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Pacific Northwest cruising


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Since cruising is a bit troublesome currently, I have to virtually cruise which opens up entirely new venues to go in the mind's eye .  So I've become somewhat preoccupied with cruising the Pac NW around Seattle area.  Being from the east coast, and having not cruised the PacNW, it sure looks like there's some awesome cruising grounds there.  So anyone have favorite spots, pics, stories from cruising there?

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It's a pretty amazing place. Down in the south Puget Sound you've got some very quiet anchorages and sleepy marinas. You can also get an urban and town experience as you move up to Tacoma, Seattle, and Port Townsend. After crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca, you get into the San Juan Islands, Victoria, and Vancouver. North of there, you get into the Canadian Gulf Islands, the Broughtons and ultimately Alaska. It never gets boring or old.

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47 minutes ago, DDW said:

I'll say only that it gets more awesome the further north from there you go. 

Ya on the charts it looks like there's endless inlets, coves, harbors as you go up into Vancouver and north area.

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Summers (July-September) tend to be dry and not too hot but also don't feature lots of wind. Spring and Fall have better wind but are wetter and colder. Foul weather gear and boat heaters make these my favorite seasons to actually sail as opposed to just boating. Winter's not out of the question because there's no ice, it just comes down to your wet/cold tolerance. I like to start March or April and go through October or November, depending on that pattern in that particular year.

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1 hour ago, bgytr said:

Since cruising is a bit troublesome currently, I have to virtually cruise which opens up entirely new venues to go in the mind's eye .  So I've become somewhat preoccupied with cruising the Pac NW around Seattle area.  Being from the east coast, and having not cruised the PacNW, it sure looks like there's some awesome cruising grounds there.  So anyone have favorite spots, pics, stories from cruising there?

See: https://m.facebook.com/TeamOaracle/photos/a.1801951633456336/2572802396371252/?type=3&source=48

(North and west of Yakutat, it’s really awesome...)

See also: https://rccpf.org.uk/pilots/172/Aleutian-Islands-and-the-Alaska-Peninsula-to-Prince-William-Sound

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38 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

Realistically when does the season start/end around there?

Put it this way - boats stay in the water year round here. ;)

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

It never gets boring or old.

Yup!  Last Sunday in my ‘hood.  Yo yo, homies! :-)  (Haven’t removed the cabin heater chimney yet - waiting for a back ordered chimney cap to arrive at marine store...(but occasionally the diesel heater is nice on a wet, chilly summer night, as you know.)

8B09E7E9-E9CF-48E0-8453-931CDB666127.jpeg

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No, no, no.

Do not come here. The killer whales eat you while you're swimming. Sometimes they pull you in and eat you right from your cockpit.  Ever seen those videos of them swimming right up to a beach and eating sea lions or seals? They're just like that. 

The water is cold, it rains all the time and there is no wind. Ever. 

Seriously it is one of the most lovely cruising grounds in the world. Deep water (Florida you suck), no stinging jelly fish (take that Chesapeake Bay), hundreds of places to anchor (looking at you SoCal), a few crab traps as opposed to thousands of lobster traps (you people in Maine are idiots to allow so many). No marine predators (salt water crocodiles like the Great Barrier Reef are scary), moderate tides in most places (Brittany, parts of the UK with drying harbours)....

 

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33 minutes ago, Zonker said:

No, no, no.

Do not come here. The killer whales eat you while you're swimming. Sometimes they pull you in and eat you right from your cockpit.  Ever seen those videos of them swimming right up to a beach and eating sea lions or seals? They're just like that. 

The water is cold, it rains all the time and there is no wind. Ever. 

Seriously it is one of the most lovely cruising grounds in the world. Deep water (Florida you suck), no stinging jelly fish (take that Chesapeake Bay), hundreds of places to anchor (looking at you SoCal), a few crab traps as opposed to thousands of lobster traps (you people in Maine are idiots to allow so many). No marine predators (salt water crocodiles like the Great Barrier Reef are scary), moderate tides in most places (Brittany, parts of the UK with drying harbours)....

 

The only west coast water experience I had was on an ARCO tanker up and down the coast, going in and out of Valdez to Puget Sound area, San Fran, and Long Beach.  Amazing scenery in AK and in and out of Puget Sound, been dreaming about going back cruising there for over 30 years now.  The youtube vids I've found in the inside passage look fabulous.

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Bear in mind that so far this year, you cannot cross into Canadian inland waters and most of the San Juan Islands have closed their marinas, anchorages, and moorings to outside boats. Some of the islands are state parks open for day use only.  The only way to get from the lower 48 to SE Alaska would be by staying 12 miles offshore of Vancouver Island. Whether or not any of these restrictions are eased this summer is an unknown at this point. I heard/saw a webinar put on by Waggoner's Cruising Guide last week;  they had a lot of recommendations about the South Sound and Hood Canal. Try this:  https://waggonerguide.com/about-waggoner/

 

 

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

No, no, no.

Do not come here. The killer whales eat you while you're swimming. Sometimes they pull you in and eat you right from your cockpit.  Ever seen those videos of them swimming right up to a beach and eating sea lions or seals? They're just like that. 

The water is cold, it rains all the time and there is no wind. Ever. 

Seriously it is one of the most lovely cruising grounds in the world. Deep water (Florida you suck), no stinging jelly fish (take that Chesapeake Bay), hundreds of places to anchor (looking at you SoCal), a few crab traps as opposed to thousands of lobster traps (you people in Maine are idiots to allow so many). No marine predators (salt water crocodiles like the Great Barrier Reef are scary), moderate tides in most places (Brittany, parts of the UK with drying harbours)....

 

15' tides are moderate?

Tell us that the next time you are unloading your boat at the marina at dead low tide (which it always is when you're unloading).

Fucking ramp should have been a ladder or at least stairs yesterday with the 1' low.

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Well moderate compared to bloody Ketchikan with 25' tides. At low tide the ramp to the city dock felt like it's at 45 degrees.

Update: I checked Google maps and the ramp is much longer now. About 135' long!

image.png

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30 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

15' tides are moderate?

Tell us that the next time you are unloading your boat at the marina at dead low tide (which it always is when you're unloading).

Fucking ramp should have been a ladder or at least stairs yesterday with the 1' low.

Compared with Brittany, it is moderate. Compared with the meds, it is massive. 

Depends

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50 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Well moderate compared to bloody Ketchikan with 25' tides. At low tide the ramp to the city dock felt like it's at 45 degrees.

Update: I checked Google maps and the ramp is much longer now. About 135' long!

 

ADA compliant.

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Well moderate compared to bloody Ketchikan with 25' tides.

Last summer I hiked down to the water from the bridge over Deception Pass during a flood tide, and watched a couple of powerboats shoot the gap through the resultant whitewater rapids... didn't look "moderate" to this SoCal sailor!  

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1 hour ago, socalrider said:

Last summer I hiked down to the water from the bridge over Deception Pass during a flood tide, and watched a couple of powerboats shoot the gap through the resultant whitewater rapids... didn't look "moderate" to this SoCal sailor!  

I live just inside Deception Pass, and the current can run 8+ knots.  You should see it on an out-going tide and a big Westerly.  The standing wave can be 8 feet high.

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6 hours ago, Zonker said:

No, no, no.

Do not come here. The killer whales eat you while you're swimming. Sometimes they pull you in and eat you right from your cockpit.  Ever seen those videos of them swimming right up to a beach and eating sea lions or seals? They're just like that. 

The water is cold, it rains all the time and there is no wind. Ever. 

Seriously it is one of the most lovely cruising grounds in the world. Deep water (Florida you suck), no stinging jelly fish (take that Chesapeake Bay), hundreds of places to anchor (looking at you SoCal), a few crab traps as opposed to thousands of lobster traps (you people in Maine are idiots to allow so many). No marine predators (salt water crocodiles like the Great Barrier Reef are scary), moderate tides in most places (Brittany, parts of the UK with drying harbours)....

 

But don't forget,  we have murder bees.

Stay virtual

EXCtV2PWAAIIxIT.jpg

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1 hour ago, view at the front said:

I live just inside Deception Pass, and the current can run 8+ knots.  You should see it on an out-going tide and a big Westerly.  The standing wave can be 8 feet high.

Skookumchuk near Sechelt can get pretty frisky too.

Been known to kill.

 

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1 hour ago, view at the front said:

I live just inside Deception Pass, and the current can run 8+ knots.  You should see it on an out-going tide and a big Westerly.  The standing wave can be 8 feet high.

Here’s a great recent kayak pic and vid of Deception from a local paddle sport FB group I’m on.  Holy shit!!

 

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3 hours ago, view at the front said:

I live just inside Deception Pass, and the current can run 8+ knots.  You should see it on an out-going tide and a big Westerly.  The standing wave can be 8 feet high.

It looks a lot like this: 

 

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18 minutes ago, StoMo said:

It looks a lot like this: 

 

I've seen commercial Purse Seiners doing "Dosey Does" in the whirlpools.  Do it at slack tide!!!

The kids would jump on drift logs in the bay, and my parting words to them were:  Make sure that you do it on an in-coming tide!  They always came back home.

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Or this:  

 

At any rate, more than any cruising ground in north america, you plan your day by reading the tide/current charts and listening to the weather.  6 knots is not a rare current.  9 knots in passages is common.  

The Environment Canada weather always overestimates wind velocities until they don't.  If they say 25+ they mean it.  If they say 35+ expect more.

But most places, you can navigate by sight.  What you see is usually what you hit.  Unless it isn't.  Then its a rock.

 

But it's all closed down this year.  The border is closed tribal communities are totally closed.  The San Juans are closed all summer.  

See you next year.

 

 

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I was once on a small power cruiser that got sucked into one of those whirlpools at the south end of Lopez Island.  The driver saw it, he just didn't realize that it would suck in a boat from quarter mile away.  By the time he realized that we were going in, he couldn't power out of it.  He went full throttle, the boat heeled over past 45 degrees - like power boats aren't supposed to do -  then whipped once around and slingshot back out going the opposite direction we'd started.  And Kept. The Fuck. Going.  I think by the time we got clear, we'd gone around again once or twice.  Meanwhile, back in the cockpit,  two women were suiting-up for the next dive.  One of them was going over the side, the other had hold of her by the belt, and I had hold of her with one hand and the companionway with the other. And we were looking down into the Mouth Of Hell.  

At other times, I've watched (from the safety of the ferry) big logs disappear into the whirlpools and wondered what it's like when they come back up.  I envision a group of kayakers gliding along serenely, when suddenly a big, soggy missile launches out of the sea beneath them... :o 

 

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23 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

15' tides are moderate?

Tell us that the next time you are unloading your boat at the marina at dead low tide (which it always is when you're unloading).

Fucking ramp should have been a ladder or at least stairs yesterday with the 1' low.

Water goes up and down a lot, but not so much in and out as Brittany or Lyme Regis. Advantage of steep-to shores. :)

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3 minutes ago, toddster said:

I was once on a small power cruiser that got sucked into one of those whirlpools at the south end of Lopez Island.  The driver saw it, he just didn't realize that it would suck in a boat from quarter mile away.  By the time he realized that we were going in, he couldn't power out of it.  He went full throttle, the boat heeled over past 45 degrees - like power boats aren't supposed to do -  then whipped once around and slingshot back out going the opposite direction we'd started.  And Kept. The Fuck. Going.  I think by the time we got clear, we'd gone around again once or twice.  Meanwhile, back in the cockpit,  two women were suiting-up for the next dive.  One of them was going over the side, the other had hold of her by the belt, and I had hold of her with one hand and the companionway with the other. And we were looking down into the Mouth Of Hell.  

At other times, I've watched (from the safety of the ferry) big logs disappear into the whirlpools and wondered what it's like when they come back up.  I envision a group of kayakers gliding along serenely, when suddenly a big, soggy missile launches out of the sea beneath them... :o 

 

PoohSticks for Keeps.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/no-19-play-pooh-sticks

 

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On 5/12/2020 at 9:53 AM, bgytr said:

Ya on the charts it looks like there's endless inlets, coves, harbors as you go up into Vancouver and north area.

The shoreline is somewhat similar in character all the way to Alaska. But the people and shoreside development fades away starting about the Canadian Gulf Islands and further north - on the mid BC coast and Occupied Canada (SE Alaska) there is very little shoreside development. If you are after the shore scene, restaurants and shopping, then Puget Sound is the place to stay.

I've sailed around a large part of the continent now, and while my tastes may be different than others, I found Georgian Bay, Newfoundland, and the PNW north of Vancouver to be the best of it. I'd add Maine if they would outlaw lobstering. That said, the PNW is not a sailing paradise - you will do very little actual sailing there. So little that I bought a powerboat for it. With a pilothouse and a heater because it does rain a fair amount. Those are the caveats. 

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14 minutes ago, DDW said:

I've sailed around a large part of the continent now

Well, but don’t forget that Canada has the longest shoreline of any country in the world and its northern “shoreline” is about 162,000 kms (which includes about 36,000 islands, so...)

Great book: https://rmbooks.com/book/the-wild-coasts-of-canada/

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43 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Well, but don’t forget that Canada has the longest shoreline of any country in the world and its northern “shoreline” is about 162,000 kms (which includes about 36,000 islands, so...)

Great book: https://rmbooks.com/book/the-wild-coasts-of-canada/

Just the B.C. coastline is 16,000 miles and 40,000 islands.

More than a lifetimes worth, for sure.

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The NW passage isn't one I've done, and I don't hope (or want) to. But I have done Northern Huron to Newfoundland, PEI, NB, NS, and the entire length of the BC coast. The BC coast in particular would take a couple of lifetimes to fully explore every beach, bay, and inlet. But one can get a pretty good sample, as many beaches, bays, and inlets look like others. 

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

The shoreline is somewhat similar in character all the way to Alaska. But the people and shoreside development fades away starting about the Canadian Gulf Islands and further north - on the mid BC coast and Occupied Canada (SE Alaska) there is very little shoreside development. If you are after the shore scene, restaurants and shopping, then Puget Sound is the place to stay.

I've sailed around a large part of the continent now, and while my tastes may be different than others, I found Georgian Bay, Newfoundland, and the PNW north of Vancouver to be the best of it. I'd add Maine if they would outlaw lobstering. That said, the PNW is not a sailing paradise - you will do very little actual sailing there. So little that I bought a powerboat for it. With a pilothouse and a heater because it does rain a fair amount. Those are the caveats. 

Georgian Bay is on my cruising wish list too.  I'm fixing up a boat and training my wife so when she retires in 5 years we're hoping to head north from the Chesapeake, circle the northeast and head into the Great Lakes.  I've only raced  on the lakes, done the Huron and Chi Mac races with very little leisure time to explore.  But what I saw there looked like a great cruising area too.

Maybe after a few seasons of up and down the east coast we might venture up to Pac NW.  Gotta figure how to get the boat up that way or sell it and buy one already out there.  But that's a ways down the road.

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45 minutes ago, DDW said:

The NW passage isn't one I've done, and I don't hope (or want) to. But I have done Northern Huron to Newfoundland, PEI, NB, NS, and the entire length of the BC coast. The BC coast in particular would take a couple of lifetimes to fully explore every beach, bay, and inlet. But one can get a pretty good sample, as many beaches, bays, and inlets look like others. 

You skipped Labrador?!  It’s only a hop, skip and jump from there to Iqaluit  :-)

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

You skipped Labrador?!  It’s only a hop, skip and jump from there to Iqaluit  :-)

Yeah, no time. Only spent a few weeks in Newfoundland, but it was a pretty much fog free few weeks. I understand that may have skewed my view, I know some who have spent weeks there and never saw it once. Also done the length of the US east coast and to my mind it gets better north of Cape Cod. But then I like geography/topology and there isn't much south of there. Tallest 'mountain' on the US east coast is Cadillac at 1500 ft. On the BC/Alaska coast they'd call that a small knoll. 

If you are going north from the Chesapeake, you might consider the "northwest passage" that some friends of mine did: Sail to the westernmost part of Superior, then truck to the head of navigation on the Snake - which isn't that far a portage, about 1,100 miles across only 4 states. Northern ones at that, with low permit and escort fees. 

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21 minutes ago, DDW said:

Tallest 'mountain' on the US east coast is Cadillac at 1500 ft. On the BC/Alaska coast they'd call that a small knoll.

We aren't that snotty.

We'd call it a hill. ;)

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55 minutes ago, DDW said:

Yeah, no time. Only spent a few weeks in Newfoundland, but it was a pretty much fog free few weeks. I understand that may have skewed my view, I know some who have spent weeks there and never saw it once. Also done the length of the US east coast and to my mind it gets better north of Cape Cod. But then I like geography/topology and there isn't much south of there. Tallest 'mountain' on the US east coast is Cadillac at 1500 ft. On the BC/Alaska coast they'd call that a small knoll. 

If you are going north from the Chesapeake, you might consider the "northwest passage" that some friends of mine did: Sail to the westernmost part of Superior, then truck to the head of navigation on the Snake - which isn't that far a portage, about 1,100 miles across only 4 states. Northern ones at that, with low permit and escort fees. 

Yeah, I have no interest in cruising the US east coast (grew up there), except maybe Maine.  It’s all too crowded and civilized for my taste.  The 14,000 peaks and water or air access-only parts that I’ve seen of Alaska are awesome.  Prince William Sound and points west are on the list for one day!

My theory for NE Canada would be to stage the boat (St. John’s?) and try to do Labrador one summer, and the marine wildlife splendours of Lancaster Sound another summer.   Big bucket list item!

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A little thread drift ahead. Proceed with caution.

I'm thinking of sailing from the Astoria to Port Townsend with family on board in July. I know this is not a favorable time to make that outside run but is it stoopid to try. Let say we had 3 weeks to sit out unfavorable weather.

 

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1 hour ago, rustylaru said:

A little thread drift ahead. Proceed with caution.

I'm thinking of sailing from the Astoria to Port Townsend with family on board in July. I know this is not a favorable time to make that outside run but is it stoopid to try. Let say we had 3 weeks to sit out unfavorable weather.

 

Catalina 22 or Swan 46? It could make a difference.

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10 hours ago, DDW said:

If you are going north from the Chesapeake, you might consider the "northwest passage" that some friends of mine did: Sail to the westernmost part of Superior, then truck to the head of navigation on the Snake - which isn't that far a portage, about 1,100 miles across only 4 states. Northern ones at that, with low permit and escort fees. 

I've long thought of doing that in reverse. Sail to Seattle (or somewhere close with good freight access) via Japan and Alaska then truck the boat to the Great Lakes, sail (motor) either across to the Gulf of St Lawrence or down the Mississippi system back to salt water in the Atlantic.

These days I doubt I ever will, though. But dreams are free.

Stay home restrictions ease tomorrow and the forecast is good for the weekend so we're off for an overnight sail then.

FKT

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There is a now-defunct sailing channel called "Walde Sailing."  Before they headed off to Mexico, they made several videos of sailing around the PNW, if you're looking for a virtual sailing trip of the area.

It gave me a reasonable sense of what it's like to sail in the area. They did sail around Vancouver Island.

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On 5/12/2020 at 12:42 PM, SloopJonB said:

Tell us that the next time you are unloading your boat at the marina at dead low tide (which it always is when you're unloading).

Mostly unrelated, but I’ve started biking everywhere since non-essential driving is currently banned by Covid-19 orders. It’s really handy going to the marina on a cargo bike with all of my tools and/or sailing gear.  
 

These is nothing like rolling the gear right to the boat, and the walk mode on the bike makes the steep marina ramps feel flat. 
 

I’ve brought a hundred plus pounds of tools and gear this way and also carried multiple sails to the boat by bike. 

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28 minutes ago, Alex W said:

Mostly unrelated, but I’ve started biking everywhere since non-essential driving is currently banned by Covid-19 orders. It’s really handy going to the marina on a cargo bike with all of my tools and/or sailing gear.  
 

These is nothing like rolling the gear right to the boat, and the walk mode on the bike makes the steep marina ramps feel flat. 
 

I’ve brought a hundred plus pounds of tools and gear this way and also carried multiple sails to the boat by bike. 

I've been thinking about a cargo bike myself. Which one do you have?

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I saw that but I like the longtail two wheel form factor, which they don't seem to make. I don't have room for a trike, though I think they're ideal for cargo. 

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18 minutes ago, IStream said:

I've been thinking about a cargo bike myself. Which one do you have?

 

Just now, IStream said:

Thanks for the pointer. I've been looking at this electric longtail to help out with Seattle's hills:

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radwagon-electric-cargo-bike

Not made in the US, unfortunately, but at least it's a local company.

I have many friend with the Rad wagon and they are happy with them.

As an early adopter of electric cargo bikes, my current bike is now very outdated compared to the new ones. My old long tail has entirely replaced our car for child transportation and shopping.  In our downtown lifestyle it is always faster to use the bike when accounting for parking and traffic for any trips up to about 6 miles. The main disadvantage is the potential for death when hit by a car.

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37 minutes ago, rustylaru said:

The main disadvantage is the potential for death when hit by a car.

I commuted to work by bike for about 10 years so I'm familiar with that risk. Fortunately, I never had a serious scrape, though many close calls. 

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@MoeAlfa got clobbered recently. Minor concussion, I believe. He lives in a high density area.

I love the idea of replacing a certain amount of car travel with bicycles but you gotta be careful.

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On 5/12/2020 at 7:32 PM, StoMo said:

It looks a lot like this: 

 

I have walked on that bridge. Even walking across felt like I put my life in danger. Everything moves: treacherous waters with the bridge shacking and swinging. The knee-high railing is not very comforting either.

Such an amazingly beautiful spot though!

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The bridge is 192 feet above the water.  I especially like walking on the bridge when semi-trucks are driving by. . . their side mirrors are also an issue.

I was talking to the Commander of NAS Whidbey Island, and asked him if he felt comfortable with the bridge being the only road access to the base.  He said:  NO!  And it also provides water and power to the base.  He said:  If the bridge is gone. . . we become an aircraft carrier.

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19 minutes ago, Ajax said:

@MoeAlfa got clobbered recently. Minor concussion, I believe. He lives in a high density area.

I love the idea of replacing a certain amount of car travel with bicycles but you gotta be careful.

I got hit on my bike at an intersection. I was in a bike lane and a guy pulled right  in front of me, not paying attention.  I was going low 20s mph, landed on the guy's hood, smashed his windshield, totalled my bike.  Coulda been much worse, I only had a  few scratches and bruises.  I used to do 3 twenty mile rides a week, no more.

That was the end of my road riding, was 14 years ago.  A few weeks before that incident, a teacher at my old high school got killed on his bike.  I had a 5 and 7 yr old at home, and didn't want em fatherless.  

It seems even worse now.  The pct of people on the road looking at  their phones..... scary.

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9 minutes ago, bgytr said:

I got hit on my bike at an intersection. I was in a bike lane and a guy pulled right  in front of me, not paying attention.  I was going low 20s mph, landed on the guy's hood, smashed his windshield, totalled my bike.  Coulda been much worse, I only had a  few scratches and bruises.  I used to do 3 twenty mile rides a week, no more.

That was the end of my road riding, was 14 years ago.  A few weeks before that incident, a teacher at my old high school got killed on his bike.  I had a 5 and 7 yr old at home, and didn't want em fatherless.  

It seems even worse now.  The pct of people on the road looking at  their phones..... scary.

2 winters ago I almost killed a cyclist at twilight. I was looking straight at them and didn't see them because of a combination of background colours and background car lights. The cyclist had a small flashing light that didn't resister in my brain. Luckily I didn't hit them hard enough to knock them off their bike, but if I had they would have been pushed into traffic. As I was driving a 7000lbs truck with a 4000lbs trailer it was very easy for the cyclist to unbraid me as another gas guzzling, earth hating, seal clubbing devil incarnate. 

I went to the store and purchase safety vest for my family and all my friend and have purchased many flashing lights that also project light sideways. I get many complement for car drivers for my efforts at being seen. I get a certain amount of derision from my biking friends for my circus show of light and colour. Keeping the vest on the bike in the saddle bags has vastly in creased family adoption. No body has stolen them off the bike while parked yet, and if they do I hope the put my $2.50 to good use.

Bikes on the boat is about my favorite activity when cruising in the NW. As we don't always have the time to head further north to the more wilderness anchorage, we find ourselves around towns and the ability to get 5-10 from the boat for an afternoon peddle really enhances the overall experience and adds to the feeling of discovering new (to us) things. This is amplified with a child in tow. I am just starting to look into adding some sort of small electric assist  to our folding bikes to increase our range a little. I think electric bike tech can really be helpful on the tiny wheeled bikes.

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1 hour ago, AnotherSailor said:

I have walked on that bridge. Even walking across felt like I put my life in danger. Everything moves: treacherous waters with the bridge shacking and swinging. The knee-high railing is not very comforting either.

Such an amazingly beautiful spot though!

This one really illustrates conditions there. When they finally give up and turn back that Tanzer takes off like a ski boat.

 

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7 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

I've long thought of doing that in reverse. Sail to Seattle (or somewhere close with good freight access) via Japan and Alaska then truck the boat to the Great Lakes, sail (motor) either across to the Gulf of St Lawrence or down the Mississippi system back to salt water in the Atlantic.

If you go up the Columbia and Snake, you are in Idaho when you have to haul out. Also out of the congested Seattle metro area, which is costly to truck a boat through. I'd find the Mississippi boring compared to the St. Lawrance and Atlantic Canada.

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11 hours ago, rustylaru said:

35' shuttleworth cat. 9.9 hp outboard.

Yes,  it's doable. You're not going to be bashing to windward under power with that configuration.

To Neah Bay (easy safe anchorage to get in to) is only  ~155 miles. That's an easy 24 hour sail if the boat isn't overloaded.

The problem is the Pacific High and the very persistent NW winds/swell. You'll really need patience for July. Could you consider moving the boat in June (have a driver meet you in Pt. Townsend when you arrive)?

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37 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Yes,  it's doable. You're not going to be bashing to windward under power with that configuration.

To Neah Bay (easy safe anchorage to get in to) is only  ~155 miles. That's an easy 24 hour sail if the boat isn't overloaded.

The problem is the Pacific High and the very persistent NW winds/swell. You'll really need patience for July. Could you consider moving the boat in June (have a driver meet you in Pt. Townsend when you arrive)?

Yeah. I'm hoping for a late season low pressure system. Luckily, the boat sails upwind really well, but wave action and crew comfort will be the largest consideration.

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2 hours ago, AnotherSailor said:

I have walked on that bridge. Even walking across felt like I put my life in danger. Everything moves: treacherous waters with the bridge shacking and swinging. The knee-high railing is not very comforting either.

Such an amazingly beautiful spot though!

I've SCUBA dived on the wall under that bridge. At "slack" tide it's kinda like diving in a washing machine.  Great wall, though.  Do not attempt without a tender following in a boat at slack of a minimal tidal exchange!  

1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

This one really illustrates conditions there. When they finally give up and turn back that Tanzer takes off like a ski boat.

 

Not much better than that, approaching Columbia River dams from downstream, sometimes.  Some years, it's just a no-go during spring.  

(For those far away, hence the "Deception" in Deception Pass.  European explorers thought that there must be another big river, like the Columbia back behind there!)

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

If you go up the Columbia and Snake, you are in Idaho when you have to haul out. Also out of the congested Seattle metro area, which is costly to truck a boat through. I'd find the Mississippi boring compared to the St. Lawrance and Atlantic Canada.

I've thought about doing the great loop, but the trek from Great Lakes to the Gulf looks really dull.

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5 hours ago, DDW said:

If you go up the Columbia and Snake, you are in Idaho when you have to haul out. Also out of the congested Seattle metro area, which is costly to truck a boat through. I'd find the Mississippi boring compared to the St. Lawrance and Atlantic Canada.

That's good to keep in mind, thanks.

I built a shoal draft Colvin design with the masts in tabernacles so while it's a marginally wide load, it's only 10' beam and a touch under 40' long. Height isn't an issue.

Yeah the Mississippi looks more like boasting rights than interesting but it depends where you want to go next I guess. Given the freezing climate up there to do it all well it'd likely be a 2 summer voyage. Winter over in Vancouver after coming down from Alaska then truck to the lakes, spend the summer there, get out before the next winter. But if you wanted to sail Atlantic Canada, that means another winter somewhere. Quebec maybe?

Interesting to think about at least.

FKT

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https://makah.com/

As of May 11, 2020, the Makah Tribal Council has extended the Tribe’s Shelter in Place Order until June 30, 2020. The Makah Reservation and Neah Bay remain closed to all visitors.

We are closed to all non tribal fishing and entry by land or sea is not permitted.  The Makah Marina and boat launch are closed to non residents until further notice.

We are not providing marine fuel to non residents until further notice

 

It's slightly confusing as the town and the anchorage body of water are both "Neah Bay". I'm sure you would unwelcome, but if sheltering from a storm you might be OK.

I'd still plan on continuing on straight to your destination without stopping if at all possible.

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9 hours ago, IStream said:

I've been thinking about a cargo bike myself. Which one do you have?

I have a Benno Carry-On with an aftermarket e-assist package from Grin Tech in BC (ebikes.ca).  My wife has a Tern GSD that I’ve also ridden a lot.  The GSD is a little spendy but very well designed and integrated and would be my first suggestion. 
 

For a budget option with a little DIY work I would look at the Mongoose Envoy ($600-750 on Amazon depending on sales).  Add a hub motor kit from Grin for about $1100 and you get a nicer bike than the RadWagon for not much more.  I’m not a fan of Rad Bikes, they cut a lot of corners in their specs and the direct drive hubs weigh a ton.  The Mongoose also has some low quality parts but seems to have better bones than the RadWagon. 
 

The important parts of Grin Tech system is designed and often made in Canada.  It’s the best e-bike parts that I’ve played with and that makes the bike quieter and more efficient and gives a lot of tweaking possibilities.  Their website just posted a seminar about motor theory that I also found pretty interesting. 

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On 5/12/2020 at 6:48 PM, Zonker said:

Skookumchuck ("strong or powerful ocean" in the Chinook trade jargon) is a bit of an exception. BC has a number of tidal rapids, and it's very dangerous.

I've been told it's an amazing dive site. 

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1 hour ago, Alex W said:

I have a Benno Carry-On with an aftermarket e-assist package from Grin Tech in BC (ebikes.ca).  My wife has a Tern GSD that I’ve also ridden a lot.  The GSD is a little spendy but very well designed and integrated and would be my first suggestion. 
 

For a budget option with a little DIY work I would look at the Mongoose Envoy ($600-750 on Amazon depending on sales).  Add a hub motor kit from Grin for about $1100 and you get a nicer bike than the RadWagon for not much more.  I’m not a fan of Rad Bikes, they cut a lot of corners in their specs and the direct drive hubs weigh a ton.  The Mongoose also has some low quality parts but seems to have better bones than the RadWagon. 
 

The important parts of Grin Tech system is designed and often made in Canada.  It’s the best e-bike parts that I’ve played with and that makes the bike quieter and more efficient and gives a lot of tweaking possibilities.  Their website just posted a seminar about motor theory that I also found pretty interesting. 

Thanks for the tips. My Dad and Stepmom both bought Rad's standard models and love them but they aren't "bike people". I've been riding seriously (enough) for about 35 years that I definitely want to get something I won't regret. I wouldn't touch Rad's non-cargo models, which seem to be ridiculously heavy for their size and have those cartoonish motorcycle tires, both of which basically make motor-assist mandatory. The Rad Wagon seems to be a slight cut above from a frame construction standpoint but I agree that their motors are a compromise, both in weight and in their placement, and I'm skeptical about their battery longevity and charging tech. The Tern GSD S10 looks really nice and starts out 15 lbs lighter than the Rad. Putting the motor in the bottom bracket is ideal, too. Where'd you get yours?

 

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One of the most significant rapids was at Ripple Rock at Seymour Narrows in BC, Canada.  It was blasted away in 1958, actually an atomic blast was considered before conventional explosives were used after tunneling under the obstructions.

My father was in the Alaska shipping business, and we would travel over Ripple Rock each summer on a trip both ways from Seattle to Juneau on their freighter/passenger ship Baranof.  He would drag me out of bed to watch the crossing, even in the middle of the night.  I remember it first when I was 3 years old in 1951.  My father was very emotional about the "crossing" as he was ship-wrecked there in the early '40s.

 

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22 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Catalina 22 or Swan 46? It could make a difference.

The offshore conditions from Columbia Bar to Tatoosh can be some of the roughest bits of water in North America.   You can duck in at Aberdeen and then it's slim pickings for refuge until you get to Port Angeles.  The Canadian side is closed.  The Tribal lands are closed and it is cold and lumpy out there, with a southbound current. 

Look for a weather window of three days and plan on fuel for motoring or motor sailing the whole way to Port Angeles.  Heading well off shore - say 25 nm - is usually the wisest as it gets you off the continental shelf.   

Attached is a picture of a delightful lunch in mid-July off the entrance to the Straits.  

Of course there are days where it is actually delightful.  Patience is a virtue.

7.08 Cold Food Ucluelet Leg 2019.jpg

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1 hour ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I've been told it's an amazing dive site. 

For about 15 minutes of slack water at the turn.  

The real deal bout currents in the Salish Sea aren't the freak shows at Nakwakto, or Deception Pass or Nahwitti Bar or Seymour Narrows or ... well there are a lot of them ... it's that mid-channel currents on an ordinary day run between 3 and 5 knots or more in places you want to sail.  

Here's a 7 knot shot from a pretty nice day in the middle of Johnstone Straits.  So you live and die by the tide and current tables.  

East coast, south coast and California coast just don't come close.  

4.08 7 knot current instrument.jpg

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17 hours ago, bgytr said:
19 hours ago, DDW said:

If you go up the Columbia and Snake, you are in Idaho when you have to haul out. Also out of the congested Seattle metro area, which is costly to truck a boat through. I'd find the Mississippi boring compared to the St. Lawrance and Atlantic Canada.

I've thought about doing the great loop, but the trek from Great Lakes to the Gulf looks really dull.

I didn't think it was dull, it was different from coastal cruising though.

No tide rips, for sure. There are places where the river currents present some challenges.

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

I didn't think it was dull, it was different from coastal cruising though.

No tide rips, for sure. There are places where the river currents present some challenges.

FB- Doug

So you think it was worth it?  Got any tips/highlights?

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38 minutes ago, bgytr said:

So you think it was worth it?  Got any tips/highlights?

Oh yeah, first of all I love being on any kind of boat... sailing is of course my favorite but that's not a practical way to travel the inland rivers/canals. My wife and I did it on a 36' trawler/tug.

Lots of natural beauty, and very different landscapes. Swamps & flatlands, farmlands, big cities, small historic towns, towering cliffs and mountain backdrops. Some parts, there are a million lovely anchorages within a few hours travel, others there are really no good options to park a cruising boat for the night. Commercial traffic is constant, and can be very dangerous... but not that difficult to deal with 99.9% of the time. Dealing with weather is COMPLETELY different. Storms can come up quickly, and while they are not the same kid of threat as a white squall on open water, blinding rain & wind squalls on a narrow river with current and rocks can be pretty intimidating. And two days rain 150 miles upstream can bring a flood that will wash you into the trees. In general the inland waterways are really much safer and more relaxing, but that's not because there are no threats!

The Mississippi itself is more like being a pedestrian on I-95 or one of the big-city beltways than like Mark Twain's romantic ideal, and has very very few (like, none) amenities for cruising boats. But we only spent 3 days on Big Muddy (and yes it is muddy), all the others are very nice.

We also travelled with a dog, who is an ambassador to people everywhere (depends on the dog, ours happened to be one of those whom everybody loves at first sight & vice versa). We got invited home to dinner almost as much as we ate out in restaurants; and made a lot of non-boating friends along the way. I got to play my guitar in a historic vaudeville theater with unbelievable acoustics. My wife got interested in Civil War history along the way.

Not meaning to write book here, but yeah, I thought it was worth it.

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Oh yeah, first of all I love being on any kind of boat... sailing is of course my favorite but that's not a practical way to travel the inland rivers/canals. My wife and I did it on a 36' trawler/tug.

Lots of natural beauty, and very different landscapes. Swamps & flatlands, farmlands, big cities, small historic towns, towering cliffs and mountain backdrops. Some parts, there are a million lovely anchorages within a few hours travel, others there are really no good options to park a cruising boat for the night. Commercial traffic is constant, and can be very dangerous... but not that difficult to deal with 99.9% of the time. Dealing with weather is COMPLETELY different. Storms can come up quickly, and while they are not the same kid of threat as a white squall on open water, blinding rain & wind squalls on a narrow river with current and rocks can be pretty intimidating. And two days rain 150 miles upstream can bring a flood that will wash you into the trees. In general the inland waterways are really much safer and more relaxing, but that's not because there are no threats!

The Mississippi itself is more like being a pedestrian on I-95 or one of the big-city beltways than like Mark Twain's romantic ideal, and has very very few (like, none) amenities for cruising boats. But we only spent 3 days on Big Muddy (and yes it is muddy), all the others are very nice.

We also travelled with a dog, who is an ambassador to people everywhere (depends on the dog, ours happened to be one of those whom everybody loves at first sight & vice versa). We got invited home to dinner almost as much as we ate out in restaurants; and made a lot of non-boating friends along the way. I got to play my guitar in a historic vaudeville theater with unbelievable acoustics. My wife got interested in Civil War history along the way.

Not meaning to write book here, but yeah, I thought it was worth it.

FB- Doug

cool -thanks.

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8 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Oh yeah, first of all I love being on any kind of boat... sailing is of course my favorite but that's not a practical way to travel the inland rivers/canals. My wife and I did it on a 36' trawler/tug.

Lots of natural beauty, and very different landscapes. Swamps & flatlands, farmlands, big cities, small historic towns, towering cliffs and mountain backdrops. Some parts, there are a million lovely anchorages within a few hours travel, others there are really no good options to park a cruising boat for the night. Commercial traffic is constant, and can be very dangerous... but not that difficult to deal with 99.9% of the time. Dealing with weather is COMPLETELY different. Storms can come up quickly, and while they are not the same kid of threat as a white squall on open water, blinding rain & wind squalls on a narrow river with current and rocks can be pretty intimidating. And two days rain 150 miles upstream can bring a flood that will wash you into the trees. In general the inland waterways are really much safer and more relaxing, but that's not because there are no threats!

The Mississippi itself is more like being a pedestrian on I-95 or one of the big-city beltways than like Mark Twain's romantic ideal, and has very very few (like, none) amenities for cruising boats. But we only spent 3 days on Big Muddy (and yes it is muddy), all the others are very nice.

We also travelled with a dog, who is an ambassador to people everywhere (depends on the dog, ours happened to be one of those whom everybody loves at first sight & vice versa). We got invited home to dinner almost as much as we ate out in restaurants; and made a lot of non-boating friends along the way. I got to play my guitar in a historic vaudeville theater with unbelievable acoustics. My wife got interested in Civil War history along the way.

Not meaning to write book here, but yeah, I thought it was worth it.

FB- Doug

My brother-in-law and nephew rafted the Mississippi from Ohio to Nola and it was equal parts scary, boring and hot.  According to him - and you - there were very few amenities along the way.  They don't expect you and they aren't ready for you.

 

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22 hours ago, Left Shift said:

you live and die by the tide and current tables.  

This.  The most valuable reference I have on the boat is the "current atlas" published by Canada, along with the associated tables.  Hour-by-hour current flags showing where the water is flowing.  You really don't want to be headed to Port Townsend against a 4-knot flood, if leaving a few hours later will give you a 4-knot push.

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/canadian-charts-current-atlas-p244

Sometimes you find gems.  A couple of seasons ago, I needed to get from Port Townsend to Sidney by early afternoon, it was looking like a slog against the current from Victoria all the way up Haro Strait... but a little hunting uncovered a nice little counter-current right along the western shore of San Juan.  Sure enough, within a 1/2-mile of the beach I could squirt straight toward Sidney at about 8 knots SOG, where if I'd gone point-to-point right up the Strait I'd be lucky to do half that.

currents.thumb.jpg.d522f9f0bcbf8a101c203d656f4a07b0.jpg

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