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post #1 of Old 03-17-2013 Thread Starter
first sailed january 2008
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I've become very concerned about the weather...

Hi, I have been planning a trip to Puget Sound to get and inexpensive sailboat, learn more how to sail, and then take off cruising the San Juan Islands, the Canadian Gulf Islands, and see where it takes me.

My family lives in Eugene, I came here two weeks ago to see them and get ready, and I've always thought that Eugene was in the same climate as Seattle. So it has been pretty nice, it hasn't rained and has been partly to mostly sunny all but two days.

I've got my maps, rain coat, foul weather gear. My passport that I let expire is on its way. I'm prepared.

Then a cold front comes in last night, not real cold, but kindof cold, and I look up the weather up there again. It's been consistently 10 degrees colder and has rained everyday. If you read the tourist website, the San Juans are in some magic rain shadow, blocked by the Olympic mountains, and it is sunny 247 days a year. I've been looking since February 1 and it hasn't had one day of sun in the last two months.

I originally narrowed my choice down to Florida, San Francisco, and Puget Sound.

Florida- sounds fantastic, IF I had the money to stay longer and do the Bahamas. Otherwise, in summer it's going to be too hot and humid and I don't like the South.

SF Bay- Best weather, right now it's going to be 60's and sunny most weeks, I know that alot of people think of SF as cloudy and foggy, but it's really the secret sunny place, with palm trees, consistent winds, and a moderate humidity year round.
However, the bay has been completely overdeveloped, it's hard to get slips, and there is limited cruising.

PNW- Isolated islands with secluded anchorages, cheap marinas, well, it's got almost everything, it's the perfect starter cruising grounds...except the weather is terrible.

I'm now worried that instead of having fun, learning sailing skills, I will sit in a marina huddled around a space heater trying to dry off. It's realy silly to change plans now, after all the research I've put into things, but what if summer never comes? People up there said the last three summers have come late and been short. If you look at the San Juans on a sunny day, it doesn't look like a better place exists, but if those days are few and far between I'm not sure it would be worth it.

I guess I'm asking for advice from more seasoned cruisers. am I worried for nothing? Is San Francisco a good, relatively easy place to learn to cruise? Or is it crowded and hassles. Are people up in Washington right now sailing and having a good time? Is California full of regulations where anytime I try to "park" it will be in front of someone's waterfront mansion and the coast guard will come give me a ticket? The boats seem cheaper in the Bay and there are more of them.

Last edited by northoceanbeach; 03-17-2013 at 02:59 PM.
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