|plotting out distance with my Puget Sound nautical chart|
I learned to sail in the waters around Puget Sound. And in my opinion, of all the cities on the West Coast of the United States of America, Seattle has - far and away - the best cruising grounds for Sailors. There may not be many t-shirt and barefoot sail days. But - throw on a wool sweater and a windbreaker and you are in for a vast inland Sea full of beautiful anchorages and secluded bays.
Someday I will return to Puget Sound...
I figured it would be handy to have the distances and travel times between Seattle and all the classic destinations - displayed in one place. I know Seattle sailors like to get out on the weekends, so I hope this is of use.
Distance in nautical miles: (1 nm = 1.15 land miles)
Seattle to Eagle Harbor 5.5
Seattle to Elliot Bay (downtown harbor) 7
Seattle to Kingston 7.5
Seattle to Edmonds 8.5
Seattle to Blake Island 9.5
Seattle to Bremerton 15.5
Seattle to Port Ludlow 23
Seattle to Gig Harbor 24.5
Seattle to Tacoma 26.5
Seattle to Quartermaster Harbor 28.5
Seattle to Everett 29
Seattle to Port Townsend 33
Seattle to Oak Harbor 41
Seattle to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island) 61 (via Admiralty Inlet)
Seattle to Victoria (Vancouver Island) 65 (via Admiralty Inlet)
I plotted out these distances based on a direct route, and took an approximate start point for each distance at the outside of each harbor.
For the Seattle waypoint, I used the navigation markers just outside the Ballard locks, near the southern end of Shilshole Marina. This is where my boat was docked, so I am partial to Shilshole as a starting point. If you're starting from Elliot Bay, you can add or subtract 5 miles, depending on whether you're heading north or south.
Each mariner will experience a slightly different distance, depending on their mooring location and line of sail, but consider these good approximations.
|Alize' moored right next to the Parliamentary buildings in Victoria - very regal!|
At that speed, the approximate time it would take to get from A to B is:
Time needed for each leg (if averaging 4.7 nautical miles/hr.)
Hours (in decimal)
Seattle to Eagle Harbor 1.2
Seattle to Elliot Bay (downtown harbor) 1.5
Seattle to Kingston 1.6
Seattle to Edmonds 1.8
Seattle to Blake Island 2
Seattle to Bremerton 3.3
Seattle to Port Ludlow 4.9
Seattle to Gig Harbor 5.2
Seattle to Tacoma 5.6
Seattle to Quartermaster Harbor 6.1
Seattle to Everett 6.2
Seattle to Port Townsend 7
Seattle to Oak Harbor 8.7
Seattle to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island) 13
Seattle to Victoria (Vancouver Island) 13.8
Of course, sailors rarely use a completely direct path from one point to another (either due to some tacking or to unintentional meanderings) and so, it would be wise to plan 1 or 2 hours on top of these estimates.
And... before you untie the dock lines, make sure you have a cruising guide. Most local boaters prefer the A Cruising Guide to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands: Olympia to Port Angeles. It's regarded as the authoritative guidebook for the region.
And you probably also want the Waggoner guide. The 2016 Waggoner Cruising Guide is updated every year. So, with this on board, you'll have all the latest information/telephone numbers/websites on ports, harbors, marinas and coastal towns. It comes in handy when traveling this vast inland Sea.
A few happy memories from years past while I was out sailing Puget Sound.
|- pulled these Dungeness out of Blind Bay on Shaw Island|
Ok - keep off the rocks, have fun - live to tell the story!
2016 update: I hope this page has helped you estimate cruising distances Puget Sound. I am now starting to return to the Seattle area for work, so I have a chance to get back into these beautiful waters up around Seattle. I look forward to sailing Puget Sound later this summer. I'm helping my friend repair his old Nordic Tug. I'm just going to help him finish the job with electrical. Either way, assuming this doesn't take too long, we should be heading up to Friday Harbor around mid-August. My buddy just gave his boat a new name, he went with the classic, Neptune's Wrath. Sort of a dangerous name, but at least he consulted with experts on naming a boat. I told him about the proper ceremony to go through for this sort of thing. And he followed that completely, so I think he may end up alright...