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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Pacific Northwest & Alaska
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  #1  
Old 04-14-2009
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Port Angeles to Victoria, BC

I intend to make this passage in the next few weeks. Have you made this passage? Any tips, warnings, advice you'd like share?

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Old 04-14-2009
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I have not made the trip myself, but have gone from haro straight to PT.

Look at weather forcasts up to and including the day you leave. Along with currents. Generally speaking you should have a reach going across, so this should be faster than a point or run. On the other hand, choose the wrong day and time, you have 10-15' rollers going thru.

I'd give it 2-4 hours depending upon your boat speed, motoring vs sailing in light winds etc.

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10' - 15' rollers! I see the wind comes out of the west often, I should be able to get on a reach if I pick my day. I have a 28' sailboat, I intend to motor sail the entire way.
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Old 04-14-2009
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Watch the tide

If there is a flood there is often a back eddie that flows down the Vancouver Island coast to Race Rocks. We like to ride that and then cut across. It keeps you out of the Victoria - Port Angeles ferry traffic. Keep in mind that just outside the Port Angeles breakwater is where the pilots board and depart all ocean going vessels so there can be a lot of traffic around there. They're big and they're fast. If you don't have AIS have a look at this site before you leave (poor man's AIS):

YACHTMARINE - Live AIS World Ship Monitoring

Phone ahead if you need to clear customs and they'll meet you on the dock. It is on your left just as you enter the harbour (360-457-4311).
We've never encountered rollers as big as 10'-15' but I'm sure it does happen. Enjoy your day, it's one of our favorite sails.
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Old 04-14-2009
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The currents out there are suprisingly strong. We've seen 5 knots at Trial Island on spring tides. Currents against wind waves equals no fun. Plan accordingly.
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Old 04-14-2009
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I've motored across in flat calm, and had standing waves wash the deck on another day.... As mentioned, watch the weather and the tides, the tide can be sneaky, and if you don't pay attention when your track will be much different than your heading... lookout!
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Old 04-14-2009
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The winds usually build in the afternoon, especially in the warm months. This is due to the adiabatic phenomenon where the land warms and pulls in air from the cool water. I've started out from Neah Bay in a dead calm in the early morning and been in 30 knot winds by the time I reached Port Angeles several times.
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Old 04-14-2009
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Once at Victoria you must obey Harbour Regulations with respect to the seaplane aerodrome.

Contact the Victoria Harbour Authority on VHF 66A from a slip assignment.

You might want to avoid Memorial Day Weekend as many of the slips will be occupied by boats racing in the Swiftsure.

Jack
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Old 05-02-2009
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Gary,

Just saw this, pretty much already been said. I have made this trip many times over the years on the MV Coho, a 340 foot ferry, sometimes it was dead flat calm, many others with a short high sea. Hard to tell from a large ship but I would estimate at least 10 to 15 feet as mentioned earlier. Glad I wasn't in a small boat. Suggest you watch the weather and tides carefully.
I would guess a flood tide would be the best time to cross? Be carefull!!!

Dabnis
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Old 05-02-2009
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It can be a beautiful sail, usually a reach as mentioned above. Strong winds out of the West against an ebb should be avoided of course. I think it's about 18nm so figure 3-4 hours. You can check the buoy reports for winds, that gives a pretty good idea of what's coming. Have fun.
NDBC - Northwest Straits/Puget Sound Recent Marine Data
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