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Sailing Whidbey Island

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by Michael » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:04 am

I've put together some of the info from Chris and a few extras about sailing Whidbey Island.
A big Thank You to Chris for providing all the info and stoke! :D
If you want anything else added just let me now.
I'll update it as I get more info.

Videos from Joseph Whidbey State Park.



Michael and Alton get worked

http://www.cinematicsound.com/Whidbey_041414.mov

Directions to Joseph Whidbey State Park

To get here, I5 south to Mount Vernon, LaConner Exit west onto Highway West 20, follow Hwy West 20 to T in the road at the car dealership. Stay left on West 20 to Oak Harbour, up the hill out of Oak Harbour continue straight and follow the signs to Joseph Whidbey state park. Check forecast, Race Rocks & Smith Island for westerly. If RR has shutdown and Smith is blowing you normally only have a few hours at most.......not worth the trip. If Race Rocks is solid and so is Smith you've mostly likely got a full day.




JWSP Launch

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Forecast
EC East Entrance Of Juan De Fuca Straight
Airport Forecasts Whidbey Isl.

Oak Harbour Intellicast Hourly Updates

http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Observation.aspx?location=USWA0309

Forecast Discussion

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/disc_report.html

Pressure tendency versus wind speed and direction:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php?station=sisw1&meas=wdpr&uom=E&time_diff=-7&time_label=PDT

Directions to Crescent Harbour.

Take HWY W20 towards Oak Harbour then veer left onto Northeast Regetta Drive. Turn onto North Torpedo Road which turns into Torpedo Road. Turn left on East Pioneer Way and follow it along the beach. East Pioneer Way turns into Polnell which you then follow to the East side of Crescent Bay. There are two right turn onto dirt roads off Polnell that both take you out to the launch. The bay is 1.5 miles wide from the launch and he said the waves were sweet head high off both point breaks on either side of the bay yesterday with 6-8 swell between the points.
The kiters were working the point break off Kalamut and the windsurfers off MC-36. The guys are stoked today will be even better with the higher winds forecasted.


Crescent Harbour

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CH Launch

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CH Launch Alt

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Directions To Ebey Landing

This place is about fifteen minutes before Admiralty Bay. You basically head south on SR20 through the town of Coupeville then hang a right on South Sherman Road. After about 1/2 a mile you'll come to a "Y" in the road, stay right and then turn right on Ebey's Landing Road.

This road will take you to the top of a 1-2 mile long steep grass hill approximately 300 feet high that runs parallel to the shoreline. There's a few switch backs down to the bottom of the road where there's a parking area, picnic table and outhouses. This is the spot where I was sailing from.


Ebey Launch

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Double Bluff Beach Cam http://dbcabin.com/live/
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by Chris Klohn » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:59 pm

Nice job Michael.......you've got it most of it covered. I'll throw some stuff together on the other spots, tides and barometric pressure tendencies when I'm at work next time and send it to you.

Cheers,

Chris
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by Michael » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:37 pm

Thanks Chris, It's mostly your stuff though, so thanks again for all your posts!
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by C36 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:42 am

Thanks for providing the info Chris and thanks for consolidating it M! 8-)

:idea: M: Please consider placing it on the site wiki at BWD (easier to find there). ;)
http://www.bigwavedave.ca/wiki/index.php/Sailing_Guide
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by Michael » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:46 am

Actually Alton put a link to the page on the right. Look under West Coast/Whidbey Island Info.
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by C36 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:56 am

Michael wrote:Actually Alton put a link to the page on the right. Look under West Coast/Whidbey Island Info.


Good to know! Thanks M/A. :D
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by C36 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:48 am

The following are a few observations from a quick trip down to Whidbey Island to check out SE wind conditions and windsurfing sites on Tuesday, October 29, 2014.

Wind Sensor at Oak Harbour over reports marginally for Crescent Beach and over reports more for other locations.

Got to Ala Spit about 10:30 and left Oak Harbour around 12:15. The whole time it looked big gear weather to me (5.2/110) or two sail sizes below what the Oak Bay sensor was over reporting at all of the sites I visited - Ala Spit, east of Crescent Beach, park in town west of Crescent Beach. The exception was Crescent Beach which, from a distance, appeared stronger and more consistent, with nicer wind swell (waist high+) but you can't sail there (see below).

Crescent Beach is CLOSED

As M mentioned previously, there does not appear to be any public access to Crescent Beach as it is entirely within a military base. M asked at the west gate house on a previous trip and I asked at the east gate house. The wind and water conditions looked nice (stronger, steady wind and waist high+ wind swell) and this was the best set-up I saw, but there is no public access to Crescent Beach that I could find.

Polnell Shores Drive (east of Crescent Beach/ Polnell Point)

There is a private boat ramp at the end of Polnell Shores Drive, but it is steep, narrow and looked challenging given the high-tide shore break. The wind looked lighter and shifty and the wind swell looked slightly disorganized (being driven from two different directions).

Oak Harbour Beach Park

The public park in town offers access to the water, but the wind is also lighter and shifty and partially blocked by the point to the southeast. The water is flat and any swell is a long way offshore, up at the point.

Ala Spit use extreme caution.

Ala Spit reminded me of Island View Beach on Vancouver Island, but on a smaller scale (logs floating in the shore break, deep channel just off shore, signs warning of strong tide current) and it had the bonus of swell reflecting off the break wall.

Ebby Landing

Last time down Ebby Landing was lighter than Oak Harbour and side-off on the same direction (with the prospect of sailing alone) and Locust was showing 30-40 (stronger and nicer wave shape), so I pulled the plug and headed north to Locust.

Locust favoured over Whidbey Island on SE

Paul (a kite sailor from Bellingham who I meet at Joseph Whidbey State Park before) said he only goes to Whidbey Island for the west wind at Joseph Whidbey State Park, and prefers Locust over Whidbey Island, since access to Crescent Beach was closed. Paul also mentioned he was reluctant to travel further south to Double Bluff as it is much further to travel and offers flatter water. He was the one who mentioned Ala Spit and we decided to give it a try. Although a small sample size (two trips down to Whidbey Island for SE and four trips to Locust), I am favouring Locust as well.

Pictures

A few shots here of Locust (9 am lull); Ala Spit on Whidbey Island (wouldn't go back there again); and back to Locust (caught second gear cool down ~20 mph mid-afternoon wind).
Last edited by C36 on Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by AdrienGrelon » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:09 pm

The waves in that first video look unreal!!! Was that the same day as second one, feat. Alton and Michael?? I know that gopros can have a tendency of making everything look smaller, especially from far.

Love the music transition as we see Alton in a power stance braving the shore break :D

Definitely keen to check this spot out, especially now that I've got my visa sorted and border crossing should be smooth(er) sailing. Compared to the island I guess ferry money becomes gas money, and ferry time becomes driving time, so it's not too different of a commitment. Thanks for putting this together Michael, Chris and Dave.
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by C36 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:34 pm

AdrienGrelon wrote:The waves in that first video look unreal!!! Was that the same day as second one, feat. Alton and Michael?? ...


Two different days - the first is the 'holy grail' (west wind at Joseph Whidbey State Park) and the second is the quest for the 'holy grail' ;)

Alton and M scored on there first trip down (not shown) and it left such an impression on them, they keep going back.
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by C36 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:33 pm

NOAA COASTAL WATERS FORECAST FOR WASHINGTON
Scroll down to "EAST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA"

NOAA Predicted Tides for Smith Island (just offshore of Joseph Widbey State Park)

Observations from West Beach (2015 Mar 31)
  • Beach was all loose fist to baby head sized rock above the waterline
  • Mix of sand benches and trenches of loose rock below the waterline (watch your step)
  • Trenches may have been caused/carry the long shore (littoral) current
  • Wind was lighter on the inside and when combined with the long shore (littoral) current made launching tricky (felt like there was no apparent wind once you stepped onto your gear)
  • Waves were slightly more onshore down at the picnic area (kite launch) – if you fell in the impact zone here it took a good deal of time and energy to get organized and get out again (windsurfing)

Tide 3.5’ > 5.5’ > 3.5’
  • The impact zone was in shallower waist-deep water
  • It was possible to walk your gear out past the breaking waves before launching at the parking lot
  • Gybing in the cove immediately off the parking lot would place you right in front of the reforming wave and whitewater would knock you off balance in the lighter wind on the inside
  • Gybing just out from the first few houses, just upwind of the parking lot would keep you in better wind and just outside of impact zone
  • If you sailed out past the edge of the bank on port (outbound) the water got pretty confused (a quilt pattern that seemed to be caused by two swells colliding) – it was way easier to gybe in the organized waves over the bank than in the confused chop on swell on the outside
  • The onshore wind and temptation to ride backside downwind made staying out from the beach moderately challenging
Last edited by C36 on Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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