A Few Favorite Weather Sites

    I’m a weather geek. Rather than reality TV, I look up the weather and imagine what is going on in some of my favorite areas like the Strait of Georgia, Cape Caution or Dixon Entrance. I love to look at NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center – Pacific Region for the Current, 24-hour, 48-hour, and 96-hour…

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Living Aboard: Two Years In

“Any regrets?” read the title of the post on TrawlerForum.com. The post followed: A couple was retiring, thinking about selling everything, buying a boat, and moving aboard. I thought for a few minutes, then responded. “No, no regrets…” Just over two years ago, on Halloween 2013, the purchase of my Nordic Tug 37 closed and…

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Inside Passage Weather Part 3: Developing the Long Term Outlook

This is part three of a three article series on understanding marine weather reports for a safe and comfortable cruising. Part 1 covered how to understand weather reports delivered via VHF radio and telephone. Part Two covered how to interpret the weather information available online. Part 3 covers how to understand the 4-6 day weather outlook…

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Testing the New Electrical System

One of the biggest winter projects this year is redesigning the electrical system. When I bought this boat, it had a bank of four golf cart batteries for the inverter and a bank of two 4D batteries for house loads AND engine starting. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable having a combined house and starting…

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Mark Reports: Annapolis Sail and Powerboat Shows

So what is going on in boating on the East Coast of the US? I went to the Annapolis Boat Shows to find out. The Annapolis Boat Show is really two shows. The first show is the United States Sailboat Show, with over 165 sailboats in the water. This year there were more large catamarans…

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That Sinking Feeling: Exploring the Depths of Puget Sound

“Would you be interested in joining the OceanGate team on a training dive to 250 feet off Everett, in our five person submersible, the Antipodes?” the email read. My calendar was clear for the day. There was only one possible answer: YES! After filling out a few liability waiver forms—basically signing my life away—I was…

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Don’t Approach the Dock Faster than You’re Willing to Hit It

“Don’t approach the dock faster than you’re willing to hit it.” I’ve heard this wisdom dozens of times. A shift or throttle cable might break, an engine could stall, a bow thruster might not work. Like all boaters, I’ve hit the dock a few times. But until yesterday, it was always my error. I misjudged, used too…

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Winter Upgrades

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to thumb through the list of boat problems, visit the boat shows, and call the mechanic and boatyard, and open up the checkbook. The more time I spend on my boat the longer my list of upgrades grows. This winter I’m tackling a number of projects that…

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Welcome to the new WaggonerGuide.com

Welcome to our new home on the Internet! The new WaggonerGuide.com combines the best features of our old website and Waggoner’s Pacific Northwest Boating online magazine. New features: New design. Easy to navigate, easy on the eyes. Frequently updated. Expect new articles, destination updates, cruising reports, and more to be posted every few days. Comments.…

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Sailing in the August Wind Storm

Remember that wind storm at the end of August? Steve Purcell, one of my neighbors at the marina, thought it would be a great opportunity to sail up Rosario Strait, from Watmough Bay on Lopez Island to Sucia Island. With winds gusting over 50 knots, he had quite a ride. Here’s the video… August 29…

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An Unexpected Cruise

One of the joys of living aboard is the ability to easily get away on the boat. There’s no packing or schlepping, no loading and unloading the car—no hassle, really. So last Wednesday evening, right after the electrician finished installing my new inverter, I decided to head out to the islands for a night. I’d be…

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Office Aboard

One the thing that attracted me to the Nordic Tug 37 was the large chart table in the pilothouse. No, I wasn’t that interested in using paper charts—I grew up boating with electronic charts—but I liked the large, flat surface. A perfect standing desk, I thought. But after some use with my laptop I discovered…

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