Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-11-2006, 18:02   #1
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
May in PNW

I've got two cruises (so far) planned for next year.

The first will be the second and third week of May. We will be leaving from Tsheum Harbor (North of Sidney BC) and must leave Canada. From there we are debating cruising the San Juans (wife and kids want to go to Friday Harbor) or cruising the Gulf Islands. Current thought is to cruise San Juan then try Lopez Island (Fisherman Bay) and then maybe Stewart Island (Reid Harbor). Thought is that it won't be really crowded that early in the season.

Requirements for the trip are as folows:

*Only 4 or 5 hours of sailing a day.
*A chance to go ashore and run around every day.(Hyper Kids)
*The ability to go to a store at least three times during the trip. (Ice for GT's)
*Want a good chance of seeing Orca's.
* Need to end up in Sidney again.

Questions:

What is the weather like in May?
How crowded does it get?


Second trip will begin June 23 or so and end July 18th or so. I'm assuming this will be peak season. I would like to sail to Victoria and stay in the Inner Harbor for Canada Day. Is that realistic? or near impossible? We'll have two sets of friends joining us for part of the time so need to be accessible. My thought is to head down from Sidney and work our way slowly South toward Victoria. Drop off one set of friends in Victoria and pick up another set. Then work our way back up the coast visiting different anchorages. I'm studying Exploring the South Coast of British Columbia and hope to know the area pretty well before we leave. Since there are so many Canuks on the board I was wondering if any of you would share some insider information on nice anchorages.
__________________

__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2006, 19:07   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,832
Reid Harbor is nice, but not in a southerly.

Friday Harbor pm San Juan Island is a good place to check in, it has a good sized marina and it's a good walking town with necessities like fuel, restaurants, ice cream etc. The anchorage is ok, but if it's seclusion you are looking for, keep looking. Garrison Bay on the west side of San Juan Island is one of my favorites. It's well protected and relatively quiet with good shoreside stuff to do and see.

Steve B.
Whidbey Island WA
__________________

__________________
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2006, 19:43   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
First trip:
If you want to go ashore in the SJ's it has to be at a park or a marina. The shore lines are all private property. Anchoring is OK but the ole saying "look but don't touch" applies in the SJ's. Ice can be had at most anchorages that have stores.

You won't have to worry anchoring around crowds except in the popular harbors like Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor, Massacure Bay and Echo Bay. Just get there early, 3 PM or earlier. And in May, probably not them either. Reid Harbor, there is a beach and park there.
Late June the fair weather sailors start to come out but the big power boaters are up and running. The average air temp out on the Sound in June is still a bit chilly. Keep an ear on the WX either in the eve or in the morn. The winds do pick up at night especially in the Strait's And DO watch your tide charts. There are rip currents between most of the Islands. When traveling plan for them when going thru narrows.

The peak season for sailboats is really mid July to early Sept. and overlaps for powerboats. They can stay dry and warm inside.

Second trip: I actually prefer the Canada side there are some places to go ashore but it is getting to be like the SJ's The currents are worse and weather is the same but more chances of seeing Orca's and Dolfin's. You'll notice more sailboats in Canada, as well. I haven't figured out why yet!
You'll not see many beaches unless you go up the inlets or over to the Big Is. shores. The small islands are rocky.

My favorite areas are North of Saltspring Is. and then over North of Buccaneer Bay on the mainland. The population drops off north of Pender Harbor.
BTW Stay away from Active pass!!! A ferry zig-zags thru there evey 15 minutes. And in a current, it's a PITA.

Enjoy.........................................._/)
__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2006, 19:54   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,637

Charlie,

Weather first - May can be a bit changeable; can be raining and temps in low teens (celsius), or sunny and mid to high 20s. From the last long term prognostication I've seen, they're calling for hot and sunny. It won't be overly crowded, but that depends on the ports - you're probably advised to book ahead. Note the weekend of 19-21 May is Victoria Day long weekend, so will be busier, but upside is there will be fireworks and more to see and do for the kids.
It's been awhile, but Friday and Roche Harbors are both nice, and reasonably close to Sidney.
Tsehum to Victoria is a pretty long haul (25 nm give or take) with the winds likely light or against you. Still there's not many options - you might be able to break it down a bit by going via the San Juans again. I don't think it's impossible to get a berth at Victoria, but there's bound to be a premium on Canada Day long weekend (July 1st) - best to book ahead. There are also options, such as Oak Bay Marina. The bus service from Tsehum isn't too bad either - the city bus takes about 40 minutes to get you downtown.
As for orcas, your best bet is Constance Bank (south of Discovery Is), but you'll likely see Pilot whales or false orcas (I don't know if this is the correct name, but they look like little orcas and love to play in the bow waves) all around the islands, and certainly in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass.
Have fun.

Kevin
__________________
Lodesman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2006, 20:31   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,832
Those "false orcas" are Dahl's porpoises. Another good place to see real Orcas is on the west side of San Juan Island. We see several along there about half of the times we visit.

Steve B.
__________________
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 09:39   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Thanks Senormechanico, Lodesman, and Del Marrey:

Great info that you have given me. I'm studying up on Gunkholing the San Juans. Sounds like we can spend a couple of weeks just cruising around San Juan Island.

Is May a particuilar foggy month?
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 14:51   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
"Is May a particuilar foggy month?"

It can be. But only a day or two in the morning. The weather is constanly changing. Carry a good radar reflector.

It's the ferries you really have to watch out for in fog. Get a chart that shows their routes. There are ferries in Canada to watch for as well......._/)

__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 17:11   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Thanks Del Marrey:

Its funny that neither of the two cruising guides talk about what the weather is like in different parts of the year. I'm going to put the Radar reflector at the top of the list. Thanks for the graphic on the Ferries. I have something similar for the Canadian ferries.

I need to learn how to use the radar but I'll try and stay in port if it is really foggy.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 21:11   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,637
Charlie,

Agree especially in the Gulf Islands, you usually won't see persistent fog, however, if you're planning a jaunt over to Port Townsend you can expect a wall of fog south of a line running due east of Race Rocks. This is present up to half the days in June and last for days.

Kevin
__________________
Lodesman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2006, 01:22   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Puget Sound
Boat: 1981 C&C 34
Posts: 49
San Juans with Kids

We've been doing the San Juans with kids for almost 20 years. In fact we kept a boat in Friday Harbor for 15 of those years, commuting up from Seattle.

May is going to be pretty cold so you'll want towns probably more than beaches. We did three weeks up there this summer, US and Canada, and didn't use the dinghy one time.

Roche Harbor, Deer Harbor, and Fisherman Bay (Islander Resort, or whatever they call it now) all have pools that you can use if you pay for moorage at the marina. None of the pools are heated so, again, the weather in May is a bit cold for that. Those places, along with Friday Harbor all have restaurants and stores, good marinas with showers, and at least some provisioning facilities. Friday Harbor is, of course the biggest town.

Our kids love Friday Harbor. Good restaurants, stores, ice cream, movie theater, good walks. Catching shrimp in the evening is one of the favorite pastimes even for my wife. Friday Harbor also has marine supplies.

July 4th is always crowded but Friday Harbor has a nice small-town parade and fireworks right outside the port. Deer Harbor has had fireworks on the 3rd and we've made reservations there on the 3rd and Friday Harbor on the 4th and had a nice show two nights in a row.

June weather gets a bit more reliable but sunshine is still not by any means guaranteed. Sailing might be better though. If it's sunny the wind is probably not blowing.

Port Townsend is a bit of a slog across the Strait but it is a nice town. Bigger than Friday Harbor and lot of similar attractions. Stay at Point Hudson.
__________________
JohnWms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2006, 20:30   #11
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Kevin:

Thanks for the tip on the weather.

John Wms:

Thanks for the heads up on places to go on San Juan Island. I've been there twice now and think it is a great place. We'll probably go between Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor, and maybe Fisherman's Harbor (On Lopez).
__________________

__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
howdy from the PNW hload Meets & Greets 5 08-10-2006 19:58



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.