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Old 19-12-2018, 10:12   #1
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Routings Mexico to BC

Am considering a boat in Mexico but I live in BC. After cruising the Sea of Cortez what is the options for returning to BC and time of year. Have no experience in offshore passage making. Mexico to Hawaii and back to BC seems to be a long way around. The west coast has its obstacles as well. Any advice?
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Old 19-12-2018, 10:31   #2
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

If your boat is up to it, head to Hawaii pretty much anytime... then home after the end of May. Late June even better. It will be a fun trip.

Unless you actually enjoy 1500 miles of close hauled sailing. If you haven't tried bashing to windward for weeks, trust me, it ain't fun, especially in the cold and windy conditions you'll find from LA all the way north.
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Old 19-12-2018, 12:01   #3
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

Doug,

If you've circumnavigated Vancouver Is., the ocean passage is basically more of the same, and with less emphasis on tidal comings and goings. All of us who've had an ocean passage had a first one. Jim planned ours. That was around supplies for easy to cook or heat up under way meals. Very low key, simple, quick to fix if the boat is leaping about. In those days, we did not have refrigeration (only an ice box), and when it's gone, it's gone, so we relied on canned food, and some backpackers meals for when we couldn't "cook" at all. Days fell into their own schedule, we were doing celestial, and we did mostly noon fixes and star fixes, then, whereas now, it is our watch schedules that outline the day. It also included stuff for fixing things, and he had a dodger built for the boat.

Cyclone season for Mexico is June through November, roughly. Early and late season cyclones do happen. So, you'd want to be in Mexico about Dec through May. One year, we had left San Francisco in July, and a tropical storm that had arisen in Mexico chased us to HI. From HI, we returned to SF. The Baja Bash is covered in other CF threads (use the CF Custom Google Search under the Search menu), and there are also threads on the northbound journey. The big problem with going north along the coast is that there are not many bail out points between SF and Canada that you can get into in bad weather, due to the entrances, and that is why people take the long ocean route.

You should anticipate that there will be breakage on such a long journey (autopilots are vulnerable). If suitable for your boat, I'd consider a wind vane form of self steering. They can also break, of course, but ours steered us SILENTLY for thousands of miles on our previous boat.

Even if you do not currently have a dodger, you will want one for a long ocean voyage, for sun protection, as well as water gouts.

We can chat about this more, if you like, but you should look at the charts and the distances, work out your expected days runs. Jim added an extra 50% in terms of food supplies, and also just in case one is becalmed. We actually had a day becalmed, the ocean was glassy smooth, and we took down the sails and let [couldn't have stopped it if we'd wanted to] the boat rock--she was going nowhere. Remoras came up to have a look at us.

Such a journey, via HI, although more miles, is likely to be easier on crew and boat than bashing your way north against the south setting current and the strong NW breeze. If you have quite a large boat, 60 ft. or more, probably a lot easier on you than our 30 footer. The 36 was a good size, and a lot stiffer. Both conservative fin keel designs.

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Old 19-12-2018, 15:20   #4
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

On a new purchase you could also checkout the Ensenada to Nanaimo deck load ship.
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Old 20-12-2018, 07:22   #5
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

All insight
s into this are great to consider from those that have made the journey.
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Old 20-12-2018, 08:02   #6
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

Though the passage from North America to Hawaii can be timed for a good sail, the crossing from Hawaii to BC or Alaska is less reliable and the cruiser making that leg has a high probability of experiencing gale conditions. This is high-latitude sailing and I would only recommend that it be considered by the adventurous or experienced boat and crew.
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Old 20-12-2018, 08:46   #7
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

I just did this from cabo to coos bay, stop in baha st maria and turtle bay, there is store and fuel in turtle bay ....... Pretty smooth trip considering. Took us a while because boat is under powered and we had lots of issues.

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Am considering a boat in Mexico but I live in BC. After cruising the Sea of Cortez what is the options for returning to BC and time of year. Have no experience in offshore passage making. Mexico to Hawaii and back to BC seems to be a long way around. The west coast has its obstacles as well. Any advice?
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Old 20-12-2018, 09:49   #8
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

Are you sailing up the coats? Motoring? Both? If you time it right, there is a small window where the winds shift and you can sail up the coast. Not long enough for the whole trip though. June, July and August are pretty easy months to go up the coast and you'll be able to harbor hop a lot. There are stretches where there just isn't any harbors or anchorages so time those well.

Personally I'd go Hawaii then over.
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Old 20-12-2018, 10:02   #9
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

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Am considering a boat in Mexico. Have no experience in offshore passage making.
Consider hiring a delivery skipper with that specific experience.
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Old 20-12-2018, 10:11   #10
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

Nothing goes to windward like an eighteen wheeler on the I-5.

I understand that you can now get hauled out somewhere at the top of the Sea of Cortez (shortening the trip, hence reducing the cost, and avoiding the twisty Baja highway). And you can put her in at Tacoma although it only cost me an extra couple of hundred bucks to bring Scorpius across the border and offload her at Shelter Island in Richmond.

Prepare her for a hurricane though. She's going to be enduring 70-80mph winds.

We found trucking was cheaper (and more comfortable!) than sailing north.

Good luck luck however you choose to do it!
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Old 20-12-2018, 10:33   #11
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

Quote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
There are stretches where there just isn't any harbors or anchorages so time those well.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I'm not sure where folks get their information, but this is just wrong.


Doug,


Cabo to San Diego: Cruising World did an artile called The Baja DASH, describing harbor hopping up the coast. Send me a pm and I'll send it to you.


San Diego to San Francisco: Gazillions of people have done this. There's even IIRC Brian Fagan's guide, and many others.


San Francisco to BC: I harbor hopped up the coast in August/September 2016. I've posted our log (with charts & photos) here:

Travels with Aquavite: San Francsico Bay to British Columbia 2016
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Old 20-12-2018, 10:48   #12
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

We have made this trip from sea of Cortez it to Portland Oregon in June 1993. That year the Pacific High did not develop as scheduled and as a result we were faced with beating into Northwest winds or riding on low pressure systems. Our boat was a Norseman 447 cutter and we chose to run on low pressure systems. Except for two occasions when the weather predictions were wrong and the winds were over 35 knots it was a bumpy but successful passage. Our rule was when we had good sailing conditions we would not stop. This was a good rule.Good luck. Bob and Jan McCarthy, S/V Shamrock, Nonsuch 33
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Old 20-12-2018, 11:51   #13
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

As Stu says, many people make the Northbound passage up the Pacific Coast in sailboats every year. There is a lot of information and quite a few blogs on the subject. Harbors for maintenance, fueling, and reprovisioning are adequate along the way if not always frequent. Yes, some night time passages will likely be required but that is obviously true of sailing to and from Hawaii as well. The coastal route North will benefit from motorsailing (is your boat suitable for this?). The one and two day minimum legs required for this route allow you to closely watch the weather and largely avoid being out in adverse conditions - another advantage over the to and from Hawaii option. There is a reason why those who engage in the various West Coast to Hawaii races often pay a delivery crew to bring their boat back to its home port.
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Old 20-12-2018, 13:17   #14
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I'm not sure where folks get their information, but this is just wrong.


Doug,


Cabo to San Diego: Cruising World did an artile called The Baja DASH, describing harbor hopping up the coast. Send me a pm and I'll send it to you.


San Diego to San Francisco: Gazillions of people have done this. There's even IIRC Brian Fagan's guide, and many others.


San Francisco to BC: I harbor hopped up the coast in August/September 2016. I've posted our log (with charts & photos) here:

Travels with Aquavite: San Francsico Bay to British Columbia 2016
I agree with Stu. I used to do deliveries from Mexico north and from Hawaii back to the PNW. The ocean passage would be quicker but you might strike some weather. You maybe should use Rick The Weather Guy based in Hawaii for that one, he's ex US Navy meteorologist. Sat phone would be handy.
The trip up the coast might be best for you but you'll need to motor a fair bit to take advantage of the calm periods and make a few overnight passages. There's some scary capes to get around too, always seems to be one more. Cape Flattery will be a very welcome relief to get around. Best if the boat has radar too as there's going to be fog along the way. You'll meet boats heading south but not many heading north and there's a reason for that !!! Set no time limit either. You might age a bit quicker than normal too, but at the same time you'll get a great sense of achievement. Good luck.
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Old 20-12-2018, 13:27   #15
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Re: Routings Mexico to BC

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Though the passage from North America to Hawaii can be timed for a good sail, the crossing from Hawaii to BC or Alaska is less reliable and the cruiser making that leg has a high probability of experiencing gale conditions. This is high-latitude sailing and I would only recommend that it be considered by the adventurous or experienced boat and crew.
If you are headed for BC, there is GOING to be high latitude sailing--last I checked.

If you are sailing along the West Coast of North America for 1500 miles the chances of experiencing a gale are very high. The ports that might look comforting on a chart are typically closed in bad weather.

The advantage of the route from HI is that the gale will be from abaft the beam, where if you are headed up the coast it is on your nose, with lots of hard things to hit just to port.

Been in both places, gales and all. I'd still recommend the HI route.
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