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Old 28-10-2013, 10:11   #1
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Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Hi, Everyone!

Need some advice from you "Old Salts" out there. I may have to do something everyone advices against: sail from LA to SF in winter. I have a 27' Ericson with a "one lung" Volvo Penta deisel inboard. I'll not be in a great hurry and may be going solo, I'd be grateful for any advice on this topic.

Help appreciated.
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Old 28-10-2013, 10:23   #2
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

If you have plenty of time and wait for weather windows, I don't see why you can't harbor hop North.... There's always a chance of getting caught in some nasty stuff though... Prime example is unsettled weather right now... If this more of a chore of necessity, you might check out uShip... Probably would cost the same to have it trucked....
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:03   #3
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Smile Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Well, thanks. Not interested in shipping boat. I want to sail her up. Just trying to get feedback. Particularly interested in hearing from those who made that sail (LA to SF) during winter months (may have to go in December or Janurary).
Wondering what a realistic schedule of "harbor hopping" would look like: marina del Rey to cojo? Cojo to Moro bay etc. and approximate time to travel between points, figuring an average of 5 knots. Best temp docks etc.

Thanks again
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:04   #4
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Winter can be the best time to make this as a sail, as you have a much better chance at grabbing a southerly. You have to be open to waiting for the right weather window, jump on it, take the most out of it that you can, and then be ready to hide and wait for the next one. The difficulty is finding all-weather places to wait, most of the traditional hidey-holes aren't well suited to the southerlies. So, if you can jump from the LA area to Morro Bay to Monterey to San Francisco with one or more southerlies you could make a nice trip out of it. And Morro Bay and Monterey aren't terrible places to have to hang out waiting for the weather.
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:07   #5
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Based on my experience of three of these trips:

Shakedown to Avalon
Run to Hawaii
Reach back over the high to SF

I'm only half kidding
Watch the weather and avoid getting exhausted...
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:17   #6
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Great! This is the kind of practice stuff I'm looking for .
Assuming I hide at cojo and run around conception at night, how long from cojo to Moro bay at 5 knots? Or if I leave marina del Rey around 5 am can I look to hit conception during darkness and sail straight through to morro bay (skipping Cojo?).
If so, how long from mdr to Morro bay? Do they have a good temp dock in morro? How long from morro to Monterey? And where to hang in Monterey to wait for window? I know I'm asking lots of detailed question but I want to be prepared as best I can. Even though as a sailor I know nothing goes as planned, and everything usually screws up from day one .
Grateful
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:32   #7
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

I really love Cojo and have used it for pretty much every summer passage around Point Conception. However, can be a bit troublesome in winter, especially if you are looking for a southerly. Depending on weather I might try Cojo or I might try Fry's on Santa Cruz Island.

From either, if you can really make 5 knots then leaving in the late evening you should be able to fetch Morro Bay before sunset the following evening. The rub is that if you don't now you're stuck with either making the entrance at night (not recommended) or continuing. There are guest moorings, don't know current costs/restrictions.

From Morro Bay it should be another 24-hour sail up to Monterey with the right weather. IIRC the outer mooring field is closed during the winter, so you're stuck with either a mooring or a dock in the central harbor.

From there you could make the Bay in another 24-hour trip, and if you get caught short you can duck into Half Moon Bay for some protection.

Of all of the above, Morro Bay is the only harbor that has difficult entry conditions, if you can't get into Monterey or Half Moon Bay you probably shouldn't have been out in that weather. With Morro Bay residual storm swell can close out the entrance even though the current weather is quite nice. Have to keep an eye on the entrance conditions and swell reports before you leave from LA/Santa Cruz/Cojo.
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:37   #8
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Very concise. Thank you.
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Old 28-10-2013, 13:01   #9
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

I think Scott Berg has the best idea. That's what I plan on doing when I get my boat back in the water and head north for a while. This way you're not always beating directly into the wind or chancing not making landfall.
Check out the weather system maps on: Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather
If you left today there's a great 5 day run window every direction you need. The only thing is I don't think you could get half way to Hawaii in 2 days.
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Old 28-10-2013, 13:23   #10
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

merlin--you actually have a boat that will SAIL the trip. awesome. november isn t bad. jan is bad.
weather and go.
make sure you have enough food and water, especially water, and have fun.
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Old 28-10-2013, 14:12   #11
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Great advice from others... Keep in mind... I would rethink your 5kts sog... No way are you going to make it from MdR to Conception in 12 hrs... Lots of good stuff here (Dsanduril)... Keep asking and listenining...
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Old 14-02-2014, 12:32   #12
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

As much as I laughed, I would much rather go the Hawaii route as it IS much more pleasant way to get north naturally.

I would not plan on 5 knots. The smallest boat made the trip on was a little Offshore 27 with a MD7 and we averaged 3 very wet and cold knots SOG, so calculate your fuel very conservatively.

Also, have your tank checked before you go. If there is anything growing in it or on the bottom of it, it will be in your filters on that trip guaranteed.

Let us know how it went...
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Old 15-02-2014, 09:07   #13
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

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Originally Posted by tdoster View Post
As much as I laughed, I would much rather go the Hawaii route as it IS much more pleasant way to get north naturally.

I would not plan on 5 knots. The smallest boat made the trip on was a little Offshore 27 with a MD7 and we averaged 3 very wet and cold knots SOG, so calculate your fuel very conservatively.

Also, have your tank checked before you go. If there is anything growing in it or on the bottom of it, it will be in your filters on that trip guaranteed.

Let us know how it went...
Thanks for reviving a dead thread...
(note to self... manage subscriptions better)

Looks like the OP must have gone for it and failed to file a float plan...
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Old 03-05-2014, 19:22   #14
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

I'm planning to move my older Islander 32 from LA to SF in July. Pretty likely we will have standard NW wind and current that time of year, unless we luck into a Santa Ana, but I have also seen a lot of fog on hwy 1 during the summer.

We've never made the trip in a boat before, and hear various advice to take one long tack offshore, or to do as much motoring at night as possible and harbor hop, hoping to use a bit of evening offshore. Brian Fagan advises the latter and in my channel island sailing I have come to trust his advice

The fog makes me feel like I want to stay 10 miles out, the offshores make me want to stay within 5 miles. I don't have radar, but my Yanmar 3gm has enough power for this boat and pushes it to weather very well.

I doubt if we'll get anything but northerlies even a couple hundred miles offshore, and not sure how my crew or rigging will feel about beating into it all day for 4 or 5 days, so am leaning toward the coastal hopping tho' I hate listening to the engine for hours at a time.

We plan to take a little farewell tour of the islands on our way up, and would likely make for SLO or Morro Bay from Fry's on Santa Cruz. I suppose I will watch the weather and make a choice as to whether to stay on a starboard tack offshore or come around and head for Morro in that moment.

It's an old boat and my and my crew's experience is limited to sailing around the channel islands and on the SF Bay (the last boat, 22', came up on a truck) but we know the boat very well, even though we have never sailed her in any really bad weather.

Any tips to help with our planning would be appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2014, 20:25   #15
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Re: Sailing Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Quote:
Originally Posted by nesdon View Post
I'm planning to move my older Islander 32 from LA to SF in July. Pretty likely we will have standard NW wind and current that time of year, unless we luck into a Santa Ana, but I have also seen a lot of fog on hwy 1 during the summer.

We've never made the trip in a boat before, and hear various advice to take one long tack offshore, or to do as much motoring at night as possible and harbor hop, hoping to use a bit of evening offshore. Brian Fagan advises the latter and in my channel island sailing I have come to trust his advice

The fog makes me feel like I want to stay 10 miles out, the offshores make me want to stay within 5 miles. I don't have radar, but my Yanmar 3gm has enough power for this boat and pushes it to weather very well.

I doubt if we'll get anything but northerlies even a couple hundred miles offshore, and not sure how my crew or rigging will feel about beating into it all day for 4 or 5 days, so am leaning toward the coastal hopping tho' I hate listening to the engine for hours at a time.

We plan to take a little farewell tour of the islands on our way up, and would likely make for SLO or Morro Bay from Fry's on Santa Cruz. I suppose I will watch the weather and make a choice as to whether to stay on a starboard tack offshore or come around and head for Morro in that moment.

It's an old boat and my and my crew's experience is limited to sailing around the channel islands and on the SF Bay (the last boat, 22', came up on a truck) but we know the boat very well, even though we have never sailed her in any really bad weather.

Any tips to help with our planning would be appreciated.
Tank up on Diesel, and sail as close to the wind as you can with the engine on economy. You'll have plenty of electricity for a radar, and there's no good reason not to have one for a trip like this. Watch the shipping lanes! It's sort of like a Baja Bash, only with more traffic. Let me know if you're looking for crew. I have a weakness for doing stuff like this.
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