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Old 08-04-2013, 20:10   #16
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Does anyone else get a new post update in their email but when you come here it's not here yet?
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Old 08-04-2013, 20:16   #17
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I've got a great outboard. Pretty new Yamaha 6. Meticulously maintained. Looks new. I'm glad I got a oat with a good motor. I don't think I would be able to get anywhere with the wind as fluky as it is otherwise.

I'm kind of tentatively planning to go to the San Juan's in may, and when I decide to move on the gulf island and Victoria and up as far as Desolation Sound. Does that sound reasonable for one summer?
Sounds pretty reasonable. I rounded Van Isle in 6 weeks and didnt feel in a huge hurry, although would have liked more time.
Getting across the straight from Port Angeles has always been a piece of cake for me... except for fog. I think the key is to watch the wind predictions in the summer. Leave as early as possible, like 5 am as an outgoing tide begins. The wind builds throughout the afternoon and if running against the tide it can get rough out there.
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Old 09-04-2013, 00:56   #18
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

I didn't know that outside was so hairy. I don't want to lose my mast. I was in a boat web that happened once. But I REALLY don't want it to be mine. I like my boat. I want to keep it the way it is.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:48   #19
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

My only comment is that people die at sea. Mother Ocean doesn't have a great sense of humor. Experience and damn good luck are the only two elements that give you success.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:37   #20
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

With all the warnings given here about the size of his boat, what is a comfortable size for what he wants to accomplish? And please don't say the largest you can afford. Haha!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:58   #21
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Not the size of the boat, Flickas have cruised most everywhere. More the "size of the man!" A racing boat being dismasted beating out the straight should not be used as a gauge for if it's safe to sail there.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:24   #22
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Heading either direction in the Strait of Juan de Fucca can be a challenge for any size sailboat. It can also be a joy and great sailing. And it is a great place to learn serious sailing in small doses with lots of nearby places to go hide when it gets to be too much.

I have sailed to or from Neah Bay (west entrance) a dozen times and have crossed the eastern strait (from PA / Townsend / Marrowstone) many dozens of times.

You just have to pay attention to the weather and tides.

1. Don't try to make progress against a tide flowing opposite the wind
2. Don't try to cross the banks with tide and wind in opposition
3. Understand that during July - September the west wind comes up in the Straits east of PA every afternoon about 3 PM and peaks at sunset - usually around 25 knots - we used to drive to Klein Spit (between PA and Townsend) to sailboard on tiny little boards every afternoon 'cause the wind was so reliable
4. Don't be anywhere in the straits when there is a Low pressure system in NE Washington
5. Understand that the fog is mysterious and hard to predict
6. REALLY understand the Straits are a busy shipping lane and every ship using Vancouver BC, Cherry Point, B'ham, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia as a port has to transit the straits both directions. Those ship are commonly making 18 - 20 knots when west of PA
7. Understand that the shipping lanes in the Straits get really close to shore in a couple places
8. When headed west in the summer - leave PA at sunup to avoid the afternoon sea breeze - but that doesn't always work as noted below

I have had spectacular sails both west and east bound in the Strait of Juan de Fucca and greatly enjoy the area. I have also scared myself badly several times:

1 - westbound from PA at 5 AM in our Caliber 40 following a Columbia 38 (retired USCG officer who had commanded the local 175' bouy tender in a previous life) - beautiful calm morning - by 10 AM the west wind and west flowing tide were in opposition and the Columbia 38 looked like it was going to flip over backwards on many of the waves - gave up and went back to PA - same thing the next morning - third morning was the same so we gave up and went NW to Victoria

2 - Crossing from Haro Strait to Townsend in a Tartan 42 - 55 knot gusts / 35 knot steady west wind (NWS had predicted SCA and 5' waves) with 10' short period breaking waves. We learned that a Tartan 42 with a staysail and triple reefed main can close reach at 13 knots for long periods of time and we got seriously pooped when we got to close to Dallas Banks

3 - Trying to cross the west entrance to the Straits from Neah Bay to Cape Beal (we had been anchored in Neah Bay for four days waiting for the NW gales to subside and the 15' seas to diminish) we discovered that the winds had died but the 15' seas were still there - not breaking - just huge rollers and it is tough to tack and then turn downswell on a 15' ocean roller

4- Stuck in the fog with no wind between Townsend and Smith Island with four large fast targets on the radar

BUT - some of my best sailing has been out there

Cape Beal to Port Angles with a full spinnaker and 20 knots over the deck - over 9 hours of wonderful downwind bright sunshine and gentle rollers

Skeiu Pt (Clallam Bay) to around Tatoosh Island with a poled out genoa in bright sunshine and no sea whatsoever - here is a link to a video I took during that sail and there are several other videos taken near Port Angles showing the spectacular Olympic mountains. We were headed south to San Diego.



A close reach with big genoa from Cattle Pass to Townsend in 5' rollers and 45 degree sunshine - never less than 7 knots

The bottom line about the Strait of Juan de Fuca is that if you can comfortably sail there in all conditions you can sail anywhere in the world:

Big winds
Big ocean swells
Terrible currents
Lots of big fast ships
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:33   #23
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

I have a friend that use to own a San Juan 26 that she sailed all over the Gulf Islands. She now owns a Laser 29 and plans to do the same with it. The key to her success is experience and a lot of it came from racing and a good teacher. Another friend of mine and his lady just arrived in our little port in Squamish last night in his San Juan 23 from Tacoma. Admittedly he is an expert sailor and I think that you can see there is a trend here. Find a mentor, study the passion and get out there and get experience. Especially racing if you can.

You could spend a life time in Puget Sound, the San Juans, Gulf Islands, the outside of Van Isle, the Broughtens and never see it all. You have picked one of the finest cruising grounds in the world for what you want to do. In Desolation during the summer months the water is warm as are the fresh water lakes within walking distance of anchorages. If you visit Hornby Island's Tribune Bay on a sunny day in July, you will have to pinch yourself to realize you are not in the Tropics. Same with Savory Island and Thormamby Islands. What is the name of your boat, maybe we will see you out here. Cheers, Keep Calm and Sail On
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Old 10-04-2013, 19:56   #24
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Cruising San Juan/Gulf islands can be rather hit or miss. Last year the wind was great, but generally the wind is very poor and you have to motor a lot, not so fun with an outboard. Currents are also a big factor wherever you go. But there are some great anchorages all over. Wallace island is a personal favourite of mine. Oh and if you visit Victoria, you'll probably want to stay in the inner harbour, but Oak Bay Marina is quite nice too and a short bus ride to Victoria. There is also a bit of anchorage space there, just north of the marina, though I wouldn't recommend if it's gonna blow much.
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Old 16-04-2013, 20:54   #25
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

The boat is a Ranger 23 named Sadie J, though it doesn't have the name painted on. If you see me with a corgi on a grey Ranger with a red racing strip let me know.

What's the best way to get to Desolation Sound? If I go to the Gulf Islands first is it better and more fun to follow the coast of Vancouver Island or the mainland?

How much fuel carrying capacity would you recommend carrying on a trip like this? I've got a 6 gallon tank now and plan on bringing more. Don't want to overdo it though.

Thanks for the advice so far. It's so exciting, I'm too excited for May 1st.
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Old 16-04-2013, 21:11   #26
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I've got a great outboard. Pretty new Yamaha 6. Meticulously maintained. Looks new. I'm glad I got a oat with a good motor. I don't think I would be able to get anywhere with the wind as fluky as it is otherwise.

I'm kind of tentatively planning to go to the San Juan's in may, and when I decide to move on the gulf island and Victoria and up as far as Desolation Sound. Does that sound reasonable for one summer?

Oh how I would love to sail the San Juans ...
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