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Old 07-22-2020, 04:25 PM   #21
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This will be an interesting year for us all in the PacNW - especially in the US. Another aspect of "it's 2020" . . . Now is a good time to discover all the hidey-holes we'd usually avoid and as noted above, a chance to sharpen our weather skills so we can anchor in some places we might normally bypass. I'm really confident in our ground tackle and I'll take our stern-tie kit with us (first time for everything) so it's time to expand our comfort zone!
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:47 AM   #22
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Looking for recommendations for pumpouts and fresh water at marinas that may be a bit less crazy than Friday Harbor and Roche.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:19 AM   #23
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If you're in the Harbor the POFH pumpout will come to you. $5, and a tip is not mandatory but certainly appreciated. You can sidle up to the breakwater to fill water as long as there is room, usually works at "turnover time". Call the marina ahead of time to schedule a pumpout and confirm water availability.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingston Mariner View Post
Looking for recommendations for pumpouts and fresh water at marinas that may be a bit less crazy than Friday Harbor and Roche.
Fisherman Bay on Lopez has a couple marinas, Deer Harbor, West Sound Marina, Rosario Resort. There's a pumpout, not sure it works, in Reid Harbor, at Stuart Island. Skyline and Cap Sante in Anacortes also have pumpout and water.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:23 PM   #25
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Spencer Spit, Lopez Island: 37 vessels last night south side. 40 vessels now. Quiet and we'll behaved, lots of room here. Half the mooring bouys turned over this morning.

Only excitement was this AM, a 46 foot cruiser drug anchor, drifted by my port side as the wind came up.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:42 PM   #26
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San Juans

We have been in SJs for two weeks. Every night on the hook. Impossible to get in Marinas. Roche not taking reservations but using a daily wait list. Nothing by phone. VHF calls taken beginning at 0800. We tried two days but never made the cut. That said, never any problem anchoring. Last two nights on a buoy in Fossil Bay. Lovely weather warmer here than Blind Bay or Roche. Garrison Bay packed. One night in Blind Bay I counted 60 boats but plenty of room for all. Anchored first night in Fossil then picked up a buoy the next morning. FrIday Harbor Marina not taking reservations for 40 until August. I would try to get reservations before you leave but plenty of space to anchor in Reid and Prevost.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:59 PM   #27
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How many boats are out there?

Weve been frequent boaters in the islands since early March of this year. I also look at the number of boats that I see on the AIS web sights and compare the numbers that is see with my own eyes as well as actual numbers that I count on the radar. The numbers are astounding, in areas like Echo Bay on Sucia and Reed on Stewart the number of boats s with AIS runs between 30 and 50 percent! Everybody that I talk to this year is astounded by the sheer number of boats out there.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:21 AM   #28
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We were in Indian Cove on Shaw mid last week and no other boats there but us. You want to tuck in close to shore in the NW corner of the bay though if any wind is expected out of the south as it blows right into the bay and if anchored in the middle you will find it unpleasant, I had a bad time there once a few years ago. But if you tuck in close in the NW its pretty nice and it has nice beaches with warm water.
It is shallow close in with scattered rocks around. I prefer to go in at or near low water so I know how much will be under me overnight and I can see the rocks.
It is a pretty bay with frequent wildlife sightings and oddly rarely busy.
I will sometimes throw out a stern anchor to keep my nose pointed SE so as not to go sideways in the ferry swell.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:22 AM   #29
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I've been up here for the last 3 weeks. It goes in spurts depending on the days and the weather. It seems like Thursday - Saturday are the worst days.

One night there were 56 boats in Westcott Bay that I counted via radar and my eyeballs, but I think I missed a few. Pretty crowded. Next two nights, less than half that - more than OK, and plenty of space for people.

Like a few other folks have said, if you avoid the 11am-noon switchover time when everyone is either leaving the marina they are at, or going to the marina they want to be at, you can move around without too much hassle.

I prefer to anchor. If you avoid the very popular spots, specifically ones with state parks and places to get off the boat onto land, you can find lots of places to anchor and enjoy the solitude.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:48 AM   #30
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Stern tie nightmares

I've only sterned tied when I absolutely had to, usually in crowded anchorages or too steep in the middle or to face into swells coming in. A nice time can turn into a nightmare quickly though.



You have to have the right gear, know what you are doing, and be prepared to pull up and move at any hour you are there - including at midnight after too many sundowners. Most bad situations with stern times happen with wind shifts. A wind on the nose or on the stern can seem okay and then turn dangerous if the wind clocks to your port or stern. It is easy to drag your bow anchor if the wind shifts. It can also get very nasty inside with a side wind.



I learned to avoid stern ties with a passion. If I did, I would not do it in a crowded anchorage. And only if it both sides of the boat would be protected from a wind change.



If you use a stern anchor that you put out with the dink, you also have another potential issue. You may not be strong enough or have enough stability in the dink to pull up the anchor. If you can't get it up you may have to try to maneuver the boat bow over and use the windlass (if you have a rope road capstan on one side or top). That can be hazardous if too close to shore.



Just my two cents - be prepared and know what you are doing.
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