Saturday, September 6, 2008


Downtown Anacortes copper-pillared Arch

There are three Main Marinas in Anacortes: Cap Sante, Anacortes and Skyline.

Cap Sante Marina is a municipal marina which means it is owned by the city. Recently upgraded with new docks, aluminum ramps, and fuel dock. There is a free 24/7 pump out dock, and transient moorage for visitors. The Harbor Master is located here and is a point of entry from Canada. The facilities are nice with two sets of bathrooms and showers for boaters. It's a fun place to just walk around since all of the docks are open to the public and it is easy walking to grocery stores and downtown.

These two photos show Cap Sante on the left, and Ancortes Marina on the far right.

Anacortes Marina is private. The rates are similar to Cap Sante. We pay $290.00 to moor our 34 ft sailboat. The docks are gated and the showers and grounds are well maintained.
When entering Anacortes and Cap Sante by water you need to pay close attention to the channels. The channels were drudged out in order to make it deep enough to enter. The channel itself is usually about 24 ft deep, and quickly drops to 14 feet and below the farther outside you go. Our depth finder has an alarm below 15 ft. We have a draft of 6ft.
I think people choose between Anacortes and Cap Sante by what slips are available. I like both of the settings, although Anacortes Marina is farther from downtown. Anacortes has a fuel and pump-out dock ran by Marine Service from 8-5. They charge $4 to let you pump it out.
There are a few live-a boards in our marina. The ones we have met work close by. One of the couples were living on a 27' sailboat even through the winter and with a small about cabin fever, no thanks.

Skyline Marina, condos on left, Burrows Island in distance

Skyline Marina is on the opposite side of Fidalgo Island, far from downtown. They do have a restaurant and a small gas station store but the marina is mainly surrounded by condos and nice homes. The entrance to the marina by water is shallow and you need to time it just right. The entire marina seems small and tight to me. Mitch sailed our boat over there to have it hauled-out in order to work on it in the work yard there. It saved us a lot of money re-painting the hull ourselves. Algae and crustacean grow continuously and diving companies hire out to clean boat hulls every 3 to 6 months but after a year or two all of the special bottom paint is worn off and needs to be redone. The work yard has day time hours only, no bathrooms and did not allow you to stay on your boat. It is one of the few yards that still allow you to work on your boat yourself. It cost us $550.00 to have the boat hauled out and for 3 days in the yard. One gallon of bottom paint was $230.00, and to replace two through hull fittings was $200.00. Can you imagine what labor would have cost?

True Blue hauled and repainted May 2008, Skyline yard

Anacortes is a nice little tourist town with kayak rentals, whale watching tours, boat charters, ferry service to the San Juans, and a quaint down town.
There is also a wonderful paved walk/bike path that runs from Cap Sante Marina up past Anacortes Marina and about all the way along Padilla Bay almost to the highway coming into town. There are two main grocery stores: Food Pavillion and Safeway. There is a big West Marine store, a few hardware stores, gift stores, Walgreen's, Bi-Rite, and some nice restaurants such as the Rock Fish Grill with it's home-brewed beers, and a few Mexican, and Seafood places.
The first time we ever really heard of Anacortes was in the fall of 2003 when we were looking for a sailboat to buy. We had driven over to the Seattle area and had looked at one in Elliot Bay Marina, it was a 1979 34 foot C&C for 36,000. It was pretty run down, and didn't even have a compass. We had then driven over to see our daughter's place in Lynnwood when I mentioned there was another boat we could see in Anacortes. We pulled out a map to see just where it was and I was able to persuade Mitch to make the hour long drive.
Our boat was listed through Straw Hat Yacht Sales. I saw this picture on the web site for the boat and thought that Anacortes must be a tiny, out of the way place where no one else would drive to in order to look for a boat. How funny!!! =) We liked the boat right away. It was extremely well kept. The d├ęcor was inviting and the price was right, only $40,000. The broker's name was Ernie we really liked him he and his family had sailed the seven seas. We made arrangements to buy it pending a marine survey, and a sea trial.

We returned in a week with a check in hand, was in my purse but where was my purse?!!! We had been taking the dog for a walk along the marina path and had sat down on a bench while waiting for the office to open. We went in to the office and guess what! No purse... I couldn't believe it. I just started praying right away, and ran out of the office, so embarrassed, to back track my steps. I couldn't find it in the rest room or at the bench where we had been sitting. Then I remembered, Mitch had moved to different bench while I was preoccupied with the dog. Thank God, there it was still sitting on the original bench. Phew!! I would have never heard the end of losing a $41,000.00 check!!

We love Anacortes. The town is clean and inviting. There are 100 life size murals of early settlers on the down town business buildings. I remember parking at the post office and my dog barking at the mural of the postman on the wall. =)

The name Anacortes is actually derived from the name, Anna Curtis. Anna Curtis was Amos Bowman's wife and he named the town in her honor. Awww!=)