Create a Great Boating Itinerary

With the spring like weather we all start planning this summer’s boating trips. In addition to my personal boating trips I also get to assist charter customers with their itineraries. My go-to guidebooks, Dreamspeaker Guides  by Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, get dog eared with frequent use. After 30 years of boating in these waters I’m still finding new anchorages and love reading about them ahead of time.

Meet Anne and Laurence

Planning your boat trip

Planning your boating trip is almost as much fun as actually going boating! Living here in Pacific Northwest we are very fortunate with abundance of choices when it comes to boating destinations. There is literally something for everyone. Depending on what kind of a boat you are on and how long you can be gone the choices are plenty. Then come the personal choices of the captain and crew:

  • do you like to eat out
  • go running every morning
  • go fishing
  • go hiking
  • prefer staying at dock versus anchored out
  • talk and play games late into night
  • read a book in quiet?

Listen, Research and then Create

Listening to your crew’s wishes will start formatting the itinerary. Seasonal itineraries and celebrations are also a great way to get the best in every place. Farmers Market on Salt Spring Island in summer months, picking fruits of Wallace Island trees in late summer and celebrating Canada Day in Saturna Island are just few of many excellent events in destinations for boaters. Winery tours and golfing as well as bike racing will keep the boaters active in their destinations. There are even few die hard boaters gathering for Christmas and New Years cruising.

New Boaters

When it comes to charter customers who have never boated in our waters I try to keep their travel distances and times to less than what us locals might choose to do. They may not be familiar with our tides and currents let alone the dead heads and driftwood. Stern tie anchoring is often new to them as well. The feedback has been that they like alternating overnighting at docks and anchoring. Which is a great way to satisfy everyone’s wishes in a group of people who may all enjoy different things. Some people don’t want to travel every day either. Exploring new places is a big part boating and should be given lots of time too.

Always be Prepared!

Once the itinerary has been made and the time has come to cast off don’t forget the rule of changes.  Mother Nature always has the last word and boating trips are no exception to this. Be prepared to have a plan B in case the weather turns on you. Don’t leave a long crossing to the last day of your trip, especially if someone needs to catch a flight or has an important meeting the next morning. If it looks like the weather will turn on you change your itinerary accordingly. Coming back a day early on calmer seas and spending the last night closer to home will be more fun and relaxing than battling the elements while racing with the clock.

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