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Old 26-03-2011, 08:56   #1
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Passage: Point Roberts to Bainbridge WA

I've read the recent thread regarding advice from Orcas to Bainbridge, but I need to bring a smaller sailboat (30') from a bit farther north - from Point Roberts to Bainbridge, ideally in mid to late April. Unfortunately, I can't really take a leisurely cruise right now - I simply need to get her to her new home port. I realize this may mean I do lots of motoring.

I am familiar with the waters around Bainbridge and farther south but not up in the north Sound nor San Juans. While I'd like to get the boat here in two or even three days, i want to be conservative, and I could do the trip in stages if need be, that is, take two days one weekend then moor the boat temporarily for a week at some middle point while I return home to pay the bills, then return the following weekend to finish the trip. (Also, while I would ideally want to do this on weekends, I know I more importantly need to let the tides dictate the passage timeframe.) Of course, if three days is reasonable, then that would be ideal.

So that being said, what are my options? Departing Point Roberts, should I head into the San Juans or along the east towards Bellingham? If the former, overnight at Deer or Friday Harbor? Head through Admirality Strait or Deception Pass and down the east side of Whidbey? What would be good marinas to temporaily hole the boat up for a week if that made sense?

What I am looking for is suggestions for legs that are conservative and have fall back options - i'd rather have plenty of time to complete each leg with lots of daylight to spare, then push my luck.

(I have Waggoner but am also looking for this community's advice).

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Old 26-03-2011, 09:10   #2
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Re: Advice for passage from Point Roberts to Bainbridge WA

If you head straight south towards B'ham during the weekday you might get lucky and find space at the dock on James Island just south of Thatcher Pass. Otherwise, take the 15 minutes to motor over to Spencer Spit where you'll find mooring buoys or you can anchor out in sand and good holding.

The next morning back through Thatcher Pass and go direct to Bainbridge. If you can time the entry to Rosario Strait 3 hours before the ebb, you'll catch the ebb on entering Admiralty Inlet and make very good time. This is a 2 day trip.

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Old 26-03-2011, 09:55   #3
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Re: Advice for passage from Point Roberts to Bainbridge WA

If your on a 30 footer spending the night at Spinser's Spit it is a rock and roll night because of the ferries passing by. Last year we spent 2 nights there waiting for other boats to join us and we didn't sleep good even tied to a buoy.
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Old 26-03-2011, 11:04   #4
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Re: Advice for passage from Point Roberts to Bainbridge WA

If you head S/E, you'll have many options. On a 30' boat, you should be self sufficient, don't know why you would want a marina, but Skyline is right on your way and a good place to refuel and set up for the frollick through the straights, I've used it as such since the 60's. I did the trip many times on my 27 Newport and it can be done in two long days, but three was more realistic with no wind and my 8hp at the time. If you choose not to stay at marinas, Sucia, Matia, Clark, James, Rosario Head(Deception), offer bouys along the way with varying amounts of protection. On the S end of the straight, if your day is done Fort Casey has a nice little bay by the ferry terminal which has good anchor holding with a stern line to shore and is one of my favorite little holes. Otherwise there are the two Port Townsend marinas or the two marine parks on Marrowstone, or the bouys at old Fort Port Townsend with a morning romp thru the Port Townsend Ship Canal if the currents right and you're home in three nonstressing days!
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Old 28-03-2011, 21:29   #5
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Re: Advice for passage from Point Roberts to Bainbridge WA

Having had several WINDY experiences trying to get south through the Georgia Straits I would recommend keeping a close watch on the weather forecast. Bucking a 25-35kt wind makes the trip tough, especially on a smaller boat. If in doubt, don't go or be willing to turn back if things get too rough. There are good places to stop and rest at Sucia Island and once you get as far south as Rosario Strait there are many places to duck out of an adverse wind (Hale Passage, Obstruction Pass, coves on the north shore of Cypress Island, etc). Crossing from the San Juans across the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet can be rough also, but only if the wind is S, SW or W. Again watch the weather forecast and look for your window of opportunity. April weather will be the deciding factor, it can be unsettled. Of course if you could find a nice NE wind you would have it made.

I don't mean to worry you, but I have blown the reef points and a seam out of a mainsail beating against heavy winds coming down from Blaine. Best of luck!

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