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IStream

October in the PNW

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A modest rain overnight.

Mostly sunny this morning, crisp air.

A fresh breeze from the South, just enough to frost the tips.

A half dozen sailboats on the Sound.

Tight sheets and flat sails one way, full spinnakers the other.

 

Our summers are fantastic, it's true, but our Octobers can't be beat. I love this place.

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I always called this area the Pacific Southwest, since the Aleutians are more Pacific Northwest-ish :-)

But, yeah, can't beat this area...looking forward to firing up the diesel heater, and winter sailing.

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Totally agree - I've been a lot of places and I've lived in a lot of places and nowhere is better than here.

A little more wind and a little less rain and it would be perfect. :D

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Very easy to get away from them if you have a boat. I've always found that 5 minutes away from the dock and the noise of the city is completely gone.

You're right though - There are too many people.

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Fun conditions for Foulweather Bluff race today. The forecast had us all prepared to spend all day being rained on and not moving, but we had a really nice sail with no precipitation. 

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So will it now be changed to the Fairweather Bluff race?

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I did find out how to create the wind that the area generally lacks. I took the sails off my boat and stored them in Anacortes. Then motored over to Sidney (last Monday). I've made this trip maybe 10 times. This is the first one that I could have sailed most of the way. Because I had the sails off the boat, you see. 

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Maybe we can amend that to read "the first half of October in the PNW..."

If you want to argue with me, wait two weeks. Then, if the humidity hasn't yet shorted out your keyboard, you can respond.

 

 

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Damn, today was a perfect sailing day.

 

 

Of course, I spent the whole day frantically working on various winterization projects around the hacienda.  Got down to the marina around dusk and watched all the other guys coming back in. 

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On 10/7/2017 at 6:47 PM, SloopJonB said:

So will it now be changed to the Fairweather Bluff race?

I'll back you if you want to petition NOAA to rename the buoy.

They actually ran us on a short course that didn't include Foulweather Bluff because there was concern that the wind could die before most of the fleet made it back.  That was probably a safe call based on what I saw on our delivery home.

I have one more fall race scheduled (STYC Fall Regatta) and then I think it'll be time for a winter haulout.

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This place is awful. Never move here! If you have just moved here, Leave, Quickly, Before its too late.

:)

 

WL

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Don't worry, it is as it ever was. Most newcomers don't survive their first gray season. A good chunk of the ones that do run off after their first lost summer, though it's true that lost summers are becoming less frequent.

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Yeah, try winter in 49675. Gray, driving wind and snow starts in a few weeks and won't let up until May. Oh, and fog. My thermometer registered a low of 3F last winter. I've heard WA is way worse though, so you should all just leave or never consider moving there.

http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/01/incredible_lack_of_sun_continu.html

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It's true - the attached is what we have to sail in and the water is so cold your survival is measure in minutes.

Plus it rains all the time and the wind only blows when its freezing out.

 

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The water is cold. The swimmers are relieved to get somewhere warm Jonah syle. That's how desperate people there are.

Tampa is a much better option if you want to be on the water. Better people and more civilized too. Tampa is the place to be.

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On 10/7/2017 at 11:06 AM, SloopJonB said:

 

A little more wind and a little less rain and it would be perfect. :D

Literally, the rain is the *only thing* keeping this place from turning into another California. Pray for more of it.

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19 minutes ago, GunkHoler said:

Literally, the rain is the *only thing* keeping this place from turning into another California. Pray for more of it.

Don't kid yourself, it's happening. Just maybe a little slower due to the rain. 

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9 hours ago, IStream said:

Don't kid yourself, it's happening. Just maybe a little slower due to the rain. 

No. No, no it can't be.... 

 

But it's true. And I've been trying to decide if it makes sense to move to Alaska. 

The worst part is, it's turning me into one of those people who has a grudge against outsiders and new people, making jokes about "Californians" and asking if people grew up here, and lazily believing that it actually matters. Because of course, it doesn't. It's a simple concentration thing - a given percentage of people are the kind of awful, utterly unconscious schmucks who will run their unmuffled generators in a pristine anchorage at sunset, so they can watch Seinfeld reruns. The higher the absolute number of people, the more often you'll be stuck with one of the case ones (or six of them) next door. It's not Californians, it's us  Californians, welcome.

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In other news, October and November are fantastic months. Everything turns crisp, the trees go crazy, growing as fast as they can before it gets cold again, and the brown bits all turn back to green. It gets cold enough to sleep under a proper comforter with your sweetheart, instead of sweating under a sheet, and the sun comes up late enough to enjoy a sane amount of sleeping-in. One of my favorite times of year.

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1 hour ago, GunkHoler said:

In other news, October and November are terrible months. Everything turns freezing cold, the trees go crazy, attacking you as fast as they can before it gets ungodly cold again, and the brown bits all turn into sharp projectiles that will maim you. It gets cold enough to sleep under a steel mill with your sweetheart, instead of suffocating under a sheet, and the sun comes up never. One of my favorite times of year.

Fixed.

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On 10/11/2017 at 8:24 AM, GunkHoler said:

I.. and the sun comes up late enough to enjoy a sane amount of sleeping-in. One of my favorite times of year.

You MUST be retired. For us working stiffs, we're fast approaching driving to and from work in the dark. Right now we're in that dreaded in between season, where it's dark when I leave home but light when I arrive at work and forget to turn the headlights off.

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Well it's certainly close to dark after my work - you know, during those hours that I was using to go sailing, just a few days ago, it seems.  

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I'm in the season where I drive into work with the rising sun right in my eyes and driving home with the setting sun in my eyes...It's great.

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15 minutes ago, austin1972 said:

I'm in the season where I drive into work with the rising sun right in my eyes and driving home with the setting sun in my eyes...It's great.

Round here they are called squinties ....

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11 hours ago, wristwister said:

You MUST be retired. For us working stiffs, we're fast approaching driving to and from work in the dark. Right now we're in that dreaded in between season, where it's dark when I leave home but light when I arrive at work and forget to turn the headlights off.

I mean, I'm not retired but i managed to score a job that allows me to sleep in a day or two each week, usually Sunday and occasionally Saturday? And it's nice to not be awakened by a blazing sunrise at 6 in the damn morning?

 

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If you're interested in moving out here, book a flight in around mid-December. Get an extended stay hotel room or Airb&b with Northern or Eastern exposure and rent it with an open-ended departure date.  Once you get here, take a look at the various neighborhoods and figure out what your purchase/rent budget is and where you're likely to end up. Change hotel rooms to that neighborhood. Stick around through the holidays and another month or two after that. Then go back home, take some vitamin D supplements, and count your blessings. Congratulations, you just avoided a huge mistake.

You're welcome.

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Don't forget walking out in the morning to get the paper and stepping on a slug! Or the moss that drips from eaves like icicles. Walking through the marina and seeing boats with more growth on the deck than the bottom!

 SAD was invented here! Run away!!!!

 

WL

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In Coquitlam, the slugs are so big they take your paper away to eat...

 

Nothing here but...

Rocks and trees for a thousand miles.

 

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Had a Minke whale come by yesterday morning. About 60' off the beach and moving quickly. They are the smallest of the baleen whales and we don't see them often partly due to the fact their blow is almost invisible and silent. You can see a grey whale blow from 2 miles away. Their blow also can be heard from a long distance. Not many sounds in nature at that frequency.

Went fishing at sunup this morning. Mind you, my version of fishing many days is just sitting on a log and staring at the water while I smoke my pipe and play with my dog. I need to see a fish before I go through all the trouble of actually casting. I could hurt my arm. There goes my baseball career. Besides catching a fish would break my meditative mood.

Watched flock after huge, noisy flocks of Canada Geese fly over. Thousands of geese. They gently jostle for position in the chevrons for max aerodynamic effect, "drafting". As the chevrons mix and mingle and reform there is always one goose, I call him "Crazy Eddy" who can't make up his mind what squadron he's supposed to be in. Back and forth he flies but somehow despite flying extra miles he manages to keep up.

Winter Dungeness crab season started last week. Crab delights for starters tonight followed by leg o' lamb with my sailing buddy Ray McCormack.

You probably would not like it here.

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I've seen it rain more in 20 minutes in Taiwan than it does all winter here. I was at the Ta Yang yard. They gave me a car and driver to get me to the airport for my flight back to Taipei. It was raining, hard. So hard that my driver pulled off the road because he had no visibility. As we sat there I asked him if he thought the pilot would take off in this kind of weather.

The driver said, "Yes, Taiwan pilot very brave."

Oh, great.

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One time I was driving North on Whidbey Island and saw what appeared to be some kind of crazy searchlight playing across the clouds, just ahead.  You know, like for some carnival type event.  When I came around the bend, suddenly there was four inches of hailstones piled all over the road for about a quarter mile.  The "searchlights" were the headlights of cars, spinning out and going in the ditch.  Just in that one spot.  Can't imagine what it would like to be walking along when all that came dumping down.  

Oh, but that was in the middle of the summer.

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1 hour ago, Bob Perry said:

I've seen it rain more in 20 minutes in Taiwan than it does all winter here. I was at the Ta Yang yard. They gave me a car and driver to get me to the airport for my flight back to Taipei. It was raining, hard. So hard that my driver pulled off the road because he had no visibility. As we sat there I asked him if he thought the pilot would take off in this kind of weather.

The driver said, "Yes, Taiwan pilot very brave."

Oh, great.

Actually it feels like Taiwan, but 15-20 degrees colder. In some ways Taiwan feel colder because few houses have heat.   

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One trip I got my usual room. 503, at the Santos Hotel. It was cold. I ended up sleeping with a polo shirt and my bathrobe on. Still cold. Next morning I asked at the front desk why it was so cold. They said they had given me my  regular room, 503, but I was the only person staying on the 5th floor so they had turned the heat off. I told them I'd be happy to move to 603 where there was some heat. Could not fault the hotel. I liked the "03" rooms, corner rooms with a good view.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

I didn't know it got cold in Taiwan - isn't it about the latitude of Cabo?

 

The North East wind blows off of China with misty rain, overcast skies for days on end and it get's as low as 10C and gets cold enough to snow in the mountains. Two years ago I even saw a couple flakes of snow at my house in Taipei at a relatively low altitude. But the real reason it feels more cold than it is the fact that there is no heat and your comforter is also 10C and 95% humidity. 

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15 hours ago, Bob Perry said:

DDW:

I don't own a "raincoat". I will on rare occasion wear my foul weather top.

Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto....

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Walking the dog on the beach this morning and seeing the flocks of Canada Geese flying over I decided I'd try a head count. I made a rough estimate of 400 to 500 geese per flock so during the 45 minutes i was out there I think I saw around 6,000 geese fly over. Plus one Crazy Eddy per flock. So,,,,6012 geese.

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When geese or ducks fly in a 'V' formation,  it's never symmetrical,  and one side is always longer than the other

Do you know why that is?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because there are more birds on that side. 

(hat, coat,..... door)

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What I'd like to know is how the geese determine whose turn it is to lead the skein.

Do they vote or do they have a predetermined sequence or what? :D

Also, if you look at a flock of geese rooting in the grass in a park or such there will always be a sentry who never puts their head down - again, who determines whose turn it is for that job?

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49 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

What I'd like to know is how the geese determine whose turn it is to lead the skein.

Do they vote or do they have a predetermined sequence or what? :D

Also, if you look at a flock of geese rooting in the grass in a park or such there will always be a sentry who never puts their head down - again, who determines whose turn it is for that job?

I think it's a hormone thing...^_^

We know how to send them south now with the rest of the transients anyway... Flashing lights deter geese

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I think they stay here over the winter because crossing the border is like flying a bombing mission over Germany for them. ;)

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I have a blue tote outside, it is half full of water in ten days. My weathero-meteorlogical measuring device here in the rainforest.

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