in the water early AM on Friday!
Thanks again for all the responses and ideas.
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:33 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the suggestions. After working at our daughters till early afternoon, we checked out the marina yesterday after a nice happy hour at Anthony's.
Met fellow forum member Bob Cofer and learned more about the PNW cruising. Thanks for the hospitality and the tour of your awesome GB Bob! The paint job looks great!
Today some more maintenance around daughter's house and tomorrow we go to Lummi Island. Thurs morning we have a flight back to Michigan and our boat should be in the water early AM on Friday!
Thanks again for all the responses and ideas.
Now, that's some good ol' fashioned TF hospitality there!! Glad you were able to connect with a fellow TFer. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet new members in person.
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