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Old 26-06-2014, 04:16   #151
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

This is a pretty good compilation of NOAA's graphical products...

Pacific Briefing Package
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Old 26-06-2014, 10:18   #152
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

Thanks guys. Get a pretty good picture with those charts. Are you paying attention NOB?
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Old 26-06-2014, 21:38   #153
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

I think you artic sailors are crazy and have huge kahunas.
but here is my two cents ,I have found it very hard to sleep at sea you never know what you may hit or my biggest fear is a nice big rock or a beach to wake up on. find a mate that is sober haha.
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Old 27-06-2014, 07:23   #154
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Originally Posted by gah964 View Post
I think you artic sailors are crazy and have huge kahunas.
but here is my two cents ,I have found it very hard to sleep at sea you never know what you may hit or my biggest fear is a nice big rock or a beach to wake up on. find a mate that is sober haha.
Actually Iam thinking of training my dog to act as Mate and deck crew. I want her to bark when she hears a ship or sees floating objects. They don't talk back, think every every decision you make is just wonderful, don't care what time they go on watch, and always come back to the ship sober - well, most of the time anyway.
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Old 27-06-2014, 16:32   #155
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Actually Iam thinking of training my dog to act as Mate and deck crew. I want her to bark when she hears a ship or sees floating objects. They don't talk back, think every every decision you make is just wonderful, don't care what time they go on watch, and always come back to the ship sober - well, most of the time anyway.
They always say the same thing, though. It's like listening to Hodir.
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Old 27-06-2014, 22:37   #156
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Originally Posted by Glenn.Brooks View Post
Actually Iam thinking of training my dog to act as Mate and deck crew. I want her to bark when she hears a ship or sees floating objects. They don't talk back, think every every decision you make is just wonderful, don't care what time they go on watch, and always come back to the ship sober - well, most of the time anyway.
Hahahaaha that's great but I think it would be better to train your wife or if you have no wife then strippers work good, but I have never tried that.
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Old 27-06-2014, 23:48   #157
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pirate Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

Yeah, well sometimes it gets ruff out there.
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Old 04-02-2015, 18:32   #158
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

I'ld like to re-open a discussion concerning transiting (N S) the west coast of the US. I Didn't really want to open a discussion about preparedness, fog, dragons and the like;

from what I gather, there are three courses.

1. blue water
2. express route ; loosely accepted as the "crab pot free zone" (10 to 12 miles off)
3. Harbor hopping

For those who have made the voyage from PNW to SF, could you recommend a set of waypoints for what is generally called the express route? .....

also, can someone recommend an excepted guide book to use for the trip.

The plan is to head south from the Columbia bar around the first of Aug. bound for SF in a F-44SC cat.

Thanks to those who have made the run down the west coast.
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Old 04-02-2015, 18:53   #159
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

If you do the offshore route you are committed to a path some distance offshore - usually 100 to 200 miles. You then sail the course that makes your boat and crew happy. More downwind or more reaching and gyping.

The routes closer in really depend on the weather. I've done it four times and only once did we actually sail the course and make the 2-stops (Newport & Monterrey for 4 hours each) we had planned.

The other three times we encountered unexpected, but well forecast lows or highs that brought in big seas and bigger winds. We then had to make unexpected stops in various harbors and spend time waiting for the winds to blow themselves out and the seas to settle.

Your plan seldom survives more than two days of reality. Flexibility is the key!
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Old 04-02-2015, 19:09   #160
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

Are you single handing or do you plan on crew? Are you flexible time-wise or do you have a schedule you need to adhere to? If you have experienced crew, head out past 40 miles and turn left. As long as you have decent watch keepers and drivers, you'll be fine.
The only really tough area is Cape Mendocino... High winds, rough water and the closest harbor is Fort Bragg which can be spooky to enter if a sea is running. USCG will come out to guide you in if you are inexperienced at crossing bars.
August is one of the finer months to sail south although fog can be an issue.
I've delivered both power and sail north and south over 25 years and my choice is out about 40-50 miles which puts you outside of cruise ships and tankers coming down from Alaska. If there is little or no wind, head out up to 600miles and you will pick it up out there. Inside of 5-8 miles out there is a counter current of about 1/2 knot going north.
Spots to hide from weather would be Newport, OR, Humbolt Bay, CA, Fort Bragg (Noyo River), CA, Bodega Bay, CA, hide behind Point Reyes, CA in Drakes Bay if it is rough off the Golden Gate.
Have an uneventful trip... cheers, Phil
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:55   #161
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Inside of 5-8 miles out there is a counter current of about 1/2 knot going north.
This is an interesting observation Phil. I have noticed a good counter current going north from the Columbia bank to Cape Flattery, often a knot or more. Are you saying this counter current goes all the way down through California? I wonder if it goes up to Cape Scott too?
It seems to be most pronounced inside the 12 mile mark, and I don't use it if conditions are such that a lee shore would be dangerous.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:15   #162
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

I like the idea of going father out, quick, like in one day and then head south. Biggest worries - no one to do watch while you sleep. You WILL sleep. If you try to stay up you will sleep with your eyes open and your brain shut down. So then the big worries are weather and other boats/ships/crab pots. Lots of crab pots. You want to get off shore to miss them. Off shore to get away from fishing boats. Lots of fishing boats - LOTS. Then the other standard things - food, water, fuel, heat, radios, navigation, emergencies. I know lots of people will mention spare rudders but that would not be that high on my list. Weather can be downright nasty and dangerous. Heave to at night or seriously reduce sail. An autopilot of some sort is an absolute must. A wind pilot plus an electrical or similar. Good electrical system and a way to keep it charged. You don't have to have a wind pilot if you can keep a mechanical one going but you have to have something. Even if you are fresh and alert you cannot handsteer that distance by yourself. You will have to go below for stuff all the time so something has to keep you on track. Double handing would be better but people do solo and do fine. In your case crossing bars is for emergencies only IMHO. I've done it with crew and have had some problems and some without problems. Better to go far out and stay away from a lee shore. Radar is a more peace of mind in the fog. You will have fog. But if that is the only issue and you can't have it then I'd go without it. AIS would be higher on the list than radar. See Vesper Watchmate 850. I'm going to get one. It will be an adventure. Pure boredom most of the time, but the other stuff could be exciting or a nightmare. I wouldn't expect nightmares but they do happen.
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Old 07-06-2015, 22:26   #163
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

I have made the trip from SFO south, 3 Transpacs and one Sydney/Hobart. On all I have used Commanders Weather. They give a 5 day forecast and you can call daily if you have Sat phone or cell reception. They are 85% accurate. Listen to the Threads. There is some good advice. God speed.


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Old 08-06-2015, 08:25   #164
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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This is an interesting observation Phil. I have noticed a good counter current going north from the Columbia bank to Cape Flattery, often a knot or more. Are you saying this counter current goes all the way down through California? I wonder if it goes up to Cape Scott too?
It seems to be most pronounced inside the 12 mile mark, and I don't use it if conditions are such that a lee shore would be dangerous.
Sorry for the delayed reply... I've noticed an even more pronounced counter current out to about 4-5 miles off shore north of the Columbia bar and, depending on time of year and tidal flow, there can be quite a race running between Cape Flattery and through the islands off the point.
North of Cape Beale there is virtually no current other than tidal and a slight offset from the Alberni canal to the west through the Bay on the Bamfield side to the south. The northern end of Vancouver Island is totally exposed to the North Pacific and there is a predominant southeasterly set due to the hugh set across the Pacific which is heavy and dangerous during winter months. I dragged black oil barges up and down the west coast of the Island 12 months out of the year from 1959 through the 60's so know there area very well. Don't think much has changed since then!
As far as the counter current goes south of San Francisco, yes, there is a slight one, about 1/2 knot, out to a round 5 miles offshore but you need to keep a close eye out for crab traps and floating debris so probably not worth trying to find it at night. It disappears around Point Conception as the coast swings further east.
Hope that helps... Phil
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