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.
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):
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.
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!
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.
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!!!
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
I've done that trip out of Port Townsend a couple of times on a 27 foot Cheoy Lee. Three out of 4 legs of the two trips were great, the one that sucked was going there against 25 kt winds. It was comedy of errors; when the wind and waves picked up, I was on the bow bringing down the headsail when the autotiller failed, the boat started going in circles, the sail was dragging in the water, my safety line got stuck on something and when I was on my hands and knees trying to drag in the sail, my lifevest inflation handle got hooked on the anchor chain and it inflated. Now I was choking, being bounced all over the place, on my stomach, laughing maniaclly like the gofer in caddy shack. By the time I got to Victoria; did I mention I also pissed all over myself steering the boat with my knees going in an empty vitamin water bottle? But anyone, by the time I got to Victoria I was ready to place a hefty C-4 charge on the boat and sink it!
But, the other legs of the two trips were beautiful and Victoria is a nice little city. When you go to customs pier and call, bring a pen and paper and the boat's registration number, both times I was there they wanted the number and they gave me a number to display in the window; they never came out to the boat.
A little more advice; if you need reading glasses to see the combination of the lock that is on the boat, store an extra pair and a flashlight in the cockpit so you alleviate the necessity of walking around the pier in a towel looking for someone to open the boat for you because your only pair of reading glasses fell into the water off the pier while you were bending over to snug up the stern line.
Harry- LOL, at least you were laughing! Victoria is a great place to visit, almost like going to a foreign country:laugher . Every time we go to Canada we talk about moving there. I've yet to get my Juan de Fuca shakeup, every time has been great, but I know it's coming.