Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Winds, San Juans, The Sound...??"
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Thread: "Winds, San Juans, The Sound...??"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Winds, San Juans, The Sound...??

Brian Smith

Hey all you Pacific Northwest Westies... I'm wondering about local and prevailing winds in your various home ports and sailing grounds. Might actually (we're talking long term here, still several years away) take Orion down that way...
I have spent time on So. Whidbey Island, and a trip or two to Port Townsend, the San Juans... But that was pre-sailing era for me and frankly dont' recall the wind conditions, oceans and tides.. Good places to explore and sail??

Thanks for sharing!

Brian Smith

OK, so what... No one sails the PNW?! Now, I know better than that...!


Hi -- here's my two cents worth for now, and how about we PNW'ers put together a little list of some particular Westsailor favorites at our rendezvous & we'll pass them along (with the oath to keep them secret so they don't get overrun!)

There are innumerable great gunkholes betweeen Olympia and Desolation Sound to keep you busy for as long as you could want. It's all inland waters, so with tidebooks & good charts (rocks or sand/mud flats are issues in places) and decent weather reports, it's quite friendly sailing territory. A good cruising guide (Waggoners is a very nice one) is a perfect starting place.

Weather/Winds... good weather usually comes with northerlies. Crummier with southerlies. When the weather is warmest -July/August - the winds are usually the worst for sailing, and the anchorages are the most crowded. June or Sept/Oct can be some of the nicest times to cruise (but fall can bring plenty of morning fog.) With a winter sailing ready boat & premium raingear, some swear by the winter months.

There is a good amount of public access/moorage at Washington state parks (http://www.parks.wa.gov/moorage/parks/), and various other public agency access points. Many marine parks have buoys ($10/night) or a bit of dock space. In BC, they have public docks painted red so you can determine public access easily. They're often full of local's boats, but you can at least use for dinghy access in summer. BC has an outstanding set of marine parks, many with buoys, sometimes docks, and a variety of trails/parks ashore. More is at: www.britishcolumbia.com/Parks/?ID=547

Hope that will get you started. Happy trip planning!

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