South Sound Winter Cruising

South Sound Winter Cruising

Postby djleu » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:15 pm

We have always headed North. This year, we are thinking about heading to South Puget Sound, beginning at Bell Harbor in Seattle. We have no experience in these waters and would greatly appreciate recommendations for both anchoring out and periodic marina stops. What places have you really liked? What are the most interesting places to visit? All suggestions would really be welcome! Thanks so much!

Cheers,

Don and Debbie Leu
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Postby Keith Morris » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:26 pm

Longbranch Marina is a cozy little spot.
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Postby grich737 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:20 pm

Eagle Island is very nice over-nite and has a couple of mooring buoys. One thing about the South Sound in winter is you will be mostly alone. Penrose is another nice spot great at low tides
Also I believe that crabbing just opened down south below the narrows bridge

Gig harbor is a great place to head into also nice town nice people.
Fair Harbor is very cheap to stay at and very nice owners.

Anyway just to name a few have fun Greg
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Postby djleu » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:44 am

Thanks for these locations and ideas! We will be cruising from Jan 1 to Jan 10. I guess we will have to wait to see if the crabbing season is extended into the new year in the south. I wonder if clamming is a possibility in that area or if there are too many people and contamination? I am assuming salmon are out.

Cheers,

Don
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Postby grich737 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:09 pm

good clamming on eagle island you would need to check the regs as far as crabbing i believe it will be closed after JAN
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Postby djleu » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:13 pm

Thanks, Greg!
Don and Debbie Leu
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Postby K Dowling » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Blake Island State Park has a breakwater, power and a pump out. There is a stunning Seattle Skyline view on clear nights and lots of ferries going by. The island is big enough to stretch your legs.

cheers
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Postby djleu » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:40 am

Thank you, Kevin, for this recommendation! Blake Island looks like it would be a great beginning, or end of trip, stop.

I've admired your boat projects for some time. Awesome work. I wish I was nearly as talented. Maybe with lots of hard work it will come.

Cheers,

Don
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Postby Bob Lowe » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:58 am

We didn't cruise a lot in the South Sound areas, but we went one year (2001) to Seattle for Bumbershoot and stayed at Bell Harbor (make reservations in advance) and walked each day to Bumbershoot.

We had a great time there enjoying all the festivities and open air entertainment. We found a great place for a burrito with fillings of your choice made to order. It was big, about 4 or 5 pounds and cost $5 or so. We nibbled on it all day happily and supplemented with a beer now and then.

Lots of good entertainment and much eye candy. It is in early September so too late for this year, but something to plan for next year. Great place for kids as well. There are plenty of indoor things as well in case it rains, which it didn't do while we were there.

We were there during 9/11 and left immediately that morning for Bellingham to visit our son.
http://bumbershoot.org/
Good luck,
Bob Lowe
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Postby djleu » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:43 pm

Sounds like a great time. Thanks, Bob, for this information!

Cheers,

Don
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Postby babybanks » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:44 pm

I am based in Shelton, deep in the South Sound. I strongly recommend Gig Harbor. They have a free city dock there that can't be beat. No power though...

I'm a big fan of Blake Island but I don't consider it South Sound.

I'm not a big fan of Eagle Island because I don't like the view of the prison on McNeill Island.

Fair Harbor is a great spot as mentioned. McMicken Island has state park mooring buoys as does Hope Island. Be aware that Hope Island does not allow dogs...

Jarrell's Cove State Park is one of the best... It is absolutely gorgeous...

Watch the currents going through Tacoma Narrows... They can run strong if you go at the wrong time.

The South Sound is undiscovered... But it is great!
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Postby JoMeKe » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:45 pm

Don and Debbie,

Not much I can add except to second several of the votes given here. We go south about once every 3-4 years and love Gig Harbor, Penrose Point State Park, Jarrell Cove State Park, Blake Island State Park (either at the marina or on the backside on a buoy), Bell Harbor Marina, McMicken Island State Park.

I would add Tacoma—Dock Street Marina is right downtown and has easy access to the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum and a great waterfront promenade. If you get as far south as the Olympia area, the little town of Boston Harbor at the north end of Budd Inlet is a neat little stop. And Olympia has a great Farmer's Market, but it is closed from Jan-Apr. Of course, if you stop at Bell Harbor, you'll be right at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Also pushing the definition of South Sound, Winslow on Bainbridge Island is a nice town in a well-protected harbor and Poulsbo is a charming town with a strong Norwegian heritage. We just spent the Thanksgiving weekend there. If weather forces a stop on the way down, Kingston and Edmonds are nice stops as well.

If you do stop in Bell Harbor and are up to it, give me a call. We'd love to meet you for dinner or something. We're just right up the hill from downtown.
Ken Bowles
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Postby Richard Werner » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:30 am

Not sure if this is really South Sound, but Silverdale is a nice stopping point.

The last time we were there, we were on the outside of the breakwater, which is generally nice, but the wind came up overnight and it was very rough and difficult to get away. Next time we will probably go inside the breakwater.
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Postby djleu » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:06 am

It is clear my geography, especially about what is south, is not up to snuff. That probably comes from always beginning our trips in Bellingham where everything to the left becomes south. I hope this winter trip will change things. I am starting to get excited. I am especially excited about the possibility of clamming, something that is typically closed to us in the summer with red tide warnings. I will report back on our experiences about as many of these wonderful suggestions as possible and hopefully contribute something of use to others. Many great sounding locations! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. I appreciate it!!!!

Cheers,

Don
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Postby Dave » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:01 am

On your way south. Langley, on Whidbey Is, is a fun stop to overnight. Great town to explore. Excellent bakery. Small marina but usually room in the winter. That is if you come south via LaConner or Deception Pass.
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