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Old 06-09-2012, 16:44   #1
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Puget Sound for a Week - Where To Go?

I am leaving in two days (Sat) for a little solo sailing trip from Edmonds, returning the following Friday (could be sat or sun if necessary due to weather, but I think the weather will be fine). My original thought was to sail south to Bainbridge, then on around Vashon to Gig Harbor. A day or three there and/or near Vashon, then back up to Port Orchard, and finally back to Edmonds.

But now looking at the distances, I'm thinking I can get to the San Juans in two days (Port Townsend is having a wooden boat festival on Sat - cool), circumnavigate Lopez or San Juan Island in three days, and back down again in another two. I am a little concerned about the open water on the west side of whidbey.

I'm sailing a little 20' Kent Ranger solo, so I'm not going to be able to put in the daily miles to make it up to the islands in a single day (I don't think). Anchoring is fine.

Any advice on which way to go? Other ways?

Thanks
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Old 06-09-2012, 17:20   #2
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Re: Puget Sound for a week - Where to go?

A great stop on the way North is Port Ludlow.
Another close stop is Mats Mats Bay, just North of Pt. Ludlow.
The weather looks great for the next week or so, according to Accuweather and the Eastern Pacific satellite loop.
Typical summertime wind around here (West side of Whidbey where I live) is light variable wind in the AM, followed by N or NW wind in the afternoon. It typically maxes out at 10 to 15 knots around 3 to 4 pm and then slowly dies to near nothing in the evening.
Have fun!
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Old 06-09-2012, 17:39   #3
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What are the waves like in the straight? Sea conditions in the straight are my biggest concern, and it does not look like there are many hidey-holes on the West coast of Whidbey.

I have been to Matts Matts, a great place. I have never seen so many herons. We spent three days there at a friends cabin. I learned 1) how not to calculate tides, and 2) what the boat looks like lying in the mud.
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Old 06-09-2012, 19:21   #4
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where to go?

It was like glass today. Not much wind from what I could see. The South Sound (below the Narrows) is little used this time of year, very smooth water there.

In general, the waters tend to be smooth in the Straits and the weather radio is accurate enough to give you a good handle of what is going to happen.

With seven days you could go up Rosario to the upper San Juan Island too.
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Old 06-09-2012, 23:27   #5
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where to go?

Whichever way you go, be sure to go with the tide (in a 20' sailboat) so as to make the best headway. And swing wade around the rips up by Port Townsend, if on yur way.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:57   #6
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where to go?

You can go up the east side also. Langley is supposed to have a good bakery. Coupeville in Penn Cove and Oak Harbor are nice. Cornet Bay just inside of Deception Pass has a nice state park. Can go out Deception if the Straits aren't too bouncy for you then you've bypassed most of the Straits or go up Swinomish channel, then can check out La Conner and/or Anacortes and then you're in the islands without having to deal with the Straits at all.

For the Puget Sound trip, Port Madison is a deep secure anchorage. Winslow in Eagle Harbor is nice to walk around. Blake Island is a boat only state park, but avoid on weekends as it's very busy. It has Tillicum Village if you're into that. Blakely Harbor just north of there is a nice anchorage with a view of Seattle. Point Defiance in Tacoma is within walking distance of the zoo. Dockton in Quartermaster harbor on the south side of Vashon is worth a look. Bremerton opposite of Pt. Orchard has a Navy vessel to tour. Poulsbo is another nice town, I forget when they have their Viking festival.

Some people do the Chittenden Locks for the experience. You need to go to Cozy Cove or Yarrow Bay on Lake Washington for the nearest anchorage. I'd have to look to see what marinas in the channel or on Lake Union have overnight transient moorage.


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Old 07-09-2012, 03:58   #7
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where to go?

The weather HAS been nice, but this time of year a bit of fog can roll in near Port Townsend.
Trying to do too much in too little time is a recipe for an accident .Keeping a schedule with a 20 footer is a mistake , imo.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:19   #8
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where to go?

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post

For the Puget Sound trip, Port Madison is a deep secure anchorage. Winslow in Eagle Harbor is nice to walk around. Blake Island is a boat only state park, but avoid on weekends as it's very busy. It has Tillicum Village if you're into that. Blakely Harbor just north of there is a nice anchorage with a view of Seattle. Point Defiance in Tacoma is within walking distance of the zoo. Dockton in Quartermaster harbor on the south side of Vashon is worth a look. Bremerton opposite of Pt. Orchard has a Navy vessel to tour. Poulsbo is another nice town, I forget when they have their Viking festival.

John
Be sure to wash down your anchor rode in these places. The smell of the mud will drive you out.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:32   #9
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where to go?

The Sound doesnt usually get too rough there, but West of the San Juans, the Straight can get rough in the afternoon if it's blowing like it does sometimes in the summer. You shouldnt need to be there though. Been pretty docile lately as far as I can tell. How many miles do you estimate you can do in a day?
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:27   #10
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Thanks for the reply everyone. I will be busy for years.

Reaching in 12 mph winds I do 5-6 mph. It is 26 miles from Friday Harbor to Pt Townsend, or 20 mi from the south end of San Juan to Pt Townsend. So if the winds are favorable, I can scoot across in 4-5 hours. I can steer the boat from in the cockpit or the cabin, so I shouldn't get too fatigued as I can move around.

Cheechako, when you say west of the islands, are you talking about the strait of Juan de fuca, just off of Whidbey, or Haro? I'm not afraid of a little weather, but realistically there is only so much my 20' 3/4 decked sailboat should be doing.

Another half option is to head to pt Townsend, and if the weather is dicey, continue up into Sequim, port Angeles, etc., staying on the south side of the strait.

Am I being too cautious to avoid the strait of j de f, even in the Summer when the weather forecast is good?
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:39   #11
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where To Go?

I think you have every right to be cautious crossing the Strait, regardless of the season. Personally, I would go east of Whidbey. I would cross the straits on an R20 when you had the experience and confidence that you didn't need to ask whether you should be crossing the Straits.

It's a nice one day sail up to east of Deception Pass, then you can sail directly two the Lopez sound or James Island on a favorable tide through the Pass. Then work your way around Lopez and THEN decide if returning via the straits seems like a good idea or just return via Deception.

Definitely go north though, not south. 9 days is plenty of time to see some of the San Juans from Edmonds and you won't regret it.

Haven't lived there for 10 years, but our last cruise in the area was a week long trip from Edmonds up to the San Juans. Up via the east of side, back via the Straits.
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Old 07-09-2012, 13:11   #12
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where To Go?

Most of the wave action you need to watch out for is during big tide swings which cause rips and confused seas.
A common messy spot in times like that is a curved line from Pt. Wilson and Marrowstone to Whidbey Island at Lagoon Point.
Another place is the Southwest area off San Juan Island in Haro Strait during similar big tide shifts.
As I write this, the wind is about 7 knots from the North, tide is high slack.
Looking NW, Pt. Wilson is in the far background.
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Old 07-09-2012, 21:35   #13
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where To Go?

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Originally Posted by ScottMeilicke View Post
Thanks for the reply everyone. I will be busy for years.

Reaching in 12 mph winds I do 5-6 mph. It is 26 miles from Friday Harbor to Pt Townsend, or 20 mi from the south end of San Juan to Pt Townsend. So if the winds are favorable, I can scoot across in 4-5 hours. I can steer the boat from in the cockpit or the cabin, so I shouldn't get too fatigued as I can move around.

Cheechako, when you say west of the islands, are you talking about the strait of Juan de fuca, just off of Whidbey, or Haro? I'm not afraid of a little weather, but realistically there is only so much my 20' 3/4 decked sailboat should be doing.

Another half option is to head to pt Townsend, and if the weather is dicey, continue up into Sequim, port Angeles, etc., staying on the south side of the strait.

Am I being too cautious to avoid the strait of j de f, even in the Summer when the weather forecast is good?
West of San Juan Island etc. For instance, I was on the water today and the forecast for the western strait was 25 knots. There's what, 100 miles of fetch? If the tide is running against that, it can get pretty big. Just listen to the wx forecast on the vhf the night before and plan accordingly. Usually the wind builds into the afternoon. But you dont need to go out there anway, stay inside to get to Friday Harbor, plenty of other anchorages if you dont get that far.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:59   #14
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Heading North along the east side of Whidbey. Thanks for all of the advice!
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:00   #15
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Re: Puget Sound for a Week - Where To Go?

Usually there is a nice breeze coming down Saratoga Pass that may get you to Oak Harbor from Port Garner.
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