What about the weather?
One of the great things about cruising the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Canadian Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands is the varied weather conditions throughout the year. It offers something different for everyone, depending upon the time of year you choose.
- Spring and Early Summer – May offers some of the best sailing opportunities of the year. While the winds can be exhilarating in April, we often think of May as our first summer. Temperatures can get into the 70’s, the winds are more reliable and any precipitation is usually short lived. May also offers less crowded anchorages and 20% off summer rates.
- Summer – Late June, July and August are the most popular times, mainly since school is out. While the winds can be lighter during these two months, little rain falls in the islands and temperatures are usually in the 80’s or even 90’s.
- Late Summer and Fall – September and early to mid October are great for cruising, preferred by many local sailors due to the reappearance of more consistent winds, less crowds and the still warm temperatures, often in the 70’s or even 80’s. Precipitation is still infrequent or short lived. By November the winds have strengthened substantially via quick moving fronts which are accompanied by increased precipitation.The staff at BELLHAVEN try to go boating during May, June and September or early October. It’s a little hard to disclose this little known secret, but believe it or not, the temperature can be very pleasant, the winds are definitely better and the islands less crowded. And don’t forget, our charter rates offer even greater value during these times of the year.
What discounts do you offer:
|January - May 28 - Memorial Day||Low Season||Save 20% off Prime Rates|
|May 29 - Sept. 3 - Labor Day||Prime Summer Season||Compare and Save|
|Sept. 4 - December||Low Season||Save 20% off Prime Rates|
|Returning Customers||5% off Prime Rates|
Security Deposit/Personal Liability:
Charterer agrees to pay a non-refundable daily damage deposit which covers major hull damage and third party liability. In addition a one time small fully refundable fee will be charged against minor loss or damage (limited to the refundable fee), to prevent careless docking, loss of fenders, equipment and varied preventable boating mishaps. Fees vary as shown on the rate schedule and are based on the value of the vessel and insurance deductible. The Charterer is then jointly covered with the boat owner and Bellhaven under a minimum of $1,000,000 personal liability coverage in the event of loss or damage to the vessel, her equipment and appurtenances.An insurance option offered to multiweek charterers is a fully refundable damage deposit with the addition of a non-refundable $100/week liability insurance coverage. This refundable deposit will vary to the vessel’s value and insurance deductible, if interested please inquire at time of booking. Please note if this insurance is paid for by credit card a 3% processing fee will be added.
Reporting Damage: Charterer is required to report ALL accidents, grounding and injuries to Bellhaven as soon as possible. All costs of incidents NOT reported to Bellhaven in accordance with State of Washingtion WAC 352.70.040, WILL BE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHARTERER.
Is it possible to board early?
Yes, you may board the evening before you cruise for $200, but advance notice is required to confirm. If circumstances allow, your Safety Meeting and Vessel Checkout may be arranged for the same afternoon, allowing an early morning start.
What kind of instruction or boat orientation do you do?
At Bellhaven we call them skippers meetings and they are held on Friday at 2 PM and twice on Saturday at 10 AM and 1 PM. These briefings orientate you with the local do’s and don’ts, Northwest weather patterns, as well as ‘happy’ and ‘unhappy’ waters. After the Safety Meeting you will go down to the boat and your check out person will go through the boat systems with you. We hold off on letting your crew load the boat since the engine hatch will be open and we don’t want anyone falling in! Not a good way to start your trip.
Where can we get fishing licenses, kayaks or supplies?
LFS (Lummi Fisheries Supplies)is your one stop shopping center for licenses and gear. They rent kayaks for $35/day including paddles and pdf. Mention Bellhave. Crab pots and crab rings are standard onboard as well as cookers.
If you rent the Grady White and want to go shrimping, crabbing or fishing the following are available thru Bellhaven:
- DownRiggers may be rented for some vessels at $25.00 per day.
- Fishing poles may be rented for $25.00 per week.
Is there help with provisioning for our charter?
There are several groceries stores listed on our “Helpful Phone Number” sheet for those who want to “do it themselves.” If you don’t have the time or would just not have to worry about it there are three options for you: Galley Girls at www.galleygirls.net. They can help with prepared meals or meals vacuum sealed - just cook. They can be reached at 360-515-7798. The other nice option is: www.todoforyou.biz. The owner can talk to you about what you would like for your cruise, purchase and deliver it to your boat. She can be reached at 360-224-4225. All the companies are local to Squalicum Harbor.
Can we see whales on our cruise?
Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island is the only National Whale Watching Park in the United States. Since the majority of Orca Whales are seen here during May and June, taking your cruise during this time provides the best chances seeing these incredibly beautiful and graceful mammals. Plan on arriving about a half hour before the incoming tide reaches the Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse, which is when these champions of the Puget Sound will often feed. Please remember that you must not approach these whales within 500 yards, although they will often come nearer to quietly drifting boats. Taking a cruise during the different times of the year can offer some really exciting new possibilities and allow for a varied and pleasing new experience of our great Pacific Northwest. Come see for yourself.
Is smoking allowed on the charter boats?
Our fleet is designated “No Smoking Please”. Our owners and Bellhaven thank you for your cooperation.
Are pets allowed on the boat?
Please call Bellhaven to discuss the details on pet options.
What is your cancellation policy?
In the unfortunate event your charter boat reservation is cancelled more than 60 days before your charter is to begin, your deposit is returned in full less a $100 service fee. If your reservation is cancelled within 60 days of the beginning date of your charter your deposit will be returned only if the cancelled dates are re-booked, less $100 service fee. We encourage guests to get travel insurance for their trip. insuremytrip.com is an excellent resource.