Posts Tagged “Winter Boating”

Winter Cruising in Chesapeake Bay

Winter Cruising in Chesapeake Bay

We found winter boating in Chesapeake Bay to be surprisingly similar to the Pacific Northwest, with the same advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage of course is the weather. Storms are more frequent and fierce, so we need to watch the forecasts more carefully, the days are shorter, and the temperature is colder. The temperature…

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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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Trouble at Teakerne

Trouble at Teakerne

Teakerne Arm Marine Park is a popular summer destination in the Desolation Sound area (map). The main attractions are Cassel Lake and the waterfall draining it that spills over a cliff into a basin at the inlet head. The park is even more spectacular in the winter, when two waterfalls gush from the lake, churning…

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Storm Force Winds in the Strait of Georgia

Storm Force Winds in the Strait of Georgia

On our Christmas trip to Desolation Sound this year, we were looking forward to testing the boat in some rough winter weather. We’ve been out in a few gale warnings, and the boat has handled well, but we wanted something more serious. We got our chance one morning on a trip from Gorge Harbor to…

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Displacement Speed Beats Planing Speed … Again

Displacement Speed Beats Planing Speed … Again

We spent Christmas this year in Desolation Sound (map of area). The area is so popular in the summer that Kenmore Air has regular float-plane service to one of the anchorages there at Prideaux Haven (pictured above). That’s way too busy for us–we prefer the winter, when we can have it all to ourselves. We…

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Another Alaska Destination? (Unseasonable South Sound Snow)

Another Alaska Destination? (Unseasonable South Sound Snow)

Nope–these pictures were taken in the south Puget Sound earlier today. We’re out on a Thanksgiving cruise, and were anchored last night in the cove behind Raft Island (map of area). Temperatures were slightly above freezing yesterday, with a light snowfall. This morning we woke to a layer of snow on deck and a temperature…

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