Saturday, May 26, 2012

Planning Another Trip

In addition to the big secret trip in July, I'm currently making plans to go visit a friend of mine who is currently "wintering" on his boat in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, WA.

Getting from Sacramento to Seattle is easy; getting from Seattle to Friday Harbor is not so easy.

The easiest, most enjoyable, most convenient, and most expensive option is to take a Kenmore Air floatplane.  That would cost more than the entire Southwest Airlines flight.

The next possibility is an airporter shuttle, which would take me from the airport to Friday Harbor by ferry.  The only inconvenience with this conveyance is that to get back to Seattle airport I'd have to meet the shuttle in Friday Harbor at 5:45 am.  Ugh.

There's a ferry from Seattle to Friday Harbor, but the time it runs each day won't jibe with any flights either coming or going.

I *could* rent a car and drive to a car ferry, which runs a couple times a day, but that's a bit ridiculous, too. I hate renting cars.

So it comes down to convenient/expensive or inconvenient/affordable.  Suggestions?

Update, 5/30/12:   I looked at just about every combination of shuttles, ferries, car rentals, and flights I could find.  Shuttles and ferries were actually the hardest to arrange, and it would have taken all day long, with several waits of several hours, before the end of one leg of the trip would become the beginning of the next.  I don't want to travel all darned day.

So I leave Sacramento at a reasonable hour and fly to Seattle.  After 1:20 of wait time I'm picked up by the float plane's shuttle, by which conveyance I'm taken to the float plane.  We land on Friday Harbor, where my friend's boat is docked.

Four days later I meet the float plane at the dock in the afternoon and fly back to Seattle.  A bit of a wait at Sea-Tac this time, but I'll survive.  I get home not too late at night.

I'm limited to 24 lb of luggage on the float plane!

I definitely went with convenient/expensive.  I'm getting too old to tolerate inconvenient.


Andrew said...

Sorry to be simplistic, but if your debt free, go with convenient/expensive. If not, choose inconvenient/affordable.

KauaiMark said...

Drive instead of fly to WA.

Check for inexpensive one-night accommodations if you can't make it in one shot.

No airfare, no car rental!!

We are flying to Chicago for a wedding and staying with a "AirBnB host" in a 49th floor luxury apt on the river downtown Chicago for a few days sightseeing for about $80/night

Darren said...

I'd *definitely* drive my own car if I had the time.

MikeAT said...

Then the "least bad" option is to fly up, rent a car and take a ferry. From what you've put out it will give you the most time on the island for the lowest cost. You will need to get over your car rental phobia for the weekend.

pseudotsuga said...

Darren--can you fly to Victoria, B.C. instead of Seattle? There are apparently a couple of ferry lines which go from Victoria to Friday harbor. Take a look at the list of transportation options (these are listed by a certain hotel on San Juan Island, but aren't exclusive to this hotel): .
I'd offer to drive you up (I'm in the Tacoma area), but I don't know if the logistics would work.

Darren said...

I hadn't considered flying into Victoria. Sadly, there's only one ferry that goes from Sidney to Friday Harbor and it's late in the evening :(

I'm leaning towards the floatplane, with MikeAT's suggestion of renting a car and driving to Anacortes running a close second.

Mary J said...

I don't remember it being all that complicated to get to Friday Harbor. You could also drive north about an hour and take the ferry from Anacortes which runs more frequently. You will love Friday Harbor. So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things to check out. First check Alaska for flights to Bellingham Wa. and see if there are any passenger only ferries from there. Second, if you do fly to Seattle and rent a car you can drive to Anacortes and park the car for $10 and take the ferry on foot for a lot less than taking the car too. If your friend can meet you in Friday Harbor.

There may also be a shuttle from SeaTac to Anacortes also.

PeggyU said...

Hmm. Seems like I know many people from around here (Bellingham) who get to Friday Harbor often enough. I wonder how they do it?