FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How Do I Book?
To make sure we are able to individually meet our clients' needs, and to accommodate those who do not have internet access in the islands, we have in-person reservations through text or phone. Please phone or text anytime to 360-420-5187
Why choose Paraclete?
The word Paraclete means "advocate" in Greek. It is at the heart of our purpose here in the San Juan Islands. We aim to be your helper in transportation, in provisioning, in cruising. It is why Paraclete runs the smoothest boat, and why our staff go out of their way to help you load and unload, find a schedule that meets your needs, and make sure you are comfortable every step of your journey.
Our devoted clients tell us that they choose Paraclete because we are always kind and helpful, the rides are always smooth and comfortable, and because for the same cost of similar services, they feel they enjoy a higher level of professionalism and luxury. We are a small, local company with local, long-time employees, and we love what we do. Come enjoy the Paraclete way!
Where do I catch the boat?
If you are heading out to the islands from Anacortes, the dock is to the west side of the main building at Skyline Marina in Anacortes, Washington. Please go to our driving directions page.
I have some health concerns. Can Paraclete accommodate my special needs?
Yes!! Please let us know ahead of time how we can assist you and your needs. We often safely and comfortably take passengers who have medical equipment or wheelchairs. Also, we ask other passengers to be mindful of the unnoticed needs of other passengers: sometimes a run has been modified to meet the unseen health concerns of other passengers.
What is the drop-off route for every run?
Depending on what customers book and to where, we adjust the run to be the most efficient for our riders. For example, if we only have drop-offs at Decatur and only pick-ups at Blakely, we will run to Decatur first. Or, if we have passengers that need to be dropped off at Obstruction or Orcas, we will fit that in to the run in the most time efficient way we can. That's why we like to work with our riders individually during the booking process so we can meet their needs to the best of our ability.
What is the policy on pets and animals?
We love transporting your furry and feathered friends (or even your fish, turtles, or toucans)! You know your pet best, so if a carrier is where your pet is most comfortable, we will make sure they are in a safe, secure, and weather-protected spot according to your preference. Pets are also welcome to join their owners in the cabin or on deck.
Do you transport large items and supplies?
Of course! And we do in under the cover of our spacious aft decks. If you have extra large cargo to transport, please let us know ahead of time so we can coordinate the extra time needed for loading/off-loading, as well as making sure that the route best serves your needs. If you have cargo that needs to be shipped when you are not a passenger, please call to arrange so that our crew can make sure to receive your cargo safely at the dock and bring it to you in a timely manner.
Do you have food or snacks for purchase on board?
We do not at this time have any food for purchase on board, but you are welcome to bring your own food to eat at our clean tables and benches in the cabin.
Do you offer discounts for children?
Of course! Kids under 18 get a $5 discount when traveling with a paying adult, so please let us know when you book how many kids will be traveling. Kids under two years old are always free.
Do you offer discounts for frequent riders?
Yes, currently (2021) we are running our punch card promotion: buy a 10-ride punch card for $350.
Contractors who are working on our regularly serviced islands can get a 20% discount on their frequent rides. Make sure you ask your contractor if they are taking advantage of the discount! This is a bigger discount than offered by any other San Juan Island boat taxi or charter service.
What if I need to leave or arrive at a different time than the runs on your schedule?
Call or text us, and we can put you on a "waiting list" for a different time. If you have four or more passengers with you, we can usually accommodate other times that do not conflict with scheduled runs. Or, consider chartering the boat of your choice: an affordable option for small groups and large families.
What if I can't make my reserved time?
Please just text or call us as soon as you know you won't be able to make your departure time, or if you are running late and not sure if you will make it in time. If the boat cannot wait for you to get there because of the schedule of the other passengers, we will work with you to figure out another time that we can get you to your destination.
Do you run trips all year?
Paraclete and its parent company, Island Excursions, run trips to the islands all year. Please reserve your trip at least a few days in advance during the off-season, October-April. When the weather is rough in the winter, the Paraclete is your best bet for a smooth, comfortable, and weather-protected ride.
Do you ever see wildlife on your trips?
YES! We always see wildlife, and frequently see porpoises, whales, and seals. Let us know if you are interested in wildlife viewing during your trip and our crew will point out the usual spots for aquatic mammals, eagles, and other marine birds.