Hello RBAW Members,
Many have been doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and this progress is allowing additional recreational activities to be opened, great news!
As all responsible boaters put safety first, it will be imperative to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe by continuing to recreate responsibly. This still means remaining physically distanced, wearing masks if distance isn’t possible, only allowing household members on your boat, and not congregating in large groups.
With the Governor’s announcement yesterday, Washington is transitioning from “Stay at Home, Stay Healthy” to “Safe Start” by June 1st. This is a hand off from the state’s rules to a “flexible” county-by-county approach. Individual counties will have the authority to determine what is allowed as they apply and transition to the next Phase in re-opening. To include a new “Phase 1.5” as they work towards full Phase 2 qualifications and beyond. These phases will determine what activities, gatherings, etc. will be allowed by county.
What this means to recreational boating and fishing is that we must abide by the county specific directives for when, where, and how we can to recreate. And of note, there continues to be a restriction for San Juan county which prohibits non-essential travel to the San Juan Islands through the end of Phase 2.
This is going to be an evolving situation over the next several weeks as counties transition into the next phase so please check the county you want to visit prior to heading out. King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties will soon be requesting approval to move into the next phase.
Below you will see links that will provide you with important information. It is still critical to plan ahead and check websites, or call businesses to determine what’s open, and please continue to practice COVID-19 safety procedures.
– Governor Inslee announces “Safe Start” — Washington’s Phased Reopening by county. Click HERE for details – Washington Counties by Phase – Click HERE for updated list – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks), Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that camping in 22 counties will begin to reopen on Monday, June 1. Counties reopening for camping are all actively in Phase 2 of Gov. Inslee’s ‘Safe Start’ plan and have also been approved for camping by county officials. The public should check state agency websites for the status of individual campgrounds and dispersed camping. Click HERE for details
– Saltwater boat ramps and launches are now OPEN on Elliott Bay. The City is considering opening our freshwater launches in the coming weeks, but only if we can ensure that opening launches will not lead to increased gatherings or parties on boats (which are currently not yet permitted). Please, ensure critical COVID-19 safety practices are met by physical distancing and/or wearing a mask when unable to physically distance. Click HERE for details – San Juan Islands Travel Advisory (UPDATED). In alignment with the Governor, the San Juan County Health Officer’s order prohibits non-essential travel to the San Juan Islands through the end of Phase 2. The order prohibits day trips by visitors, transient accommodations, camping, access to playgrounds, and overnight moorage.
– Puget Sound Halibut Fishery to open for select dates starting May 20. ClickHEREfor details – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to enjoy three free days at state parks in June. Click HERE for details.
PTYC Member Pete Leenhouts
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PTYC Member Pete Leenhouts
This is the time of year PTYC closes up shop, so to speak, a break from meetings in July and August, so we can all be out on the water enjoying our cruising destinations with our PTYC friends. We ARE now allowed to cruise again but, sadly, not as a club gathering in large groups on docks, holding potlucks, rafting up to other boats, or mingling over a 5 o’clock happy hour. Social distancing is still in our future for now.
What we CAN do is get out on the water individually, making our own personal decision if and when we feel ready. There is a lot of water out there for social distancing. Most Marine State Parks opened May 5th, others are waiting until May 31st, and some not until mid-June. Docks and mooring buoys can be used for day use to enjoy the marine parks and trails (practicing safe social distancing), but an overnight visit requires anchoring out. See more information at the links below on which parks are open. Continue reading