This is the country of oysters, salmon and the jewel of the Salish Sea, Dungeness Crab. There are literally hundreds of islands, bays, estuaries and river inlets. You couldn’t explore this area in a lifetime. I’ve seen Orca’s, whales, dolphin and sharks, Eagles, Blue Herons, Vultures and Hawks. There have been storms and calms and everything in-between.
Of all the sightings in the Salish its old friends that I run into here and there again and again that make cruising this place so special. Some heading north others south, east or west. It doesn’t matter where you go or when you go there the Salish is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Sailing, hiking biking, beach combing or just sitting on the dock of the bay nowhere on earth will you find the absolute beauty and deversity of the Salish Sea.
Summer is the best time to visit the islands but the winds are challenging. From the end of June till September the winds typically blow under 6 knots or over thirty if they blow at all. Today is July 20th and there are only 4 more weekends till fall starts to march in. The lazy days of summer are coming to an end, the sun shines a little less brightly every day and dips into the sea a little earlier each evening. Enter the shoulder seasons, the tourists are gone, the islands go to sleep and the best season for sailors and voyagers begins.
All you need for cruising the full six months of the shoulder seasons are a good set of foulis with lots of warmies stuffed below, a small heater and a good hook for the blustery fall winds that blow here and there. I always try and have the boat securely tied at the dock by November 1st, the windy season around here where the wind can blow up to and over 50 knots for days on end if not weeks. From November though the first of February is day sailing season picking those wonderful perfect winter days to get out on the water and stretch the sheets and shake the sails.
It takes a lot of work to live this simply, perfection isn’t what you achieve, its how you achieve it.