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Old 25-03-2010, 16:38   #1
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Thirteen Months in the PNW

Time to dream.

Let's say you have 13 months and you are starting in the Victoria, BC area. Your cruise unfortunately doesn't commence until July 1, 2010 this summer and you are planning to head south probably in late August 2011.

Where would you go? Not specific harbors or places necessarily, but what would your general route/game plan be?

There is a winter in those 13 months and you will be cruising through it. Some of the most fun places are probably not great places to winter (e.g., W Coast of Van Isle, Charlottes/ Haida Gwaii).

How would you arrange your year?
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:05   #2
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June through September B-line it quickly down to south Puget sound early season working you way back north at a leisurely pace and through the San Juan Islands...Winter in BC Gulf Islands and Sidney to Comex area..June through August desolation sound and around tip of Vancouver Island in time for an out side shake down of Ocean Swells and boats readiness to continue Down the west coast..Stopping into Port Townsend for any last minute boat repairs/Upgrades and Provisioning.
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:07   #3
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Winter cruising definately the inland waters - Salish Sea and Desolation. Save the west coast of the island for the summer. The gulf islands are good year round as long as you make sure your not catching winds out of the south east when it blows up. Watch for the Qualicums out of the suth west when you're in the islands a bit further north (such as Texada).
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:17   #4
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I'd head North up to Haida Gwaii this summer, fall-winter-early spring from Brougtons to Seattle, next summer head north on mainland up to Rupert or so, maybe not that far, come down the west coast of the Island and head south in Sept.
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:27   #5
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It is so much fun for me to finally be putting down specifics on this after thinking about it and reading about it for years.

@Still raining - Thanks for the response. I really like the idea of coming down the W Coast of Van Isle during that last summer as we finish prepping to go south. I grew up in Lynnwood (but not sailing). I would have thought the Puget Sound as part of the winter (winter = puget sound, san juans, gulf islands)?

@hummingway - Agreed. The winter storms the last 3 years in Sidney gave us a good amount of respect for wintering on the hook (we were at a dock) even between Comox and Victoria. I think there are a few places you could tuck away further north and even on the W Coast of Van Isle but you would be immobilized for most of the winter -- no fun.
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:28   #6
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Id stay north ...I hate backtracking..
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:33   #7
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@Thea - Thank you. That has kind of been our tentative plan although probably not as far as Rupert the second summer so we can spend more time on W Coast of Van Isle. We've only been once to Barkley and would love some more time there.

@Stillraining - Isn't that the truth! Backtracking, for whatever reason, feels wasteful. One of the reasons the plan is a little awkward is we are stuck backtracking because we are losing half this summer. If we could start earlier in the summer we would probably go up the W Coast of Van Isle, maybe Haida Gwaii and then come back into the inside for the winter.
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Old 25-03-2010, 17:42   #8
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Snohomish Boy..I didnt get far.
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Old 25-03-2010, 18:13   #9
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Livia, backtracking isn't all bad. While some have gone 'up' the West Coast of Van.Is, the general conventional wisdom is to circumnavigate counter clockwise. You get (theoretically) more down wind sailing as the prevailing winds are NW'ly on the west side. Now, having said that, I could have just as easily gone clockwise last summer without too much difficulty as I actually experienced mostly light airs with the exception of a few hours off the Brooks Peninsula. Of course that's when I got to sail/surf at 15kts plus in winds (NW'ly) gusting over 35kts. Might have been a tad bit unpleasant for a day going the other way instead of a fun 3 hours! Just sayin'.
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Old 25-03-2010, 18:30   #10
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Old 25-03-2010, 18:33   #11
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I would think about heading north to Alaska (Glacier Bay turn around point?) in June and then work south to be back in the Gulf Is./San Juans for winter, or even further south if you have a desire to explore southern Puget Sound. Then I would start heading north again in March/April and hit all the spots you missed (Vancouver, Princess Louisa, Desolation, etc) (I don't know if or how extensively you've cruised this area, but you can't do it in one year) and go on around Van Isle in early to mid summer and spend the nicest weather on the west coast leisurely working south. End up in Victoria, stock up, wait for the weather and head out JDFuca and turn left.
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Old 25-03-2010, 20:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cchesley View Post
You get (theoretically) more down wind sailing as the prevailing winds are NW'ly on the west side.
I've definitely heard that and always wondered, because I haven't been that far North on the inside yet, aren't the prevailing winds NW on the inside in the summer as well?
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Old 25-03-2010, 20:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
I would think about heading north to Alaska (Glacier Bay turn around point?) in June and then work south to be back in the Gulf Is./San Juans for winter, or even further south if you have a desire to explore southern Puget Sound. Then I would start heading north again in March/April and hit all the spots you missed (Vancouver, Princess Louisa, Desolation, etc) (I don't know if or how extensively you've cruised this area, but you can't do it in one year) and go on around Van Isle in early to mid summer and spend the nicest weather on the west coast leisurely working south. End up in Victoria, stock up, wait for the weather and head out JDFuca and turn left.
That is basically our dream.

The issue is that we can't leave until June 23rd from near Victoria (we start cruising June 15 but have guests until the 22nd). Those lost 3 weeks of summer are limiting. We didn't think that would allow enough time to get to Glacier Bay including the Haida Gwaii and back inside without really rushing. What is your experience with that timing?

We don't mind rushing the inside bits a little (Desolation/Broughtons) because we can return to those in the shoulder seasons but it would be a shame to rush north and then blow through Glacier/Haida Gwaii...but maybe it is enough time?

RE: where we've been, we've been to a lot of the Gulf and San Juan Islands, Vancouver, a bit of the Puget Sound and one trip to Barkley. Never been to the Broughtons, Desolation of further North on Van Isle
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Old 25-03-2010, 20:19   #14
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Well don't forget the Wauquiez Rendezvous June 4-6 in Port Townsend (Pt Hudson Marina)!!

You should also include July 4 week in Roche Harbor/San Juans.
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Old 25-03-2010, 20:46   #15
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Thanks - We'll definitely fit in the Rendezvous. In fact, I believe we are on the speaker schedule!

We should consider July1/4 (canada day/4th of july) in our planning although I don't think we'll stay as far South as Roche for it.
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