Chapter 6 - Gateway Islands & Mainland

Swinomish Channel is the well travel waterway that connects northern Skagit Bay to Padilla Bay. Take your time, be aware of the currents, tides, and shoaling in the channel and you’ll be rewarded with a stay in the charming town of La Conner.  La Conner Marina, marine stores and services, museums, specialty shops and galleries attract boaters and other visitors year round. From the north end of the Channel, it is a short cruise into Anacortes. This friendly city is a center for tourist facilities, restaurants, retail stores and all things boating. Cap Sante Marina is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Anacortes. Among the unique downtown shops is Marine Supply and Hardware Co., the oldest marine supplier operating on the west coast and purveyor of interesting items like antique portholes and a full sized replica deep-sea divers helmet. From Cap Sante Marine in Fidalgo Bay to Lovric's Sea-Craft on Guemes Channel to Skyline Marine Center in Flounder Bay, the Anacortes waterfront offers boatyard services of all kinds. And in case Anacortes (or the surrounding islands and beyond) put their spell on you, waterfront and view real estate (some with docks) are often on the market.  Bellingham is the next port of call. Moorage is available at two Port sites, Squalicum Harbor near downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven Moorage in the historic district. Those cruising on northward will find that Point Roberts and Blaine are the last U.S. ports before crossing the US/Canadian border. Both are US Customs and Border Protection designated ports of entry. If you visit Blaine Harbor during the summer, ride the historic M/V Plover, the state’s oldest foot-ferry, from the harbor over to Semiahmoo Spit Park. A stop at Point Roberts Marina Resort isn't complete without a walk along the beach at Lighthouse Marine Park to enjoy panoramic views of Mount Baker, the Cascade Mountains, the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island.  Crossing into beautiful British Columbia, Crescent Beach Marina is also a Customs Port of Entry.  

Blain Harbor MarinaCrescent Beach MarinaPoint Roberts Marina Resort

Squalicum HarborLa Conner MarinaCap Sante Marine, Ltd.Cap Sante Marine, Ltd.Cap Sante Marina

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Blaine Harbor Marina

Cap Sante Marina




Now in its 39th year, Northwest Boat Travel is a unique cruising guide containing twenty geographically arranged chapters presenting descriptions and useful information about the ports-of-call, anchorages, bays, inlets, waterways, marine parks, marina and resort facilities, fuel docks, services, and things to see and do along coasts and islands of Washington, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska.