Started sailing in the Puget Sound
area in 1971 and have been sailing there for 33 of the years since then. Let's assume you keep your boat in the Seattle area and want to consider anchorages
within 30 miles:
Eagle Harbor 5 NM - fantastic downtown Seattle views and lot's of great restaurants and bars (Bainbridge Island) you can leave your boat here and take a ferry
back to Seattle
Blakely Harbor 5 NM - very rural and remote
with great views of West Seattle(Bainbridge Island)
Blake Island 8NM - west side buoys feel like you are in the wilds with great views of the Olympic Mountains. The small marina on the North end of the island has a fantastic view of Seattle and you can eat some of the best salmon at the Indian Lodge.
Quartermaster Harbor and Dockton - 16NM - very quiet and rural with little buildup. On Vashon / Maury Island. Easy to get ashore and visit the artists offering
Gig Harbor 20 NM- cutest little town in Puget Sound - free anchorage and lots of paid visitor dockage - great bars, taverns, resturants
Hylebos Waterway 28 NM- downtown Tacoma with two new marinas
within 5-minutes walking of University of Washington
district and restaurant district
Wollochet Bay 30 NM - very secure and quiet
Poulsbo 16 NM - another spectacularly cute Scandinavian village with the best bakeries in Puget Sound - secure anchorage and nice transient docks
Kingston 12 NM – nice marina with great transient dock
and excellent shoreside facilities. Lot’s of great bars and restaurants. You can leave your boat here and take a ferry
back to Seattle
Bremerton and Port Orchard 14 NM – opposite sides of Sinclair Inlet – both sides have great marinas
and lots of shoreside attractions – you can leave your boat here and take a ferry back to Seattle
Brownsville 14 NM – funky old marina with not much on shore but a very secluded and quiet setting with nice anchorage outside
Port Ludlow 27 NM – resort marina with typical shoreside stuff including golf. There is excellent and secure anchorage outside marina
There are at least another 25 anchorages
and marinas within 30-miles of Seattle.
Puget Sound Sailing Characteristics
- Strong Tidal Currents (2 – 5 knots)
- Big tides 12’ to 15’ many days a month
- Usually cool air (the water
is always 50 degrees) and a light jacket is needed even most of the summer days
- Light and flukey winds because they are redirected by all the hills and mountains that surround the Sound
- Few boats in sight when more than 5-miles from Seattle (Elliot Bay or Shilshoe)
- Lots of fast containership traffic
- Lots of tugs and tows
- Never hot and seldom cold
- Damp and misty 250 days a year
- Wet and Windy 60 days a year
- The wind
is ALWAYS either from dead ahead or dead astern
I’ve sailed all over the continental US, Mexico
, Virgin Islands
and consider the Salish Sea (Puget Sound and BC waters) the best and most interesting cruising area.
Your motorsailor / motorsailor attitude is perfect for Puget Sound! My boat has a wide variety of light air sails
and I will sail anytime I can keep the boat moving 2.5 knots or better toward my objective. My long term records show I sail less than 50% of the time in Puget Sound.
July through September is clear skies, temps in the 70's and a N to NW wind
at 10 or so knots most days.
October is very foggy and cool with dead calms most days. However, there will be several monumental storms later in the month with 30+ knot
winds and heavy rain.
November thru March is wet about half the days and cloudy (NO Sun) 25 days a month. It is very windy (SW 20+) for 12 - 36 hours every 5 to 7 days.
April and May are not as wet and will have significant sun about half the days. There are a lot of short strong storms coming thru and you can see 25+ knots for 5 - 10 hours about every week or so. The air temp will be 50 to 70.
June is hard to predict - the last couple years have been sunny and warm but I remember many Junes that were cloudy and wet every day.
I once determined that I could visit a new anchorage/marina every week and not visit the same anchorage more than once every 10-years when cruising from Olympia, Washington
to the south and Nanimo, BC to the north.
Oly is about 45 miles (by water) south of Seattle and Nanimo is 120 miles to the north.
Feel free to contact me for more info.