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Old 25-04-2016, 13:27   #1
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Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

I am sailing my new (to me) sailboat from Olympia up to Seattle. I know it's a very short trip but any tips would be greatly appreciated!

For example, now I know that the currents through Tacoma Narrows can be intense, so I have to catch it on the ebb to make it through...
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Old 27-04-2016, 15:59   #2
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Stay out of the shipping lanes when possible. Watch out for ferries. Currents aren't likely to be a problem except at the narrows but if you time your trip on an ebb it will save you a little bit of time overall. That's all I can think of at the moment, shouldn't be a difficult trip.


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Old 27-04-2016, 16:06   #3
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Northbound, it's generally easier to stick to the West side of Vashon Island. The current in Colvos pasage almost always runs north, even on a flood tide.

Balch Passage can have significant currents as well, but if you are timing the Tacoma Narrows for an ebb, Balch should be near slack when you go through it.

You wont see much traffic until you get close to Elliott Bay, so it's an easy trip.

Good Luck.
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Old 27-04-2016, 16:36   #4
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Five Places to Visit by Boat in the South Sound

This link will give you some nice places to spend the night. I like Blake island .
Not sure how much time you want to spend doing this trip.
Just watch the current through the narrows.
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Old 03-05-2016, 15:48   #5
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Thanks for all the suggestions! We made the trip over the weekend and everything went by very smoothly (minus the engine/alternator not charging my batteries... hmmm).

Stopped at Tide's in Gig Harbour, and I mean it was good but definitely not what everyone makes it out to be. Walked around for a bit then anchored out by the entrance for the Colvos Passage.

TONS of traffic up in Seattle (past Vashon), but otherwise it was a very uneventful trip - which is good!
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Old 06-06-2016, 13:10   #6
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Hey!
I recently bought a boat and I'll be moving it up from West Bay in Olympia to Shilshole at the end of this month. Any tips for a novice sailor? Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2016, 13:42   #7
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

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Originally Posted by Clived View Post
Hey!
I recently bought a boat and I'll be moving it up from West Bay in Olympia to Shilshole at the end of this month. Any tips for a novice sailor? Thanks!
First of all, congrats!

I actually did just that a couple of months ago, I'm at Shileshole myself now!

It was a very uneventful trip for me as we did zero sailing (no wind), just motored up (no big deal as my boat uses almost zero diesel, its crazy efficient).

Three tips;
1. Go through the narrows at low tide, you CAN'T pass through if water is coming in.
2. If you go into Gig Harbor, make sure there is enough water to get in. There is a TINY channel that gets scary low during low tide.
3. Enjoy the south sound while you can, because once you get up here boat traffic can get REALLY crazy (aka fun).

Let me know if you need any help. What size boat and when are you planning on coming up?
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Old 10-06-2016, 13:54   #8
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

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Originally Posted by TitoSoto View Post
First of all, congrats!

I actually did just that a couple of months ago, I'm at Shileshole myself now!

It was a very uneventful trip for me as we did zero sailing (no wind), just motored up (no big deal as my boat uses almost zero diesel, its crazy efficient).

Three tips;
1. Go through the narrows at low tide, you CAN'T pass through if water is coming in.
2. If you go into Gig Harbor, make sure there is enough water to get in. There is a TINY channel that gets scary low during low tide.
3. Enjoy the south sound while you can, because once you get up here boat traffic can get REALLY crazy (aka fun).

Let me know if you need any help. What size boat and when are you planning on coming up?
Thanks for the response! I've heard the narrows are tricky - I'll hopefully time our passage through so we do it while the tide is flowing out. I'm expecting to have to motor all the way, which shouldn't be an issue. So we are on a 27' cal t/2 and we're planning on coming up as soon as we can get a good slip rental/sublease at Shilshole, so the timing is completely dependent on that, and unfortunately, not a whole lot of people are getting rid of their slip in the middle of summer. I'm getting sick of the drive to Olympia, so the sooner, the better!
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Old 10-06-2016, 14:04   #9
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Should be a no brainer trip other than the narrows as noted. As long as you aren't going on a high wind warning. If the tides right, going up Colvos Passage can be a time saver. Nice little cove to spend the night on south Bainbridge, or Quartermaster Hbr on Vashon Isl.
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Old 10-06-2016, 15:03   #10
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

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Should be a no brainer trip other than the narrows as noted. As long as you aren't going on a high wind warning. If the tides right, going up Colvos Passage can be a time saver. Nice little cove to spend the night on south Bainbridge, or Quartermaster Hbr on Vashon Isl.
Absolutely. I just anchored out right on the inlet of the Colvos passage and it was nice and relaxed.
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Old 10-06-2016, 16:00   #11
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Re: Olympia to Seattle - Any tips?

Actually , thinking about it , I believe the current always runs north in Colvos IIRC.
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