Archive For The “North America Pacific Coast” Category

Crossing the Columbia River Bar

Crossing the Columbia River Bar

We left Seattle on Thursday evening and crossed the Columbia River Bar Saturday morning. Conditions were rough, as they always seem to be, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but otherwise we’ve had reasonable weather the whole run. Saturday morning prior to 9am, the Coast Guard has closed the bar to all pleasure craft….

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Puget Sound Spring 2012 Cruising Log

Puget Sound Spring 2012 Cruising Log

  With the official start of Seattle’s boating season nearly upon us, here’s our log for the winter off-season. On our weekend trips this year, we’ve ranged between LaConner to the north,Tramp Harbor to the south, Oyster Bay to the west and Bell Harbor Marina to the east, along with a week-long stay inside the…

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Cruising Queen Charlotte Sound: Hecate and Calvert Islands

Cruising Queen Charlotte Sound: Hecate and Calvert Islands

The maze of islands and waterways that border Queen Charlotte Sound has long been one of our favorite cruising ground. The terrain is complex, the scenery is varied and impressive, and the anchorage choices are many. The adventure level ranges from sheltered waters, to open ocean, to tidal rapids. You can laze in a tranquil…

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More snow … and freezing rain

More snow … and freezing rain

Sunday’s snow mostly was gone by Monday, but we got another load later in the week. The weather system was difficult to forecast. Although the snowfall was less than the record originally anticipated, enough still fell to keep anyone off the roads who didn’t need to be out. And we got an unusual freezing rain…

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Snow

Snow

Snow is fairly rare in the Puget Sound, so a layer of the white stuff always is a treat. We’d spent the weekend in LaConner, where 2-3 inches of snow had fallen overnight, and left around 7 this morning for the run back to Seattle. The trip through Swinomish Channel was magical in the dark….

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Winter lights

Winter lights

One upside to winter’s shorter days is the nighttime lights. Whether from a passing ship, a moored boat, or a nearby house, we enjoy being snug inside with a view to lights twinkling in the distance. The show gets even better during the Christmas season, when colorful holiday light displays are put on afloat and…

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Weather window

Weather window

A storm warning was in effect, with winds expected to reach 40-50 knots in the afternoon. More systems were on the way. The only obvious weather break coming up in the next few days was a several-hour window starting sometime after midnight, when winds would be 15 knots or less. We weren’t pressed for time…

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The Wild Pacific Coast

The Wild Pacific Coast

A southwesterly gale was well underway as we approached Ucluelet. 6-8′ waves were rolling through and crashing into the shore on either side of us. The buoy in Carolina Channel, to our west, was disappearing completely behind the waves. The calm weathers we’d experienced early in the trip had given way to storm after storm….

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Christmas Cruise 2011: After the storm

Christmas Cruise 2011: After the storm

On Christmas Day, the barometer fell nearly 20mb in 24 hours and Environment Canada was predicting big weather: Storm warning in effect for West Coast Vancouver Island South. Wind west 25 to 35 knots diminishing to northwest 15 to 25 early this evening then backing to southwest 15 to 25 late this evening. Wind increasing…

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Christmas Cruise 2011: Julia Passage and Snug Basin

Christmas Cruise 2011: Julia Passage and Snug Basin

The first time we encountered surface ice on saltwater was back in 2002, on a winter trip to Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa Inlet. We had to break ice to reach Chatterbox Falls. We’ve since seen ice on saltwater many times on our winter cruises, from as far north as Blunden Harbor to the south…

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Christmas Cruise 2011: Jarvis Lagoon and Pipestem Inlet

Christmas Cruise 2011: Jarvis Lagoon and Pipestem Inlet

Winter boating has its challenges, but one of the many rewards are the waterfalls. Flows that might be non-existent or just a trickle in summer gush and roar in winter. Teakearn Arm in Desolation Sound Marine Park is a good example. In the summer one waterfall tumbles lazily over the edge from Cassell Lake. In…

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Christmas Cruise 2011: Seattle to Effingham Bay, Barkley Sound

Christmas Cruise 2011: Seattle to Effingham Bay, Barkley Sound

We first planned a Christmas cruise to Barkley Sound in the fall of 2003. That November, however, we attended a presentation by Cliff Mass on the difficulties of forecasting northwest weather. Mass gave several examples of major storms that had, with little warning, swept up the Pacific Coast and pounded Barkley Sound with storm and…

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Fall 2011 Travel Log

Fall 2011 Travel Log

We’ve just arrived in Barkley Sound for a Christmas tour, so we’ll be updating the live travel map to show the current trip. Our fall travel log is below, or you can display it on a map view. 12/09/11: Canal Boat Yard It’s 32F and frosty this morning, with sea smoke drifting across the water….

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Cruising Prince William Sound

Cruising Prince William Sound

Last week we gave a presentation on our trip to Prince William Sound to the Seattle Sail and Power Squadron. They meet on the third floor of the Queen City Yacht Club, with a wonderful view across Portage Bay. We had a great time socializing with the group and touring the grounds. For our talk,…

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Gulf of Alaska Weather

Gulf of Alaska Weather

One of the reasons we made the offshore run from Seattle to Prince William Sound was to gain experience. A gale in the Gulf of Alaska wasn’t exactly the sort of experience we were hoping for. But we did learn that the boat, and our rough-water preparations, could take the conditions. The full log of…

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Back South of 48

Back South of 48

We’ve spent the last few days lazing in the the sun in the San Juan Islands after returning from Prince William Sound. Yesterday we anchored in Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. Jose Sousa, who had been following our trip online, stopped by to say hello. His 1999 Lord Nelson Victory Tug 41 Carolina is so…

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