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  #11  
Old 03-17-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

Best advise; go to bouy weather or a weather
Service and look for a five day forcast
Plan a short distance trip and work point to point.
Trying to plan long distances, for a beginner that
Has limited to no experience navigating in changing or
Bad weather will only discourage you and damage your boat.
Plan a trip of 30 miles to start then chart your course point to point.
When we started cruising full time we started in
NC to Bahamas. We took the ICW most of the way.
That first year we went one day all day then found an
Ancorage that night rested are and go on.
We averaged 12 hrs a day around 40-50 miles
That included delays such as bridges.
We made Florida in one month then waited
There for a weather window to the Bahamas.
Looking at such long range, your setting yourself up for
Problems,disappointment and failure.
Find a short range easy plan. Prepare using good weather tools
Plan 5 day weather, then when you have a good weather
Window go to the first goal set. Each day set a new goal.
Stop worrying about being cold wet and stalled.
Prepare. Find weather then move. You'll learn new skills. You'll gain confidence..
Good luck. Btw both if us took sailing courses
Before we left and we had navigation programs to
Use on our chart plotter.
Going to sea without education, the right tools and
Preperation with the goal of living in the cheap is an
Expensive and costly pipe dream!
If the weathers bad sit it out! If your ready then find
Weather and go.... If you get in trouble call the
Ciast guard!!!!
Being unprepared can set you up for real issues!!
The pacific is the hardest ocean to navigate, find harbors and
Deal with... Learn & plan better. Look short term and you'll succeed!!!
Fairwinds and following seas
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

No rain today in the SJ's, yesterday was wet but not cold. The trees are all blooming and daffodils are in full bloom, tulips won't be far behind, tilled the garden a few days ago and we're about ready to plant some spinach. Spring is here. Here is a good site that someone here on SN put together to check the weather for Friday Harbor, I use it daily and generally the weather is nicer than the forecast.

Marine Weather and Tide Forecast

If I recall you are talking about summer cruising. For the summer months head for Desolation Sound, warm water for swimming, the most spectacular scenery on earth, great people if you want to be around humanity or one boat nooks where you feel like you are the first person to have ever been there. Oh, and generally good sailing breezes in the afternoons. It can get hot, take something to provide some shade in the cockpit. And don't forget your fishing and prawning gear. I receive no compensation from the BC government for these glowing write ups:-))
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
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.
The winter, late fall and early spring...
You will learn to love the rain in short order I would think. The rain makes the west coast what it is. The remote and isolated hikes through the tall overgrown deep forests don't feel right unless they're wet. The inlets don't look right unless the clouds are clinging to the mountains. There are many of us out cruising all year long. The best prawning and crabbing is right now at this time of year. Some of the best sailing is right now. There is beauty in all this, both summer and winter.

Today I'm in a light hoodie looking at steep snow covered mountain tops, rain every couple of hours and sunshine in between. All this and surrounded by what must be thousands of mussel ducks and all kinds of other wildlife. The PNW has much to offer...Enjoy it! One more thing, the summers are hot and nice. Did I mention that we can be sailing the Salish Sea shirtless in the summer and 45 minutes later we can be downhill skiing, cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

Thanks. I feel good. Those were nice descriptive posts. I have no doubt that it is beautiful and completely worthwhile. And Eugene today said rain for the forecast but it was light followed by sun. It's different rain up here. It's very light with thin clouds that come an go.
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Old 03-18-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

Don't pay attention the forecast summary, read the details. I spent almost the entire weekend outside in Seattle (half of it on the water) and spent less than an hour total in the rain. Bring good clothes and enjoy the great scenery and sailing.

Also realize that most weather forecasts draw a rain symbol if there is a 30% chance of rain. There is always a 30% chance of rain here at this time of year, but that still means that 70% of the time it's not raining. Today was sunny until about 3pm. Last night at sunset I took this photo just outside of Shilshole marina:


The wind was weird this weekend. Both yesterday and today it switched between periods of being 5mph and 25mph and also kept switching between a northerly and a southerly.
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Last edited by Alex W; 03-18-2013 at 01:27 AM. Reason: removed the dangerous phrase "ignore the forecast"
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

Cool! Thanks, I also went online and got a very detailed and descriptive site for the average weather for Friday Harbor for the month of April since 1974.

It's that 30% forecast symbol that was getting me, but also, I think I'm just a little nervous(and excited) to actually be leaving.
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

You should also pick up a copy of this book:
Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings: Jonathan Raban: 9780679776147: Amazon.com: Books Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings: Jonathan Raban: 9780679776147: Amazon.com: Books



The author sails north to Alaska at this time of year (and later in the book is there in July). He also does a great job of giving you some local history. It was a great sailing travel book.
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

The thing one has to remember about rain forecasts, 30% means 30 of 100 days you will get measurable "rain" coming down at some point in time. 30% chance of showers is the same. "rain" vs "showers" are two different types of liquid coming down per say, more in the volume, how fast, much in a given time frame.

A week ago, the forecast was for the next 5 days to have lots of rain, looked bad, at the end of the week, I think we had maybe .5" of rain, no flooding as predicted, etc etc. You take what you get. If it is truly raining. you enjoy it and go from there.

Saturday I was up skiing at snoqualmie pass. It was typical spring NW weather. Don't like what you have right now, wait 5 min. I went from sun to snow to rain to sun to snow to rain in 3 hrs on the hill! talk about funky weather. As mentioned, yesterday was nice until about 3pm or so, then scattered showers, one 5 mi stretch was a few ice pellets with in the rain, it was mid 40F at the time.....

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  #19  
Old 03-21-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

The weather is certainly going downhill, I blame the planned start of your trip .

It's looking a lot better this weekend though, I think I'm going to head over to Kingston for an overnighter/spring shakedown trip.
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2013
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Re: I've become very concerned about the weather...

Yeah...that's why I haven't left yet, it was windy and hailing here and I talked to the Ranger guy and he said it was really bad up there. So, the weekend. Plus, that US25 that keeps getting relisted with the price lower, Tacoma is my first stop and he isn't available until Saturday but he said everything is really nice, look at thee engine, that's a good price is the boat is as good as he says it is.

Not to change topics, but why is everyone, including my friends and family who I show the boats I am looking at so in favour of the Ranger? I like it, don;t get me wrong, but what are others seeing that I am not? Are they just really good boats? Are they super hardy? I realized that if I trust my boat, I love to sail in high(ish) winds, say 15-25 knots.
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