Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

More PNW questions:

Does the current in the Port Hadlock canal aka Port Townsend canal mimic the current at Admiralty Inlet in direction/time?

Has anyone ever anchored in Mutiny Bay or Useless Bay on Whidbey Island?
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-14-2013
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re: Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

No, the currents don't mimic each other. This is useful to remember because often the canal is flowing backwards of the main current. You can see this visualized nicely on NOAA Charts with animated currents. Silverlight Design and Development (there is also a Windows Phone version of this called Nautical Charts if you have a Windows Phone).

I haven't anchored in either, but they are both quite exposed. I did anchor in an even more exposed location north of Kingston and south of Point No Point, but I barely slept and wouldn't recommend it. We used two anchors, one oversized claw off of the bow and a correctly sized Danforth on the stern.

You might find Alex Wetmore is always busy with something… Blog Archive Sailing to the San Juans interesting if you are planning a trip north out of Seattle. It has notes from my trip to the San Juans last summer. A map showing where we slept can be found here:
Map created by GPS Visualizer

If you time your passage correctly (as we did on day 2) you can make serious miles by using the currents.

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-15-2013
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re: Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

Neither Useless or Mutiny are good anchorages. Pt. Ludlow (1st small bay past YC), Mats Mats bay, or Pt. Townsend are good anchorages, although if you anchor near the ferry landing at PT you'll rock all night. Mats looks tricky but it's really not.

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Re: Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

Nope, the currents don't match and are frequently contrary. Check a good current guide for details.

The Port Townsend channel is too narrow for tacking through, you'll have to motor. There is also a fixed-height bridge that keeps bigger/ taller boats from using this shortcut.

Definitely check your charts, tide tables, and current charts before you go.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

I find that the names of features on charts are often an answer to any questions you may have - Useless Bay sounds pretty self explanatory, Cape Disappointment? I think I'd stay clear even if I didn't know about it.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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Re: Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I find that the names of features on charts are often an answer to any questions you may have - Useless Bay sounds pretty self explanatory, Cape Disappointment? I think I'd stay clear even if I didn't know about it.
... so you'll be avoiding Desolation Sound, then..
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Re: Port Hadlock/Townsend canal and anchoring questions

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... so you'll be avoiding Desolation Sound, then..
I DID say "often".

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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