As members of the Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron, we have made a lot of friends. Over the past year a number of them have encouraged us to also join the Bellingham Yacht Club (BYC).
A great opportunity opened up about a year ago when most of these friends had joined under a really great deal. The club was looking for new members so for a period of time there was no initiation fee and reduced membership dues. Sweet deal. We passed. We just didn't think the whole social club thing was us.
Our friends kept telling us we should have joined. They were having a ball and wanted us to be a part of it.
"It really isn't like what you think," they'd say. "Everyone is really friendly!"
What finally changed our minds were two things. First, they had another "deal" recently which made joining more affordable. Secondly, we found out about the "reciprocals." For boaters this is a big deal. It turns out that there are hundreds of yacht clubs all over the west coast. Dozens in the northwest. If you are cruising in an area near a yacht club you can tie up on their guest dock for free! No charge! This can save you $50-75 dollars a night in places. In other words, it can pay for your yacht club membership in no time if you take advantage of it. Well, now you have my attention!
|Sailboats on the guest dock in front of the BYC deck.|
We've been going to the club a couple of nights a week and meeting up with friends, having a drink or dinner or both and thoroughly enjoying the view from the deck out onto the boat harbor. The food and drinks are cheaper than going to a bar or a restaurant since it is a not for profit establishment. Wednesdays are burger n' brat night. A burger and a brew are only $6. You dress your own burger with all the fixings and toss on a little potato salad and a bag of chips. A couple of times a month is steak night--a huge filet mignon with salad and a baked potato for only $15. You can't get that anywhere for that price and it includes a beer!
Anyway, you can see I am quite taken by the place. It is beautifully appointed inside. I couldn't find a photo anywhere of the interior so you'll have to take my word for it. The bar and seating area are warm and inviting. There is a laid back feel to the place. A side room has overstuffed chairs and a fireplace. At the south end of the bar/dining area is a deck the full width of the building. Any sign of the sun and the deck is the place to hang out with views of the docks and the islands beyond.
The BYC also owns a beautiful bay out on Lummi Island called Inati Bay, only an hour cruising from Bellingham. It is available for anyone to anchor in but the shoreline is available only to members. We haven't been there yet but plan to soon.
Our trip to Canada will give us the first opportunity to use those reciprocal privileges. We anticipate using them enough to pay for our membership and then some. We'll keep you posted. Tonight . . .is steak night!