from many. Don't rely on only one model. The Canadian weather forecasts for the Strait of Georgia
(I know, it's NOT Puget Sound) covers a LOT of area, because the Strait is HUGE, and is not localized (that's my point).
I, too, use Windy, and find zooming in A LOT works just fine for local conditions.
I wrote this earlier this year for Mainsheet
magazine, a publication for and by Catalina
Sailing in SWBC
We bought our first boat
in San Francisco
in 1983, and this boat
in 1998. I sailed it up to B.C. in 2016 when we moved to Vancouver
The utter predictability of wind
in SF Bay
was a luxury I didn't really fully appreciate, although I certainly fully appreciated the ability to sail regularly, as in always. Even in winter
, there were known regular weather patterns. Kimball Livingston's excellent book Sailing The Bay
is superb in explaining things.
Now that we're entering our fourth sailing season, I have learned a few things that I didn't "need" to know back down in Northern California
with its predictable daily wind
cycles. There are definitely local areas here of consistent winds. Ganges Harbor all the way past the Pender Islands, Satellite
Channel northwest of Cape Keppel at the southwestern end of Saltspring Island (called the Cowichan Doctor), and my home port of Maple Bay, all can be as regular as SF Bay
. A mere mile away it can be dead calm.
I've learned that if you want to sail, you have to be ready to do so, quickly and pleasantly. On Monday August 17th, we had a really nice wind all the way from Maple Bay north through Stuart Channel to Thetis Island, almost unheard of without a major weather front moving through. We took advantage of it and had a memorable sail.
Otherwise, we have the proverbial "trawler with a stick."
But it sure is gorgeous. I don't miss the city lights at all, the stars at night are big and bright and it ain't even Texas
A friend had a sistership that he bought new for as long as I've had my older model. Last year he sold
it for a trawler
, a Ranger
29. He recently wrote:
After an abortive effort to embrace power boating, we are looking forward to returning to the sailing world. The power boat, a Ranger Tug, works beautifully and is a delight to be on in anchorages and at the dock. But after one summer of cruising we found that we really missed sailing and the simple pleasure of working with the wind to get from one place to another.
So, it seems that it all depends on your perspective.
My first couple of seasons here were spent mostly motoring from place to place, with the deliberate intent to see as much as possible to learn what we liked and didn't, so as to be able to choose where we'd like to go back to. We found some "favorites" as well as some "never goin' back agains."
Now that we have a firmer grasp on distances, times and tides and currents, and local weather patterns, we can better plan our cruises to attempt, I say attempt, to maximize the time under sail.
But all in all, it's most important to me to simply be able to be on the boat.
Your boat, your choice.
Good luck, stay safe, be well, and enjoy being on the water