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Hey all, just introducing myself. I'm yet another PNW sailor based out of Shilshole with a recently acquired Peterson 33. I've been sailing dinghies up until now, so this is my first big boat. I'm setting out with dreams of the San Juans in the summer, and would love to hear about all the secrets in that area. For now cold weather and variable winds are limiting how frequently I sail, but my wife and I are getting to know the boat through the winter. I'm not out every weekend, but three days in December isn't too bad.

Fair winds,
Milkjug
 

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Welcome... plenty of fellow sailors here in your area, including a curmudgeonly old designer! ;)
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Welcome Jug, always good to have another PNW sailor on SN. Enjoy the new boat and all the adventures you'll have.
 

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Hey all, just introducing myself. I'm yet another PNW sailor based out of Shilshole with a recently acquired Peterson 33. I've been sailing dinghies up until now, so this is my first big boat. I'm setting out with dreams of the San Juans in the summer, and would love to hear about all the secrets in that area. For now cold weather and variable winds are limiting how frequently I sail, but my wife and I are getting to know the boat through the winter. I'm not out every weekend, but three days in December isn't too bad.
Welcome. I'm also at Shilshole and have sailed through the San Juans three times and up into Desolation Sound once in the last two summers. I sail a lot out of Shishole, I've gone three times already in 2014. For the next six weeks I'll be spending more of my time on dinghies (racing in the Goose Bumps series on Lake Union), but then it should be back to keel boats after that.

I'm often at Shilshole on the weekends and am happy to point out cool spots on a chart or show you a variety of local cruising guides if you want to see more.

Peterson 33 is a nice boat! The extra draft and high SA/D will be helpful in the light airs around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all,

I'd appreciate any tips about neat spots around the area. I'm over on dock Q. I'm not quite as hardcore, but went out three times in December. I'm yet to go out this month.

What are some of the more interesting day sails from Shilshole?
 

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3 times in December is great, that is a lot more use than most of the boats see.

A lot of our sails are more like 1/3rd of a day sails. In a short day a very nice destination is to reach across to the north end of Bainbridge Island, then tuck into Port Madison for a lunch or snack. It is a pretty quick trip in each direction, we often see porpoises, and Port Madison is a very nice and easy anchorage. If you go slightly farther there is a public dock on the far side of Port Madison with a pizza place at the top.

Two nearby towns to visit are Winslow (Eagle Harbor) on Bainbridge Island and Kingston on the Kitsap Penn. Kingston is a bit shorter of a sail, but going south to Eagle Harbor gives you great views of the city. Both have cheap moorage for 2-3 hours, which gives you time to walk into town and get a meal. I guess Edmonds also qualifies in this way, although I find it to be a less exciting destination.

Blake Island is a fun visit in the off season, but I find it too crowded in the height of summer. The anchoring sucks and the mooring balls are always in use.

Poulsbo and Langley can make for nice quick overnighters, both are about 3-6 hours depending on wind conditions. Poulsbo has the added excitement of going through Agate Pass, which can get moving pretty fast in a spring tide. The first overnighter that my wife and I did was a lap around Bainbridge Island, and that was also pretty fun. It can be done in a day sail, but it would be a long day (I think it is around 40-45 NM starting and ending at Shilshole, and you would need to time currents in Agate Pass and Rich Passage). It can be pretty still on the backside of Bainbridge too.
 

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Awesome, thanks. I've been over to Port Madison (Suquamish?), and that was a pretty nice sail. Surprisingly, it's never occurred to me to go around Bainbridge island. I really like that idea.
 

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There are two places to check out in Port Madison. The Suquamish Dock is where you can get pizza. Secret Cove is the name of the bay in the north end of Bainbridge Island that many people call Port Madison. There is a nice anchorage in there and it is extremely well sheltered. It is also a fun place to explore by dinghy, I've found otters playing around on people's docks and there are a lot of nice houses to see.

There is a small public park there with a dinghy dock where you can stretch your legs too. It is just beyond all of the Seattle Yacht Club docks.
 

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Eddie Poekey
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Secrets? Know the currents. Planning is easy to visualize with the deepzoom.com tool. Carry large scale paper charts and turn off your mobiles when you get near O Canada or you'll get a nasty roaming charge. Our fam spent a week in the SJ islands and all had a great time. From eagles to orcas, abundant wild life. Like the Chesapeake I believe you could spend a lot of years in the SJI and not anchor in the same spot twice.
 

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Welcome to SN. Sorry I missed your initial post.

Our boat "Kairos" is based in Port Madison now (was until recently in Eagle Harbor). If you have any questions about PM just shoot me a PM. :)
 

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Check out Blake Island marina during the winter, it is fantastic. During the summer it is way over crowed but in the winter it is "fairly" easy to get space in. We do cruise quite a bit in the winter but only go to marinas during those chilly months. The dinghy hangs out in our basement during winter. In the summer we anchor out about 90% of the time. Gig Harbor in the summer is sure fun to hang out in.
 

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Milkjug, welcome to the Sailnet forums. I sail out of Everett on my Bristol 32.I too sailed several small boats when I was younger and six or so years ago got back into it. I am also blessed with a wife who likes to go and is learning sailing.

I took my first trip to the San Juans in my own boat summer before last and last year spent tree weeks in the San Juans and Gulf islands. Get the guide books and talk to friends who have been there. I found both very useful. Here are our favorites based on my limited experience.

Blind Bay, Reid Harbor, Fisherman's bay, Sucia island, Deer Harbor are among our favorites. We listen to the weather to determine an anchorage. We have only cruised there at or just after Labor Day and the crowds disappear after that weekend, but we have found anchoring space in the basin at Roche Harbor during Labor Day weekend when we provisioned there so anything is possible.

Plan well and you will have a blast. I have attached a picture from our cruise last year. We are on a buoy at Buchart Cove.

Jim
 

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