Friday, April 29, 2011

Yacht clubs

I've never had aspirations for the blue blazer and yachting cap lifestyle, and I'm thinking that the fact that I spend most of my cruising life in pajama's probably disqualifies me anyway.  Even so, Nicole and I have belonged to several sailing clubs since buying our boat, mostly for the social aspect, but also for one of the perks of club membership.  Many of the clubs have their own marina, or reserved dock space at a marina, and maintain a reciprocal policy for visiting boaters.  You can stay at their dock for free, in exchange for them being able to stay at yours, and many times they also have showers, laundry facilities, and a bar and/or restaurant on site.  We always think this will be a great money saving deal, but year after year realize that we are usually happier anchoring in some remote cove than tying to a dock, and the perk goes unused.  This trip has been a bit different in that regard.  Leaving Seattle somewhat unprepared for the open ocean (lots of gear un-stowed, totes of stuff on deck, cockpit filled with spares....) has meant that docks are a welcome relief to unpack and repack the boat trying for some sense of organization, but our budget is such that we cannot afford to pay for time at the dock.  With the reciprocal moorage agreements we have access to, we have been able to finish many of the projects on the boat, get a handle on our storage issues, and not kill our budget.  So far this trip, the stops we have made that offer one or more free nights at their docks include: Port Madison, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, Victoria, Sidney and Nanaimo.  Seven free nights at the dock, where most marinas are charging $40-50 per night to tie up, has been a real relief to our savings.  With Nanaimo Yacht Club being the northern-most club we have a reciprocal agreement with, we are on our own for dockside luxuries from this point north, but are thankful for the hospitality we have been shown so far.

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