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Old 01-16-2011, 11:37 AM   #21
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RE: What waterway is This?

Your ferry options for going to Canada from the US with a car total two. You can ride the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands to Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island. Or you can ride the Black Ball ferry from Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula to Victoria across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Once you're on Vancouver Island you have a couple of choices to get back in addition to riding the same boats the other way.

You can take a BC ferry from Sidney to Tawassen on the mainland just north of the US border. Or you can drive up the island to Nanaimo and take a BC ferry from Nanaimo to Tawassen (2 hrs) or from Nanaimo to Departure Bay north of Vancouver (city). These ferries depart from two different terminals in Nanaimo.

Any of these options other than just getting back on the boat you just got off of will most likely need a couple of days to do unless you want be riding ferries or driving pretty much all day and possibly part of that night.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:48 AM   #22
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RE: What waterway is This?

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Marin wrote:

Your ferry options for going to Canada from the US with a car total two. You can ride the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands to Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island. Or you can ride the Black Ball ferry from Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula to Victoria across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Once you're on Vancouver Island you have a couple of choices to get back in addition to riding the same boats the other way.

You can take a BC ferry from Sidney to Tawassen on the mainland just north of the US border. Or you can drive up the island to Nanaimo and take a BC ferry from Nanaimo to Tawassen (2 hrs) or from Nanaimo to Departure Bay north of Vancouver (city). These ferries depart from two different terminals in Nanaimo.

Any of these options other than just getting back on the boat you just got off of will most likely need a couple of days to do unless you want be riding ferries or driving pretty much all day and possibly part of that night.
Thanks Marin.* I thought 9 or 10 days to alot to the trip would do it.* The Washington State Ferry system is the one preferred.* Thought about stopping at a couple of islands then up to* Canada for about 3 nights.* How would September do for crowds and weather?

*
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:01 PM   #23
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What waterway is This?

September is one of the best boating months here. It's when we always take our longer (2-3 week) cruises. While you can get rain, hail, fog, screaming wind, volcanic ash and attacks by rabid orcas and river otters all year round, September can have a few days of really nice weather. Most of the photos I put up in this thread were taken in September.

In addition to a better-than-average chance of decent weather (if you consider sunny days to be decent weather) the truly great thing is that just about everyone except retirees and a few people taking vacations is back to work or school. So anchorages and ports that were squirming with boaters like maggots on a dead deer are sometimes completely empty, or if they're not, are WAY more enjoyable than they were during the previous two months. So even if you are doing your touring by car and ferry you will find the places like Orcas Island, San Juan Island, and the harbor towns of Victoria, Sidney, Nanaimo, Ganges--- even Vancouver itself--- much more pleasant and relaxing.

And all this applies to the roads as well. Traffic in Seattle itself is a disaster 24/7/365, but once vacations are over and school has started, driving and the places you can drive to are much more enjoyable.

PS--- Just my opinon, but I think BC, including Vancouver Island, is WAY more interesting and scenic and just plain neat to be in than Seattle and western Washington.* I didn't move to Seattle because of Seattle, I moved here in spite of Seattle.* Besides the job I have, the main draw to living here for me is it's proximitiy to BC.* So if I had 9 or !0 days starting in Seattle, I'd go see the San Juans and then go to Vancouver Island, muck about over there for a few days, drive to Nanaimo, take the ferry to Departure Bay outside of Vancouver, and then depending on what mood I was in drive up the Sunshine Coast or if I wanted to do the river-mountains-forest-sagebrush thing I'd drive Highway 1 up the Fraser and Thompson Rivers and on up into he Cariboo country or come back down via the Okanagan country in eastern Washington.* That's a lot of driving but my wife and I like to drive, so that's an attraction for us, not a detriment.* But if you would rather spend more time in fewer locations I'd still get out of Washington asap and get into the San Juan and Gulf Islands, explore around on Vancouver Island., and come back Vancouver itself which is a wonderful city to visit.* By comparison, Seattle is a wide spot in the road in the Dust Bowl.

-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 16th of January 2011 01:08:36 PM
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:07 PM   #24
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RE: What waterway is This?

Quote:
Moonstruck wroteMarin wrote:

Your ferry options for going to Canada from the US with a car total two. You can ride the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands to Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island. Or you can ride the Black Ball ferry from Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula to Victoria across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Once you're on Vancouver Island you have a couple of choices to get back in addition to riding the same boats the other way.

You can take a BC ferry from Sidney to Tawassen on the mainland just north of the US border. Or you can drive up the island to Nanaimo and take a BC ferry from Nanaimo to Tawassen (2 hrs) or from Nanaimo to Departure Bay north of Vancouver (city). These ferries depart from two different terminals in Nanaimo.

Any of these options other than just getting back on the boat you just got off of will most likely need a couple of days to do unless you want be riding ferries or driving pretty much all day and possibly part of that night.
Thanks Marin.* I thought 9 or 10 days to alot to the trip would do it.* The Washington State Ferry system is the one preferred.* Thought about stopping at a couple of islands then up to* Canada for about 3 nights.* How would September do for crowds and weather?DonWhat Marin has said so far is correct. As to you visiting different San Juan Islands on the way to Sidney, I don't believe you can do that. You may have to go to Sidney, and then do your San Juan visitation by getting off in Friday Harbor, where you can clear customs, and then do your island hopping back to Anacortes.
Once on the island, given the time you have available, I would drive the east side of Vancouver Island north to Parksville, and then turn west accross the island to Uclulet and Tofino. Then go back to the east side and continue north to Campbell River, and depending on time, maybe go further north.

*
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:15 PM   #25
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RE: What waterway is This?

Actually, Carey's idea of spending the whole time in the San Juans, the Gulfs (at least Ganges anyway), and Vancovuer Island is probably the best. Particularly if you drive across the mountains from Port Alberni to Ucluelet, Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park. Vancouver's mountains are every bit as big and dramatic as the ones on the mainland. And the north end of the island is neat, too. If you drive to Campbell River you can take a ferry across to Quadra Island which has some neat little communities and lots of little farms, artists, etc.

And if you're really ambitious you can drive to Port Hardy and then take the BC ferry up the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert. Then from Prince Rupert you can drive east to Prince George, and then south on 97 and Highway 1 back to Vancouver along the Thompson and Fraser Rivers. You'd need a wee bit more than 9 days though, unless you were Jeremy Clarkson and did the drive in an Aston Martin DB9.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:40 PM   #26
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RE: What waterway is This?

Speaking of ferries ...

This period photo contains prominent*landmark-clues as to its precise west-coast location.


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Old 01-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #27
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RE: What waterway is This?

Actually Moon may find much more of interest in Vancouver than the Gulf Is or San Juan Is. Vancouver is such a wonderful international city it would be a shame to miss it for looking at boating places. Obviously time to do both would be far best.*Marin,
Am I right about Ganges?
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:23 PM   #28
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RE: What waterway is This?

Eric, Vancouver is definitely on the list to do.* There is no schedule, and a couple of days one way or the other will not hurt.* Just trying to put it together.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:25 PM   #29
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RE: What waterway is This?

Quote:
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Speaking of ferries ...

This period photo contains prominent*landmark-clues as to its precise west-coast location.
Oakland, with Yerba Buena Island in the background?

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Old 01-16-2011, 10:25 PM   #30
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RE: What waterway is This?

DonAn afternoon and evening in Victoria would be good. One of our favorite things is to tie up right in front of the Empress Hotel, in Victoria's inner harbor. Street entertainers surround you, and the ambience is incredible. Feels like an old world English city. Check out the art gallery in the Empress.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:12 PM   #31
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What waterway is This?

Mark, looks like the old railroad ferry from Benicia arriving at Martinez with Mt. Tamalpais in the background. Carquinez Strait, of course!

-- Edited by Giggitoni on Monday 17th of January 2011 12:26:35 AM
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:26 PM   #32
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What waterway is This?

Yeah, if this was Oakland there wouldn't be the prominent mountain on the SFO side. But I'm not very familiar with the lower bay which I guess this would have to be if that's Mt. Tamalpias in the background.* Or perhaps somewhere up near San Pablo Bay, but I've never been to that part of the bay area.* I have no idea what the weird bridge structure with the sharp angles in the deck might be unless it's some sort of artist rendering superimposed onto the photo.....



-- Edited by Marin on Monday 17th of January 2011 12:43:49 AM
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:48 AM   #33
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RE: What waterway is This?

Don;
Is that what the little yellow thing is about?
We took a couple of weeks in Sept to go boating in the southern gulf Islands in 2008. Constant sunshine, fair winds. Wonderful time to cruise here. Unlike Marin's experience, we found crowds. Over 100 boats in Montague harbour on a Sunday night in mid Sept! Those retirees are taking over!
If you get the chance, cross over to Saltspring Island. many B&Bs so you can stay for as long as you are enjoying yourself.
I woud take the Anacortes ferry to Victoria and then from Swartz Bay to Fulford on Saltspring. Leave Saltspring by Vesuvius to Crofton and drive up to Nanaimo. If you have time to go out to the west coast, go to Tofino. then back from Nanaimp to West Vancouver, see Vancouver before you drive back to Seattle.
We have a house on Saltspring, where we spend a lot of our liesure time, so if you decide to go there, I would be happy to give you some tips on local attractions.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:48 AM   #34
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RE: What waterway is This?

<ul>[*]Thanks.* You guys certainly have been generous in helping here.* I will be putting an itinerary together over the next few months.* When it's fairly well along, I* will post it for review.* Thanks again.[/list]
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:27 AM   #35
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RE: What waterway is This?

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Unlike Marin's experience, we found crowds. Over 100 boats in Montague harbour on a Sunday night in mid Sept!
Interesting.* We've never experienced that in Montegue in September.* Maybe the current economy is slowing things down.* We took friends on a cruise into the Gulf Islands this past September and spent two day at Montegue.* Other than the local boats at the marina and at the docks at the homes around the bay, were were the only boat in the entire marine park other than the summer park hosts, who left while we were there.* So we had the whole place to ourselves--- nobody on the buoys, nobody but us on the dock, and nobody in the campground.* It was wonderful, the way boating is supposed to be.

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Old 01-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #36
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RE: What waterway is This?

Marin and Giggitori, you were getting close but were going*wrong too.

This*view is*across San Pablo Strait (connecting San Francisco and San Pablo bays)*looking west from Richmond.* The eastern Richmond-to-San Rafael ferry terminal is in the foreground.* The ugly bridge, completed in 1956, is about to put those ferries out of business.* The bridge undulates because it crossed two shipping and was made cheaply.* Mt. Tamalpais is in the background.

The Martinez-Benicia Bridge at the east of the Carquinez*Strait was completed in 1962 and ended the last auto-ferry operation in the San Francisco Bay Area.* A second highway bridge was opened there in 2007.* Both highway bridges straddle the 1930 Southern Pacific (no Union Pacific) Railroad's bridge.

I remember*riding both ferries when I was a kid.* Cost was*25 cents, per vehicle,*each way.* The bridges now cost $5 per round trip.
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