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Building a Weather Picture

One of the most important skills for successful cruising is understanding the weather and how it impacts your plans. This doesn’t mean being a meteorologist, making your own forecasts, or interpreting esoteric weather charts. Rather, it means selecting the right forecast from professional meteorologists (NOAA, Environment Canada, European Centre for…

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Safe Harbour | Snowpocalypse at Blake Island

With Seattle in chaos and normal obligations cancelled because of snow in the forecast, we sought refuge on the water. What better place to spend the blizzard than Blake Island, we thought. So on Friday, after doing battle with every other Seattleite at the grocery store (50 minute line at…

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Getting the Most from Windy.com

Windy.com is our single favorite weather resource for cruising the Pacific Northwest. We never ignore the official NOAA or Environment Canada marine forecasts, but Windy offers a much more granular look at the weather. Environment Canada and NOAA forecasts cover large areas over many hours with wind speeds expressed in big…

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Scooters Aboard!

Upon arriving in a new port, I, like most cruisers, usually want to explore ashore. Sometimes there are chores to do, other times there are specific attractions, and often I just want to get the feeling of a place. Regardless, land transportation quickly becomes an issue, especially if the supermarket,…

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Improving the Boat Fridge: Fridge Optimizer

Several years ago, I replaced the 15-year-old Norcold refrigerator aboard Safe Harbour with a shiny new NovaKool RFU9000. The new fridge reduced power consumption and was quieter, but it was far from perfect. In fact, it (along with the Force 10 range with the heat output of a Bic lighter)…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 27 | Port Renfrew to Victoria

September 15 – We left Port Renfrew at 6:30 a.m. for the last leg of the flotilla — the 50+ mile section from Port Renfrew to Victoria. We took advantage of the flood current we’d have for the first part of the day, with between 1 and 2 knots of…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 26 | Effingham Bay to Port Renfrew

September 14 – We’d hoped to spend a couple nights in Effingham Bay, but today looked like a great day on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Rather than push our luck for one more night in the Broken Group, we decided to take advantage of the calm and head…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 25 | Bamfield to Effingham Bay

September 13 – Effingham Island is the largest island in the outermost cluster of islands in the Broken Group, and the Effingham Bay anchorage is a great base from which to explore the many surrounding rocky islets, sea caves, and driftwood-strewn beaches by dinghy. We’d crossed paths a couple times…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 24 | Robbers Passage to Bamfield

September 12 – We’re starting to analyze the weather for our run in the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria. Based on the current models, it looks like we’ll have a good two days to make the run this weekend, September 15 and 16. With three more days in Barkley…

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