Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-04-2018, 10:12 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
San Juan's in March?

Some plans have changed and I find myself with the opportunity to pull a quick 5 day charter at the end of March. Obviously not the ideal time to cruise, but I'm curious what conditions might be like at that time. I'm Minnesotan and cruise Lake Superior late into the fall so chilly and rainy isn't a problem for me. But if I'm just going to be paying to wait out more significant storms the whole time, I'll reconsider.

Thanks for the info.
BD
__________________
Advertisement

BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 10:23 PM   #2
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,062
Roll the dice on March weather here. Could be nice early spring weather, or wet and blowing. No telling what weather you'd have. I think it snowed last March in NW Washington.
__________________

Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 10:26 PM   #3
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8,429
If you are staying the San Juans and I assume sailing out of Anacortes, then the only biggish water you have to cross is Rosario Strait. The rest of the time you can stay in relatively protected waters.

Count on the weather to be wet, cool, and windy. OTOH, you could have some very nice spring weather.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 10:26 PM   #4
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,254
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
Some plans have changed and I find myself with the opportunity to pull a quick 5 day charter at the end of March. Obviously not the ideal time to cruise, but I'm curious what conditions might be like at that time. I'm Minnesotan and cruise Lake Superior late into the fall so chilly and rainy isn't a problem for me. But if I'm just going to be paying to wait out more significant storms the whole time, I'll reconsider.

Thanks for the info.
BD
We have cruised year round from Vancouver since the mid 70s. We occasionally went across Georgia Straight in the winter, but were always prepared to abort if the weather wasn't to our liking. Conditions are more reliable from Easter on than earlier. Much more reliable after the May long weekend. Since retiring, I annually bring my boat from Vancouver to Saltspring before May 1, but not before April 1. There is a big improvement in the reliability of the weather during the month of April.

If I were to book a cruise for the end of March, I would wait until there was a long range forecast showing favourable conditions.

Even if the weather is not perfect, the lack of crowds makes that time of year attractive. Get a boat with a good heater and enclosures up top.
__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 10:35 PM   #5
Guru
 
IRENE's Avatar
 
City: Port Angeles, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irene
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 772
I recommend you go in March. You will have the place to yourselves and have a ball. The busy-in-the-summer marinas and parks will be EMPTY! Chances are you will get at least a few nice days, and if not the waters are protected if it's blowy. The cold here will be NOTHING like the wind off Lake Superior in June (we have done this).

I will be happy to chat about some destinations if you wish, though there are far more seasoned with the San Juans on the forum.

BTW, we just got back from Friday Harbor. It was delightfully quiet!

Best Wishes
__________________
Jeff
MV IRENE
IRENE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 11:27 PM   #6
Guru
 
Russell Clifton's Avatar
 
City: La Conner Wa.
Country: usa
Vessel Name: Sea Fever
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 634
If your plans include staying at the state parks docks, keep in mind many won't be in place until mid April. But you can still anchor out or tie to a buoy.

So far this year we have more than usual wind storms. But you just need a 1-2 hour window to get into the islands if you are leaving from Anacortes or Bellingham.
Russell Clifton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 12:16 AM   #7
Guru
 
City: Anacortes
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 808
The problem with March is that you will have a schedule by definition. Locals have traditionally gotten some fantastic days at that time of year, but maybe we forget that those occasions come about when they present themselves. I have gotten the snot kicked out of me in winter and sometimes spring, and try to find a protected passage when the wind whips around to the North. Rosario can be no picnick if it wants and I've seen 5 footers too many times even in Guemes channel with ferrys taking green water onto the car deck. The weather is just unstable this time of year. Nobody can tell you what your going to get until 24 hours before hand and even then.

Hey, decent chance you can make a trip out of it. Very typical time of year I'll have solid rain up from Seattle area and then Anacortes and the San Juans will be clear, as there is a often a rain shadow. I'd be game to try myself, but have a hard time recommending to a charter this time of year. If the weather changes quickly, will you know what anchorages are protected from the South, or which ones work if it veers around to the North? What about landing at a dock in strong wind and current both. A lot can go on around here in the unstable months and it usually takes some conditioning to the noaa forecasts or you might never leave the dock.

Just be forewarned. It's not a slam dunk. It can also be some of the most beautiful days too and absolutely quiet, but it comes with risk.
ghost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 12:19 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
Wow, great feedback (as always)!

I have chartered up there twice before, so while I'm not super experienced with the area, I do have a good sense for where things are, what some options are, what the travel times are like, etc. The other advantage of that is I don't feel like I have to push my luck just to see some place or another. I've seen most of it.

In this case we would be chartering a 29 Ranger Tug out of AYC. We have chartered a sistership from the same place before and find the boat extremely easy to handle (bow and stern thrusters help). The inside helm and diesel heater I think should make the time at the wheel comfortable.

The info about the park docks - I hadn't even thought about that. I'll have to look at how that impacts us. We will have a dinghy so maybe not all that much, but I'll have to put more thought into it.

In charter in general you always have a schedule. Because of that we'll have to be extra attentive to weather forecasts and not take any chances. Based on this input I think I'm going to keep it on the table and start to plan a little. The cold and rain don't bother me and we've even had snow falling on us on the Mississippi River before. Maybe I'll look at the trip cancellation insurance too.

Thanks all! Any more advice is certainly welcomed.
BD
BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 02:48 PM   #9
Guru
 
Russell Clifton's Avatar
 
City: La Conner Wa.
Country: usa
Vessel Name: Sea Fever
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 634
Here is a run down on the docks:

James Island- no dock in winter
Jones Island - no dock in winter
Fossil Bay - no inner dock but outer dock is left in place
Prevost Harbor dock left in place
Reid Harbor dock left in place
Garrison Bay- dingy dock left in place
Matia Island no dock in winter
The remainder of the parks have no docks
The marina's , both public and private, are located in protected waters for the most part so their docks remain in place.
Russell Clifton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 06:10 PM   #10
Guru
 
Bob Cofer's Avatar
 
City: Caimanera
Country: Cuba
Vessel Name: Seafarer
Vessel Model: 1926 56’ Winslow RDMY
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,203
BD,

Let us know what the dates are, we may be able to meet up for a day or two.

Bob
__________________
What kind of boat is that?
Bob Cofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2018, 04:35 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
Sorry - missed that posting. Our dates will be March 22-26. We'll be locking down our plans one way or the other next week.

This will just be my brother and I - a celebration of his 50th. It would be great to meet up!
BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2018, 09:54 PM   #12
Guru
 
IRENE's Avatar
 
City: Port Angeles, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irene
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 772
If we were not obligated that weekend I would suggest a small TF meet-and-greet in the San Juans. Bummer for us - maybe good for everyone else.
__________________
Jeff
MV IRENE
IRENE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 03:37 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
Quick Update for anyone interested:
Tomorrow is the start of our mini adventure. We hope to be finished with our charter walk through and ready to leave the marina by 3 PM. Forecast calls for wind waves 2ft or less tomorrow, but winds building to 15 to 25 kt after midnight with wind waves 2 to 4 ft. Friday weather should remain the same until late, but the rest of the weekend seems pretty calm.

Our plan is to assess the conditions at Rosario Strait, and assuming they are fine, move quickly towards Friday Harbor. Seems like a good place to base from and I'm not sure I want to be looking for an anchorage late with high winds coming in. Friday we can explore if we're comfortable, and if not, Friday Harbor has bars and restaurants.

Saturday I think we'll try to anchor at Sucia, and Sunday maybe Eastsound (never been there) or Eagle Harbor if we want to be closer to Anacortes. Open to any suggestions from the forum on Sunday! Monday we need to return the boat fairly early and head back to Seattle for our flight home.

I do have one question - What should I expect for battery drain from our Webasto furnace? I've never used one, and with our weather I'm hoping it can get us through the night!

Thanks!
BD
BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 07:19 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
Friday forecast just updated to 30 knots and 3-5 footers. I just realized I should probably post my Website question separately.
BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 07:57 PM   #15
Guru
 
drb1025's Avatar
 
City: Bellevue, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fiddler
Vessel Model: DeFever 46
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 628
I recommend avoiding Eastsound for overnight anchorage as the winds funnel up through there with nothing to stop it. I like Reid Harbor, Deer Harbor, Blind Bay, and Garrison Bay for protection from winds and access to activities onshore.
drb1025 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 08:21 PM   #16
Guru
 
Bob Cofer's Avatar
 
City: Caimanera
Country: Cuba
Vessel Name: Seafarer
Vessel Model: 1926 56’ Winslow RDMY
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,203
San Juan's in March?

Bellingham Bay will be a bit frisky as will the crossing to Peavine Pass. Once through there it will calm down. Friday and Roche harbors will be nice as will Garrison. Sucia is nicely protected and a great anchorage. Southbound in Hale Pass will be pretty decent. Springtime boating in the SJI’s is never boring!
__________________
What kind of boat is that?
Bob Cofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 08:34 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
Thanks drb. We had discussed Deer Harbor so that's a good choice, and it's good to have other options too. Appreciate the input.
BD
BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 08:39 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 416
Thanks Bob. I'm hoping the Ranger Tug handles these conditions well. It will certainly be a great learning experience for me, and if I'm not comfortable with the conditions I'll lay low and wait it out. We'll be happy just being on the boat.
BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 08:47 PM   #19
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8,429
Should be a nice trip. The current will change direction in Rosario around the time you will be leaving crossing. If the forecasts hold true you will have an East wind against a South running current. Which on the face of it shouldn’t be bad but Rosario can be surprising.

Maybe a 2 1/2 to 3 hour trip from Anacortes to Friday Harbor? I would sit tight in Friday Harbor on Friday given the forecast. Keep an eye on the currents. You don’t want to be caught out with the current and wind opposing each other.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 09:04 PM   #20
Guru
 
AlaskaProf's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma, WA & Ashland, OR
Country: US of A
Vessel Name: SEEADLER
Vessel Model: RAWSON 41
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,016
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
Thanks drb. We had discussed Deer Harbor so that's a good choice, and it's good to have other options too. Appreciate the input.
BD
Im a big fan of Westsound. Head of the bay has an old style marina and boatyard. The Orcas Yacht Club has an excellent dock which is likely to be available this time of year (open wifi). There is no "village" there, but there is an outstanding restaurant next door to the YC.
__________________

AlaskaProf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×