Fisherman's Bay entrance

Fisherman's Bay entrance

Postby Marin Faure » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:05 am

We normally never take our boat south but we are taking friends who've never been there to Fisherman's Bay on Lopez in May. The other thread about the Swinomish Channel promted me to ask about the entrance to Fisherman's Bay.

We've been in there once in the GB, about six years ago, and both entering and departing were on a fairly high and rising tide. But this time we'll be transiting in and out at or near low tide, which on the days in question are -1.4 and -0.7 respectively.

Not long after acquiring our GB we measured the distance from the bottom of the keel to the bottom of the bootstripe when the boat was blocked in the yard. Loaded, the waterline is an inch or so below the bottom of the bootstripe. The draft of the boat is four feet give or take an inch or so. Hard to believe with a 30,000 pound boat, but the tape measure don't lie. :)

The low water depth in the narrow entrance channel according to the Navimatics chart I have on this iPad is 8 feet in the narrowest part of the channel, and 9 feet out toward the lower end of Upright Channel.

So at a -1.4 tide we should have a couple of feet of of clearance in the shallowest part of the channel. That's if the numbers are correct.

Anyone here been into Fisherman's Bay lately, and do you know if the channel depth has remained more or less the same over the last few years? Or has it shoaled up some?

We can time our arrival and departure an hour or two after low water which will put us on a rising tide as we go through. We'll probably do that to be safe, but I'm curious what other people have observed about the channel lately.

Thanks,
Marin
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Fisherman Bay Entrance

Postby rwells » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:03 am

Hi Marin,

We went to Fisherman's last year in July with SYC. Had no problems transiting the channel at half tide and following mid-channel course. The boats that get in trouble are the ones who cut the corners or stray outside the marked channel. We experienced a good 2-3 knot ebbing current on the way out in the narrowest part at the northern end of the channel.

There is a good diagram of the entrance at the Lopez Islander Resort Marina web site:

http://www.lopezfun.com/images/fisherman.jpg

Have a great cruise.
Rob Wells
M/Y Sirena
GB36E #860
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Postby Marin Faure » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:52 am

Thanks for the info, Rob. Paul Graf gave us chart he made up a number of years ago for transiting the entrance channel, and we found it very useful on our cruise into the bay a few years ago.

We saw a couple of sailboats aground and leaning outside the entrance on that trip, and I would agree that their problem appeared to be that they cut the corner entering the channel, and on a falling tide at that.
Marin
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Postby kolive » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:17 pm

Marin,

I would suggest calling the Fishermans Bay Marina. We have a map of the channel from them that was very helpful, they might be able to email it to you. Ours is on our boat 4 hours away. Pretty tight channel as you already know.

Keith
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Postby Marin Faure » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:23 pm

Thanks, Keith. We have a very detailed chart of the entrance channel with suggestions on how to stay out of trouble on the boat that was drawn up by one of the more experienced members of our boating club. We used it the first (and only) time we've gone to Fisherman's Bay and it was very helpful.

What I'm interested to know, given the other thread about the Swinomish Channel, is if the Fisherman's Bay entrance channel has experienced any shoaling since we were through it because our schedule requires us to transit the channel on minus tides.
Marin
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Postby kolive » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:39 pm

what I should have said was call them and see if they know about any wilting up in the channel. But I am guessing that you have thought of it already. I'll shut up now.😊
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Postby Marin Faure » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:55 pm

No, I hadn't thought of asking them that. I'll do so, thanks.
Marin
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Postby kevros » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:16 am

Marin,
The NWX owners cruise visited Fishermans Bay last October. We (47' GB) had no problem following the channel, but can't remember details of the depths. Brian was on the cruise and might be able to help.
Kevin
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Postby Marin Faure » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:22 pm

Keith-- We took your advice today and called the Lopez Island Resort where we will be staying with the boat. They told my wife that there has been no change in the bottom configuration of the entrance channel over the last few years. Thanks for the suggestion. So unless my calculations are off-- always a possibility--- we should be fine going in and out on minus tides.
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Postby kolive » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:14 am

Great. Sounds like it should be fine then. Thanks for the update, we might be going there right before Trawler Fest.
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