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Old 01-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
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Winter cruising

All things considered, we like cruising during the winter in the Northwest as much as the summer. *No other boats means you can pretty much pull up to any marina in the area and find a slip for the night. *If you have a good heater and don't mind a bit more wind, it's a fine time to cruise. *Not many others seem to agree since we really do seem to be alone most of the time, but I wonder if others take advantage of winter cruising in the higher latitudes for the same reason we do?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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RE: Winter cruising

Great scenes.

What latitudes do you cruise during the winter and how*short are the daylight hours?* Presume you make relatively short runs or do you dare to cruise at night?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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Winter cruising

We cruise all year round including winter.* Our winter cruising is dependent on my schedule and boatable weather coinciding.* The last few winters we--- and a lot of other boaters up north we've talked to--- have noticed that there are a lot more instances of high wind, stormy days than there were through the earlier 2000s and late 90s.* That's not to say there are not really nice days, but with the requirement that the nicer days coincide with the days we have available for boating, there have been fewer opportunities the last few winters.* For example, we had planned to take the boat out for several days into the island over the Christmas break--- Boeing shuts down between Christmas Eve day and the day after New Years Day.* But this year, storm after storm marched through--- five of them between Christmas and New Years Day--- and when the winds are 25-35 knots it's not that much fun to go out.

We don't care about rain, snow, or cold.* But wind can make it less than pleasant to be out.

In years past we have cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for friends who use to live on Sucia, and we have done a lot of winter cruising.* We enjoy fall, winter, and spring cruising the best for the reasons that Carl mentions.* In fact we do the least amount of boating during the summer as we do not like being out with a ton of other boats.

But the last few winters have not presented us with as many opportunities to go out as we would have liked.

This photo is from a few years ago but it shows the benefits of off-season cruising in this area.* In the summer this particular bay is wall-to-wall boats.

Mark-- Carl's photos were taken in the San Juans not far from Bellingham.* In the winter daylight is from about 0800 to 1630.* But the days are already starting to get a wee bit longer now.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 17th of January 2012 08:59:38 PM
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Winter cruising

I like winter cruising for much the same reasons. *To be cruising along warm and snug with a hot cup of coffee while the wind rages outside is very special. *I think one of the pleasures of cruising is that you are so close to nature in the raw. *My main problem with it is finding crew that enjoys it as much as I do.

Not as far north as Alaska, but I have done much winter cruising on the Tennessee and Chesapeake and in the coastal waters of North Carolina. *Now we move with the sun.

Oh yeah, I have done some winter cruising on my Blackfin. *There is heat in the cuddy for sleeping. *At the console there is just 3 side Eisenglass wind screen. *You have to suit up like riding a motor cycle in winter. *Definitely not for the faint of heart.






-- Edited by Moonstruck on Wednesday 18th of January 2012 06:19:28 AM
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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RE: Winter cruising

Quote:
markpierce wrote:
Great scenes.

What latitudes do you cruise during the winter and how*short are the daylight hours?* Presume you make relatively short runs or do you dare to cruise at night?
*We don't go much further north than Desolation Sound, but mostly enjoy just leaving Thursday for the weekend. *Right now, we only have about 8 hours of light, and no, I'm not thrilled with nighttime cruising anywhere other than offshore.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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RE: Winter cruising

Ugh...
I need to move out of New England... my boat is frozen in... I would need an ice breaker to get out of my marina. So depressing...
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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RE: Winter cruising

Quote:
7tiger7 wrote:
Ugh...
I need to move out of New England... my boat is frozen in... I would need an ice breaker to get out of my marina. So depressing...
******** I know of another guy up there that is most likely having the same***

******** thoughts.*
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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RE: Winter cruising

It's been 5 degrees for two days and I'm not going anywhere. The biggest problem w winter cruising up here in my opinion is ice. Ice on deck, ice on the windows, ice on the floats and domestic water ect. One needs several sources of heat for safety reasons .....not just comfort. Most of the time my mooring lines are frozen very solid. And then the winds do'nt help either. Then one gets slop on the windows and of course it becomes ice. Too much ice. Two or three years ago we set out for Petersburg. Went up to Coffman Cove on a building gale. Went in to Coffman Cove in the dark w 7' stern seas. Tied up to a big aluminum fishing boat and watched the heavy rain and 55 knot winds till the next evening. We had a day to move but could'nt get up Wrangell Narrows as the tide was ebbing in the am. Would need to run part of the narrows in the dark. There's 57 lighted nav aids in the narrows. I've seen it at night. Like a big Christmas tree. I do'nt know how anyone can pick out the light they need. We used the weather window to leave Coffman Cove and go home. Had enough boating for the moment. Now that we're moving back to Puget Sound winter boating will be an option again. By the way we are'nt leaving Thorne Bay till the 25th because of my injured foot.

Eric
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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RE: Winter cruising

In the NYC area winter cruising was out.

One would have to bid the vacation time almost a year in advance , and then hope the bay didn't ice.
No marinas would be open so fuel for heat would have to be ferried aboard.

Winter SAILS were a different concept , only 4 hours or so would allow full use of storm sails to see how they worked at various wind speeds.

As sail on New Years day was almost a religion , if mere work did not intrude.

Winter cruising in places with almost no winter would be loads easier..
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:23 AM   #10
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RE: Winter cruising

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:7tiger7 wrote:
Ugh...
I need to move out of New England... my boat is frozen in... I would need an ice breaker to get out of my marina. So depressing...
******** I know of another guy up there that is most likely having the same***

******** thoughts.*

*[img]../../download.spark?ID=1066208&aBID=115492[/img]
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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RE: Winter cruising

I just did a nice three day trip for lessons with a new boat owner on a 67' Hatteras cockpit motor yacht. We left Bradford Marine Friday using the flybridge as it was warm that day. Then two days in the pilothouse with temps in the mid to upper 60's. Brought the boat to Fast Fred's neighborhood in Labelle, FL not far from Lake Okeechobee.
Then yesterday a sea trial on a 92' yachtfisherman designed by Ed Monk, temps in the upper 70's, water temperature down to 74 degrees.
I grew up in the Boston area, South Florida is too hot in the summer but worth it....
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #12
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RE: Winter cruising

With a heavier than usual snowfall for the Puget Sound area predicted for today and temperatures in the teens in Bellingham I took a day of vacation and we drove up to the boat (about 100 miles) to turn on a small heater we keep in the lazarette during the winter with the water tanks and brush the snow off our flying bridge cover which was ancient when we bought the boat but would cost and arm and a leg to replace. Found the marina iced in and the winds were starting to gust up with a predicted max of 50 mph. Windchill was -7 when we were there this afternoon. Photos are the road to the boat, an arbutus tree along the road, our boat, and part of the GB charter fleet near our boat. The ice wasn't thick, but having tried to take the boat out last year at about this time with same amount of ice on the water, I can attest to the damage ice can do to one's bottom paint and bootstripe and--- if you push it too hard which fortunately we didn't--- gelcoat.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:59 PM   #13
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RE: Winter cruising

Welcome to winter Marin. Hope it wo'nt last long. When I stepped aboard Willy about 3pm today ..she did'nt move even a bit. Froze in solid. The bay was'nt frozen all the way across. There was a small part in the middle that was water ruffled up by the breeze. It's going to be 5 degrees again tonight but it's predicted to start a slow warming trend Friday. Hope it's raining when we arrive on the 27th and we find our power and the heat on.

Eric
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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RE: Winter cruising

Meanwhile, in Vallejo, the olive oil turned opaque.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:27 PM   #15
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RE: Winter cruising

Returned to the house in Coquitlam today after 2 weeks away, only to find, on the coldest day of the year, no furnace. Time to head for warmer weather! Some opaque olive oil for me.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #16
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RE: Winter cruising

Thanksgiving on Sucia Island, New Year's day in Park Bay, Valentine's Day in Deer Harbor... Some of our favorite memories. Yes, cruising in the winter months around the Salish Sea is absolutely wonderful. No crowds and fewer opportunities to run into idiots at the helm of a boat. Our Dickenson diesel stove/heater keeps the boat at a toasty 75 degrees inside. Ahhhh...
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #17
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RE: Winter cruising

I hate to rub it in guys, but........ "It Sucks Being You"** We are planning a*trip across Galveston Bay this weekend.* Lows in the 60's high in the 70's with water temps in the upper 50's .* Not as good as Florida, but still pretty good.*
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:48 PM   #18
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RE: Winter cruising

Rub it in? *What is it like in the summer.

120 deg sun no wind no shade. hah

Sounds lke now is the perfect time to go for a boat ride in your area.

Maybe the only time

SD
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #19
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RE: Winter cruising

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
Rub it in? *What is it like in the summer.

120 deg sun no wind no shade. hah

Sounds lke now is the perfect time to go for a boat ride in your area.

Maybe the only time

SD
You got that right SD.*
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:24 PM   #20
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RE: Winter cruising

Quote:
Marin wrote:
With a heavier than usual snowfall for the Puget Sound area predicted for today and temperatures in the teens in Bellingham I took a day of vacation and we drove up to the boat (about 100 miles) to turn on a small heater we keep in the lazarette during the winter with the water tanks and brush the snow off our flying bridge cover which was ancient when we bought the boat but would cost and arm and a leg to replace. Found the marina iced in and the winds were starting to gust up with a predicted max of 50 mph. Windchill was -7 when we were there this afternoon. Photos are the road to the boat, an arbutus tree along the road, our boat, and part of the GB charter fleet near our boat. The ice wasn't thick, but having tried to take the boat out last year at about this time with same amount of ice on the water, I can attest to the damage ice can do to one's bottom paint and bootstripe and--- if you push it too hard which fortunately we didn't--- gelcoat.
*I remember seeing your boat last summer in this spot when we stopped for grandkid pickup. *Can't get more protected than that, and I am surprised at the ice skim. *Is there fresh water floating on the surface? *It's amazing how much colder it can be in B'ham vs. a few miles south where we are.
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