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A New Season Begins

 



Sticking to it-

When we bought the David B in 1998, we knew that we’d be battling a lot of uncertainty. First we needed to rebuild the boat, a project which we initially thought would take two years, but instead took eight. Then we needed to learn how to run our business, get people’s attention, and fill up trips. At times figuring out how to get people to find us and come cruising with us has seemed like an impossible task. We struggled through the economic downturn by doing whatever we needed to do to keep advertising, paying the bills, and taking care of the boat.

Finally going into our ninth season, the David B is mostly full, and it looks like we’ll have our best season yet! We attribute this to our wonderful passengers who keep coming back and keep sharing their “secret getaway” with their friends and family, and that everyday that we’ve had the David B, we’ve stuck to our plan of offering the best nature cruises in the San Juan Islands, Inside Passage and Alaska. We still have a few spaces left for this summer, so hop on over to our website and have a look at our 2014 schedule.

A New Season-

David B Small Ship Alaska Cruises from Bellingham WAIt’s springtime and the David B is looking fantastic and we are getting more and more excited about our upcoming season. Over the winter we have been busy making the David B better than ever with several big improvements. The first is that we moved the exhaust from the back of the boat to the port side. This lead to the second big improvement — no exhaust pipe through the dining table!

To fill the space where the exhaust pipe used to go we commissioned a local artist/boat varnisher, Annie Patrick to create a new inlay piece for the dining table. She’s done an amazing job!

Below is a sneak peak at our first test-fitting of the inlay artwork. We can’t wait for you to see it in person!

David B Small Ship Alaska Cruises from Bellingham WA

Cruise Ideas in the Works-

Over the next few weeks we’re going to be meeting with a Bellingham winemaker and a local dive master for a couple of new and exciting trips in the San Juan Islands! We’re just starting to put our heads together on these cruises and we’ll have more information by mid-May. If you are interested in either a wine appreciation cruise or a scuba mothership cruise. Let us know! 

Something New-

Josh McInnes Alaska CruiseWe’re very excited to announce a special Alaska cruise for next summer 2015. We’ll be hosting Killer Whale researcher Josh McInnes as a guest naturalist aboard the David B. While we’ll be shifting the focus of this cruise to spend more time with whales, we’ll still be hiking, kayaking, tidewater glacier viewing, and looking for bears.

This trip will sell out.

For more information email us today!

Josh is currently working towards a graduate degree on transient killer whale. He is very interested in foraging and diet studies and the ecological relationship exhibited by prey. Besides conducting research, Josh has been a whale watch guide throughout British Columbia and was recently interviewed for the upcoming documentary Fragile Waters. He is also conducting independent research on killer whales with a small group of volunteers. We’re looking forward to having Josh on board and to the new insights on killer whales he brings through his research. We hope you’ll join in on this new trip.

As always,feel free to call us toll-free call at 877-670-7863or send an email.We’d love to hear from you!

Christine & Jeffrey Smith

Don’t miss the boat! Call 360-201-8184 or email us to book your space.View our 2014 schedule.

Read the award winning story about how Captain Jeffrey and Christine rebuilt the M/V David B
Cruising on theDavid B

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Kayaking at Sucia

David B Cruises - kayaking in the san Juan Islands
Kayaking at Sucia Island is a great way to find low tide creatures

Low tide is one of the best times to kayak at Sucia Island. One sunshine-y fall day I took several of our guests for a paddle along the wind-and-wave-sculpted sandstone that makes up Sucia. My guests were agreeable to a slow paddle where we could inspect the sea life that lives just below the surface. The easiest animals to find were sea stars:  giant pink stars, purple sea stars, sunflower stars, and leather stars. A few of the purple sea stars and leather stars were exposed on the rocks giving us the opportunity to reach out and feel the difference between the two species.

Below our kayaks we watched several types of small fish including a school of bay pipefish that  look like a straightened sea horse. There must of been many other fish in deeper water even though we couldn’t see them, since we spotted several seals hunting.

We glided along, talking about the creatures hidden in the rocks and seaweed. We discovered many of them by focusing on the slightest movements or a differences in color. We found chitons, sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, and two kinds of sea cucumbers — the California sea cucumber and  the orange sea cucumber. We could have spent all day looking and watching the intertidal world and not see it all.

Our paddle lasted about two hours. I was a little reluctant to end our time at Sucia, but it was nearing lunchtime and time to return to the David B. Besides we had other adventures awaiting us.

Cruise the Inside Passage – Presentation April 10th

If you love the Inside Passage and are dreaming of cruising to Alaska? Join us for an evening of photographs, fun stories and tips? on cruising the Inside Passage at the Whatcom Maritime Association’s monthly meeting on April 10th — 7pm. 2633 S Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham, Washington

It’s free and open to the public. Click on the link below for printable flyer:

InsidePassageTalkWMA

InsidePassageTalkWMA

 

Directions to Squalicum Yacht Club


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Think of a Road Trip…

you went on, maybe back in your early twenties. Do you remember the view out the windows, the miles going by, the freedom of choosing where you were going to go and how you were going to get to your destination? You were there, in the moment, living. Did you have your tent along, or did you crash at friends’ houses. Was it sunny and beautiful and windows-rolled-down cruising or crazy snowing and are-we-going-to-get-there-alive thrilling? Remember that wonderful feeling of having the music cranked up?
The thing is, it’s fun to live those trips and almost as much fun to re-live those trips later. We have all these memories, and for me seldom an hour goes by without thinking about something from the past. It’s not like I’m dragging up all these memories of just road trips. It’s all kinds of stuff. It’s just that the memories of what I had for lunch yesterday , or what I told my accountant last week aren’t going to stick with me like that ones from the road trip.

When you’re on the David B, you’ll see things that you might never get to see again. Humpback whales feeding together in groups, glacier carved fjords, native totem pole ruins slowly decomposing into the earth, bears meandering on the beach. The list is endless, no day is the same, but the memories, that’s what’s really important. They’re yours to bring back anytime. Like that road trip.

Call us. It’s time you went cruising.

Captain Jeffrey and Christine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope to see you soon!
Captain Jeffrey and Christine
360-201-8184

PS. You won’t need your tent for this road trip!

Planning Your Inside Passage Cruise – Part Two

Cruise the Inside Passage | David B | Boater EducationThis week I wrote my second installment in the Learn to Cruise series I’d doing for CruisingNW.com. We’re doing set of articles in conjunction with our 12-day Learn to Cruise educational cruises in the Inside Passage. For week two I’m giving some tips for planning an itinerary. The topics include:

  • What are my time constraints?
  • How far will we go?
  • What are our daily itineraries?
  • What are our planned activities?
  • What did I needed to know for Canada Customs and US Customs?

You can read the whole article at http://cruisingnw.com/planning-your-inside-passage-cruise-itinerary/#

Be sure to check out our 12-day Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage trips. These are fun one-way cruises departing from either Bellingham, Washington or Ketchikan, Alaska that are great for individuals or couple who want more hands-on boating experience in the Inside Passage.

For more information or to book a reservation:

 

Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage

Desolation Sound Crewed Yacht Charter | David B CruisesWhen a friend of ours suggested we change the focus of our 12-Day Inside Passage trips between Bellingham and Ketchikan from nature and wildlife watching to instruction, we knew he had a great idea. Last year we sold out our Learn to Cruise trips and we certainly hope to do so again this year.

As part of our excitement about these trips, we are happy to announce a series of articles we’ll be writing for CruisingNW.com. In these articles we’ll be sharing information on cruising the Inside Passage. We hope this will help others plan their own trips. The link below will take you our first installment. In this article you’ll learn why we feel cruising in the Inside Passage should be on everyone’s bucket list.

We hope you’ll enjoy these articles and find them useful!
http://cruisingnw.com/learning-to-cruise-introduction/

If you are interested in signing up for one of our Learn to Cruise trips you can call us at 360-201-8184 or fill out the form below:

Take Time to Learn CPR

A month ago I learned just how important it is to learn CPR when my Dad had a heart attack. Here’s a link to Christine’s post at Yachting Magazine about learning CPR and why it’s important for boaters.

http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/blog-post/how-to/seamanship/take-time-to-learn-cpr

Below is a picture of Christine’s Dad, Steve, riding the bicycle this summer on the David B’s pilothouse roof.

Learning CPR | Yachthing Magazine Blog | David B Cruises

A Stroll on Jones Island

David B | Jones Island Anchorage | San Juan Islands Cruise[pix_dropcap]W[/pix_dropcap]ashington State is lucky to have an incredible system of marine parks. Several in the San Juan Islands. One that I particularly enjoy is Jones Island, a hundred and eighty-eight acre park that has a network of trails running along it’s perimeter and across the island. One of the many things that’s attractive about Jones Island is that it is only accessible by boat.

Once ashore, I always savor the walk through the forest to the other side of the island. Occasionally I’ve spotted a pileated woodpecker flying from tree to tree. Douglas Fir, Western red cedar, hemlock and big leaf maple make up most of the forest. There are also many mosses, lichens and fungi and I sometimes get to spend a half hour or longer with my guide books as we wander the paths. The walk opens up to a grassy area where black-tailed deer graze. They are quite friendly and will often let us come close enough to get a good picture. My favorite part of the walk is where the trail begins to skirt the edge of the island. Here, I’ve learned where to find a native prickly pear cactus. Yes, it’s true wet western Washington does have native cactus growing thanks to the rain shadow from the Olympic mountains.  Another interesting native plant is the Garry Oak. There aren’t too many of these left in the San Juan Islands and the ones on Jones Islands are fenced off to encourage their renewal.

River Otter | Jones Island | San Juan Islands | David B CruiseRiver otters and harbor seals are also regular visitors to Jones Island. Those of us who live and work near the saltwater can easily forget how interesting and fun these regularly seen animals are to watch. When we spot one it’s the highlight of the day. This summer we had a private charter with three generations of women who walked Jones Island with me. We were sitting on some rocks along the trail watching two deer, when two hikers came by and told us about four river otters who were feeding just around the corner. I got up and walked ahead of the group until I noticed a small boil in the water just below a rocky outcrop. The sun made the dried grass atop the outcrop warm and welcoming. I sat down to take some photos. A couple seconds later an otter popped up with crab in it’s mouth. The three other otters soon followed. My group caught up to me, and it was heartwarming to watch the excitement about the river otters. We talked for a while about the difference between river otters and sea otters, which we don’t see in the San Juan Islands.

I kept up with the otters until they came to a low spot. Cautiously they came onto the island. They stayed close to each other, rubbing their bodies together in braid-like motion. They made warning chirps as they tested the side of the trail. With trepidation they attempted to cross, but a bird flew past them and they retreated. I stood still with my camera. Again they emerged. They wanted to get to the forest and the underbrush of thick-leaved salal. I waited for the otters to make their move. It took several more tries. There was lots of head bobbing and back-leg kicking before they made their break. They scurried across the dirt and root trail; their forepaws low, and their hips high reminded me vaguely of an inchworm. They soon disappeared into the forest. I stood up to listen to them before turning around.

River Otters | Jones Island | Hike | San Juan Islands CruiseBack at the boat, Jeffrey was almost finished with lunch preparations. I took out my journal and quickly noted all the things we had seen. I’ve been to Jones Island many times and what I like about it is that there are many things that seem to remain the same, but with each stroll, there’s always something new. I’m looking forward to our next walk on Jones.