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    Sequim, Anacortes, Whidbey, Camano areas

    We are planning on yet another several day visit to the Sequim, Anacortes, Whidbey and Camano island areas in the very near term.
    This is our second visit with the intent on deciding if we want to retire to the area.
    We might even make a trip to the San Juans and look at island life.

    We are not big city people. Actually big cities make us very nervous. We are pickup truck, and homes on acreage types, who currently travel 30 minutes to go to a decent grocery store.

    If you reside in one of these areas, please share what you like about your specific area Vs the other areas I mentioned.
    What we are after is a community with small town things like a seasonal farmers market nearby. Of course a harbor within a reasonable drive is a strong consideration as well.

    Thanks!!!

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

    #2
    Hi Kevin
    I think the best place would be "Friday Harbor" area.... Nice grocery store,shops Ace,auto,clothes,theater,marine stores,but all in a small town atmosphere ...and a Ferry ride to Anacortes/Mt.Vernon for major city stuff.A plus would also be "Roche Harbor" at the NW end of San Jaun Islands,plus your all ready in the Islands (US) just a short distance to any of them not to mention Canada is just a short distance away...wish I could move their however I'am stuck in Hawaii....till the weather get better.
    Brad & Sharon
    Lady Jake
    1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
    LaConner,Wa. (summer)
    2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
    kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

    Comment


      #3
      Kevin
      you said Camano Isl also, this area would also be a good choice as realestate is more reasonable their along with Stanwood area you pass thru it to Camano Isl.and is a small town,we spent 21 years their great place but it was really small back then...Another place would be LaConner a great little town no ferrys to deal with in these areas as their on the mainland...Not sure what you're medical/budget needs are but the places above should meet both criteria......Good luck Brad
      Brad & Sharon
      Lady Jake
      1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
      LaConner,Wa. (summer)
      2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
      kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Brad!

        Medical right now is not an issue, and thankfully budget is not one either.

        I see you are in Kona right now... I have tried to make the pitch for Hawaii as a winter home, or even a full time place (I am always up for an adventure) but every time my wife is on the big island she gets a VOG cough, and Maui is unfortunately out of our price range for a nice home on acreage.

        We have not spent much time on Camano, just a one day drive around, we are planning on looking again, very nice and semi rural.

        What would really be the ticket would be if we could get a place with no bank waterfront in a really quiet bay so we could go kyaking, SUP, etc... as we live on a lake now.
        We are going to visit Marrowstone island this time, and see how we like it. I saw a place on discovery bay online last summer that looked interesting enough that we are going to go check out that area as well.

        KEVIN SANDERS
        4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Kevin
          Its been many years sense I've been over their Port Gardiner area just know it rains a bit more over their...that's why NAS Whidbey Isl.is located in Oak Harbor it sits in the "Banana"belt...basically an area from Stanwood to Oak Harbor to San Jaun's Islands.+++a side note Oak Harbor is to big for my liking anymore,and stay away from lease land(tribal) ....if you need to dry out come on over we'll put ya up and go fishing ...Enjoy the hunt..Brad
          Brad & Sharon
          Lady Jake
          1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
          LaConner,Wa. (summer)
          2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
          kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

          Comment


            #6
            While Anacortes and the surrounding area is beautiful, a great kick off point to the SJI’s , and very boat friendly it’s cold! Even in the dead of summer the average high is only 72* and forget any fun water activity since the water is in the low 50’s! Banana belt? Hmmmm, I suppose compared to Seattle, Anacortes receives less rainfall, about 26-29” per year total.
            Kevin, coming from Ak maybe you guys are used to the cooler temps and it works for you. In retirement though it’s very difficult to beat warm, sunny days at the boat. Normal attire is a pair of shorts, a tee shirt and flip flops. A swim in 70* + water is pretty darn nice too! YMMV
            https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?waanac
            Jim Gandee
            1989 3888
            Hino 175's
            Fire Escape
            Fyrflyer@ca.rr.com

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jim_Gandee View Post
              While Anacortes and the surrounding area is beautiful, a great kick off point to the SJI’s , and very boat friendly it’s cold! Even in the dead of summer the average high is only 72* and forget any fun water activity since the water is in the low 50’s! Banana belt? Hmmmm, I suppose compared to Seattle, Anacortes receives less rainfall, about 26-29” per year total.
              Kevin, coming from Ak maybe you guys are used to the cooler temps and it works for you. In retirement though it’s very difficult to beat warm, sunny days at the boat. Normal attire is a pair of shorts, a tee shirt and flip flops. A swim in 70* + water is pretty darn nice too! YMMV
              https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?waanac
              Jim, it’s hard to argue that Southern California and Encenada have about the perfect climate. The problem is that 30 million other people have already figured that out.

              What the PACNW offers is a world class boating area, weather that is not an extreme either way, and the availability for us to continue our semi rural lifestyle.
              Thats why we are looking at the area. The way we look at it is that a PACNW winter is about like April and October here. Highs in the 40’s and lows around freezing. The summers are about what we have here with highs in the 60’s and 70’s with some days in the 80’s.

              We do not know what we are going to do, we are just planning and plotting right now. We went twice to Arizona before deciding that we are not snowbird desert people. We have been to SOCAL several times and we might just park the boat down there for the winter or keep with our original plan of cruising in the winter. I’m OK with that but the wife does not relish the crowdedness of Southern Caliornia.

              The PACNW offers us a unique opportunity to trade the home we have now for about the same price the approximate same lifestyle... minus our very white Alaska winter which lasts from the end of October through the end of March.

              It is minus 9 this morning at my house. It is +39 this morning in Sequim. At -9 you do not do anything outside. You do not even ride the snow machines, it’s just too cold. At 39 thats hoodie weather for me.

              KEVIN SANDERS
              4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

              Comment


              • Jim_Gandee
                Jim_Gandee commented
                Editing a comment
                Kevin, I completely understand your reluctance to the SoCal crowd, me too! I wasn’t very clear in that I wasn’t really advocating SoCal so much as was advocating warm Wx, enjoyable boating Wx! One great thing about living on a boat is that you can move it!
                There are several very nice Marina’s in the San Diego bay . Chula Vista is at the south end of the bay and is, for the most part, out of the big city. Plus side to that area is if you’d like the amenities of a city, restaurants, boat support etc, it’s a short drive.
                A guy could spend years exploring Mexico, the Sea of Cortez, Mazatlan, PV, Huatulco, Acapulco maybe a trip through the canal. Ever heard of the San Blas Islands? Sooo much opportunity to be had in the beautiful warm Wx! My buddy liked PV so much he now keeps his 65’ Hatteras there and commutes back to the US via Delta, only a three hr flight from LAX. My wife and I have always equated boating to warm Wx and water thus I’m biased I suppose. YMMV and I hope you guys find the Vallaha you’re looking for, it can be elusive!

              • ksanders
                ksanders commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh Jim, warmer waters are in the plan as well! That is our winter plan no matter where we call home.

                What we are doing right now is twofold. We are escaping a cold Alaska winter, and we are pondering what life will be like after I don’t have to report to work in Alaska anymore.

                We could trade our home here for a nice place in Washington have better weather pretty much tear round, and be in a boating paradise. We are not sure what we will do, but we enjoy what I call “road trips” where we just go look around and see how we like the area.

              #8
              Looking to live in Sequim? Nice place. I live right beside it in Carlsborg, a small farm-like community complete with a General Store. Nash's Farm, Clarks Beef and Sunny Farms Grocery are excellent for farmed produce and meats, all three within a 5 minute drive from, JWM. We also have a traveling farmers market that opens once a week at each location, PA and Sequim. There are acreages all around us.

              Two good marinas - John Wayne and Port Angeles Haven, both with full services including live-aboards. (JWM has a free flush out station for those of us who trailer our boats.) Rates are standard or slightly less than closer toward Seattle, with the Port of Port Angeles administering both. (FYI: Trailered boats have the problem that PA pulls their docks through the winter months, ....which won't effect you since you will obviously be berthing.) We had our motorsailer in PA Haven, but would have preferred JWM for its protected harbor. PA Haven is 14 miles west, and JWM is about 7 miles east from where we live.

              Weather? Though we have just come through 2 weeks of snow and cold, this is a rarity. Typically, we live in 12 months of green and mild temperatures. Also, Sequim Bay - which is where JWM is located - is incredible for crabbing. Personally, JWM is more intimate a location that has a stronger sense of community among its boating and live-aboard residents.

              If you enjoy fishing like I do, Canada is just a short hop, either 12 miles to the border from JWM or about 8 from the PA Haven. I take my 2459 across in pretty much all conditions. Thanks to WDFW, fishing in our area is difficult. However, going across the border has become very easy and well worth the trip. 4-6 months of halibut vs 4 days here. Chinook is 12 months a year, where we have around 6 weeks twice a year.
              "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
              MMSI: 367637220
              HAM: KE7TTR
              TDI tech diver
              BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
              Kevin

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by CptCrunchie View Post
                Looking to live in Sequim? Nice place. Two good marinas - John Wayne and Port Angeles Haven, both with full services including live-aboards. (JWM has a free flush out station for those of us who trailer our boats.) Rates are standard or slightly less than closer toward Seattle, with the Port of Port Angeles administering both. (FYI: Trailered boats have the problem that PA pulls their docks through the winter months, ....which won't effect you since you will obviously be berthing.)

                Nash's Farm, Clarks Beef and Sunny Farms Grocery are excellent for farmed produce and meats, all three within a 5 minute drive from, JWM. We also have a traveling farmers market that opens once a week at each location, PA and Sequim.

                Weather? Though we have just come through 2 weeks of snow and cold, this is a rarity. Typically, we live in 12 months of green and mild temperatures. Also, Sequim Bay - which is where JWM is located - is incredible for crabbing.

                Canada is a short hop, either 12 miles from JWM or about 8 to the border from the PA Haven. I take my 2459 across in pretty much all conditions. Thanks WDFW, fishing in our area is difficult. However, going across the border has become very easy and well worth the trip.
                Thanks!!!

                Last time we were in Sequim we had lunch at the resturant at the marina. I talked to the harbormaster about the waitlist and he said I could have my choice of slips that day, so that is a good sign.

                I have the web cam for the harbor in my favorites. Georgous in Sequim right now and below zero at my house in Alaska.

                Click image for larger version

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                KEVIN SANDERS
                4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

                Comment


                  #10
                  It is colder up thers, but some of the best crabbing around Camano
                  Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                  Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                  93 3058 sold
                  92 2855 (day boat)
                  91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                  Longbranch WA
                  Life is Good

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Anacortes has a good amount of sunshine compared to surrounding areas, but there is not much in the way of waterfront property there. Plenty of marinas to put your boat in. Whidbey is a huge island. Lots of waterfront property available and quite affordable because it’s an island! Deception pass bridge is the only way in or out other than the ferries, so it can be a pita summer time during tourist season. But if you’re retired, don’t go out when the rest of the schmucks do! Beachfront bargains tonight is going to San Juan Island.
                    And for an idea about Whidbey:
                    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Oak-Harbor.../home/16712329
                    One thing about WA, gas is expensive here compared to the rest of the country. Pretty high fuel tax. And they are trying very hard to be the first state to tax carbon, so energy costs will be going up. Find a house with a wood or pellet stove.
                    Esteban
                    B-ham!
                    Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

                    Comment


                      #12
                      This next trip we will be staying in both Port Angeles and Anacortes to get a better feel for both areas.
                      From Anacortes we will explore more on Whidbey while being able to stay in a quaint downtown area.
                      On Whidbey the only real area to stay is Oak Harbor, which is not bad but I like the downtown area of Anacortes better for evening dining etc...

                      The reality though is if you move somewhere you rarely go to the quaint downtown areas. You get into a routine, shop here, go there... and often it’s the tourists that go to the quaint downtown areas.

                      In both areas this trip we will tend to be focusing on neighborhoods. What kind of terrain, property sizes, privacy, that kind of thing.
                      We learned on our last trip to Sequim that the property gets steep and shady really quickly south of the main highway.
                      We love the deer we saw in the Sequim area. In general since my wife would like to garden, have some fruit trees, the topography of the sequim area seems better suited for that than most places in Whidby, which seem a bit shadier, bigger trees, etc...

                      We might get out to the San Juans, although nice places on Acreage seem like they are a couple hundred thousand more than comperable places in either the Sequim or the Whidbey Island areas. we’ll just have to see what we like. My wife has also said that for the same dollars, unless it was near perfect waterfront property, she would be inclined to have a larger piece of land, and the privacy that provides, since the boat would be in a harbor nearby anyway.

                      This trip is not to find a home, it’s to try to decide on an area we like more than anything else.

                      Thanks guys!!!

                      KEVIN SANDERS
                      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

                      Comment


                        #13
                        If I was looking and wanted to be able to head out on the boat to go somewhere most would consider a destination anytime with less than 2-3hr run - the boat would be in Anacortes / La Conner. Acreage and waterfront is going to be hard to come by until you get into 7 figure ranges. I also would think seriously about the islands, I was talking to a guy at Roche last summer that retired up there to a place they have had for years. He said that 25yrs ago there was no way he would have done it but with internet and Amazon getting almost anything in 2 days gets around most of the PITA of dealing with the ferries.

                        Medical is one of those things that comes up quick and being on the East side of the Sound will have a lot easier access to better care in the Everett-Seattle area than most of the Peninsula.

                        PA-Sequim are rural but I wouldn't want to be home based out of there for the boat. So much of the time the weather is unpleasant enough that the Straits would keep you in the harbor when you want to get out.

                        Now the other option you didn't hit on but there are a few places that get rural and right at the 7 figure mark you can get a place with your own dock. Probably more south sound than what you listed but if you figure what moorage goes for and transfer that to the house cost it opens things up.

                        If you want to get a feel for areas the other good thing we have found is that VRBO and AirBnB will let you stay somewhere and get a feel for how much driving around one might do to go to dinner, or run to the store.
                        1989 3888
                        Nobody gets out alive.

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Originally posted by kwb View Post
                          Medical is one of those things that comes up quick and being on the East side of the Sound will have a lot easier access to better care in the Everett-Seattle area than most of the Peninsula.
                          While Wifey and I both have medical specialists in Seattle and Bellevue, Olympic Medical (OMC) has an amazing cluster of facilities that caters to most medical needs.

                          Originally posted by kwb View Post
                          PA-Sequim are rural but I wouldn't want to be home based out of there for the boat. So much of the time the weather is unpleasant enough that the Straits would keep you in the harbor when you want to get out.
                          Since we have little love for traffic (much less the constant thumping of rubber on concrete roads), living on the Olympic Peninsula has far more opportunities for fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing through rainforests and mountain wilderness, diving, year round golfing, and NO BUGS, than the east side of the strait. It's also a lot less expensive to live. Some people say that the food and gas is more expensive than closer in, but those are just rumors started by the local folk to discourage people from moving there.

                          You might also want to check out Gig Harbor. Lots of very nice marinas and a very laid back town. It is, however, a very long trek to get to Canada.

                          As to the weather preventing adventures in the strait, I guess it depends on what you want to do with your boat once you move here. With a 48'er, and having lived and boated in Alaska, whether it be Roche Harbor, Port Hadlock or Sequim Bay, I doubt we have any weather conditions that you couldn't easily handle.
                          "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                          MMSI: 367637220
                          HAM: KE7TTR
                          TDI tech diver
                          BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                          Kevin

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Thanks Guys!!!

                            This trip will be Sequim and Anacortes. Just a few days in each place, but a taste all the same. Nothing to do but look around and see if we lke the area enough to trade our life in Alaska for it. We have it pretty good in Alaska but warmer is well...Warmer.

                            Whatever we plan the winter goal is to cruise for a few months in the winter to get away. As Jim has mentioned SOCAL is a nice place to visit. He mentioned Chula Vista Marina..We visited there a couple years ago on a similar excursion and loved the home town feel there. Personally I love Santa Barbera, but I’m preduiced since since I spent a good part of my childhood playing in areond the El Persedio while mom visited with my grandmother who ran a shop there.

                            KEVIN SANDERS
                            4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

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