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  #21  
Old 08-26-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

I went about the same time as alex and had good wind on the way there and motored most of the way back. 2.2 gallons or 9 litres of gas to get me from Friday Harbor to Desolation Sound. A lot of long days though, and I was less patient coming back.

Did you have a favourite spot? Mine was False creek Vancouver and Prideaux haven. Followed by Pender Harbor and Secret Cove. I made it 2 days short of 5 months.

At one point I had 31 days straight of nonstop sunshine. And I don't mean those partly sunny days, where the sun peeks out for a couple minutes, I mean, shirt off while sailing, sweating a little, break out the sunscreen, all day, no clouds sun.

The further from the strait of Juan, or the NW side of Van island, the warmer it gets. Not alot of people know this either. Seattle may have a weather forecast of:
H 82 L 61 Sunny
where in the San Juans it is
H65 L51 Mostly cloudy

And then the Gulrf Island get warmer the further north you get, keep going up the sunshine coast and it's warmer still. Until Desolation where the water was 73 at the highest and the air stayed warmer at night. I was able to wear tshirts, maybe a light jacket at night, where the san juans are colder and more humid, Port Townsend also, being right one the Strait.

I didn't even notice until I came back and was so cold. Its a negative to the San Juans and all cruising near Juan d Fuca for sure. There is better wind, but colder weather.

They try to pretend that they have some sort of "Banana Belt" or "Blue Hole" effect going on. They may not get as much rain as Seattle and Vancouver, but they also are cool and cloudy all summer. So sure maybe less rain, but they are cold and humid year round. I would prefer to actually have a summer, even if it meant I had more rain in the winter. It's humid too, just wet and humid all the time. Canada was better, and I think if I had mad it down towards Seattle that would have been better too. I actually think Port Townsend may be one of the more humid places in the US. I looked at some different weathers yesterday and PT was 92% humiditiy, Louisiana 88%, Florida 72%, Illinois 65%.

But I digress, I think everyone I know is sick of me complaining about how much I hated the weather, it's almost overshadowing all the fun I had, and it is really my one complaint. It's just that when you are out there, day after day on your boat, you're exposed to the elements, good weather makes you FEEL so much better.

Last edited by northoceanbeach; 08-26-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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  #22  
Old 08-26-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

northoceanbeach: how much of that 5 months was live aboard but not cruising (when you were in Friday Harbor or Port Townsend), vs how much of it was cruising? I don't ask this to diminish your summer, I'm just curious to understand how much time you were on the move.

Did the boat sell easily?

My favorite spots were Smuggler's Cove, Isabel Cove, Ganges, Prideaux Haven. Smuggler's Cove is way up there mostly because it was our first real anchoring experience, Isabel Cove was overall probably a prettier stop.
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  #23  
Old 08-26-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

I looked into Smuggler's but went with Secret instead. This was also before I had started stern tying. It looked really cool in there.

The boat sold quick, all that worrying for nothing. Once I listed it in Poulsbo, someone called and I said I was in PT heading there tomorrow. Well, he said he was in Sequim and came within an hour. I helped him deliver it to Sequim the next day.

As far as cruising. I spent the first entire month, from March 25 until May 1 in PT. I then crossed May 1 to Lopez and cruised until June 1. I drove to Oregon and got a friend that sailed with me until June 23. We anchored in Friday Harbor around June 17th, and I think I stayed there until I went north the beginning/middle of June. I was in Canada for 31 days.

So, probably 60% moving

Those 31 days were by far the best part. It all went incredibly well, but if I had to go back and change anything, I would have left earlier and stayed in Canada longer. I would have Spent a week in the Gulf Islands on the way, 2 weeks Sunshine coast, 2 weeks DS, and a week in the Discovery Islands. Then 2 weeks to return, including a week in Vancouver. I don't regret not going farther north, I liked how I went with my goal being the warmest part, I know alt of people like the Broughton's, but I have a feeling I'm more of a Desolation Sound/Sunshine Coast guy.

But I am certainly not complaining, as is, it was great, just great. How could I have known I would have liked the Canada portion the best? That's part of the experience, discovering favorite places.

It sounds like all of us that went to Desolation Sound had a successful summer.
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Old 08-26-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

We did Smugglers on the July long weekend with our club, the Gulf Yacht Club..



but spent a couple of days in Secret Cove on the way home because Smugglers can be brutal for mosquitos after a dry spell. We quite enjoyed Secret, and spent a lot of time exploring all the bays there by kayak.

On to some more highlights of our time beyond Desolation Sound

We did the Pig Roast at Pierre's at Echo Bay. A large potluck (plus $20 for the pork) was attended by over 100 people. I suppose it's a 'must-do', but while we're glad we did it we likely won't rush to do it again.





Now THAT'S a Barbecue




The true highlight of Echo Bay was Billy Proctor's.. a former fisherman, logger, trapper, author (we thoroughly enjoyed his 'Full Tide, Full Moon') who keeps a small museum of collectables and other items he's amassed over his 80 or so years as a second generation 'local'. Quiet and unassuming, he's willing to sit and talk to all comers and seemed a genuinely good person.













One of our party caught a 17 pound Red Snapper (also known as a "Yellow Eye") and a couple of days later we had a fresh-caught/fresh cut Fish and Chips fry on the beach at Laura Cove.



Here's a few shots of the tranquil beauty of Simoom Sound, where we saw the huge pod of dolphins chased by orcas..









The apparently thriving Sullivan Bay Marina



Lacey Falls was down to a mere trickly compared to the photos in the guidebooks..



A misty morning at the Mound Island anchorage



WE did occasionally get to sail, including a slow beat from Lacey Falls to the entrance of Simoom Sound.. we nearly laid the distant headland on that tack.



This last shot was from Chemainius Harbour in the Gulf Islands, which had a half dozen of these relatively rare jellies.. Awesome to look at but, I believe, these can deliver quite a sting too...

Ol'H34 and Wulf like this.
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Last edited by Faster; 08-26-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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  #25  
Old 08-26-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

Are you sure you are not photo shopping those images ?

(its all just envy mate)

Cheers
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  #26  
Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

Such Incredible sailing grounds...and photos. Thanks for posting them!
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

Fast, Alex (blog), great shots guys.

I gotta continually remind myself of the truly fantastic cruising grounds we have here.
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Beyond Desolation at last

Good to see the "otter of Mamilallacula' is still doing as he oughter. I cruised thru there back in '78 to'80.The mint and raspberries gone wild were really good. Of course the next destination will be Smith's and River's Inlet,eh?
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