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post #1 of 5 Old 03-23-2008 Thread Starter
first sailed january 2008
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First cruise

Hi, so a quick intro.

I am 30. I have wanted to sail since I was 15. Not just sail, but sail away. It got put off, it always seemed so expensive and hard, there were other interests and I always said I would one day.

That day is now. The owner of the house I now live at, lives for sailing. When I first met him I told him I have always wanted to sail. He said he likes to teach and I can come out with him next time. So I jumped on this opportunity and now me and him are friends and he's helped me fix up my first boat and learn alot. I don't know if I could've done it without his help.

I'm now going out from the ala wai in Honolulu several times a week(except this week, winds are 20-25 knots and gusty.) I'm learning, I love it.

I am hoping come June I will be good enough to live aboard and sail the whole summer. I have some destinations in mind, based on what I want to see. Cheapness, ease of sailing and navigation. I'm pretty much confining it to AMerica, although I don't have to. Mostly becuse I will be doing this on a shoestring and our dollar is tanking. I'm not opposed to any other countries, so please feel free to suggest anywhere. I'll be buying a used boat there too, something up to $5000 and maybe 24-25 feet.

I would like some suggestions and the best cruising grounds for a beginner. Somewhere with quaint small towns, not too crowded. Good nature and fishing, some good isolated anchorages, and not too strict. By strict I mean I've heard maybe California is all rules and regulations, where you can and can't park. I'd like to be able to just drop anchor anywhere that looks nice and quiet and that. My order right now is:

1. San Juans and all over puget sound
2. Chesapeake Bay
3. San Francisco Bay
4. Lake Michigan/Huron
5. Rhode Island, Inside Long Island

Thanks for any advice. I know that out west the nature is better, and I know I like puget sound more, but I haven't spent much time out east, and there is a lot of american history and sailing culture there that I would like to explore, that's why I am split.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-23-2008
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Congrats on discovery of your passion!

San Juans and all over puget sound:

I am by far not the most experienced in the PNW for sailing grounds in general...I kinda learned by just dropping anchor and if no one kicked me out - it was good to stay....

THE PNW offers a ton of marinas - mostly on the small scale... the most concentrated are in Seattle, and Everett (in terms of size and boats)... however, you'll find that bigger marinas offer other comforts such as instant choice on resteraunts, shopping, and access to services... While I generally prefer the same as you - I was kinda surprised how I enjoyed staying at the Everett marina - as a storm was approaching and there was a West Marine a quick walk up - so bought all the foul weather gear I and my passenger would need....and there was no checking just a drop box to make payment...

Most of PNW is rocky / silty in terms of dropping anchor. But unless the charts indicate that you can not - you can drop anchor most anywhere... I once anchored outside Bainbridge Island (254 ft) and the patrol boats went by every hour... it was all good... But tons of nooks and crannies you can get into... Hood Canal, the San Jauns, Vashon, Blake, etc islands... One of the reasons PNW is vibrant in terms of boating - is that destinations are plentiful and suite each and every mindset and budget...

Sailing from HI however, you'll need to do so during when the weather patterns best suit... So here is a list of some PNW sites that can assist:

TGW.NET: Entertaining sailing stories, cool wallpapers and great photography

Selected Pacific NW links

Pacific Yachting PNW*-*Pacific Yachting PNW

San Juan Islands: Official guide to the San Juan Islands in Washington State
Tons more out there.. hope that helps...

-- Jody

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Last edited by artbyjody; 03-23-2008 at 03:00 AM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-23-2008
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Just be aware that the anchorages in the PNW are generally a lot deeper than they are along the eastern USA, including the Chesapeake, so you'll generally want a lot of anchor rode, with a good length of chain to start with, since the rocks will chafe through rope relatively quickly.

$5000 is a bit small for a budget, even for a 25' boat, especially if you're planning to liveaboard it.

I also think it is a big mistake to leave off New England from your cruising list. Buzzards Bay, Gulf of Maine or Casco Bay would also be good choices for warmer weather cruising.


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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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post #4 of 5 Old 03-23-2008
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I trailer sail and one of my favorite areas is North Carolina. Cruiser friendly with lots of sailing areas to learn in, friendly people to guide you, city / state sponsored docks that are very inexpensive if not free, and lots of rivers and coves to anchor in.
Check out:
CoastalGuide by ICW-NET > Coastal Communities: North Carolina, South Carolina < NC < SC
And | Oriental NC News
Be sure to look at the classifieds, I have seen a number of boats that look good under $10,000: Look back a few pages and you'll see a Bristol and a Cape Dory in your size and price range.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-23-2008
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How about this...

Lake Erie Islands &/or the North Channel during the summer...then head south along the east coast ICW to Florida, the Keys & over to the Bahamas in the winter.

That's our plan...& we were lucky to be located in the right place when the cruising bug bit us.

Good luck to you.

Cheers, Paul.
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