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Old 31-01-2012, 00:40   #1
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Crusing the Washington State Coast ?

Were planning a summer trip to the San Juan Islands this summer and we've never sailed north of the Columbia river. Were planning on trying to day sail and plan 3 stops to get to the Straight of Juan d Fucia. I don't think we'll have a problen with conditions as were planning on going the last of July and coming back in August. I have read about being able to anchor over night at Destruction Island but not much else was mentioned, DOES ANYONE HAVE FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF ANCHORING AT Destruction Island on the WA coast ?
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:12   #2
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

I'm guessing no one sails the WA state coast line. I've been told on another forum to stay out at 60 fathoms and we would avoid most of the sourthern current going north.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:38   #3
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

I've never heard of anchoring there, but then, with that rocky area I would probably stay far away. Sounds like you will have a fun summer! The san jauns are beautiful but kinda "on the beaten path". The lower part of Vancouver Isle on the outside is superb cruising and more remote if you like that kind of thing. Also up into the BC islands too.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:57   #4
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2012, 14:24   #5
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We've transited the Washington coast several times in our Tartan 37. I've never day-sailed it, but the last trip north took us 30 hours motoring from dock to dock, Astoria,OR to Ucleulet, BC on the north side of Barkley Sound on Vancouver Island's west coast. The return trip was a broad reach rhumb line, and took about the same time.

You can duck into Grey's Harbor overnight and cut the trip roughly in half, and Neah Bay has a great anchorage at the other end.

Personally, I would just do it in a single passage, as there are no compelling stop-overs for sailors. Also, you need to really watch for crab pot lines if you are close inshore. We never turn north until at least 10 miles off the end of the north jetty, and then keep a sharp eye out.

Link to a video of a recent return from Barkley Sound:



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Old 02-02-2012, 10:12   #6
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

Thanks for the video and the advice, We hope to make our first cruse up the coast this August when the swells are the flattest.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:48   #7
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

wow, sailing in shorts off the coast of WA even in summer is not something I thought I would ever see! Nice Video.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:50   #8
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

I have done the trip in one hop before but was solo last september so did day hops. Nice to sleep at night. As stated the only really settled stops are Grays Harbor and La Push. They are well spaced for day hops just make sure you time your arrival for slack or flood. The Gray's Harbor bar is about as nasty as the Columbia on an ebb. There is not really much room to anchor in La Push. The whole north side is really shallow. Just pull in grab an empty slip if the harbor master doesn't answer on vhf (which seems pretty regular) and they will be in the office eventually. Its very low key.

You can anchor inside of Destruction Island but it is definitely settled weather only and not really worth it since the hop from Neah to La Push is an easy day. Destruction is worth a stop for bottom fishing off the south end. There is also excellent bottom fishing off La Push at the rock pile.

In August you can catch tuna so troll some gear (plastic squid or a cedar plug). Off the mouth of the Columbia you have to be about 30 miles out to get tuna but they are closer (10 miles or so) off La Push.

Safe travels.
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Old 02-02-2012, 19:04   #9
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

We hadn't thought of LaPush. What are the docks like?
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Old 02-02-2012, 19:26   #10
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

The docks are fine. Nothing fancy but serviceable. Mostly local fishing boats. The entrance is interesting and really scenic. In august there will probably be some gill nets in the channel that stay out over night so easiest to come in with some daylight. If Gray's Harbor is Beaverton then La Push would be Vernonia.
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Old 02-02-2012, 20:46   #11
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

I have done the trip many times on my boat and on friends boats ( that's me wearing shorts on Jay's boat)
Last Summer on my boat I planned on doing the day hop up the coast.There was 3 of us on board the weather and ocean were so nice we did not stop. On the way back 4 weeks later with 2 of us I planned on stopping but again weather and ocean perfect, so we did not stop.
My advise is stay 15 miles out. The first crossing of the Columbia river bar last summer we turned North to soon. As the wind was out of the SW. Then the wind died later. We were 9.5 miles offshore and 24 miles north of the Columbia river bar motor-sailing, when I heard something bump along the hull. Before I could shut down the motor we had a CRAP TRAP FLOAT around the prop. I got the line cut but could not get under the pitching boat.
Got a commercial tow back to Illwaco. $600 and 6 hours of towing. Took me 10 minutes the next morning to cut crap floats off prop.Then we left for a fun summer. Tow boat owner said "I make a good living off pleasure boats and crap floats".
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Old 02-02-2012, 21:03   #12
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

Most pots are inside of 50 fathoms but occasionally there are a few set in as much as 350 feet.
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Old 02-02-2012, 22:01   #13
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

I am a little late for this thread but to add my exp. I have made the run up and down the coast many times as well. Have made the run nonstop as well as pulled in to Greys Harbor and La Push. Have gone into both at night as well and still have night mares about those times. If the weather is good you can run up the coast right off shore during the day then head out at night. When I single hand I stay about 25-30 mi off. Never never cut the corner when leaving the Columbia. Never never try to run into GH or LP in bad weather !!! I am in your neighborhood right now. If you like we could get together for a cup a joe and chat PM me or stop by Island canvas or Sextons and ask for my num
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Old 02-02-2012, 22:13   #14
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

Just a couple of thoughts for you. I have been in and out of Greys Harbor a couple of times. Crossed the bar at flood tide. Sometimes it is like glass and sometimes it is verticle. It really isn't far enough from Astoria to make it a great stop. Greys Harbor is a commercial fishing harbor and is home to more sh@tting seagulls than I have ever seen in one place. Took me a long time to get the boat cleaned up. Stop by and say Hi on the way through. I am at Salpare Bay.
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Old 02-02-2012, 22:19   #15
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Re: Crusing the Washington state coast ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinista55 View Post
We've transited the Washington coast several times in our Tartan 37. I've never day-sailed it, but the last trip north took us 30 hours motoring from dock to dock, Astoria,OR to Ucleulet, BC on the north side of Barkley Sound on Vancouver Island's west coast. The return trip was a broad reach rhumb line, and took about the same time.

You can duck into Grey's Harbor overnight and cut the trip roughly in half, and Neah Bay has a great anchorage at the other end.

Personally, I would just do it in a single passage, as there are no compelling stop-overs for sailors. Also, you need to really watch for crab pot lines if you are close inshore. We never turn north until at least 10 miles off the end of the north jetty, and then keep a sharp eye out.

Link to a video of a recent return from Barkley Sound:



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Great video thanks for posting!

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