Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sailing around San Juan Islands Offers Fall Sightseeing Opportunities

Sailing around the San Juan Islands aboard Schooners North’s newly restored wooden schooner Spike Africa offers the best Fall sightseeing opportunities this October. The weather this month is expected to remain fairly mild with the winds slowly picking up. All this creates the perfect condition for sailing and enjoying the beautiful views around the San Juans that can only be seen from the pristine waters.

It is a little known fact that the Fall season is one of the best times for travelers who want the best sailing experience around the islands. In fact, this is considered one of the best kept secrets by locals and seasoned sailors alike. There are also less people looking to go on a sailboat charter around the San Juan Islands this time of the year, so those who are avoiding crowds can find a calmer, more peaceful environment aboard the ship. Read more on this article:


Monday, October 31, 2016

Schooners North Offers Exciting San Juan Islands Cruises in Perfect Sailing Weather

Schooners North is offering sailing cruises around the San Juan Islands this Fall season. While many would think a cloudless summer day is the ideal day to go out in the water, the autumn weather is actually better for sailing. Weather conditions are expected to remain mild, but during this time of year winds start to pick up. This is what makes Fall a great time for exhilarating sailing around the San Juans before winter finally sets in. In fact, these are the kind of conditions Schooners North’s historic wooden schooner Spike Africa was designed for.

Spike Africa was built forty years ago by Bob Sloan, a working tall ship sailor who was known throughout the Pacific for his sailing experience. The famed wooden schooner has quite a rich history to it, being used as a freighting schooner along the West Coast, Mexico and Hawaii. Read more on this article:


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Main Guidelines on Proper Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands

Although hosting a great number of wildlife creatures, the San Juan Islands’ whale watching is widely acknowledged as the best tourist attraction in the area. Not only does a glimpse of an orca offer an once-in-a-lifetime experience, the activity itself can be considered as a rare treat and privilege for the watcher.

However, mainly due to its relatively newness, whale watching in San Juan Islands caused some serious concerns for environmentalists as most of these watchers are not well-informed on the do’s and don’ts of watching orcas whilst in the wild. Read more on this article: 


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why Burials at Sea are Difficult and What You Can Do to Make it Easier

For those whose lives revolve around the sea, there is no greater honor than being buried in its depths when death comes knocking. At a glance, burial at sea seems relatively easy. You just need to make sure your deceased loved one is well-protected so that no sea creature can disturb his or her eternal sleep, and secure the body with dead weight to make it stay at the bottom of the sea.

However, burials at sea are notoriously difficult to do, not to mention several legal repercussions that can happen to you if you do not follow the proper legal protocols.

While there are private charters that specialize in this kind of thing, it wouldn’t hurt to know the do’s and don’ts when honoring your departed relative’s request of being buried at sea. Read more on this article:


Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Do’s and Don’ts to Follow for Whale Watching Safely and Enjoyably

Whale watching in the San Juan Islands is an experience you will not forget for the rest of your life. Whales, dolphins–including orcas–and other marine wildlife are some of the amazing creatures you may be lucky enough to witness while at sea. In fact, many people are so consumed by their first-ever whale sighting they break out in tears.

While this experience is truly thrilling and one-of-a-kind, one should act responsibly. So remember the do’s and don’ts of proper whale watching.

Do Some Research

Before heading out to sea, research the species you most likely will see in the region, according to the season. Whales migrate. To avoid waiting for nothing, make sure it is the migration season when you set out. Summer and Fall is the time for whale watching in the San Juan Islands.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Steps in Holding a Memorable Burial At Sea Ceremony for a Loved One

When a loved one passes away, it’s natural to want to send them off in a memorable way. A burial at sea is certainly an emotionally embracing and picturesque option. Families often do a burial at sea to grant the wishes of their loved ones. Often for those who love the sea, their final request may be to be one with nature.

Depending on the outlook of the family members, a sea burial can be either a solemn occasion or one of great joy. Either way, a burial at sea is a somewhat intimate ceremony as only a limited number of people can be accommodated by the boat.

Also, depending on the type of burial this will be, it may require permits and procedures to ensure the remains are properly put to sea. To make it a meaningful occasion, be aware of the procedures required before making a final decision.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Preparations Are Needed to Fully Enjoy Sailing the San Juan Islands

Sailing across the San Juan Islands is an exciting way to be closer to nature. It provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and lets you recharge and “disconnect” for a while. However, you can’t just go on a sailing adventure without preparing yourself for the experience.

To ensure a fun and hassle-free trip, there are factors to keep in mind when getting yourself ready, especially if you’re a first-timer.

Adjusting to a New Environment

A boat offers an unusual environment that your sense of balance may not be used to experiencing. To keep the vessel from disorienting you, be aware that for the first few hours you will be adjusting to its movements. Relax into how the boat sways through the water. While using any stepladders and narrow corridors, simply make use of all available handrails.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Top Reasons to Go on a Cruise and How it Can Benefit Your Entire Group

There’s a wide range of vacation options to choose from and cruising at sea is becoming a popular one nowadays. This is because of the benefits it offers to vacationers who want a convenient yet exciting way to be in touch with nature. Groups chartering San Juan Islands cruises are perfect for people who want value for their money, but at the same time wish to feel the luxury and adventure of being on the open sea. Hassle-Free Do you get stressed out by having to hail a cab or transfer from train to train just to reach an attraction? Do you hate queuing to check in and out? Do you find it exhausting to ride in cramped public transportation? If yes, then a cruise might be for you. It offers a hassle-free way to enjoy beautiful scenery while spending time with friends and family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Five Noteworthy People Who Chose to Have a Burial at Sea Ceremony

When people think of interment, the first thing that comes to mind is burial under the ground. However, some people would rather go home to where life began: the ocean.

Indeed, burials at sea provide one of the most dignified ways of saying goodbye to a loved one. In fact, many military personnel choose this form of burial over traditional internment. And perhaps because of its poetic nature, many notable people have also decided to get buried at sea as well:

Alfred Hitchcock

The legendary director once said: “There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.” It’s not surprising, then, that Hitchcock would request to have his ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean when he passed away in 1980. For a man who mastered creating drama on the big screen, no other sendoff is more fitting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Activities in the San Juan Islands that Benefit from a Sailboat Charter

Have you been contemplating taking your family up to the Pacific Northwest, but unsure on the best way to see it? Try sailing around the San Juan Islands! With so much wildlife available around the islands – orcas, dolphins, otters, humpback whales, bald eagles – sailing through the calm waters makes for an interesting time. There are many other reasons as to why a sailboat charter is the perfect way to see the San Juan Islands. Listed below are some of the activities you have access to when you hire your own private schooner.

Orca and Wildlife Quest

As mentioned above, a full-day chartered schooner is the best way to observe the orcas of the Salish Sea. The orca quest is also highly educational for children as it teaches them about wildlife and preserving the environment for survival of all creatures.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands: Orcas vs. Grays vs. Humpbacks

Even if you’ve booked the most unique vessel for your whale watching trip in the San Juan Islands, you can’t fully appreciate a sighting if you don’t know which whale you’re gazing at. To help you prepare, here’s a rundown of the kinds of whales usually spotted in the Pacific Northwest.

Killer whales

Killer whales, or orcas, are the creatures you’re bound to see while whale watching in the San Juan Islands. These black-and-white, dolphin-like animals are divided into three types:

Residents. The most commonly seen orcas off Washington state and British Columbia, these whales primarily eat salmon and travel in groups of 5 to 30.

Their fin tips tend to be rounded, with the edges either straight or slightly curved.
They tend to take 3 to 4 dives of 15 seconds each before going underwater for 3 to 4 minutes.
You should spot them if you go whale watching from May to October.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Is It Time Again for the Medicine of the Sea?

Stressed at work? Have you been wanting to get away from everything? Do you feel the urge to simply relax and unwind for a while? Have you been finding yourself reminiscing over the cruise trip you took a couple of years ago? If you answer yes to any of these, then your heart may have been missing the sea and all its beauty.

Here are some telltale signs that it’s time to consider the therapeutic value of San Juan Islands cruises:

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tips on Planning a Bachelor Party Cruise

Holding your best friend’s bachelor party on one of the San Juan Islands cruises, in itself, is already special and convenient. You don’t have to worry about the food or libations as these can be included in the package.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Some Obvious Signs that You Are Meant to Sail

Wondering if a sailing adventure in the San Juan Islands is for you? While it can be for anyone, including those who don’t possess sailing or navigational skills, there are certain signs that reveal you were born for the sea. If you find any of these signs manifesting themselves, pack your bag and book a sailing trip as fast as you can.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Elements of a Burial Ceremony at Sea

When arranging a burial at sea ceremony, there are elements that can make it meaningful and memorable. These include the music, the readings, the eulogy, and the symbols. Considering these when organizing the service will help you create a send-off that the deceased person would have loved. Family members and friends can also pay tribute to their loved one better when you combine all these elements into a serene and intimate burial ceremony at sea.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Myths and Misconceptions About Going On a Cruise

Many people resist considering San Juan Islands cruises because of myths and misconceptions. What they don’t know, however, is that they’re missing a one-of-a-kind experience. Misconceptions and fallacies shouldn’t prevent you from exploring amazing places and basking in the beauty of the sea.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What Makes Bachelor Party Cruises A Good Choice?

It’s your job as the best man to give your friend a stunning send-off before he ties the knot, and you can do this by booking a bachelor party cruise. Celebrating this new chapter of his life on a boat exploring different places and partying with the closest of friends definitely ensures an event the waning bachelor will never forget. In fact, bachelor party cruises offer several advantages over traditional bachelor bashes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sailing Benefits Your Health and Well-Being

Chartering a sailboat on the San Juan Islands doesn’t just let you satisfy your thirst for ocean adventure. It also helps improve your overall well-being. By coming closer to nature, several elements--including the sun, water, wind and fresh salt air--serve as contributors to a healthier, more positive well-being.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Burial at Sea Can Ease the Stress of the Event

There’s something special about the sea that makes a burial ceremony more peaceful and heartfelt. It’s no wonder why many people wish for their body to be buried or ashes to be scattered at sea. Families and friends who want to say a final goodbye to their loved ones in a memorable way may want to consider a burial at sea.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tips on Booking a Charter Cruise for the First Time

There are many unique experiences you get out of chartering a sailboat cruise. The sights and the creatures you’ll see while on the boat are truly worth your while. To make your trip even better, you can employ these basic strategies.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Spike Africa to Pause San Juan Islands Cruise to Join Wooden Boat Festival

Friday Harbor, Washington (July 20, 2016) – Schooners North’s famed vessel, Spike Africa, will take a break from cruises around the San Juan Islands to join the 40th Annual Wooden Boat Festival at the Port Townsend marina. This year’s festival will take place on September 9-11, 2016. There will be live music, delicious food, local brews, family friendly activities, exhibitions, as well as over 100 indoor and outdoor demonstrations.

The Wooden Boat Festival is held each year to provide an educational and inspiring experience for those who have a deep-seated appreciation for sailing and wooden boats. This is one of the biggest events of this kind and will feature over 300 boats both on land and water. Being a newly-restored 80-foot, 40-year old schooner Spike Africa will be one of the “tall-ship” stars of the show.

Friday, August 5, 2016

San Juan Whale Watching Company: Tips on Protecting Killer Whales

Each year, thousands of people go whale watching in the San Juan Islands with hopes of photographing an orca breaching the ocean surface. It’s not hard to understand the fascination. Not only are orcas majestic, they are also one of the sea’s smartest creatures.

Like all creatures, though, orcas require protection so that future generations can appreciate them. Following are measures that people can take to help ensure the survival of orcas:

Save Water in Your Home

Nope, you didn’t misread the heading. Believe it or not, saving water in your home can greatly impact the wellbeing of orcas. By simply turning off the tap when it’s not in use, you can ensure that there is more fresh water for salmonids, an important food fish for orcas. Other ways to conserve water include water-saving shower heads and fixing leaky pipes at home.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Burial at Sea Ceremony Becoming a Popular Alternative for Many People

As you probably know, life began in the ocean, first starting as single-cell organisms before evolving into the plethora of life now surrounding you. This may be why some people choose burial at sea instead of the more traditional means of interment, i.e. being buried in the ground. From water they came, to water shall they return.

A burial at sea ceremony represents one of the most time-honored ways of saying final goodbyes to loved ones. In fact, the practice has been conducted throughout history by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

Vikings, those rugged warriors of the sea, are known to have brought this tradition to the British Isles in 700 A.D. As a result, British seafarers and the British navy often perform sea burials for fallen comrades. In modern times, many U.S. Navy servicemen still choose burial at sea, the most honorable way to be laid to rest in their view.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Why Everyone Should Try Sailing the San Juan Islands at Least Once

What’s your idea of a perfect vacation? Is it sunbathing on a white-sand beach? Perhaps watching the sunset from a mountain’s summit?

Either of these two are excellent options, but have you ever considered sailing as an alternative? If you yearn for a new, exciting way to enjoy your vacation, definitely consider a chartered sailing adventure–your chance to explore newly visited waters and experience the storied history of sea travel.

And, when it comes to sailing, few places in the country are as ideal as the San Juan Islands in Washington. Located below the Canadian border in North Puget Sound, the islands offer views of verdant landscapes, dynamic shorelines, delicious local food and orca whale sightings–one of the islands’ signature attractions.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Taking a San Juan Islands Sailing Cruise? Here’s What You Should Bring

From wildlife to local cuisine, there are many reasons to check out San Juan Islands sailboat cruises: a chance to see orca whales and other sea creatures swim in their natural environment; beautiful views of blue water and cloud-lined skies; enjoying local cuisine; visiting art galleries; seeing farms; and browsing museums.

But, before stepping on the boat’s deck, make sure you bring along some necessities for Pacific Northwest waters when on a San Juan Islands sailboat cruise.

A Good Camera

There’s nothing worse than seeing an orca whale breach the ocean surface without capturing a photo of it. To avoid missing the shot of a lifetime, bring a good camera with you, preferably a DSLR. Of course, bring a zoom lens as well so that you can take stunning shots from afar, because boats are mandated by law to maintain a certain distance from orcas to ensure their safety.


Friday, July 29, 2016

How to Prepare for a San Juan Island Cruise

San Juan Island cruises give you the chance to see some beautiful landscapes and wildlife you won’t find anywhere else. These are magnificent adventures.  With just a bit of planning you will get the most out of them.

Friday, July 22, 2016

How to Make the Most of Your Sailboating Trip

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind activity with friends and family, a sail boat charter in the San Juan Islands has a lot to offer. You can maximize your enjoyment by considering how they work and preparing the items you need to bring.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Coping Tips: Managing Emotions and Burial at Sea

Coping with the grief caused by the loss of a loved one is a challenge. There are many ways people grieve in order to finally move on from these life-changing events. Here are two ways to get through this trying time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Amazing Things to Do in the San Juan Islands

With temperatures averaging around 70 degrees in the summer and 40 degrees in the winter, the San Juan Islands is one of the best destinations to visit year-round. There are about 172 islands in the county, but most San Juan Island cruises usually serve four main destinations: the namesake island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. There are a range of fun activities that one can do in the area, so no trip should ever have to be the same.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why Consider Hiring Private Cruises

Like most people, you’ll probably spend 99% of your life on dry land. Nevertheless, there seems to be a primal force that beckons landlubbers back to the ocean’s bosom. Perhaps humans instinctively know that life began in the waters, which is why we look forward to this “homecoming” of sorts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why Your Next Party Should Be on a Boat

Are you thinking of a unique way to stage your event? Would you like to have a stunning venue that will get the party going? If so, you may want to consider hiring a sailboat charter for your private party. We're not talking about a little sailboat, but rather a magnificent sailing schooner that can accommodate dozens of guests. There are many advantages and benefits to holding your event on board, as compared to the usual bar or hotel events room, not the least of which is the feel of exclusivity that it provides. Here are some reasons why you should hold your next big bash on a sailboat charter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Things to Know about Burial at Sea Services

Private charters are not just for a romantic getaway date or a private party with family and friends. These days, their functions have expanded to include more unique ventures out at sea, such as burial ceremonies.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Schooners North Offers Full-Day Wildlife Adventure and Whale Watching

Schooners North now offers would-be voyagers a chance to observe the majestic wildlife along the San Juan Islands with full day whale watching charters from now through October. A friendly crew of experienced sailors will man the historic wooden schooner Spike Africa on an educational expedition. On each voyage, guests will be accompanied by a naturalist to answer any questions and to point out areas of interest throughout the whole day. For any children onboard, there is a special gathering to help them learn to identify different wildlife that can be spotted.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Historic Schooner Spike Africa is Available for Booking Burials at Sea

Schooners North’s historic 80-foot wooden schooner, Spike Africa comes out of a 7-year restoration period and is now available for booking respectful burial at sea ceremonies. Final farewells are always a sensitive period for surviving members of the family, but it is all one can do to make the experience positive to honor the memory of the deceased. Aboard the Spike Africa, passengers can lay the remains of their loved ones at their final resting place in a serene environment during the service.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Schooners North Offers Private Sailboat Charters Aboard Spike Africa

Schooners North now offers a multi-day, private sailboat charter in the San Juan Islands aboard the recently refitted 80-foot wooden schooner, Spike Africa. Cruise passengers have a rare opportunity to travel and enjoy life on the waters in a new way a board an historic schooner, the Spike Africa, even more so now that Schooners North spared no expense in getting her up to speed to its pristine Bristol condition.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fully Restored “Spike Africa” is Available for San Juan Island Cruises

Fresh off its 7-year restoration process, Spike Africa, Schooners North’s famous 80-foot wooden freighting schooner returns to offer San Juan Island cruises from now through October. Those interested in sailing aboard this stately “tall ship” that has been outfitted for comfort and adventure can contact us to book a sailing trip. Spike Africa is available for cruises (from 3-hours to multi-day) and private charters (from overnights and beyond). Once aboard ship our friendly crew shares many a detail about Spike Africa, but we’ll be happy to provide a little background to satisfy cruise-goers before setting sail.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sailing in the San Juan Islands: Things to Prepare

Novel adventures are waiting if you book a ticket to go on a sailboat charter in the San Juan Islands. Before you set off on your adventure at sea, it is best to know what to expect and make preparations. That way, you can make the most of your trip and have many memorable moments to share with your friends and family.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Honor Loved Ones with Burials at Sea

Traditional funeral ceremonies can be expensive, reaching up to tens of thousands of dollars. Instead of spending a fortune, you can honor your loved ones by having a burial at sea. This unique ceremony can be a memorable way for the family to pay their respects.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Performing a Burial at Sea Ceremony

Remembering a departed loved one in a unique way is possible with a burial at sea ceremony. In some cultures this involves laying a physical body to rest in the ocean, which is considered as a peaceful and sacred way to honor someone’s life. Throughout history, it has been a tradition for some groups to bury people at sea, especially those individuals who have served in the Navy.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Things you Need to Know about Sea Burials

If your family member has passed away, you may want to give them a sea burial. These proceedings let you honor your loved one uniquely. If this is a ceremony that you are considering, you can carry it out the right way by getting help from a charter.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How to Prepare For Your Whale Watching Trip to the San Juan Islands

Whales are one of the world’s biggest sea creatures, and it can be a great experience to see them in person. This is why an activity such as whale watching on the San Juan Islands is an opportunity that an ocean-buff cannot and should not miss.

Whale Watching: An Activity That You Cannot Pass Up

Just like any activity that one can take during a holiday trip, those planning to go whale watching have to make the necessary preparations to make their trip worthwhile. Here are some ways to make sure that you get the most out of it:


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Burial at Sea – What are the Different Things That You Need to Know?

Parting has always been such sweet sorrow. This is why many people put a lot of thought on how best to say their final farewell to their departed loved ones. One few ways they do this is through a burial at sea.

The Nuances of Sea Burial

No doubt the first thing that might come to mind when sea burial is mentioned, is the scattering of ashes across a large body of water. In truth, however, burial at sea can be done in a number of different ways. For one, you do not necessarily have to be cremated in order for sea burial to take place. In some cases, the burial at sea ceremony may even involve the casket, depending on the inclusions being provided by the service provider. There are also cases where the body of the relative who has passed away is lain on a sailcloth. This is typically the case if the person who passed away did some time in the Navy.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Go on an Adventure and Experience Life by Sailing to the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands offer nature’s finest beauty and relaxing pleasure as you embrace an adventure regardless of whether you’re a resident or a tourist. The best way to appreciate this beauty is to take advantage of San Juan Island charters.  The many islands of this inland waterway offer endless vistas of shoreline and wildlife.

The San Juan County is a relatively small area with only around 16,000 residents.  But, there is nothing small about the scenic rural beauty it offers.  It is far removed from commercialized lifestyle of the mainland.  In the maritime setting of the San Juan Islands, you will enjoy a laid back lifestyle but, of course, you need to dress accordingly.  For locals, that always means dressing with layers in mind.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

How to Avoid Getting Seasick on Cruises

It is not every day that you get to cruise, so being seasick is the last thing that you would want to experience. Seasickness has a knack for ruining the whole experience, after all. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to avoid or at least prepare yourself for it. To this end, understanding seasickness during cruises can be helpful.

Cruise Activities for Everyone: Go on a One-of-a-Kind Vacation at Sea

One of the best ideas for a family getaway is to go on a San Juan Islands cruise. There is a certain vibe that makes the sea alluring, and it is an ideal place to spend your long-awaited vacation. A perfect view of the sea plus the feeling of being far removed from the daily city noise makes for an unforgettable trip. Activities for Every Age Cruising is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Children and teenagers can become engaged by the variety of wildlife native to the San Juan islands. They may especially enjoy sailing on a vessel with a vintage feel as they traverse the same sea where orcas, otters, seal, and porpoise live. There is an abundance of sea life and aquatic birds to see. Curious minds will certainly take pleasure in the insights offered by an on-board naturalist.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Charter Boats as the New Cruise for Adventurers

Do you feel the need to get away for a while? The adventure of an ocean cruise appeals to many looking for a change.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sailboat Charter: Sailing For Overall Wellness

There are numerous recreational activities that you can try out if you want to stay healthy despite the daily hustle and bustle of your life. Many resort to regular exercises in fitness centers; however, if you are into seas and waves, give sail boating a try.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Paying Your Respects Through a Burial at Sea

The passing of loved ones is something that is hard to take no matter the what part of the world you are in. This is the reason why different cultures and different families have various ways of paying their last respects. For example, some families prefer their loved ones to have a burial at sea. The reason for this could vary from the loved one being a swimmer, a fisher, a nature lover, or just someone who loves the open water. A burial at see is also quite prevalent among those serving in the navy, and is usually done from a ship or an aircraft.