Guided Flotillas!

You can explore new cruising grounds with confidence, having an expert flotilla leader and the camaraderie of fellow sailors, or share familiar cruising grounds with the companionship of new faces! Our flotillas give you as much privacy or togetherness as you like. Each day you can cruise together with the flotilla or separately. You are welcome to raft to other boats in the group, or seek solitude in your own corner of an anchorage. You can join your cruise mates for evening hors d’oeuvres after exploring shore-side trails, poking your dinghy (or a kayak) into tiny inlets, or enjoy a relaxing evening watching the shadows of the evergreens stretch into the water.

What are the benefits of flotilla cruising?

Here is what flotilla fans say:

  • an ideal setting to gain confidence and familiarize yourself with new cruising grounds
  • camaraderie among fellow cruisers
  • your flotilla leader serves as a knowledgeable guide, providing skills “coaching” and docking or anchoring assistance as needed. Have a question? Assistance is always there.

In addition to safety and guidance, your flotilla leader(s) provide history and in some cases naturalist briefings on each cruising area. For example, each day’s cruise begins with a weather report and a chart briefing. They’ll review your destination and course and highlight both hazards and special natural scenes en route. In addition you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of each area, the original peoples, the Spanish and English explorations of the region, and even anchor in the same coves as George Vancouver.

In other words, it’s the best of both worlds as we help one another moor, point out wildlife, avoid rocks and reefs, and share prawns, oysters and crab straight from the sea.




Spring Guided Flotilla: Princess Louisa Inlet & British Columbia's Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Flotilla

Late Spring is the perfect time to visit the "Sunshine Coast". Days are long, breezes are kind, waterfalls are running strong and wildlife is abundant. This relaxed 10-day flotilla takes advantage of our “10 days for the price of 7 days” Spring Special...a 43% added value...and spring charter rates that are 12.5% less than our summer rates! Your flotilla leader, Mike Anderson (USCG Captain, American Sailing Association and Recreational Power Boating Association certified instructor and "Instructor of the Year" for our company), will guide you along BC's Sunshine coast (the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia), into Jervis Inlet and through Malibu Rapids to spend two nights at Chatterbox Falls. (Spend the day in between exploring Princess Louisa Inlet, relaxing, or hike to the top of the falls, and for the really ambitious, continue on with the 2-hour hike up into the forest to explore the Trapper's Cabin.) Other stops on this flotilla include protected Garden Bay (Pender Harbor), quiet Secret Cove, labyrinthine Smuggler's Cove, quaint Gibson's Landing, and historic Snug Cove (Bowen Island).

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages.

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee ($350/week/boat). Reminder: This charter is for 10 days at the "10 Days of Charter for the Price of 7 Days" special rate. Click to view the sail fleet or the power fleet.
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". $1950 for stateroom rental plus $500/person for cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

Dates: 10 days, Wednesday, May 3 - Friday, May 12, 2017

("10 Days of Charter for the Price of 7 Days"... a 43% added value!)

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.) So book soon!




Spring Guided Flotilla: The Broughton Islands

Spring Broughton Flotilla

Where are the Broughton Islands? The Broughton Islands are located north of Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands, between the top of Vancouver Island and the mainland.Click here to learn more about the Broughton Islands.

Beauty and grandeur around every corner, the delights of cruising the waters and islands of the Broughton Islands Group, are many and memorable. Gentle breezes and plenty of daylight make late Spring the perfect time to visit the snow peaked fjords and plentifull waterfalls of the Broughton Islands! Located at the north end of Vancouver Island, the Broughton Island Archipelago is British Columbia's largest marine park and is accessible only by boat. Explore pristine and sheltered wilderness anchorages, charming remote settlements and historical First Nations cultural sites. Whales, birds, fish and marine life abound. You may even spot a bear!

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages. These flotillas are designed to offer a fun and flexible environment to build your cruising skills, explore new places and enjoy time with fellow boaters.

Flotilla Leader: Roger Van Dyken is the founder/owner of San Juan Sailing and San Juan Yachting. He loves boating and has led flotillas circumnavigating Vancouver Island as well as the Bellingham to the Broughton Islands Flotilla. He and his wife Marlene cruise Europe each year, having logged 6,000 miles on their 70’ 1908 converted Dutch barge and authored a book on the subject. Roger is a USCG licensed captain, a racing skipper for over ten years, and holds multiple instructor certifications by the American Sailing Association.

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee ($250/week/boat). Click to view the sail fleet or the power fleet. Any boat that is equipped with radar and has open availability may be chartered for the full 4 weeks (May 13 - June 9). Please contact us for a list of boats available for the two-week northbound option from Bellingham to Port McNeill (May 13-26).
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, contact us about the possibility of reserving a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite" for weeks #1, #2 and/or #3 of the flotilla (May 13 - June 2, beginning and ending point vary each week). $1750/week for the stateroom rental plus $300/person/week for cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

4-week Round-trip Option: May 13 - June 9, 2017
2-week One-way Northbound Option: May 13 - 26, 2017

(This flotilla will take advantage of a combination of "10 Days of Charter for the Price of 7 Days" special dates for added value!)

Notes: Itinerary varies for best conditions. This flotilla requires a minimum of 5 participating boats to be "a go" (maximum 10 boats plus lead boat). This flotilla cruises to Canada. You and your crew will need passports to clear customs. For information on travel to/from Port McNeill please click here.




Summer Guided Flotilla: Victoria and the San Juan Islands

Charter a boat of your own or split a boat with other sailors. (Just let us know if you prefer the role of skipper or crew).

ASA Flotilla rafting

Dates: Saturday, June 24 - Friday, June 30, 2017

Join fellow sailors in cruising the beautiful Gulf Island and San Juan Islands. This cruise offers a variety of excellent cruising destinations to discover, including elegant resorts, small island towns and idyllic anchorages. Planned stops include a quiet anchorage on Lopez Island, historic and vibrant Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island), bustling Friday Harbor (San Juan Island), elegant Rosario Resort (Orcas Island), and picturesque Inati Bay (Lummi Island). Weather is generally mild in June, with little rain. Come sail with us!

Whether new to these waters or a frequent visitor who enjoys the benefits of flotilla sailing, we think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this opportunity for sailing, seamanship, adventure and exploration. This popular American Sailing Association group sailing event was first offered in the San Juan Islands during the summer of 2008, and is led by ASA instructor and U.S. Coast Guard Captain Roger Philips, a veteran of the local island waters. Optional group activities include rafting, campfires, potlucks, wildlife viewing and impromptu sailboat races.

This flotilla is currently fully booked for 2017, but we do still have some skippers looking for crew. Please contact us for information about joining a boat as crew, to be placed on a skipper waiting list for 2017, or for 2018 rates and availability. Thank you!




Summer Guided Flotilla: Independence Flotilla (San Juan Islands & Victoria)

Summer Independence Flotilla

Enjoy summer cruising in the picturesque and beautiful San Juan Islands and Victoria BC. The adventure starts in the San Juan Islands at Spencer Spit Marine Park with salmon barbecued on a traditional cedar plank. Then we cross Haro Straits (keep an eye out for the Orcas!) to our next stop, Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island). Victoria Harbor has a long history, starting with its use by the First Nations, and is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. We moor for two nights and one full day in the center of this vibrant heritage city, at the base of the Empress Hotel, just steps from its historic streets and distinctive English architecture. During the summer months, the harbor is the focus of festivals, shows and music. The next day celebrate the 4th of July while rafted at anchor at popular Roche Harbor (San Juan Island). Happy hour will be followed by a potluck dinner and front row seats for the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration. Next we’ll head to Rosario Resort and Spa to enjoy their newly revamped marina, relax in their pool/spa, experience the museum and organ concert, and enjoy an evening celebration dinner. Finally cross Rosario Strait to Inati Bay to relax at anchor before heading back towards majestice Mount Baker and across Bellingham Bay to return to Bellingham. A truly memorable experience.

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages. These flotillas are designed to offer a fun and flexible environment to build your cruising skills, explore new places and enjoy time with fellow boaters.

Dates: Saturday, July 1 - Friday, July 7, 2017

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee of $250
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on one of the lead boats:
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". $1750 for the one-week stateroom rental plus $300/person for the week's cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Navigator 51 Motoryacht "Sea Wings". $1450 - $2450 (depending on which stateroom) for a one-week stateroom rental plus $450/person for the week's cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.) So book soon!




Fall Guided Flotilla: Desolation Sound

Locals call this the “Dream Cruise”. From Bellingham journey through the San Juans, Gulf Islands, and Sunshine Coast to Desolation Sound. Two weeks allows us time to explore, discovering the nature and history of this incredible cruising ground along the way. Serving as guide, naturalist and local historian, your flotilla leader will help you discover an enriched cruising experience among these beautiful and diverse inlets and islands. Charter one of our well-maintained yachts or, if you prefer, we often have several by-the-stateroom rental options available.

Cteakearne

Dates: 14 days. Saturday, September 23 - Friday, October 6, 2017

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages.

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee of $500 ($250/week)
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". Sailboats: $3500 for the two-week stateroom rental plus $600/person for the two-week cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

Highlights: This cruise has two days of long passages. The fall timing invites the chance of weather conditions to challenge your skills and build confidence in the company of other boats and a highly experienced Flotilla Captain. Yet, the schedule allows time not only to savor special sights, but can provide the experience of carefully planning cruising strategy around weather forecasts (which are quite accurate as well as long range) to maximize both your safety and comfort. And the scenery is simply unparalleled.

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.)

Click here for a sample itinerary for the Desolation Sound Guided Flotilla.

10-day Tofino & Barkley Sound Advanced Course Spring Guided Flotilla: 10-day Sunshine Coast & Princess Louisa Inlet Spring Guided Flotilla: 14-day Broughton Islands One-Way Summer Guided Flotilla: 7-day Victoria & the San Juan Islands Summer Guided Flotilla: 7-day San Juan Islands & Victoria Fall Guided Flotilla: 14-day Desolation Sound
April/May 2017
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May 3 - 12, 2017
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May 13 - 26, 2017
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June 24 - 30, 2017
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July 1-7, 2017
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Sept 23 - Oct 6, 2017
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