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Posted on: October 5, 2011

New Water Taxi Links Bellingham to San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands will seem a little closer this spring when Leap Frog Water Taxi begins operating at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

The Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a lease and operating agreement with Leap Frog owner Bill McGown yesterday. He plans to open his office space at the Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven later this fall and will begin operating the water taxi service in spring.

Leap Frog plans to service the outer islands in the San Juans, as well as islands that have no ferry service. The company also will offer custom trips and charter.

“This is awesome,” said Port Commission President Michael McAuley. “Leap Frog’s service provides a long-awaited link to the islands, including islands that aren’t presently connected by any ferry service."

Earlier this year McGown purchased a 32-foot aluminum passenger vessel “Andiamo” built by Bellingham’s All American Marine and had final outfitting work done by the Seaview Boatyard in Fairhaven. Port Commissioners praised the local economic impact Leap Frog has had, even before starting its service.

“Leap Frog Water Taxi joins a informal network of small fast passenger vessels that operate within the San Juan Islands,” said Leap Frog Water Taxi’s owner Bill McGown. “We will strive to link the transportation hub here at the Cruise Terminal with the San Juan Island’s vital communities. We also want to open up the recreational resources including the large State Parks islands to Bellingham residences and visitors. This is a natural fit for this city’s new focus on water front development.”

The two-year lease approved by commissioners yesterday includes a 240-foot ticketing office and dock space at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

At the Fairhaven terminal, Leap Frog joins San Juan Cruises, which offers seasonal whale watching trips and cruises to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, and the Schooner Zodiac. The terminal was built to serve the Alaska Marine Highway System’s ferry, which relocated from Seattle more than 20 years ago and offers weekly trips from Bellingham to Alaskan destinations.

For More Information:
Carolyn Casey, Port of Bellingham, 360-676-2500/carolync@portofbellingham.com
Bill McGown, Leap Frog Water Taxi (360)220-0538/ bill@dreamboatharbor.com

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