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Old 07-08-2015, 12:37   #31
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

Give these guys a call Ocean Forest Voyaging
My wife and I spent a week in their course in June and had a great time. They specialize in sailing with one other couple and provide a unique experience. Since they've spent several years offshore cruising, they can answer most of your potential questions about being offshore as well as give you valuable sailing experience.

Let me know if you end up going with them. I'd appreciate the feedback.
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:12   #32
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
I have not yet sailed in Vancouver, but I would enjoy doing so in the future.

So, please do not take what follows as a criticism of Vancouver or its weather. I simply take notes and am sharing them here because of the discussion. While I am not looking at these cities as places to take lessons, I am looking at potential places to live and sail. I intend to move to a coastal city within the next year, and sailing is going to be my primary interest there.

When considering a place to sail (and live), I look at the typical sailing conditions and much of that is dependent on the weather (wind). A few months ago I did some research into the weather in various cities I might like to visit (and possibly live) for sailing in the future. For my purposes, I looked at the PNW, Chesapeake, Miami, San Diego, Boston, San Francisco, etc.

When considering the different places, I looked for average wind (most important to me as a sailor), average rain (I prefer sunny weather), and average temperature and humidity, and dew point. Those things make for a more pleasant sail.

Of course there are other considerations too, such as cost of living, activities, quality of life, crime, "atmosphere" etc.

NOTE: Today's wind in Vancouver BC Weather: 66F (19C), Wind E at 3 mph (5 km/h), 68% Humidity
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Here are some clips from my earlier notes regarding Vancouver
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Weather Vancouver BC

SOURCE: https://weatherspark.com/averages/28...olumbia-Canada
Wind

Over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 15 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 26 mph (strong breeze).

The highest average wind speed of 8 mph (gentle breeze) occurs around March 19, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 15 mph (moderate breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 7 mph (light breeze) occurs around September 27, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 12 mph (moderate breeze).

The wind is most often out of the east (34% of the time), west (15% of the time), and south east (12% of the time). The wind is least often out of the north (3% of the time) and north east (4% of the time).

Clouds?
The clearer part of the year begins around June 28. The cloudier part of the year begins around September 24.

Rain?
During the warm season, which lasts from June 17 to September 10, there is a 33% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (59% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), moderate rain (32%), and thunderstorms (7%).
Well ...this year has been very windy out on the Strait and we have had less than 4 days of rain or clouds in almost 4 months. I am sitting here watching a 3 masted sail boat going by and many other sail boats. Not sure if This is the weather of the future; but, it has been getting drier and hotter each year. Not good at all!! Today is the coolest day in a long time. The plants are happy! I would caution looking at data from too far back!
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:21   #33
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
I have not yet sailed in Vancouver, but I would enjoy doing so in the future.

So, please do not take what follows as a criticism of Vancouver or its weather. I simply take notes and am sharing them here because of the discussion. While I am not looking at these cities as places to take lessons, I am looking at potential places to live and sail. I intend to move to a coastal city within the next year, and sailing is going to be my primary interest there.

When considering a place to sail (and live), I look at the typical sailing conditions and much of that is dependent on the weather (wind). A few months ago I did some research into the weather in various cities I might like to visit (and possibly live) for sailing in the future. For my purposes, I looked at the PNW, Chesapeake, Miami, San Diego, Boston, San Francisco, etc.

When considering the different places, I looked for average wind (most important to me as a sailor), average rain (I prefer sunny weather), and average temperature and humidity, and dew point. Those things make for a more pleasant sail.

Of course there are other considerations too, such as cost of living, activities, quality of life, crime, "atmosphere" etc.

NOTE: Today's wind in Vancouver BC Weather: 66F (19C), Wind E at 3 mph (5 km/h), 68% Humidity
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Here are some clips from my earlier notes regarding Vancouver
____________________

Weather Vancouver BC

SOURCE: https://weatherspark.com/averages/28...olumbia-Canada
Wind

Over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 15 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 26 mph (strong breeze).

The highest average wind speed of 8 mph (gentle breeze) occurs around March 19, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 15 mph (moderate breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 7 mph (light breeze) occurs around September 27, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 12 mph (moderate breeze).

The wind is most often out of the east (34% of the time), west (15% of the time), and south east (12% of the time). The wind is least often out of the north (3% of the time) and north east (4% of the time).

Clouds?
The clearer part of the year begins around June 28. The cloudier part of the year begins around September 24.

Rain?
During the warm season, which lasts from June 17 to September 10, there is a 33% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (59% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), moderate rain (32%), and thunderstorms (7%).
Hi Steady, Sorry if I was a bit defensive earlier. You're one of my favourite CF people and I'd love to have you up here.

Here's a great site for current wind conditions in the area. You'll see that at the moment it's pretty calm right outside of Vancouver but blowing 8 knots just south and 13 knots just north. Often the only winds are due to sea breezes so you get a nice breeze in the afternoon and then it shuts off when the sun goes down.

The winds are certainly fickle in the summer, other than in Howe Sound. I still find we're sailing more often than motoring, but some days you motor all freaking day on glassy waters if you need to get somewhere.

(also a small note on the wind notes: The wind is always from the SE or NW because it aligns itself with the Straight)

The data you quote seems a bit odd to me when it comes to the rain section. It would imply that it would rain once every three days in the summer. With few exceptions, we see drought conditions virtually every summer. It can go a month without rain easily.

It's usually a very pleasant 20-25C in the summer with a few weeks getting close to 30C (when we all melt because nobody has AC). We get maybe a week of snow in the winter, but it's generally in the 5-10C range.

There are two really important points to understand about the climate in the region. First, the North Pacific High creates benign, warm, sunny conditions in the summer from mid June to late Summer. Once it disappears, we get hammered by frontal systems about once every 24-48 hours. Lots of wind then!

Second, the amount of rainfall is highly dependent on where you are. Whiterock has half the annual rainfall as North Vancouver and it's about a 40 minute drive between the two cities!

Victoria and Port Townsend are both in rain shadows and get half as much rain as Vancouver. Cost of living is also lower in both places, but it's harder to find employment.
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Old 07-08-2015, 14:07   #34
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

TO: LNL and Chris,

Thanks for adding the details about the weather. It always interests me to get local knowledge and impressions.

I am sure that Vancouver will be a nice place to visit and sail.
You guys make it sound so.

Local knowledge, like yours, is very important. For example, the published wind averages for San Francisco are lower than the actual wind speeds seen in area known as The Slot, where much of the San Francisco fleet will spend their time during the summer, because of the stronger winds there

Y'all have a nice day, for sailing!
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Old 07-08-2015, 15:17   #35
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

I completed ASA 101, 103 1nd 104 and decided to do that in BVI. Thought I might as well make it a vacation while doing the basic courses. When I did 105 and 106 I went off New England for some more challenging weather, tides and conditions. Both locations had there pros and cons. I would not have done it the other way around though. Getting the basics in a place that has easy sailing and decent wind was a plus for me. So that might be a good option to consider for you. Do the first three in BVI and the follow on 105 and 106 in Vancouver.

Next year we are going back to BVI and my wife is taking the Competent Crew course and for very little extra money I am going to do the RYA Day Skipper class. Will be a lot of redundancy between that and 105 and 106, but we can do both classes on the same boat at the same time. And the up charge for me doing that cert vs just going along for the trip was very little and probably a great review for me. Will also do ASA 114 at the end and charter a catamaran for a few days to test her crewing skills.

So look at all the training you might want and your options may open up to something more interesting.
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Old 07-08-2015, 15:23   #36
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

People are stressing way too much about Vancouver weather. This is a cruise (presumably) in the Strait of Georgia, possibly starting in Vancouver, and there are a lot windier and dryer locations than Vancouver itself. If you go to the southern Gulf Islands, they're in a rain shadow. The northern Discovery Islands get the immediate effects of the North Pacific high which are strong westerly winds and very little rain. June can be a fantastic month in either location - a lot less people to compete for space with - and often with very little precipitation. We've had the driest May and June on record this year - biggest problem has been the drought-like conditions. Only one day in July with significant rain, in fact.
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Old 07-08-2015, 15:50   #37
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

What I did and can recommend: When taking my training I opted to take the most challenging course I could find to learn the most skills possible. I now feel very well prepared and feel that my family is well served by the extra effort. The extra cost and travel time should pay dividends from here on out. We were trained in 20 knot winds- no motor- under sail only.
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Old 07-08-2015, 16:06   #38
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

I recommend Cooper Boating. Done sailing courses with them and was at one time an instructor for them.

you can sail out of Vancouver for the gulf islands or Sydney they also have a base up by comox. I would recommend the spring as a time to learn but any season is great.
This is a great area for sailing one of the worlds best.

I am going out this afternoon, Vancouver to Ganges SSI
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Old 07-08-2015, 17:07   #39
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

Thanks everyone, lots of great info. We are planning to do the cruise and learn. A big part of this experience will be seeing what living on a boat is like. The illusion is fantastic in my head, fantasies are like that;-)
Allison has been reading the responses and is really getting excited. The idea of learning under a good instructor in an area as diverse as pnw is really appealing to her. She is really jumping in with both feet thanks to all the responses on here.
We will contact the schools suggested so far and see what we can arrange. Time frame is looking best for us in late Sept, early Oct. As we will still have my parents around to watch the kids(they snowbird)
I will let you all know where and when we are booked, maybe I will be able to buy one or two of you a rum in thanks, but I will want to drink it with you on your boat(b)
Keep the referrals coming please
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Old 08-08-2015, 19:40   #40
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

There are several good Vancouver based schools.

Most separate sailing and navigation into two distinctly different courses.The basic sailing being practical on the boat. On a cruise and learn you will get to practice some practical navigation.

It is worth while signing up for Navigation course theory as well. Through power squadron, sail Canada or online.

One guy you might try contacting is Jack Dale he posts often on sail net site. I don't know him, but he is based in Alberta I think Edmonton teaches class room there and organizes sailing out of Vancouver.

PS In Ganges now it was a great sail, I like rum, If we bump into each other, you will be welcome aboard
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:24   #41
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

I saw a recommendation for San Juan Sailing out of Bellingham and would like to second that. I used to teach for San Juan Sailing and am very impressed on how well they run their operation! If you are interested in the Caribbean, I would be very happy to answer any questions you might have. Grenada and the Grenadines offer great sailing and amazing anchorages - like the San Juan Islands - only windier and warmer!!!
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:03   #42
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

Thanks for all the referrals. We have booked a 6 day liveaboard course, covering comp crew and day skipper with ocean forest voyaging. They are based in Vancouver Island area.
They only have one couple on at a time which is the biggest draw for us. It becomes custom tailored to our abilities.
We booked in spring, middle of may. Once we go I will update you all on how it was.
Happy sailing:-)
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:13   #43
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

My wife and I took RYA ( me day skipper wife competent crew) in Grenada. A good holiday and course all in one. I later did yachtmaster coastal with the same people.
Hint you can do the day skipper theory on line but it is better to do the yacht master in the class room
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Old 13-09-2015, 09:18   #44
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

My wife and I did our ASA 101 and 103 last month using Island Cruising out of Sydney BC. It was a great experience! The boat was a Bavaria 34 that was in like new condition and the instructor went out of his way to teach us more than the course entailed when he realized that we had significant sailing experience on small boats. We are based out of Calgary for now but I see a boat in our future based out of Victoria. We will do our next lessons in the BVI's as a bit more of a vacation but absolutely loved the PNW
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:31   #45
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Re: Beginner course, Vancouver or BVI?

We leave tomorrow and will be on the boat after dinner. 6 days on board learning "competent crew and day skipper". Sailing out of Vancouver.
They have been extremely accommodating so far with all the planning and prep. I doubt I have to tell any of you how excited I am.
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