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Old 01-11-2017, 09:17 AM   #1
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A little winter boating in the PNW

We are out for a little winter boating. Went from Seattle to Pt Townsend yesterday. 20-30kt winds on the nose most of the way, but sea state was fine. I was a little worried about getting into Pt Townsend in the wind, but it was fine. It's a very tight dog leg entrance, then immediate 90 deg turn into the slip. With strong cross wind, it can be interesting. Last time we came in here was one of our first trips in the boat and the thrusters started working intermittently as we were making our entrance in a very strong wind. I had pretty well resigned myself to hitting the breakwater, docks, or some other boat, but we managed to get in without unauthorized contact. This time was much better.

We plan to spend the next week or two poking around the San Juans and Gulf Islands, ending up in Vancouver where we will keep the boat for a while.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:47 AM   #2
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Good job on a safe and uneventful landing at PT.


We love winter boating and took our first cruise of the year on New Year's Day. We enjoyed a few hours on the water with 10 friends. A great way to start the year.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:18 AM   #3
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There are some places in the Gulf Islands that are great for winter boating, but you probably already know that.

You will likely clear in at Bedlam (OK Bedwell Harbour) and may choose to stay at Poet's Cove or go over to the marine park, which offers nice shore walking, but not much else. If you go around to Port Browning, the pub there has recently changed cooks, so offers a change from what it used to be, but still good.

If you like quiet anchorages, none quieter than Winter cove, just watch the Robertson II rocks (Minx reef) that you have to skirt around to go in.

If you want to explore Saltspring Island, you can anchor or get good dock space right in Ganges Harbour. Once there, downtown Ganges has lots of interesting stuff to explore, all within a short stroll of the marinas. For dinner out, I recommend House Piccolo. Car rentals are available right near the head of the docks as well.

We are away for the winter, so I can't offer to meet you.

Montague Harbour, Galiano Island, should be on your poking around list. The walks around the marine park are not to be missed. As you proceed northwest up Trincomali Channel, stop in at Wallace Island. At this time of year it may be empty, but if you can't squeeze into Conover cove, there is always lots of room in Princess Bay, and again the walks around this little marine park are not to be missed. Pirates Cove on DeCourcy Island is another nice spot at this time of year (too crowded in the summer), though you need to watch the depth at the entrance. Silva Bay will give you a last chance for a decent meal ashore before making the jump across to Vancouver. Lots of permanent moorings, many occupied by derelicts, so anchor nearer the north corner of the bay, between the RVYC docks and Law point where there will be lots of room, or tie to the Silva Bay Marina docks.

I have read your blog, so know that you already have local knowledge of Vancouver.

Have a great visit.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:40 AM   #4
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Darn, I just missed you Peter. Got back to Seattle on Monday after a five-week winter cruise to the San Juans, Gulf Islands, and ultimately Princess Louisa Inlet.

If you have time and the weather cooperates, consider the run up Princess Louisa Inlet. It's not really that far, and it's breathtakingly beautiful. Pictures here...Safe Harbour | To Princess Louisa Inlet! – Slowboat

Safe travels!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:51 PM   #5
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Great photos !
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:35 PM   #6
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I don't think Bedwell customs is open in the winter months. Might need to go to Sidney to clear.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:58 PM   #7
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Darn, I just missed you Peter. Got back to Seattle on Monday after a five-week winter cruise to the San Juans, Gulf Islands, and ultimately Princess Louisa Inlet.

If you have time and the weather cooperates, consider the run up Princess Louisa Inlet. It's not really that far, and it's breathtakingly beautiful. Pictures here...Safe Harbour | To Princess Louisa Inlet! Slowboat

Safe travels!
I read your blog the other day and though we might catch up, then stalked you on MarineTraffic this morning and saw you were back in Seattle. Oh well, till the next time.

We spent some time this morning plotting out the things we want to do, and of course there is only time for a small fraction of them. Hopefully later in the spring we can get up to Princess Louisa Inlet.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:00 PM   #8
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I don't think Bedwell customs is open in the winter months. Might need to go to Sidney to clear.
I assume the Bat Phone still works. I checked in there early this past spring and it was un-manned, but we still checked in via phone.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:00 PM   #9
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The Waggoner Guide says that Oct. 1 -Apr.30, Canpass/Nexus only. Page 19 of the new 2017 edition.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:14 PM   #10
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The Waggoner Guide says that Oct. 1 -Apr.30, Canpass/Nexus only. Page 19 of the new 2017 edition.
We both have Nexus, so should be good to go. Thanks for checking!
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:50 PM   #11
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Looks like we will get to the islands this weekend. The Admiral has not signed off on the navigation brief yet, but I suspect we will be in Friday Harbor for a visit to Vinny's on Saturday night. We have been off of the water for about 8 weeks, so it will be good to run the boat and see some wildlife.

If we see you out there, we will close to an uncomfortable distance and wave...

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Old 01-12-2017, 08:41 AM   #12
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Jeff; We are tied to the breakwater at Friday Harbor, inside the customs dock, 49 Defever. Stop in and say hi. Russ
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:14 AM   #13
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Our plans have changed (what a surprise) and we will be arriving Friday Harbor mid day today, staying through to Saturday. I hope to connect with you guys while we are there.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:29 AM   #14
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Should be a very smooth crossing.

SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:27 PM   #15
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I am so jealous of you guys. I am stuck in the office.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:00 PM   #16
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I am so jealous of you guys. I am stuck in the office.

Come up tomorrow and we'll have a mini rendezvous.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:37 PM   #17
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Roger that Russell Clifton, we will be sure to check in. We will have Bella the Pug with us on the docks, which makes us easy to identify.

I called the marina at Friday Harbor today, and learned they plan to turn the water back on tomorrow afternoon. IRENE is incredibly dirty...we had big wind last week and she got the downwind end of some conifers. So, first order of business after arrival will be a thorough application of soap and water.

See all y'all on Saturday...

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Old 01-18-2017, 09:49 PM   #18
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Nice day Cruise on the 15th

Spend my weekends with the one I love, "my boat" and Sunday seemed the perfect day to take her out for a lunch date. It was cold outside but just turned that temp up to 72F, used my lower helm and made a day of it. Water was like glass most of the day and very few boaters out. You know how it goes, lunch turned into dinner, next thing you know I'm sleeping over again. aaahhhhh it's good to be in Love.


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Old 01-18-2017, 10:57 PM   #19
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We've been tucked away in Bellingham for 2 days waiting out a gale. Last night we had steady 35-45 kt winds, and a several gusts to 55. My wife hates marinas, but has been a sport about sitting this one out. We will head over to Soucia tomorrow AM.
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:55 AM   #20
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Here I sit on the Columbia watching the water flow by. Jealous of you guys. We may take one winter and stay in PS area in the future.
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