Bellingham Bay and the nearby San Juan Islands are well known to be among the best places in the World for kayaking and small-boat sailing. It is no surprise then that Bellingham, with its miles of urban waterfront, offers superior access for intrepid sailors, rowers and "yakkers", as I've just decided to call them. Tucked away between the Alaska ferry terminal and a small tidal lagoon, on the water-side of the train tracks you'll find one of Bellingham's hidden treasures, the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center*. Little-known outside of a relatively tight-knit group of local small-boat enthusiasts, the Community Boating Center is THE place to learn about and rent kayaks, rowing shells and sailing dinghies.
*The official name is just "Community Boating Center"...
Beginning as a small shop in the mid-70's, the Boating Center became a non-profit organization in 2007, and is now headed by executive director Mike Callaizakis. Their primary mission is to promote education and safety, featuring programs in cold water safety, environmental awareness, and beginner-to-intermediate courses in kayaking, rowing and sailing. According to Callaizakis, "it's all about getting people on the water and creating access..." Proceeds are allocated to at-risk youth programs and community projects, such as the planned construction of a new dock nearby.
Among the center's many classes, the most popular are the kayak series, sailing series and the sculling camp. Click here for a full list of their 2010 classes.
In addition to educational programs, the center offers guided tours, rentals and storage. There are some very affordable rental packages, including an unbelievable $125 season pass for unlimited kayak rentals, $250 for the whole family! They're open from 9am-8pm (last boat at 7pm) Wednesday-Sunday, May 1st -October 31st
555 Harris Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98227 360.714.8891 firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to my Dad for his editorial assistance with this article. Luckily for me, he went to a private school and has a much firmer grasp of the language than I...
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