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Old 04-03-2012, 09:31   #1
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Route Down the West Coast

Thinking about bringing my boat from Astoria Oregon down to San Pedro California. I'm going to be working down here for a while it looks like. Trip down will most likely be just me and my lovely wife. No crew. Will be our first long trip with just the two of us. boat is a 44ft islander. Does anyone have any routes they have used before , with stops every night or so ? Don't mind doing a few overnighters , but would like to enjoy the trip down. Just plugging in way points , looks like it can be done in five or six days. I would rather take a couple weeks and have fun. Have time to plan , and will certainly read up on the coast pilots , just looking for some tips or suggestions , routes that you may have.
Thanks in advance , Bob and Robin
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:01   #2
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Re: Route down the west coast

When are you going?
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:08   #3
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Really I can plan the trip any time this summer. Found a marina in San Pedro that was pretty decent and liveaboard was only an extra 175.00 month. Sheesh , almost fell over when I started looking not moorage rates. I pay 232.50 every quarter for. 50 ft slip. And that includes electricity. But the winters in the northwest just aren't any fun on a boat.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:18   #4
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Re: Route down the west coast

I hear Brookings is a bargain. I pay 425.oo up hear for a 50.
Going down in late May early June you should have good clear weather with the wind behind you. July/Aug can be calm & fog. Dont go too early - southerlys might get you.
Have fun!
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:30   #5
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Re: Route down the west coast

As Geoduck said may and june, theres lots of stops on your way down some better then others ! I always enjoyed Eureka CA. good marinas close to town, if you stay at the first one ! the Island Marina requires a taxi. Great resteraunts, Roys Club was our favorite. Coos Bay is OK, Brookings is good and Cresent City is easy In north winds. Just remember almost all Northern harbors have Bars for entrances, and you must watch the tides to make entrance easier!! Have fun it's a wonderful trip and from Ore down 2 miles off is ok if the weather is good, and its just plain Pretty !! Have Fun Bob and Connie
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:32   #6
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Re: Route down the west coast

The problem with stopping is it takes a lot of time going in and out and timing tides crossing the various dangerous bars etc. As I remember, spacing of stops isnt all that good either. Might be better off just gutting it out for a few days with occassional stops.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:48   #7
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Stops every couple days would be fine just thinking I don't want the first long trip to be so grueling that my lovely wife has second thoughts about he whole sailing gig. She's a trooper, just like to keep it fun. We have both made the trip from the puget sound down to the Columbia bar several times , on both our boat and other peoples boats. And I have been crew on somebody else's boat that planned horribly , and we made it to the Columbia bar , almost out of fuel and the tide going out. Not good.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:15   #8
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Re: Route down the west coast

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Stops every couple days would be fine just thinking I don't want the first long trip to be so grueling that my lovely wife has second thoughts about he whole sailing gig. She's a trooper, just like to keep it fun. We have both made the trip from the puget sound down to the Columbia bar several times , on both our boat and other peoples boats. And I have been crew on somebody else's boat that planned horribly , and we made it to the Columbia bar , almost out of fuel and the tide going out. Not good.
No kidding! I always liked to hole up behind Cape Lookout for a day or so in order to work my nerve up to keep going!LOL
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:27   #9
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Re: Route down the west coast

My wife & I made the trip last summer. She had never sailed before and I was trying not to put fear in her bones the first trip.

Check out our blog, I'm letting her write this trip in her own words, I wanted to see what this experience was like from her eyes. It only goes to Newport, Or. at this time, more will follow.

Left Warrenton, Or. late July out the CR bar and headed south.

Stopped at Newport, Be cautious here, can be bad, but was good this time of year. Nice harbor & friendly staff.

Next sailed to Charleston, Or.[Coos bay], had to wait 10 day's for southerly storms to pass [45-55knt winds].

Then to Brooking's. This place was nice, but too much damage & no power, water, had been repaired at that time. Waited out another storm for 3 more day's.

Left for Eureaka,Ca., really enjoyed it there. Free WiFi in the harbor. only place we found free wifi. Meet a lot of new friends there cruising, 1 north & 3 southbound.

Left to go around Cape Mendomcino,& Punta Gorda, recommend staying at least 20-30miles off these points.

We stopped at Fort Bragg because another front moving north. If you stop here, it's a tight little harbor. Stay at the private dock across from the coastie station at the Italian Restaurant, great food, great people, $20 a night.

Then to Bodega Bay, nice harbor, but a long walk for food.

Then crossed the SF Bay outside the southbound shipping lane. We stopped at Half Moon Bay for 1 night, but would not stop there again.

On to Santa Cruz, We stayed here for a week, fun place,but we got trapped for a couple more day's w/ a bad southerly swell that put dangerous breakers in the channel.

Next stop was Santa Barbara, Ca.. We kind of enjoyed it there, Cruised out of there to the Channel Islands for a month.

Decided to haul out for repairs, went to Channel Islands harbor. That was a screwing that I won't forget for the rest of my sailing days.

Stay clear of Point Conception & Point Aquello at least by 20 miles.

I don't think I will ever sail south of Eureaka ever again. Other than sailors, the people are not friendly. I would bypass and sail to Mexico. At least you could get screwed by a foreign nation.

That's my storry and I'm sticking to it!!!!!!
Michael
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Old 04-03-2012, 16:35   #10
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Re: Route down the west coast

You can head south anytime up to about mid-Sept. After that you risk getting caught up in fall weather.

You should plan for overnights, as the distances are generally too far between ports and the entrances may not be worth the risk to go over the bars at times.

The boat should be well prepared as in most trips you get spanked at one of the Capes in southern OR or northern CA. At least that is my experience on 4 trips Seattle to San Fransisco. . Not extreme, but enough to test out your heavy weather sails and boat handling.

Stops include Newport, Coos Bay, Crescent City, Eureka, Drakes Bay, San Fran. I think your time frame is way too short. 5 to 8 days to San Fran, assuming you don't sit out weather for long.
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Old 04-03-2012, 16:53   #11
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Re: Route down the west coast

Agree with rubyjean and Paul L.

I went down the coast in October 19 years ago, with a nice first stop at Newport.

Between Newport and Coos Bay I plodded into a stiff southerly (not forecast) and leaving Coos Bay I got caught out in a wicked norther, also not forecast for that strength (largest breaking seas I have ever sailed in, fortunately straight from behind). When that died off I just turned on the motor and covered a glassy sea all the way to SF.

Basically, there is always a chance of strong winds and the forecasts don't always warn you (or at least didn't). If caught in port, then stay in; if caught out, then stay out.

With luck you will have a nice trip - but keep a weather eye and be prepared for bad weather.

This is one of those trips that can't be done to a schedule; you might get lucky but don't bet on it.

Fair winds,

Greg
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Old 04-03-2012, 17:52   #12
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Re: Route down the west coast

Do make sure of your heavy weather skills, NOAA gets it wrong a lot, if you really have skills you shouln't be nervous, just cautious. It is a beautiful trip though, take extra time and enjoy the trip. Our last one had it's moments, but had a great time. We rode out 5 gales and 2 storms w/ weather forecast at 10-20 knts and seas less than 4-5', you have to be ready..Have great trip and enjoy. Good sailing..Michael..
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Old 04-03-2012, 21:12   #13
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Prolly be a lot more sure of heavy weather skills after this trip. Be nervous till then. Lol. I'm sure we will be fine , silvergirl is a great boat. She'll get us there.
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Old 04-03-2012, 21:46   #14
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Re: Route down the west coast

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Prolly be a lot more sure of heavy weather skills after this trip. Be nervous till then. Lol. I'm sure we will be fine , silvergirl is a great boat. She'll get us there.
Ahhhh. Don't be nervous, just be prepared. It's really a great trip. Have fun and take your time to enjoy. The wife is working on the blog about this trip. I really enjoy reading what it was like for her first trip cruising.
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Old 04-03-2012, 22:27   #15
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I wrote what I know about odd central California harbors in the CruisersWiki. Check it out. Start at the "California" page.
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