Community Boating Center Hosts Friday Ferry Farewell Flotillas



Submitted by Community Boating Center

friday ferry flotillaEach fourth Friday this summer, beginning July 25, the Community Boating Center will host a flotilla of boats in south Bellingham Bay to bid adieu do the departing Alaska ferry. On those days, the 418-foot MV Columbia is scheduled to leave the Bellingham Cruise Terminal at 6:00 PM, bound for Ketchikan. Boats of all kind are encouraged to join the gathering. To encourage participation, the Boating Center is offering 20% off rental fees for sailing dinghies and human-powered watercraft, including kayaks, rowboats and paddleboards, starting at 5:00 PM each fourth Friday through September.

On Flotilla Fridays, Plume, the longboat replica built by staff and students of Bellingham’s Home Port Learning Center, will be available for a limited group of folks who want to row out for the ferry send-off. Sign-ups for participating aboard Plume will begin at 5:00 PM, near the public boat launch in Fairhaven, on the evenings of the events.

Ferry Farewell Flotillas are planned for July 25, August 22, and September 26. All participants should wear a life jacket and have clothing available for a variety of weather. Life jackets will be available for Plume participants and CBC renters. “Our intent is to showcase and celebrate the variety of boats that contribute to the maritime culture of the Bay,” says Community Boating Center director Steve Walker. “The CBC’s primary focus is on education and access for small watercraft. However, with Bellingham Bay being the largest bay in the Salish Sea, there is plenty of water to share for all kinds of vessels, from paddle boards to big commercial ships. The Boating Center hopes Fourth Friday Flotillas will become a summer tradition for boaters from throughout Whatcom County.”

The Community Boating Center is open for boat rentals every day of the week and continues to offer sailing and paddle-sports youth camps as well as instruction in sailing, paddle-boarding, sea-kayaking, and rowing. For details, visit the CBC website,

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