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Old 09-06-2014, 10:52   #16
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

I like going up to Port Angeles and then getting across to Bamfield. Provision in PA (other than potatoes etc!) The wind is so heavy in the summer coming in the Straight that I prefer to just get right across . If you leave early am with your boat, you can be across before the wind picks up. The down side being the fog.
I love that area, be sure to go all the way up to the end of Pipestem inlet and anchor at the base of the water fall. You will be entertained by the river otters and maybe black bear on the beach while you drink your am coffee.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:03   #17
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

I've been out the Straits many times in a lot of boats, but they were all sailboats so speed was not a luxury we enjoyed.

If you want a smooth quiet ride - leave Sooke at daybreak on a day after a relatively calm (less than 15 knots) night in the mid-straits. The winds seldom build before noon or 1 PM and the wind waves don't come for another couple hours after that. It will be about 70 NM to round Cape Beal and get into the protection of Trevor Channel.

If you are really concerned then leave a couple hours earlier and you will have at least eight hours of daylight and calm seas to make it into protected waters.

If you want to be even more cautious - wait for a calm forecast with an incoming (flood tide) for the straits during the 7 AM - noon time frame. Then - even if the winds build unexpectedly the current will not fight the wind and build bigger sharper waves.

We left Port Angles at 04:30 in early July in a 6.5 knot sailboat in the company of another similar sailboat - headed for Neah Bay with a relatively calm forecast. At 10 AM the 38' boat ahead of us was pitching so badly that her keel was 50% exposed on many of the waves. We turned around an headed back to PA.

The waves were only about 6' but, being new wind waves and fighting the ebb current, they were steep and breaking. Our 12 ton sailboat with a 50 HP diesel was only able to make about 4.7 knots and even that was uncomfortable.

Same thing happened the next day.

On the third day we sailed over to Victoria in calm glassy seas and heavy fog.

Based on a dozen or so trips - the key to easy passage is early to mid-morning.

You mention oceanic swells - Well - one more story!

We (same two boats several years later) were anchored in Neah Bay where we had been for three days waiting for the NNW gales to subside. They did go down so on the day AFTER the winds dropped to NNW 5 - 10 I decided to head up to Cape Beal and all the great stuff beyond there.

As we started to haul anchor I noticed a long line of huge ships headed east in the straits and was puzzled. The skipper of the other boat (ex-USCG XO of the buoy tender Fir which had sailed these waters for years) suggested I take a closer look at the "ships" with my good 15x binoculars.

I did - they were not ships -they were enormous swells marching eastward at a 15 second period.

The next day the swells appeared to have gone down so I headed out to Cape Beale with a full main and full optimism. Two hours later we were motorsailing UP and OVER 15 to 20 foot high long period ocean swells coming from the WNW. They were huge, smooth, and about 20 seconds apart. Being on top of the swell was like standing on a small hilltop in the plains - you could see forever and there was nothing but other small hills.

The boat would slow to 3.5 knots going over the top and then accelerate to 8 knots going down the back. After 30 minutes of that fun, and seeing nothing but big swells to the NW we decided to turn back to Neah Bay.

That was a little tricky - trying to turn on a very large wave seemed to be a problem but it was actually quite easy because the face was so long and so smooth.

The next day we had a nice easy sail on WSW winds up to Cape Beal.

Here is a link to a video I made in September 2010 that is the dream, ideal day for heading out the straits:



The same thing happened to me in a 65' boat I was taking out the straits in September 2006.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:07   #18
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

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Originally Posted by michaelmrc View Post
not sure how much time you have to explore but the broken group islands are amazing. i spent an entire summer there in 06 paddling was incredible. some great places to anchor ive heard of are Joe's Bay between Turtle Island &Walsh island, Nettle Island, Effingham Bay, ive even seen boats anchored in front of gilbraltor and in the bay on turret.
The Port Alberni Yacht Club dock in Robber's Passage is a nice stop. Moorage and showers are on an honour system.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:31   #19
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

I've been lucky, every crossing from PA to Bamfield , using early am departure was flat water. In fact we usually motored.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:38   #20
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

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I've been lucky, every crossing from PA to Bamfield , using early am departure was flat water. In fact we usually motored.
How were you clearing customs and immigration?
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:55   #21
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

Is Bamfield still not possible?
Later: I just checked and it appears there is no check in there now listed.
Canada Customs site says you can call in entry, but I wonder about that....
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:14   #22
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

Thanks to all who replied. So much great info, much appreciated !
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Old 13-08-2014, 11:29   #23
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

Thanks again to all who replied and helped out with my questions. I had a wonderful trip and posted a 5 min video about the trip from Victoria to Ucluelet on youtube. It isn't the best quality video as I did it with my small camera !

If your interested here's a link -
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Old 13-08-2014, 14:55   #24
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

[QUOTE=RFunk;1605137]Thanks again to all who replied and helped out with my questions. I had a wonderful trip and posted a 5 min video about the trip from Victoria to Ucluelet on youtube. It isn't the best quality video as I did it with my small camera !

Fogaust.

Glad you had a good time.

Jack
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Old 13-08-2014, 15:53   #25
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Re: Anacortes to Barkley Sound - Navigation Tips

My memory is cookin' listening to Jackdale and Cheechako's comments. Brought back some great times spent back in the 50's and 60's pulling black oil barges from Burrard Inlet to the west coast of Van Isld. In those days we had the Swftsure Lightship anchored on the Swiftsure Bank pumping out weather reports and I think an early radio beacon.
She ended up being moored in Victoria Harbor for many years following her decommissioning.
There were very few pleasure craft on the Island's west coast in those days and those of us that managed to get our fishboats out of Port Alberni canal before the tsunami from Anchorage hit in the early 60's still count ourselves lucky to have survived. There were seine boats deposited 2 blocks into the town!
Glad to know there are still stalwarts putting miles under their keels like Jack' and Cheek'... cheers, Phil
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