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Old 07-05-2015, 12:51   #16
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

As in everything you do, it all depends on conditions at the moment. We had 32-knot gusts in Richardson Bay this past weekend while bashing into 4-ft wind waves, and I've motored south to HMB more often than I've sailed there! Just be cautious and prepared.
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Old 07-05-2015, 13:07   #17
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

The sac river delta ain't all bad
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:14   #18
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

You have multiple choices, North, South, East, and West. Yes, East if you want the Delta, all inland sailing, will test your navigation skills.

North or South are easy cruises, with good anchorages within a few hours sail. Both Bodega Bay, and Pacifica have excellent anchorages, and places to eat. Also the opportunity to get off the boat and walk around. July is a decent time to head South to San Diego, stay with ten miles of the coast. Going North is lumpy, but not bad if you watch for a weather window.

If you are asking this question probably not ready for the big sail to Hawaii.

Good Luck and enjoy. Do it
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:39   #19
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

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Originally Posted by queendido88 View Post
Hello,

I am planning a voyage out of SF sometime in July. Being a native of the Bay Area and based on what I have heard, it seems that I have probably chosen the worst time to sail out. That is if I want to sail south... Does anyone know of what the best course would be in terms of safety and what destinations would be desirable and well within range?

Thanks!
Hello.

What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice and with the intent to help the OP and to answer a few questions that were asked (but not yet answered) by the other forum members who have already posted suggestions and questions to the OP.

On April 25th, the OP (QueenDido) started her first thread here, and it caught my attention because it was related to sailing off the California coast. Here is most of her first post:
"I am a 26 year old female, and I own a 66' Islander Wayfarer 33', which is currently sitting in Moss Landing (between Santa Cruz and Monterey) getting the mast un-stepped. You could say that I jumped the gun a little since I bought a boat without knowing how to sail it. Originally, my partner, who has sailing experience, was teaching me the ins and outs of sailing, but he had a family emergency and will be gone for an undisclosed period of time.

This has left me in a desperate attempt to find someone to, basically, captain my boat. My plan is to leave Moss Landing by the end of the month and sail down the CA coast to Mexico, with a few stops along the way. "
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To the OP: You asked in this thread's introduction, "what the best course would be in terms of safety."

My suggestion to a "newbie" sailor and recent boat buyer: "Learn to sail in San Francisco Bay first and get several months or a year of full experience there before sailing down to Mexico, and only do so when you and your boat are well prepared for what you might experience on the trip offshore (going North or South)."

I advise this because at this point you (Queendido, the OP) have stated you have a boat that in your own words: "without knowing how to sail it" and you feel "desperate."

A boat sailing with a sailor/owner who has a lack of sailing skills and experience and knowledge (a captain's role) can be dangerous on the Northern California coast.

Why?

1. Strong Winds are very common in the summer months.
Conditions can appear mild in the morning and be very "hairy/gnarly" in the afternoon.

2. High Seas can come with the high winds, even if the morning starts with light wind and relatively low seas.
I have been in an offshore race heading down the coast when a large sailboat (about 50') capsized in high seas and winds we were experiencing. This happened at night and the crew was luckily rescued by USCG helicopter.

3. Summer Fog
The fog can be very THICK and on you before you make it to the next port or safe harbor). I have been offshore (sailing South from SF to LA and been in fog so thick one cannot see anything beyond about 50-75 feet in any direction. This becomes very dangerous if you do not know what to do and exactly where you are on the coast.

4. Long stretches of rocky coastline that have caused many wrecks over the years. That is an unforgiving coast.

5. Crews can get so seasick they cannot function.
I have been on a 42 foot boat that we took down and up the coast. Three of the four crew got so seasick I was left steering the boat alone up the coast for hours. The other three people (one experienced, two inexperienced newbies) got "deathly sick" and could not function.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:57   #20
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

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and Pacifica have excellent anchorages, and places to eat.
Am I missing something here.. Does Pacifica have access.. Or are you thinking Princeton at Pillar Point / Half Moon Bay
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Old 08-05-2015, 14:27   #21
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

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Am I missing something here.. Does Pacifica have access.. Or are you thinking Princeton at Pillar Point / Half Moon Bay
Definitely no access at Pacifica. They must have meant Princeton. Half Moon Bay would be a very long (~3-4-mile) hike from Pillar Point Harbor, too.
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Old 08-05-2015, 17:24   #22
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

I would be interested to see some feedback from the OP. Just getting in and out of the Gate is worth a chapter in a book.

Hint: Don't take the "south channel" unless the seas are quite flat. It's not really a channel, it just looks like one on some charts. Many boats have been lost there.

Heading north, Drake's Bay is a beautiful anchorage.
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Old 31-08-2015, 20:05   #23
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

When heading north out the gate to Drakes, how far out before heading north. The last time i was out the gate i went strait out to the Farallons then to Bolines bay. This time i just want to turn north and head up.
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Old 31-08-2015, 22:24   #24
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

Sailing from Frisco to Fort Bragg, by Gregg Stevens

Not a navigation article but an interesting read.
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Old 31-08-2015, 23:25   #25
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Re: Sailing Out of San Francisco... Best Course

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When heading north out the gate to Drakes, how far out before heading north. The last time i was out the gate i went strait out to the Farallons then to Bolinas bay. This time i just want to turn north and head up.
If the seas are calm enough once you clear Pt. Bonita you can take the north (Bonita) channel and sail to the "1DR" buoy off Duxbury Reef, then straight up to Drakes Bay. That's if the wind lets you sail that route. Otherwise, sail towards the Farallones until you can make Drakes on the other tack. Stay off the Potato Patch unless things are really calm. Remember that going out the gate and halfway to the Farallones you are going through and across the shipping lanes, so keep your eyes open!

Often it will be howling as you go under the Golden Gate Bridge and out the channel, then the wind will just die after you clear Pt. Bonita. I've spent days drifting out by the Faralones!
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