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Thread: Planning my first SJI cruise

  1. #16
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    Two cents worth on anchoring, I'm happy you're intending to practice.


    • Communication is very important and difficult to accomplish from 30 feet away, especially when on the bow and facing away from the helm, or at the helm and trying to peer over the dodger.
    • To assist with communication post a helper at the bow with the anchor handler. Their role is to face the helm and telegraph messages back and forth from helm to anchor, and vice versa, and if necessary point along the rode toward where the anchor lays.
    • If you have an available crew, also post one at the mast or stays. Their role is to repeat all calls from posts more distant than their own, or helm to anchor and vice versa.
    • Communicate what you need to know to work well as a team. (When the anchor hits the bottom, when chain is out, how much rode is out, if the rode is secured to set the anchor for backing down, how fast to back down or move forward while line is fed out or pulled in, when the chain is up, when the anchor is free from the bottom, when the anchor is up, when all is secured aboard.)
    • Have those conversations in advance so everyone knows their role, and what needs to be communicated.


    More than that and I'll have to charge two-bits and give change.

    Bon voyage,

    Max

    P.S. Take us with you!
    September Sun
    ERY35240D686

  2. #17
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    People have covered a lot already, but here's a few more thoughts. If you have a week to jump around in the SJI, no need to plan gruelingly long days of sailing to get to the next spot. Also it's popular in July and mooring buoys, anchoring spots etc start filling up by about 2pm in a lot of the more popular spots so keep that in mind.

    Since this is your first trip, you might also consider a circle route. Say head north up through Deception Pass or the Swinomish Slough an return back through Admiralty Inlet/Port Townsend. See more new territory that way. If you are heading up through Saratoga Pass I'd probably stop at Langley or Coupville rather than Everett - smaller and more quaint. Langley to Lopez is not a bad day and Coupville to Lopez is easy (both with the tide of course).

    Going through Deception pass is quite the spectacle and doing it on the slack is easy. But going with tide just after slack is just as easy and more fun. Just keep an eye on the water so you don't end up spinning like a top for the amusement of all the tourists looking down from the bridge.

    And as Bruce suggested, get the current charts. Worth their weight in gold crossing the Straights.

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  3. #18
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    The Canadian Current Book can be interpreted using the Tide Tables but that is a bit laborious. Waggoner's is one way to shorten this. Another way is a free download at www.epiphyte.ca/proj/currents that, like Waggoner's predicts what page (hour of the tide) of the current book to use at what time. If you run from Port Townsend to say Friday Harbor currents in the areas along the route can have very adverse (or positive) effect in the shallows and the book is a great guide to avoid the worst areas.
    I flag the book pages for each hour of the day I'll be sailing for quick reference. Deep Zoom does a similar thing but coverage is limited as you move into the Gulf Islands. Enjoy it is a lovely area!

  4. #19
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Interesting (?) article on the Point Wilson Rip.

    https://www.nwyachting.com/2019/04/r...-pnw-currents/

    On my trip up to the Rendezvous last year, I used Kevin Wright's guidance in the 2018 Rendezvous thread ("Its all about timing your departure to get the best out of the currents. You want leave to catch the last 2 hours of the outgoing tide to get past point Wilson. That means you will hit slack up near Smith Is., then the current will turn and start pushing you up past San Juan Is. ")

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...l=1#post115010

    Really useful. The first couple of miles past Pt. Wilson were pretty bumpy, square waves coming from a variety of directions, but that last two hours of ebb gave me a couple of extra knots over the bottom, in the right direction, and I was able to squirt through and into the early-morning millpond conditions a few miles out into the Strait.

    $.02
    Bruce
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  5. #20
    Principal Partner footrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgary View Post
    Interesting (?) article on the Point Wilson Rip.

    https://www.nwyachting.com/2019/04/r...-pnw-currents/

    On my trip up to the Rendezvous last year, I used Kevin Wright's guidance in the 2018 Rendezvous thread ("Its all about timing your departure to get the best out of the currents. You want leave to catch the last 2 hours of the outgoing tide to get past point Wilson. That means you will hit slack up near Smith Is., then the current will turn and start pushing you up past San Juan Is. ")

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...l=1#post115010

    Really useful. The first couple of miles past Pt. Wilson were pretty bumpy, square waves coming from a variety of directions, but that last two hours of ebb gave me a couple of extra knots over the bottom, in the right direction, and I was able to squirt through and into the early-morning millpond conditions a few miles out into the Strait.

    $.02
    Bruce
    Great advice if you can stand the first hour or so. We've done this trick, motoring out of Point Hudson Marina at Port Townsend during an outgoing tide. Very lumpy for an hour or so after Point Wilson. There was some left over swell from the night time westerlies, too. 8-9 knots over the ground. We briefly thought about turning around, but that would have been 3-4 knots back through the slop. We stuck it out and had the fastest crossing to Cattle Pass we've ever had. Smoothed out before the bank and the boat handled it well.

    Have a great trip.
    Last edited by footrope; 05-04-2019 at 04:06 PM. Reason: corrected tide timimg
    Craig Davis & Ellen Le Vita

    1980 E38 "Pilot Project"
    Hull #20, Universal Diesel 5432
    Gig Harbor, WA


    In Puget Sound there are only two directions to go - North and South. That applies to the boat and the wind.

  6. #21
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    Loved that article Bruce. Had to laugh at a couple of points. Yes it can get more than lumpy off PT Wilson if you have an outgoing tide being met by swells or a westerly wind. Many moon ago in my old E27 I had the thermos of coffee which I had 'safely" stowed in the sink levitate out and smash itself on the forward bulkhead during one such crossing.

    The big hint is if you get there and see the conditions aren't optimal, swing north towards Partridge point and cross there instead of staying close to Wilson. You won't get as big a push out but it won't be such a carnival ride either. There is a very shallow shelf extending along the West side of PT. Wilson that speeds the water up considerably and magnifies the effect. As you head towards the northern side of Admiralty it drops off quickly to 300+ feet and slows down a bit.

    If you have sharp eyes you will be able to see exactly where the rip line is and can make a bee line for the nearest crossing point to get to smoother waters. Although one caution with this, if you are heading west at the start of the ebb instead of the end of the ebb, that rip and the calm water behind it is moving away from you at about as fast as your boat can go. End result is you stay in the washing machine for hours before you get through.

    Fun little piece of water as long as you plan and make it work for you instead of against you. Right now I'm hearing some groaning from my crew about our annual ladies cruise in July since they have been informed Hydro Therapy is leaving the dock at 7am whether they are on board or not, and some of them have a fairly long drive to get there. The tide waits for no man (or woman).

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  7. #22
    Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm Geoff W.'s Avatar
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    Alright, planning this out a little more concretely:

    6/29 crew arrives

    6/30
    - Depart Eagle Harbor
    - Arrive Langley Harbor

    depart Eagle Harbor relatively early to make it to Langley in a leisurely manner, tides generally favorable, not too concerned about it. Already made a reservation @ langley for the moorage.

    7/1
    - Depart Langley Harbor
    - Transit Deception Pass
    - Arrive Lopez Island somewhere (Maybe Orcas?)

    This is a big day as it would be my first Deception Pass crossing...based on current tides (looking at deepzoom.com) and assuming it takes about 3.5-4 hours @ 6kts from Langley to the bridge, I should leave Langley around 5AM to make it to the bridge at the end of ebb / start of slack. Does this sound right? I'm a little nervous about this one. Getting through Deception Pass at this time would also give me favorable current to get up farther into the SJI's, which would be great. It looks like if I stay east and hug Burrows Bay, I avoid the remainder of the adverse current until it's be time to cross Rosario Strait. I'm thinking for the sake of my 3 non-sailor crew members, cutting the day there somewhere around Lopez would be good, else we could push on to Deer Harbor or maybe anchor in Eastsound. They'd probably appreciate the chance to walk around by then.

    7/3
    - Depart Lopez or Orcas
    - Arrive Sucia Island

    Sucia has been on MY to-do list for a while, so I'd really like to make it up there. Looks like an easy shot from Lopez or Orcas and we could make it in time for the "changing of the boats", hopefully scoring a mooring. I'd also like to get there early enough to hike around and such.

    7/4
    - Depart Sucia Island
    - Arrive Fisherman's Harbor, Lopez

    Make it to Fisherman's Harbor for the fireworks is the big goal here.

    7/5:
    Depart Fisherman's Harbor, Lopez
    Arrive Port Townshend

    If we leave in the morning, we'll have favorable current to get us down towards Point Wilson, with the tide switching in the middle. Do I basically do the reverse of everyone's outbound Pt. Wilson advice to get back down that way in relative comfort? Reservation @ Pt. Townshend in the evening so no worries there.

    7/6:
    Depart Port Townshend
    Arrive Eagle Harbor

    And that's a wrap!
    s/v "Delightful"
    1987 E32-3
    Hull #712

  8. #23
    Principal Partner footrope's Avatar
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    Timing is always a concern at Deception Pass. We left Everett one morning, picked up our crab pot, and made the Pass and then Watmough Bay afterwards. I don't have the times from the log with me, but it was a long day. Watmough Bay is another hour after the Pass, just about straight across Rosario strait on Lopez. It is relatively small, with good holding and some buoys.

    Also, Hunter Bay and Mud Bay are good anchoring stops at the south end of Lopez. Both are bigger than Watmough Bay. Hunter Bay is deeper and has plenty of room. Use Lopez Pass which is a little further north and it points you right at Hunter Bay as you exit.

    Bowman Bay is right around the corner from the Pass, too. Deception Pass state park surrounds it. We've not stayed there but it gets pretty good reviews. Check the guides.

    Have fun!
    Craig Davis & Ellen Le Vita

    1980 E38 "Pilot Project"
    Hull #20, Universal Diesel 5432
    Gig Harbor, WA


    In Puget Sound there are only two directions to go - North and South. That applies to the boat and the wind.

  9. #24
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    McArthur Bank south of Lopez can be lumpy during the tidal run. You can see the water welling up and steer clear, earlier the better for a smooth ride. Never been to the north of the bank where it is very deep but that might be a less boisterous area as well.

  10. #25
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff W. View Post
    Make it to Fisherman's Harbor for the fireworks is the big goal here.
    Me too!

    And I think Achates (E-34 out of Bremerton) may be there too.... mini rendezvous!

    Bruce
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  11. #26
    Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm Geoff W.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgary View Post
    Me too!

    And I think Achates (E-34 out of Bremerton) may be there too.... mini rendezvous!

    Bruce
    Do you have moorage reservations or anything? I have a friend who had a connection w/ a mooring ball there so I was gonna raft up, but I'm starting to feel like I can't rely on that plan.. just wondering what my potential alternatives may be.
    s/v "Delightful"
    1987 E32-3
    Hull #712

  12. #27
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    Sounds like a great trip. In Langley the pizza joint just up from the marina has a chicken Caesar salad pizza that is fantastic (yes it sounds strange but was really really good. The bistro across the street from there has clams with Chorizo sausage that is out of this world (hint, instead of getting a lot of extra bread to soak up the sauce, get an order of kids buttered spaghetti noodles and throw in the pan).


    Hunter Bay on Lopez is a great place to anchor coming out of Deception. Can be a lot of boats there but always plenty of room with great holding bottom and well protected. If it is a long day and you are late getting in you can always find room there to anchor.


    On your way back through Admiralty inlet, it is best to pass Point Wilson on an incoming tide at least 2 hours after the tide change to miss the majority of the 'lumpiness'. Still enough swirls to swing you around a bit but much smoother.

    And you do know about getting in and out of Fisherman's cove? Watch your charts and depth sounder!

    Enjoy the trip and may the weather gods smile upon you!

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  13. #28
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff W. View Post
    Do you have moorage reservations or anything?
    I have a friend who says they'll be there, but no confirmation.

    As a backup plan, I called for a slip at the Lopez Islander, but... they have a 3-night minimum, and I have other places to go.

    So... status is unclear at this point. In fact, it's probably more likely that I'll be at Point Hudson for the "fireworks at the fort" on the 4th...

    B
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  14. #29
    Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm Geoff W.'s Avatar
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    So, looking at trying to squeeze an extra day of actual Island-time while up there, I'm contemplating the return trip home. Looking at the currents on http://deepzoom.com/, there are a couple options, but I defer to everyone's sage advice as I'm not super familiar with Strait conditions.

    If we were to take 7/5 and have a long day on San Juan Island, we could leave in the evening around 3-5PM or so in order to make the last 2 hours of a pretty huge tide swing by Point Wilson. The problem is that it looks like we'd be fighting a building current coming through Cattle Pass - what're conditions like there? We'd end the night at Port Townshend where I already have a reservation, and then have a more leisurely trip home the next day.

    If we did the LONG day on 7/6 I'd have to leave around 3AM to make the last 2 hours of flood by Point Wilson, but that's a relatively small tide swing -- right after that we'd be fighting a pretty big opposing current the entire way down the Sound until it changes in the evening. Seems almost not worth the fight. Alternatively we just leave pretty late so we can catch the similarly huge flood back down the Sound towards Bainbridge.
    s/v "Delightful"
    1987 E32-3
    Hull #712

  15. #30
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff W. View Post
    ... fighting a building current coming through Cattle Pass - what're conditions like there?
    I don't have my tables handy, so no specifics, but... the currents going through Cattle Pass are no joke. Its a choke-point where a lot of water has to get through in a hurry, like (but not as much as) Deception Pass. The full current can be 4-5kts.

    There are those who believe that hugging the edges of the pass can be a way to skirt around the strongest flow, but.... I, personally, don't like to be all that close to dirt when I'm transiting a channel I don't really know. Maybe others with (far) more experience than me can chime in.

    If you're *through* by the time the current builds in earnest, you'll be fine. But if the option is to be headed South through the pass at peak current... I'd recommend looking at other options.


    Edited to add a link to a decent article on currents in the pass

    https://oceantrawleryachts.com/dont-...f-cattle-pass/



    $.02
    Bruce
    Last edited by bgary; 05-20-2019 at 11:15 AM.
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

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