Re: Washington State - Sailing? Living?
Alex's post generally sums it up. I'll add my two cents worth. I've lived here since 1953 (not a native, I was two at the time). Western WA isn't for everyone, you can get wet spells that last 90 days straight, but that is highly unusual (that doesn't make it any more fun when you are living through it). You can also get summers that never seem to warm up, with frequent rains. We also get at least a couple of major blows in the fall/winter season that can topple trees and disrupt power for several days. When we get snow it is usually wet and sloppy, and often disappears by noon, but once in awhile we get a blast of Arctic cold that sends the temps into the teens and the snow and ice stick around for a couple of weeks. With practically no level ground anywhere, and most people unfamiliar and unprepared, every snow event results in total chaos on the roads.
The good news is that on average the weather is mild year round and most people use their boats year round. The summer winds are flukey, with spring and fall the most consistent. The cruising possibilities are endless, literally a lifetimes worth of exploring available, and almost all of it is in protected waters (Olympia, WA to Glacier Bay, AK).
The politics here can only be described as BLUE. I won't say any more.
WA usually seems to get through recessions better than most places in the country, even more so now that Boeing isn't the only game in town.
There are large variations in micro climates in western WA. Seattle gets around 35" of precip per year while Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula only gets about 10" and the San Juan Islands are also pretty dry, so you can almost pick your climate (depending of course on where you need to locate for work).
I'm a lifer, I've traveled around and haven't seen anywhere else I'd rather be (although the Bahamas at this time of year has a definite appeal:-))
SV Laurie Anne
1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse