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Old 19-10-2012, 16:21   #1
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Clipper Route and the Baja Bash

I've read the articles and posts in sailing rags (as well as Jim Elfer's baja bash book) and various websites about clipper route and baja bash.

No idea when I'm gonna return north (this year or next). I'm considering going the clipper route. I like the idea of sailing (1100 miles or so & 2 weeks ) as opposed to motoring & bashing (750 miles or so & 1 to 2 weeks). I'll be single-handing this voyage.

I would like specific feedback/info from sailors who have actually sailed the clipper route for Cabo to San Diego (or anywhere north of SD)

1) Best time of year for this voyage (besides after hurricane season about to end)
2) How far west/southwest they went before tacking to port and towards home
3) Seas/weather/winds encountered
4) Would you do the clipper route again? Why/why not?

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Old 19-10-2012, 22:13   #2
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Re: Clipper Route and the Baja Bash

G'Day Jimmy,

Haven't done that route, but have a comment:

IMO it is far safer for a singlehander to do it offshore rather than flogging up the coast. there have been a sad number of single or short-handed vessels lost doing the Bash. Combination of few good anchorages, steady hard going to windward, frequent on-shore setting currents. A difficult trip for a singlehander.

Offshore the hazards are similar to any similar passage. Possible traffic, but its really pretty rare until one gets near SD or further up the coast, AIS helps with ships and once well out there are fewer non-AIS fishing vessels.

If I were doing that trip, I'd do it offshore.



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Old 21-10-2012, 07:56   #3
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Re: Clipper Route and the Baja Bash

"I'm writing to perhaps inspire others to consider the offshore or clipper route from Cabo up to San Diego as an alternative to the traditional Baja Bash along the coast...."

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Old 21-10-2012, 10:13   #4
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Re: Clipper Route and the Baja Bash

I did the route out to Hawaii from Panama, then over the high to Santa Cruz. I would definitely consider Hawaii again if I wanted to go north of San Francisco. I've also done the bash, and would do it again if I was only headed to SoCal.

The leg to Hawaii ends up with a broad reach, then you close reach over the high and broad reach back to the coast. Winds were typically 15-20 in the trades, but got up to 20-25 occasionally.

HOWEVER, there is an area about 300 miles west and southwest of SFO which is prone to gales which can last for days, even in the summer. If you go, you need to have offshore WX forecasts and bail out back to the coast before they hit. I know a singlehander who abandoned his boat there. He had won the singlehanded transpac several times, and taken his boat to Alaska and New Zealand, so he was not a novice.

If it was winter, I'd do the bash, jumping on the southerlies and hiding out during the strong NW winds which follow.

The hurricane season off Baja starts earlier than in the Atlantic--another good reason to have offshore weather info.
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baja, baja bash, route

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