Sailing in North Puget Sound

Moderator: GreenLake

Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby talbot » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:05 am

Driving up to Puget Sound on Saturday with the DS in tow. Planning to rent a space for a few days at the Port of Everett. Anyone have any suggestions for day sailing destinations? I've invested in a VHF and GPS, and have downloaded the charts and tide tables. All we need is some places to go. (My niece in Mukilteo already sent me the names of the restaurants and microbreweries. I mean places on the water.)

We're house sitting for my niece, so it will be pretty much like being at home, except the dock will be on an endless expanse of forested islands plunging into a dark sea, rather than on a four-mile long brown flood control lake brimming with late-summer toxic algae. It will rain. We can deal with that, but we are looking for suitable targets to navigate toward in the fog.
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby willyhays » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:17 am

Talbot,
There are so many great places to sail in Puget Sound. I've lived and sailed there for years. If you are willing to trailer your boat an hour or two from Everett the possibilities are almost endless. A motor or oars can also be very helpful in this area. Here are a few of my favorites:

Urban sailing
One of my favorite small boat adventures is eastward from Shilshole (northern Seattle) through the Ballard locks, into Lake Union and lake Washington. There is a boat ramp on the northern end of Shilshole Marina. If you prefer to skip the locks, there is a boat ramp east of the locks and just east of 15th Ave. It's on the northern bank of the canal at the end of 14th ave.

Swinomish Channel, Skagit Bay, Deception Pass
Drive north on I-5. Take route 20 toward Fidalgo Island, but before you get to Fidalgo there is the Swinomish Channel. Sail south on the Swinomish channel, continuing south into Skagit Bay. You can stop in the town of La Conner. There are shallows, and currents can be significant, so paying attention to the tides is extremely important. Also keep a sharp eye out for deadheads, snags, etc. Often the logs are floating and you can bounce off them or slide by them, but sometimes one end sticks in the bottom and the other end can ruin your day. You could also head west past Hope Island to Deception Pass, which is spectacular, but also very, very tricky sailing because the current can be extremely strong depending on the tide.

Bainbridge Island
The sailing around Bainbridge Island is beautiful. Eagle harbor is really nice, and the town of Winslow/Bainbridge Island is a fun place to walk around. There used to be a good brew pub on the northern shore of the harbor, but I don't know if it is still there. Sailing up the western side of the island is beautiful, particularly under the bridge at the northern end of the island and toward and into Port Madison. You can also sail across to the Seattle waterfront.

Vashon Island
The waters around Vashon are also beautiful. Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island is a great spot. To the north of Vashon is Blake Island, a good place to visit and overnight if you want. There's a marina and also camping.

Port Townsend
If you are looking for a little more exposure, the waters around Port Townsend make for excellent sailing. There are some protected bays in the area also. The town itself is well worth a visit. Your timing is perfect, because September 5-7 is the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, which I think is one of the best in the country. There is a state park with camping.

San Juan Islands
If grand adventure is what you want you can trailer the boat up to the San Juan Islands. You could drive to Anacortes and take the ferry over to Orcas Island, then put the boat in there. My favorite longer distance trip in the islands is from Orcas across to Sucia Island State Park. I would not attempt this unless I were very comfortable sailing in very exposed, sometimes rough, and very cold waters. The currents can be very swift.

There are countless other options. If you want more info feel free to contact me.

Bon Voyage!
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby talbot » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:27 pm

Thanks to everyone who replied on the forum and by private message. We had a great time sailing out of Everett harbor. Two days of light winds, taking out family members and lolling on the beach. One day of reefing and hiking in whitecaps on Possession Sound. So much water! For a lake sailor, it's inspiring to look at a far shore and realize it is more than a day's sail away.

Inspired as I may be, I was also humbled by how inept I was a predicting the tides and currents. (e.g., when the tide varies by 10', arriving just a half-hour early on a flood tide can mean you hit bottom at a spot you sailed through the day before.) I could see myself as a hazard. (I hear someone on the VHF warning a vessel to watch out for "that sailboat"--which of course turns out to be me.)

Is there anything like the Texas and Florida long-distance sailing events in the Northwest? I would like to go on some longer cruises next year, but it would be nice to travel with some other small boats whose skippers know what they are doing. On Sunday, the two sailboats I encountered off Jetty Island were both O'Day's, a DS II and an O'Day 19. So I'm hoping that there are some people on the forum who are in the know.
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby willyhays » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:36 pm

There is a race from Port Townsend Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. www.racetoalaska.com
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby talbot » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:08 pm

Cool. However, the chances of my competing in a 750-mile race are statistically indistinguishable from zero. I had in mind something more along the lines of camping in the San Juan's, with maybe a jaunt across the border to Saltspring for a latte.
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby jeadstx » Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:42 pm

There's the Columbia 150 they do about every other year. 150 mile sail up the Columbia River. A guy out of Oregon is the organizer.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby talbot » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:45 pm

I read an account of the first one. They had fun, but it also sounded like a lot of motoring was involved. I first sailed in Oregon on the Columbia in Portland, and I recall it being a challenge.

At the Pacific estuary, the wind is great for big boats, and where the Columbia goes into the Cascade mountains, the gorge is legendary for board sailing. There's a Messabout scheduled for the Oregon coast in October, but they haven't decided on a place yet. The search goes on.
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby GreenLake » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:46 am

Supposedly the Moore 24 is "the" boat for the Columbia 150.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby talbot » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:43 pm

Great. An ULDB with a deep keel. You can pick one up used for about $12,000. But I also read that the Columbia 150 had issues with grounding once the flotilla got to the Astoria area and tried to navigate the mud flats in the the John Day River estuary. So I think I would stick with a centerboarder.) The Moore would be great in the exposed channel between Astoria and the Pacific, but the Columbia 150 ends at the East boat basin upstream from town. (Or at least it did. I read that when the C150 hauled out, a mast brought down a powerline strung too low across the ramp for sailboats. Other than the Astoria YC docks, the ambience on the lower Columbia is all about fish and gasoline.

How about moving this thread to a new heading: Northwest Dinghy Cruising? The Puget Sound trip is history. I will just leave this parting image of my crew going off watch during a windy day on Possession Sound:
Attachments
ElsaDuffle3sm.jpg
Elsa off watch, outside Everett harbor.
ElsaDuffle3sm.jpg (86.85 KiB) Viewed 2480 times
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby jeadstx » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:14 pm

There is a guy named Andy Linn in Oregon who will probably be at that messabout in Oregon. Andy was the organizer of the Columbia 150. He has also sailed the Everglades Challenge and the Tx200. He sailed the Tx200 in a Duck this year and I think he is planning to do the Race to Alaska event. He would know about any boat gathering sailing events in your area, there probably are some small scale ones. He is also the one who helped me right my DS when I capsized during the 2012 Tx200.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby druidae1492 » Sat May 28, 2016 1:24 pm

There is a fun event coming up on June 11 in Port Townsend. The Paloosa Cruise and a boat festival. http://www.pocketyachters.com/Port_Town ... rooza.html
We can not control the weather, we can only adjust our sails.
Freyjanna. Hull 10179, sail 1786.
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby druidae1492 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:52 pm

druidae1492 wrote:There is a fun event coming up on June 11 in Port Townsend. The Paloosa Cruise and a boat festival. http://www.pocketyachters.com/Port_Town ... rooza.html


It's getting to be that time of year again. I am a new member. I live here in the San Juan Islands area. Bellingham Washington. I own property just 3-4 miles from the boat launch in Fairhaven, by the Alaskan Ferry terminal. If anyone wants to sail the San Juan Islands I know a lot of nice destinations, and you are welcome to camp on my property if you are on a budget. The Palooza Cruisa is coming up quick. I'm usually working Raspberry harvest and have not been able to make the cruise, one of these days I hope to though.
We can not control the weather, we can only adjust our sails.
Freyjanna. Hull 10179, sail 1786.
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby talbot » Tue May 16, 2017 8:18 pm

What a great offer. Thanks!
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Re: Sailing in North Puget Sound

Postby druidae1492 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:09 am

talbot wrote:What a great offer. Thanks!


The farmer I work raspberry harvest for is retiring after this harvest. I am making it a serious plan to be in the cruise in Port Townsend next June. I should have my drivers Licence and a tow rig buy then as well. (Long story). I would most likely launch from Anacortes to save Ferry costs.
Anyone planning to be there who may want to stay in the area longer is welcome to use my place as a basecamp and park their rig and trailer there if need be.
We can not control the weather, we can only adjust our sails.
Freyjanna. Hull 10179, sail 1786.
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