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Old 28-02-2012, 21:15   #1
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Summer Fun in the San Juans ...

Got several friends flying in the week of the 4th July. I have to end up at bell harbor marina Seattle that Saturday nite. So I intended on sailing the boat up to Anacortes as the initial launch point for the trip. Everyone arrives late tuesday. Am i correct that the prevailing winds are northerly this time of year? Better chance of good sailing coming south?

Haven't planned a trip like this before. Was thinking to leave Anacortes, sail to some San Juan island for a land activity on Thursday. Thursday night on the hook. Friday morning sail down to some midway (to Seattle) destination? The moon is full to waning that week so we are not opposed to a night sail. Any recommendations for a route and activities from those of you out there that actually know?
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Old 28-02-2012, 22:11   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alm0d0g
Got several friends flying in the week of the 4th July. I have to end up at bell harbor marina Seattle that Saturday nite. So I intended on sailing the boat up to Anacortes as the initial launch point for the trip. Everyone arrives late tuesday. Am i correct that the prevailing winds are northerly this time of year? Better chance of good sailing coming south?

Haven't planned a trip like this before. Was thinking to leave Anacortes, sail to some San Juan island for a land activity on Thursday. Thursday night on the hook. Friday morning sail down to some midway (to Seattle) destination? The moon is full to waning that week so we are not opposed to a night sail. Any recommendations for a route and activities from those of you out there that actually know?
Been sailing in the San Juan's and Seattle area for the past 17 years. It is an outstanding cruising area to say the least. In the fall, winter and spring you can pretty much count on winds from the south, but July is unpredictable. Full moon or not I would be very careful about sailing at night in the Puget Sound in July. First off, you are unlikely to encounter any wind at night, so you will wind up motoring. Motoring may be OK but you will not be able to spot the 1000's of logs, deadheads, crab pots and shrimp pots you are likely to pass. The cargo ships moving at 20kts can also be deceiving at night, not to mention the tugs pulling poorly lit barges and log booms. You may get lucky and miss all of them. But dealing with a bent prop or a prop shaft fouled by a crab pot line may not be to you liking. Best to anchor at dark. This should not be a problem though, there should be enough light to safely sail or motor between 5:30AM and 10:00PM around July 4th. Have fun!
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Old 28-02-2012, 22:39   #3
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Sorry, I did not answer your original questions about a route. Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan island is a nice relatively easy sail/cruise for the day. You can take a northern route and stop at any number of uninhabited islands along the the way for lunch and a hike (Matia, Sucia, Patos) and still make it Friday Harbor in the evening. You can also take a more direct route south of Orcas with plenty of good stops along the way. Friday Harbor is a great little town and has an excellent fireworks display on the 4th. But, the anchorage will be crowded. The cruise from Friday Harbor through the Strait of San Juan de Fuca down to Bell Harbor Marina will take 11 hours with very favorable winds and tides. The straits can get quite nasty depending on the winds, be prepared. There will be plenty of choices for you and you are like to see some excellent aquatic life along the way. It should be a great trip.
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Old 28-02-2012, 22:54   #4
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Thanks for the tip!!
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Old 28-02-2012, 23:09   #5
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Re: Summer fun in the San Juans...

The chance of wind is unpredictable but do sail on the tides! That will get you where you're going a lot faster.

You can plan your trip using this table, just advance the dates and locations. Tides at Everett, Washington

If you have to go against the tide, West of Whidbey Is., you can go the East side thru Saratoga pass but it would be head to wind until you get past Oak Harbor. Then you'll have to motor the channels to Anacortes. But this is the shortest route to Anacortes from Seattle. If you have a deep keel you'll want to motor the Swinomish Channel on a high tide.

If you go the long way (w. side of Whidbey) the tides need to be timed just right and by doing so will get you 2-3 kts faster on your speed.
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Old 29-02-2012, 10:18   #6
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Re: Summer Fun in the San Juans ...

I would agree with the tide wind info but I do sail at night in the Salish sea when I have too. Have not had any problems so far...
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Old 29-02-2012, 10:27   #7
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Re: Summer Fun in the San Juans ...

"The chance of wind is unpredictable but do sail on the tides! That will get you where you're going a lot faster."

This is great advice, use the tides to your advantage.In july there is a strong chance of little or no winds. Wind coming in off the Straight of Juan De Fuca in the afternoon, can be very strong though.... from the West. If it's a clear day then likely North winds in the Sound.
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Old 29-02-2012, 12:00   #8
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Re: Summer Fun in the San Juans ...

What kinds of things do you like? Friday Harbor is the "big town" feel in the area. Roche Harbor has the rich flavor. The country general store in Blind Bay has the small island feel. Jones Island, Doe Island, James Island are just some of the state parks accessible only by boat. Garrison Bay just south of Roche Harbor has the Pig War history.

I'd suggest get a cruising guide to see what interests you the most.

On the way south on the west side of Whidbey there's Port Townsend, Mats Mats, Port Ludlow, and Kingston. Lots of people like Mats Mats, but the entrance can be tricky. Port Ludlow has a resort at the marina, but I like to anchor south of the two islands at the west end of the bay. Used to be all trees, now you're looking at the backyards of houses but I still like it. Kingston and Port Townsend are normal small towns.

Everything Le Tour said about night sailing is true. I quite often begin a trip Friday night to avoid the traffic in the locks, have at times left in the middle of the night to catch tides, and have had a couple of bumps in the night. I'd say night sailing depends on your experience level. I go out quite a bit with people in my club that are taking classes, so I try to let them get some experience. Last trip I asked one person if she had checked for traffic, she said she had been too busy, but promptly looked around. Reported all clear when to me the lights of two tugs with tows and a ship were visible, and one of the tugs was a potential ROW issue.

One friend of mine avoids night sails on spring tides on the theory that more logs are washed off the beach during those times.

Catch the tides right as the flood is north in the San Juans and south in the main part of the sound, so catch it right on the change and never slow down. GPS never said less than 8 knots from San Juans to south of Admiralty Inlet last time I came back.

John
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Old 29-02-2012, 14:17   #9
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Re: Summer Fun in the San Juans ...

The Friday Harbor 4th of July celebration is a major event. The marina sells out months in advance, but there may be anchorage possibilities.
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Old 28-03-2012, 12:27   #10
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Re: Summer Fun in the San Juans ...

Looking for a crew postion in the San Juans this summer. I have a Catalina 250 in San Diego and no one to make the trip with. I thought I would look out to the forum and request a crew spot for a few weeks. Professional woman, young 48 years old, easy to get along with and follow orders well. I am willing to help with provisions. I will provide more information about myself if interested.
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