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Thread: Valdez to Whittier in December

  1. #1
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    Apr 2006

    Default Valdez to Whittier in December

    Going to be helping a friend bring his 26ft Nordic tug from Valdez to Whittier probably in mid to late December. Has anyone made the trip that time of year- any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default Prince William Sound Forecast

    You certainly want to look at the look at the forecasat first?

    E WIND 35 KT. SEAS 8 FT.

    E WIND 40 KT. SEAS 9 FT.

    E WIND 25 KT. SEAS 6 FT.

    SE WIND 35 KT. SEAS 7 FT.
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Valdez, Alaska

    Default Wrong time of year

    It is the wrong time of the year to be out and about on the sound. Sure there will be some calm days. But the possibility of a gale is real strong and if you get into trouble, there is not going to be anyone there for you.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  4. #4


    I've made the trip in summer, but wouldn't do it in winter. Especially considering that a Nordic Tug isn't going to go real fast. Maybe it could be done, but I'd think you'd have to keep a close watch on the forecast (and they are never wrong, are they?) and be ready to sail at the drop of a hat while the weather window is good (or more likely, while it's not extremely crappy). Sounds like a nice boat.

  5. #5


    Some of the coves that could offer a safe escape from the weather may be frozen. My brother-in-law has a neat photo of ice surrounding his boat at anchor in the spring time. The night before he goes in and anchors, next morning he can ice fish if he wants. (The ice was breakable of course, but ice no less.) I anchored up for a night of camping in the same spring much later into the summer than he, spent the first night in Surprise cove and no frost or ice, for the next night we camped at Three-fingers cove and ice all over the boat at about 2:30 in the morning! That day the sun came out and it felt like it was 80, but at night you could skate on the boat. I can only imagine what an adventure it would be in December out in the Sound. (Check out the webcams, Seward had a bit of ice in the harbor with a touch of snow on top already this year, comes and goes gotta' check it daily.)

  6. #6


    Check for any building lows in the gulf and time the trip between systems. I dont have a chart to look at but if I remember right once you pass Perry Is there is no place to hide and wait out the weather until Sawmill bay in the arm. If you get caught in a PWS winter storm you will not have any fun, normally the storm will kick up a 10' chop that will blow onto Glacier Is which has deep water and rock faces which causes the waves to bounce back out creating huge "mountains" of water that travel in all directions, then add in the possibility of ice from Columbia and the trip becomes a pucker fest.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by hunterdad View Post
    Going to be helping a friend bring his 26ft Nordic tug from Valdez to Whittier probably in mid to late December. Has anyone made the trip that time of year- any suggestions?
    Bluebird days are usually bad along that route in winter. North winds make williwaws and channeled wind off the mainland. Every N/S fjord in the Western Sound - Long Bay, Unakwik, Wells, turns into an icy wind gun, just like Valdez Arm.

    Something to consider...


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