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  #1  
Old 10-25-2006
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Best sailing location

My wife and I will be relocating to either the Seattle or Virginia Beach, VA area late this year or the beginning of next. We currently live in Panama City Beach, Fl, and I am seeking information on sailing conditions in these two areas. Things that come to mind are: sceenery, slip availability and cost, climate and other things. Any input would be greately appreciated.

Thanks,

Yngve
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Old 10-25-2006
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I feel quite safe saying that you can't beat the sailing in the Pacific Northwest. Easy access to cruising grounds that have little parallel anywhere in the world. Between Seattle and Alaska there is near 20,000 miles of coastline, a good 2/3s of which is relatively or even totally sheltered.
Amazing scenery, the variety from open ocean to long, sheltered fiords, dry islands and steep rainforest.

Between Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and Canada's Gulf Islands, Georgia Strait and Desolation sound,(and beyond) there are several lifetimes worth of sailing destinations.

And - best of all - reasonable expectation of a 12 month season.
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Old 10-25-2006
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Yngve...I have no faimiliarity with the Seattle are other than as a tourist and have always wanted to sail there as the cruising grounds look fabulous. I am quite familiar with VaBeach/Norfolk area and Chesapeake and think it is a fantastic place to sail. There is lots of sailing activity in Norfolk and lots of marinas with good slip availability and reasonable prices. Weather is in the 80's-90's with generally light winds during the summer months and they Bay warms up to about 80. Spring starts around March and the sailing season ends around Thansgiving except for the hardiest souls...but the boat can be left in the water year round. You can explore the Chesapeake for years as there is no end of coves and rivers and small towns as well as big cities like Washington and Baltimore you can sail to. I DO think it is the best place on the east Coast to have a boat.
The other nice thing about a Va Beach location is that you are only a couple of days from all the Bays and Sounds of the N. Carolina Outer Banks and some of the most pristine beache in the entire country. And of course, the ICW starts there as well and can take you down to FL in protected waters.
Seattle is probably the best place of the left coast....sooooo...tough decision!
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Old 10-25-2006
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Both areas are great sailing regions. One is the mouth of the Chesapeake, and close to many other great areas on the east coast. The other is the southern end of the inside passage to alaska, and great sailing in its own right as well. I think the question is really what do you want in where you live.... Seattle has more temperate weather and a gorgeous mountain landscape nearby, which the much warmer Tidewater area of Virginia lacks. Tidewater Virginia has a much warmer and more comfortable sailing season, and some of the most historic ports and waters in the country.

I've lived in both areas...it's a hard choice.
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Old 10-26-2006
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Since you are making a very big change in your life might I suggest you charter a boat out of both areas and check it out for you likes and dislikes.

Mike
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Old 10-26-2006
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Another question...do you like rain or sunshine?
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Old 10-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Another question...do you like rain or sunshine?
lol, but a good point.
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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.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Another question...do you like rain or sunshine?
LOL...... or may be you should ask..... do you like rust or tan?
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Old 10-27-2006
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I live on San Juan Island, so I am partial to this part of the world. But for my work I have sailed boats in this country on the Chesapeake, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Puget Sound, San Francisco and Southern California. Becuase you aren't considering the Great Lakes or California, I think one could make an argument that the Chesapeake and Puget Sound are quite similar in many regards. Places to cruise, marinas, boatyards, slips, etc. Though the Chesapeake certainly has the edge in maritime history.

The biggest difference for me (and the temperature of the water is not an issue as I prefer to sail on it, not in it) is the sheer natural beauty of the Pacific NW. With snow capped mountains visible from everywhere, the entire British Columbia coastline on up to Alaska, and fewer people in general makes me want to continue living here. And, as an aspiring cruisier, the South Pacific is just a left turn out the Strait of Juan de Fuca...

:-)
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Old 10-27-2006
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Speaking of water temps, what is the norm in the Puget Sound area in the summer?
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