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San Juan Islands
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mccoyms



Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:05 am    Post subject: San Juan Islands Reply with quote

Has anyone done any windsurfing in the San Juans? I have an extended family camping trip up there at the end of August/beginning of September, and I was wondering if I should take my gear. My largest sail is a 7.0. I don't want the hassle of taking my gear if it's going to be a waste of time. Thanks for the help.

Matt
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alohannie



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mean to be negative, but take a kayak instead. The San Juan Islands absolutely beautiful.....glorious......and magical.....all of the islands are delightful. But take a kayak or a canoe. I learned from experience.
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madspaniard



Joined: 23 May 2005
Posts: 380

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just came back from a road trip to Vancouver Island. Sailed Nitinat (not really close to SJ Islands) and also drove by the terminal where the ferries leave to Vancouver (HWY 19A East?) and it was going off like crazy.
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aeolsson



Joined: 11 May 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably a waste of time to bring the gear. I just spoke to the first person I've heard of sailing in the islands, he said he had a decent day somewhere on Lopez. I've seen kites very rarely up there. I've seen plenty of windy days at South beach on san juan island but have never brought my gear. Need to be careful of crazy currents and off shore winds. I'll start bringing kites when my skills improve.
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mccoyms



Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the advice. I'm planning to do a sailing lesson and some bike rides instead.
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pepig



Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eastsound on Orcas Island is really one of the only spots in the San Juan Islands that is conducive for windsurfing.
The Eastsound builds up a nice thermal breeze in the summertime, mostly for bigger sails of 6.5 and up at the windiest, and fairly kick ass frontal winds in the Fall/Winter storms.

There are terrific sailing sites all around the San Juans, but not in the San Juans.

Pepi
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islanddoug



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Vashon Island? I just moved there and there's plenty of windy days off the South end of Maury Island, but I never see any sailers.
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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1448
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*bump

wondering 10 years later is there any update to this subject now with the introduction of foils and big wings?

I have access to some shoreline on the east shore of Eastsound off Olga Rd. Would be a bucket list type of deal for me. Was just up there last week and there was an occasional whitecap, but maybe summer is windier? Which direction does the wind blow in the sound? Heard someone talking about crazy currents. What kind of current speeds are we talking about in the sound?

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Last edited by kevinkan on Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer is w/nw thermal around 10-20kts from Bellingham down to Everett. It's all over by September except for frontal stuff.
Not unusual to foil with 7-9m sails most days in the summer.

Spent many days sailing on the mainland there. No idea on currents.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 749
Location: Seattle, Wa

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Kevin, I can't give any detailed info either, although I've windsurfed at Orcas a couple times. At your lighter weight and your great skill, you'd get some summer windsurfing days at Orcas... but on bigger gear than you're used to in the Bay Area.
The winter will give you some stormy WINDY days, where you'll use small stuff, but I've no idea how often.
Foiling in the summer, again yes, but I don't know how often.

Currents -
I haven't sailed out away from the island, so I have no idea about currents with tides going in and out. But there would be tons of info on this topic from the extensive sail-boating community that knows all about the San Juan islands.

My personal history, windsurfing at Orcas Island is two times, once in 1983 and the next times was last summer, haha!
I sailed Cascade Lake on Orcas that first trip, two days, summer '83. Full white-caps shore to shore on the lake (I have pics somewhere). It was the first time I (195 lbs) went fast on a longboard (removed centerboard), no footstraps or harness... and a 6m regatta no batten sail... with my butt slapping the chop, and trying to keep my feet from sliding off laterally from the board. Was windy all weekend.
Summer 2018 - hoped to re-create the first trip (with more skill, experience and gear) but no wind. I sailed Cascade Lake 2 days in light wind (raceboard - 9m race sail - no caps). But there was a local there who just bought gear mail order, and said there was some wind at times and he was learning. I also sailed another day out in East Sound Bay off Rosario Resort... but it was also light wind, no caps. Another day we were in town (Eastsound) and I saw a few caps out in the bay, but couldn't sail that day.
There you go... sorry, no "real helpful info"... but fun for me to re-live a couple beautiful trips to an amazing part of the NW Smile
Greg -

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Longboarding since '81
Shortboarding since '84
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