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Old 04-03-2012, 22:49   #16
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Re: Route down the west coast

Eureka is a great place to stop over for a day or two, or more. Talk about picturesque with Victorian houses, and, as Michael says, friendly folk. I was there a couple of years ago. I didn't stop over at Bodega Bay, although I had originally considered it; I believe Hitchcock filmed 'The Birds' there.
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Old 05-03-2012, 00:00   #17
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Personally...if you had good weather, I keep going all the way to S.F. Bay and hang out in Sausalito for 3 days and then Santa Barbara and the Islands.
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Old 15-04-2012, 21:19   #18
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Rubyjean, would love the link to you wife's blog.
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Old 15-04-2012, 22:03   #19
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

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Rubyjean, would love the link to you wife's blog.
It's below on the signature.

http://voagesoftherubyjean.blogspot.com

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Old 16-04-2012, 00:12   #20
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Silvergirl, I cant give much info on the coast north of San Francisco, as I have only done straight thru deliveries up there, but south of San Francisco I am the king of slow boats and little anchorages.

My first trips up and down the coast were in a 26 footer with an engine that ran (sometimes) and I tried not to sail overnight. You are in a much larger boat with (presumably) a reliable engine. You will not have need for some of the spots that I tucked into, but they are nice to know about.

SF to Half Moon Bay is an easy daylight run with good holding ground or a marina, just watch for the buoy at the south end of the reef. Don't turn too soon as that reef eats a boat every year or so.

Leaving Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz is a daylight run if you can leave early enough. Sometimes the fog doesn't lift before noon and I have drifted on down to Ano Nuevo and tucked in behind the rock reef. After drifting all day the wind piped up just after dark and the sound of Sea Lions roaring and the wind moaning in the rigging made that a real spooky anchorage, but the holding was good.

Santa Cruz is easy if you arrive after dark. Just anchor of off the beach to the east of the pier and go into the marina in the morning.

Santa Cruz to Montery is an easy daylight sail and a fun place to spend some time.

Montery to Santa Barbara is where many boats go nonstop, but depending on the weather there are a number of good coves. Just past Point Sur there is Pfeiffer Cove that many fish boats use if it is blowing too strong out of the NW. Good holding and wind protection unless the wind shifts to the west or SW.

If you get past Point Sur early enough but don't want to sail overnight, tuck in under Piedras Blancas. Another fish boat anchorage that can get you a good nights sleep. Morro bay is a great spot, but if it is closed out due to waves at the entrance, keep going and anchor in the bay at Port San Louis.

If you are tired and beat up after going around Conception go a few miles and tuck into Cojo. It is good holding and a good place to rest up going north or south.

On to Santa Barbara and many marinas southward. I have gone from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas with only about 4 overnight sails. The anchorages are all described in the coast pilot, but sailboats rarely use them. As a side note, I have been beat up more times by Point Sur than I have by the dreaded Conception. I tried to find that web site that Daddle mentioned but have had no luck.

Have a great trip.___Grant.
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Old 16-04-2012, 11:17   #21
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

For all the NW sailors: How long would you plan on for a trip from the Columbia banks up to the straits of Juan?
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Old 16-04-2012, 11:38   #22
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Newt, how well do your engine run ??? LOL im only asking cus you mite need it if the winds are in there normal direction ! it's a lot easier the other way !!
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Old 16-04-2012, 11:57   #23
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

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For all the NW sailors: How long would you plan on for a trip from the Columbia banks up to the straits of Juan?
I usually plan:

2 days Portland to Astoria (this allows for refuel, water and slack time at the bar and a nice sleep along the river and in astoria))

1 day Astoria to Neah Bay Nice overnight sail

a Night at anchor in Neah Bay

1 Longggg day Neah Bay to Anacortes - get an early start and arrive late, Anchor off Saddlebag Island and get a few crab.

So 4 to 5 days Portland to Anacortes.

If the weather is nice use Hole in the Wall to go between Tatoosh Is and Cape Flattery. Stay north of center (rock awash in center, stay halfway between rock and Tatoosh Is) in 30' of water. Scenic and it cuts off 2 hours or so.

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Old 16-04-2012, 12:11   #24
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

This is exactly what I needed to know- thank you.
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Old 16-04-2012, 13:59   #25
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Depending on the time you cross Columbia bar. If you cross at daylight, you should make Flattery by dark. If you cross the bar in the afternoon, plan on spending the night behind D.I. (Destruction Island). Or just sail all night. You can make it from D.I. to P.A. or Victoria in a day- with any luck.
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Old 16-04-2012, 17:19   #26
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

I would like to throw just a little cold (salty) water on all of this optimism. That a Gulfstar 50 can cover the 150nm from Astoria to Neah Bay in 24hrs (at 6kn SOG) in favorable weather is not in dispute. In favorable conditions, a Valiant 40 should be able to do it as well. The problem is that favorable conditions are far from the prevailing conditions. Sometimes there is calm weather and one can motor like crazy (probably against a 1kn current) and do it. On occasion there is a southerly that will do the trick nicely (although often in rain as a result of an offshore low rotation). More likely is a stiff northerly breeze, with a 1-2kn current, and in that case 24 hours is only a pipe dream (and possibly a nightmare), at least for a cruising boat.

My second trip up the coast with Carina (20 years ago) we departed Hammond (5 miles downstream of Astoria) and took 24 hours to reach Westport (Gray's Harbor). We tacked up the coast against 20-25kn winds and a 1 1/2 to 2kn current, and for the entire 60 miles (straight line) our VMG was about 2.5kn - which was pretty good all things considered. I have known several different boats to have left Astoria for a vacation in the San Juans, only to return after making little headway north. One cat spent 3 days beating his family's brains out before returning. None of them made Gray's Harbor. If the weather is right the trip is a piece of cake; if it is wrong then it is something else again.

Also to consider is the wind in the Straight of Juan de Fuca: it is likely an easterly or a westerly, or calm. Beating the 80 miles or so up the straight against the wind is not fun, although more doable than the coast section.

I point this all out so that you don't start out thinking that a 5 day trip is in the bag, and schedule crew accordingly. I hope for your sake that it works out that way, but be prepared for other outcomes.

Greg
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Old 16-04-2012, 18:38   #27
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Good points Greg, and I was aware of some of it. There is actually a sub-current toward the Strait if you sail in the right tide, looks to be about 10 miles offshore. I do not know if you actually see it, but it's there on the tidal charts. The Alaskan current is not to be trifled with, as are the northwestern blows. Did you have any problems getting into Grey's harbor?
BTW- sorry Silvergirl about the thread drift. I didn't mean to crash your party.
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Old 16-04-2012, 19:21   #28
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Gray's Harbor is easy to get in and out of, depending on the state of tide. As with all NW harbors this is a river bar, so things can kick up and the current can be strong, particularly on an ebb tide. Entrance is simple - just be certain to stay in the channel, especially if the tide is out. It is a very short entrance, and once inside the marina you will be very well protected. Entering the marina with a strong current running could be a challenge.
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Old 16-04-2012, 19:35   #29
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

I just checked the Gray's Harbor entrance current - the max ebb is about 3kn. I would not consider that difficult, but it would be better to avoid it. This is an active shipping port so there is ample room in the channel. Personally, I would plan to stop there unless the weather window for going north required carrying on to Neah Bay, or you were in a hurry.

The only stop between Gray's Harbor and Neah Bay is Quillayute River, and should only be attempted in optimal conditions. By that I mean daylight only, moderate wind/waves not out of the south. Still, if it looked like you weren't going to make Neah Bay before the stinky stuff hit the fan, then this would be a safe refuge provided you got in before things kicked up.
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Old 16-04-2012, 23:25   #30
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Re: Route Down the West Coast

Silvergirl, when going south past Point Sur, check with the Coast Guard about the Military firing range that is on that coast. On my first trip I didnt notice it on the chart and only discovered it when I thought I saw whale spouts a few miles ahead. Cannon shells hitting the water look a lot like whale spouts. When it dawned on me what it was , I turned out to sea by about 10 miles and then turned south again. Kinda Scary. ____Grant.
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