Much could be said, when it comes to Bellingham, Washington, about the biking, the city’s proximity to Mount Baker and the outdoorsy vibe generally. But let’s not overlook a category unto itself: boating. Bellingham, Washington is virtually defined by water. Edged to one side by Bellingham Bay and to the other by Lake Whatcom, this fair city knows a thing or two about boats. In fact, Bellingham boasts not one but two ferry systems, one of which runs all the way north to Alaska, year-round. In summer, passenger ferries also run to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, BC.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Assuming you’re interested in boating around Bellingham you don’t necessarily want to hop the first ferry elsewhere; with that in mind, we have a few pointers to get you safely, and speedily, out on the water.
Let’s start by assuming you didn’t bring your own yacht. If you did, you’d be moored right now at Squalicum Harbor on the north side of Bellingham Bay packing up to ship out. For those who don’t see fit to keep a boat moored at this public marina, there’s no cause for despair. Select charter companies based in Bellingham offer both sailboats and powerboats for rent (including some pretty snazzy 60 footers) as well as yacht sales and sailing instructions. Which are worth considering before you sail off into the sunset as the skipper of your newly acquired watercraft.
If you’d rather leave all the captain’s work to someone else, consider instead an orca whale watching cruise around the Puget Sound, or simply charter a leisure cruise to the San Juan Islands. Or Alaska. Another pleasant option? Try a Bellingham Bay Harbor History Cruise. It’s only two and a half hours in length and includes wildlife sightings and sunset over the city.