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Old 27-08-2015, 19:26   #16
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

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Originally Posted by ScottMeilicke View Post
Dhillen, you had kids with you? Ages? How did they do in the PNW? I am concerned there will be essentially no kids about during the Winter. Not that I can do much about that...
Our children were 5 and 8 then but, let me clarify, we were not living aboard full time when we cruised the PNW like we are now as we cruise the South Pacific.

If you are looking for other kid boats in the PNW in winter then that is another question. Since there are hardly ANY boats cruising the PNW outside the months of April - September, finding a kid boat off season will be tough. Your best bet will be other liveaboard boats wintering over in marinas in Seattle, Victoria or Vancouver. Then you are living at a marina and not moving around much which may not be what you are after - but it still beats living in a house!

Cheers.

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Old 27-08-2015, 19:46   #17
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

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Thanks everyone, I am feeling better. My biggest fear is the high winds, but if that really bothers me we can duck into a marina just about anywhere. We have anchored in Ludlow in the past, but not sure we can fit behind those islands depth wise. That can be shallow water!

For the past four years, I have walked about a mile every day for work, so I'm somewhat aware of the weather conditions, but only in 20 minute snatches. We'll see what happens!

-Scott
In addition to depths at the entrance to the inner harbor in ludlow you are right in front of a number of houses who will be who's owners will be cranky in short order.
Having lived aboard in winter in the past, I can testify that you will use a lot of diesel as things cold soak. Despite all that I truly enjoyed the entire time aboard. Caution about some of the winter storms though they can easily be dangerous for days at a time.
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Old 27-08-2015, 19:50   #18
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

We sail year round in the PNW.

I'm really looking forward to the end of everybody else's season.

We don't have a cockpit enclosure or even a dodger. It's really not that bad if you have the right gear.

We do have heat. One of the first things I installed (that's actually me not the royal I) was a drip pot heater. It's absolutely essential. Without heat you will be cold and wet and miserable.

Winters we spend most of our time sailing between Anacortes and Sequim Bay. I can't count the times we've been surrounded by walls of dark foreboding clouds while sailing in full sun. It's really quite common. I kid you not.

There's certainly room for more. Most of the time we are the only sail on the horizon.

Winters are good in the San Juans because it's quiet and you have places to yourself. But the SJ's aren't really a very secure place. Gales blow through from all directions so you'll find it hard to get to sleep some times maybe even fairly choppy if you've chosen the wrong place to spend the night.

In winter it's wise to respect what's possible. The wind can really blow some times. If you're worn down and just want to relax and sleep burrow yourself deep into Port Ludlows back bay. That's the most secure place around.

My primary sources for local data are the following:

http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/PZ/132.html?MR=1

http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/Pac_tab.shtml

http://weather.gc.ca/marine/forecast...3&siteID=07010
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Old 27-08-2015, 20:05   #19
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

Scott...what is your objective to winter in the PNW? To stay basically comfortable and secure in one popular place, or cruise and Explore further north.

I have both worked and cruised winters in BC and loved it.... Further north you meet incredible homestead people who can teach and inspire your family on what it takes to live off the grid.

Yes there are miserable days, but also beautiful days of magical beauty that is yours alone.
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Old 27-08-2015, 20:27   #20
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

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Scott...what is your objective to winter in the PNW? To stay basically comfortable and secure in one popular place, or cruise and Explore further north.

I have both worked and cruised winters in BC and loved it.... Further north you meet incredible homestead people who can teach and inspire your family on what it takes to live off the grid.

Yes there are miserable days, but also beautiful days of magical beauty that is yours alone.
I too love the winter and frankly can't wait for this summer to end. It really hasn't been a very good year for sailing in the straits, at least on the days I'm getting out. Maybe this weekend will make up for some of that?

With cold you can always get warm but when it's too warm there's nothing you can do. The heat and the dryness and the sense of the entire world holding it's breath and saving energy to survive.... it's trying and tiring.... and now half the state is on fire. It's time for some rain.

And I'm tired of motoring everywhere!!!

Winters are profoundly beautiful in a way that summer isn't. With the right gear and some heat down below it's really spectacular most of the time.
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Old 29-08-2015, 01:03   #21
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

Having cruised both in the winter I would recommend considering North of the border. More snug anchorages on the inside of Vancouver Island than the Puget Sound. Of course I have never been much further South than Seattle...

Then you would be poised to ride the last of the Spring SWerlies up the inside and start the summer on the outside of Vancouver Island, or the Haida Gwaii, before heading South.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:14   #22
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

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Scott...what is your objective to winter in the PNW? To stay basically comfortable and secure in one popular place, or cruise and Explore further north.
We want to move, explore, etc. I quit my job last week, and we are now finishing up major boat projects. Ideally we would like to go South, but not sure if we or the boat will be ready. We are struggling to find a captain to assist with the trip down, but haven't tried that hard as of yet.

Livia, we will be reading through the PNW section of your blog again, which is wonderful BTW. I think I was reading your blog during your PNW days, but this time the family needs to be reading it as well to get a sense of the experience.

Thanks to everyone for all of the feedback. It sounds like a great adventure! We welcome more stories, comments, etc.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:42   #23
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

I found the descriptions by Korrigan above to be spot on. I couldn't do it without a dodger but more power to him if he can. We have felt absolutely frozen in the cockpit with a dodger, sun shining, and light breeze crossing Rosario Straits from Thatcher Pass to Anacortes in the summer! But if you bundle up and have some heat down below you get by. BTW - we no longer like hot weather.

This recent wind storm was unusual for summer but not unusual for winter, at all. So the cautions on finding a secure spot are well deserved. If you like being alone you will love it. If you want lots going on not so much. Even Anacortes gets sleepy in the winter. But we love it when the tourist hordes leave and it gets quieter. Same on the water.

But if you go north across the border for extended times, make sure you understand the issues that might arise as far as how long you stay in Canada. They have rules on how long you can stay, especially if they have any reason to think you might be working. And also use of services like schools, healthcare, etc. It is the most beautiful place to go though.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:48   #24
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

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But if you go north across the border for extended times, make sure you understand the issues that might arise as far as how long you stay in Canada. They have rules on how long you can stay, especially if they have any reason to think you might be working. And also use of services like schools, healthcare, etc. It is the most beautiful place to go though.
You can get health care coverage in Canada. We visit there twice a year and I think I pay $48 for two weeks. So many Americans travel through Canada that you will NOT be reinventing the wheel.

Good luck, have fun.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:44   #25
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

I'm 67 and have been on the PNW waters most of my life on ships, tugs and commercial fishing. If you are cruising, you can make your moves in the brief periods of good weather. In the winter there isn't much yacht traffic, so you can anchor in the choice spots. I run longer rodes in the winter and also run all chain.
Sometimes winter storm winds will knock down the prevailing NW swells and the ocean can be flat for a day or so. A good time for a power boat to move, but usually not much wind. My wifi internet works near most ports and marinas so I can get weather pictures. I make my own forecasts because I don't find the weathermen too accurate on the West Coast (to say it politely).
I like the scenic PNW and figure the rain and cold is what I have to pay for green trees and clear water.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:58   #26
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Re: Does anyone cruise the PNW during the winter?

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Originally Posted by ScottMeilicke View Post
We are not sure we will be heading South this Fall from Seattle, WA, USA, so we are considering cruising the Pacific Northwest this Winter. We would mostly anchor, maybe hit a marina once a week. Other than the rain and cold, any reason not to do this with the right ground tackle?

We are six - me, wife, kids 10 & 14, two dogs, 43' ketch, four anchors, 300' chain, etc.

Thanks.


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Hi Scott,

I have been winter cruising off and on for the last 30 some years just a bit further north of your cruising grounds. (Prince William Sound [PWS] and presently southeast Alaska.) I mention this because the experiences are similar- only the temperatures are different (Cold temps got down to -20F in PWS, and hover around freezing and sometimes colder to zeroF in southeast...)

If you guys enjoy- really enjoy- being alone together, you trust your own judgement, your vessel and its equipment [heater(s), ground tackle, communication methods, etc.] and never allow the calendar to drive your decision making [only wx], then you will maximize your potential for having a great time.

I have been pinned down for weeks at a time further north waiting out wx. You need fuel and water capacity to endure that. My last boat had no water maker [and there were no cold water efficient units available back then...] so I went ashore to get water in PWS. My current boat has a water maker, washer/drier, and a pilothouse with inside steering station, so it is much easier to hunker or commute in inclement conditions. [I mention this to share what became important to me after many years of living aboard part and full-time year-round in cooler, climates with the potential of volatile weather.]

I always had cats for pets on boats... [I'm in the custody of 2 now...] Those whom I've known with dogs plan on multiple daily shore excursions ashore- Which may not always be possible... Therefore their dogs were also trained to go outside on the boat [typically a piece of astroturf] in all conditions...

Prepare well. Have fun. Share your adventures! Positive experiences will meld your family into a cohesive crew, bring them closer together, and enhance mutual respect.

Cheers!

Bill
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