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Cruising Tips

The Pacific N.W. offers a multitude of choices of places to go.  Your decision will entail evaluating your individual circumstances and considerations regarding your vessel, your skill level, your crew, and the length of time available.  The page links below are designed to help you decide where to go and what to do.

Please follow one of the links on this page for specific cruising tips and hints.

Our For Kids page and For Pets page have some suggestions for choosing where to go and what to do if your crew includes children or pets.

If you need information on which guidebooks visit our Cruising Guides page.

If you have questions about anchoring, see our Anchoring page.

For suggestions on anchoring in crowded conditions (like Desolation Sound) on in areas with a steep sloping seabed see our suggestions about Tying to the Shore.

If you are going to one of the many marine parks with mooring buoys our Bouys and Docks page has some tips and hints.

Navigation is required no matter where you go.  For a discussion of the skills you need visit our Basic Navigation page

Each discussion is focused on considerations applicable to cruising in the Pacific N.W.

Cruising in the Pacific Northwest (Washington and British Columbia) can range from a relaxing vacation to a challenging adventure.  If you choose your destinations carefully and prepare for your trip the two situations need not overlap.  By and large the waters east of Vancouver Island are protected and severe storms during the summer are rare.  However, if you venture outside the area east of Vancouver Island or into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Georgia Strait, or Johnstone Strait, you must be prepared for anything.  Even in fair weather, conditions can change quickly and dramatically.

Your destinations will determine the skill level required.  In all cases, basic skills are required and intermediate or advanced skills will allow you to broaden your horizons.  We have been cruising in the Pacific Northwest (P.N.W.) for decades and have been to hundreds of different parks, harbors, marinas, and towns.  Some places are extremely easy with few challenges and others require planning for wind, weather, tides, currents, crowds, and other variables.