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Old 24-10-2012, 20:01   #1
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Strait of Juan de Fuca

Hi! I will be sailing up to Port Townsend in about a week and was having thoughts of spending a day in Port Angeles. I've never sailed in the Strait of Juan de Fuca before and wouldn't know what to expect. From what I've read, the conditions there seem to be a bit more intense than in the more protected ares of the Puget Sound. I will be sailing a 36' Jeanneau. I've read that the time to sail there is in the morning, if possible. I'm thinking I'll probably just stay in PT, but would like to consider a trip to PA in the future. Are there many added dangers in the strait over other areas of the sound?

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Old 24-10-2012, 20:33   #2
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Sailing up to PT? As in up from Seattle or are you rounding Cape Flattery and in to Strait of Juan de Fuca stopping in PA prior to Port Townsend?
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:34   #3
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

No danger at all, just choose the right day for wind and the right time for the current. Very strong around the corner coming out of PT.

But I would not do the trip to PA just for it stay in cute PT.
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:37   #4
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Dangers? Not really. It is not as protected, rougher, but as you said, probably calmer in the morning, of course depending on the tide. There is a nasty rip off Point Wilson during flood, but it's easy to avoid. Of course there is the usual commercial traffic to deal with.

Frankly though It's a nice drive and takes less than an hour. At lot easier than sailing there and back for a day trip.
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:38   #5
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Sorry, up from Seattle. I've just never sailed in the strait before...just looking to find out what to expect before I were to get there. I have charts and my Garmin.
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Sailing up to PT? As in up from Seattle or are you rounding Cape Flattery and in to Strait of Juan de Fuca stopping in PA prior to Port Townsend?
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:39   #6
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Fog is a big issue.

An anabatic (onshore) wind can develop later in the day. That will exacerbate a westerly. Wind over current makes things worse.

The TSS requires attention.

The ocean swell can be felt about 124 W.
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:40   #7
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Agreed! No danger. Lots of fog at times. PA has nothing on PT or Port Hudson! Was in PA in September and only stopped there for the night heading to PT from Flattery. You got that right about strong current at Point Wilson, near Port Hudson.
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:51   #8
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Thanks for all the great info.!! I think we'll stay in PT for both nights this time and maybe make the trip to PA next time. I'm just a cautious sailor and like to do my homework before trying something new. I'm up through my ASA106 cert., but still have a lot to learn. I love living in the Puget Sound area - so many interesting places to check out!! =)
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Old 24-10-2012, 20:51   #9
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Olson View Post
Sorry, up from Seattle. I've just never sailed in the strait before...just looking to find out what to expect before I were to get there. I have charts and my Garmin.
Getting past P.T. is the concern. Try to time it on a slack tide and swing wide around the point. Pt. Angeles is another 4 to 6 hours, motoring, West of P.T. If the weather's bad you could get some big swells rolling in. Try to sail with the tide. The current can be your enemy or friend.

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Old 24-10-2012, 20:57   #10
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Watch out for the big boys, as there can be a lot of commercial shipping and a number of ferries.
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Old 24-10-2012, 21:00   #11
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

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Watch out for the big boys, as there can be a lot of commercial shipping and a number of ferries.
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Old 24-10-2012, 21:07   #12
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

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Originally Posted by Steve Olson View Post
Thanks for all the great info.!! I think we'll stay in PT for both nights this time and maybe make the trip to PA next time. I'm just a cautious sailor and like to do my homework before trying something new. I'm up through my ASA106 cert., but still have a lot to learn. I love living in the Puget Sound area - so many interesting places to check out!! =)

Congrats on the ASA assault! Good program. You are doing all the right moves. Checking ahead of new route is prudent and sea smart. Last September was headed from Long Beach to Lake Washington. Big rolling walls of well formed seas came rolling in the Strait past Neah Bay en route to PH.
Awesome display. Cloudy day, hardly any wind. Later had to yield to big headed in to the Sound. Wish you success with your sailing. Have you ever considered crewing on deliveries? Flight in and out, travel expense, food aboard and a good learning experience. Got 2 students their ASA 106 coming up from Cabo last year. Leanred a lot more..
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Old 24-10-2012, 22:14   #13
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

I would absolutely LOVE to crew on deliveries!! Where would I go to get involved with this?? (And thanks - I plan to take my ASA107 and 108 courses this Spring/Summer with Mike Rice of the Puget Sound Sailing Institute...he tought my 106). I have a huge respect for the sound/ocean. I've actually pulled my share of expired bodies out of the Pacific, but that's another story.
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Have you ever considered crewing on deliveries? Flight in and out, travel expense, food aboard and a good learning experience. Got 2 students their ASA 106 coming up from Cabo last year. Leanred a lot more..
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Old 24-10-2012, 22:20   #14
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

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Watch out for the big boys, as there can be a lot of commercial shipping and a number of ferries.
Does the US Navy still escort their boomer subs back and forth in these waters?
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Old 24-10-2012, 22:47   #15
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Re: Strait of Juan de Fuca

Indeed they do!

OOPS! Left out a word in my last post:

"Later had to yield to big SUB headed in to the Sound."

Very impressive!
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