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Old 05-06-2014, 15:31   #61
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

PaulL says "In my trips down these winds have only lasted 6-18hrs. There is more issues with dealing with the light winds. The pilot charts show areas along the coast that have 30% Force 2 or less. You will typically have a 6 foot ground swell along with these really light winds. This makes trying to make any progress under sail really difficult."

That is probably the most important statement made in this discussion to date.

My single biggest complaint about the July - September winds is how frustrating they are. Noon until a little after sunset they are pretty consistently 12 to 19 knots from the WNW as is the 4' to 6' swell.

Your course is pretty much SSE so the apparent wind is almost always beyond 140 degrees.

The big problem in all three sailboats I've used out there is that there is not enough wind pressure to keep the sails inflated as the boat surges down the 6' swells. The main backs lightly and the genoa, spinnaker, or code 0 starts to collapse as the boat accelerates down the swell. At the bottom the boat slows, the sails fill with a bang, thud, or twang, the rigging shudders, and the boat vibrates.

Repeat five times per minute for hours and you will begin to wonder why those white rags are up in the air.

I keep pretty detailed records of our sailing and motoring and can be pretty confident in telling you that over 40% of the time will be motoring in winds too light for any sailing, 30% of the time will be trying to sail in winds that seem useful but are not so much. 20% of the time will be very nice sailing, and 10% or less will be aggressive sailing.

Good downwind gear is essential:

- pole
- vang
- preventer
- big light air sails

and an understanding of how to manage the constant surging and backwinding.
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Old 05-06-2014, 16:01   #62
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

Here is another option for a shakedown.

Do the inside of Vancouver Island. Johnstone Strait can get really snotty especially in the afternoon. Get to Port Neville, anchor and wait for a strong wind warning or a gale warning. Listen for the conditions at Fanny Island. It you can get cell coverage, the Environment Canada marine weather web site does hourly updates.

Johnstone Strait - Current Conditions - Environment Canada

Venture out into Johnstone Strait and see how the vessel and you respond. The wave action will be different than the outside of the Island.

At least you will have a bailout spot within a couple of miles.

If you want to get instructions on getting through the passes north of Desolation, feel free to ask. I have been around the Island a dozen times.

If all goes well here, go North and around the Island. Just watch out for the Nahwiti Bar and Scoot Channel.
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Old 05-06-2014, 16:02   #63
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Don't know if it's been mentioned yet in this thread, but you might want to line yourself up with these guys: Coho Ho Ho Sailing Rally Seattle - San Francisco - San Diego

I believe they take off mid-August and have a network to track each other and help each other if needed. Plus they hold weekly seminars on subjects pertanent to the run down the NW coast.

Good luck!
Thanks, but 27 foot minimum and no singlehanders.
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Old 05-06-2014, 16:23   #64
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Thanks, but 27 foot minimum and no singlehanders.
Hmmm.... wonder why?

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Old 05-06-2014, 23:22   #65
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

If its posts like this Im glad youre done! I got the wrong impression from your earlier post, you seemed to be indicating that I should go offshore and not be a softy.

But whatever. Even if for some reason I don't go, it's not like I won't have a super fun time sailing around Washington and Canada. I'm sure I'll learn alot, and if when August comes around and I feel I'm not ready, I'll just sail into September.

But I think you will be surprised. I think by sometime in September I will have posted a photo of me going under the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Old 06-06-2014, 00:16   #66
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

There's a couple us giving it to you straight... Jim and Ann Cate, Blue Crab and I. The cheerleader squad telling you to go, probably just get a kick out of watching a slow motion train wreck about to happen... like the Rebel Heart story or the more recent tragic ending to one poor fellow's adventure in San Fran.

I used to sail a small 20ft O'Day off the coast of California sometimes alone and sometimes with crew back when I was young and stupid. What you are planning is... complete and total dumbass. If you feel the need to ask others "where's the nearest harbors?" This tells me that you don't have even the most basic ability to navigate or read a chart.
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Old 06-06-2014, 00:19   #67
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

Tenacity is a good trait. Find that trait in a partner with experience and it would be a safer trip.

Reimus (sp?) made it but set out for Mexico, wound up in Hawaii then made Sausalito. He needed a tow into the Bay after about 3 days of trying though.

Be prepared for plan E F & G, not just A B & C. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:03   #68
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

kenomac, blue crab I am sure glad you are here to save NOB from the opinions of all us who sail this stretch of ocean. As you may recall we did not encourage him, just gave him our experiences and let him decide for himself. I told him not to expect rescue, the water is cold enough that you will be dead before the coasties get to you. TS and others explained the storms, closing of the banks and inability to sail in light winds.
What have you contributed besides calling him stupid?
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:06   #69
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

I would grab some surgical tubing in case the autopilot/electronics fails so you can rig sheet to tiller.. basic setup takes more fiddling with wind speed changes, but at least you dont hand steer. Otherwise more complicated ways make it work better. I also keep a kiteboarding kite in-case of rig failure.

If you have the time, a really fun project is to build a windvane. They are great devices and there is really not comparison to the cheap tiller pilots.. I also built my own electric autopilot which uses gyros which is much better and barely uses any power.

I would suggest you have new standing rigging, or at least ensure redundancy so if anything breaks that is old, you won't lose the mast, especially if it's old stainless.

You might time the tides as you approach SF. If the tide is the wrong way, you won't make it in, however some people claim you can take the counter current between the south support and land, especially on a small boat, but there are rocks, so you need to know about that.

I got pooped about 100 times in 24 hours leaving new zealand in the winter. Bristols are strong boats, just don't put too much dead weight in them.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:12   #70
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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kenomac, blue crab I am sure glad you are here to save NOB from the opinions of all us who sail this stretch of ocean. As you may recall we did not encourage him, just gave him our experiences and let him decide for himself. I told him not to expect rescue, the water is cold enough that you will be dead before the coasties get to you. TS and others explained the storms, closing of the banks and inability to sail in light winds.
What have you contributed besides calling him stupid?
Newt.

You and I are on the same page regarding this thread.I suggested in my own way that the op get a survival suit and life raft. Learn how to navigate... he clearly lacks the ability and suggested he consider shipping his small vessel south rather than risk his life. Where do we disagree?

Also, I referred to myself as being "young and stupid'," and suggested that the OP's plan was "completely and totally dumbass." I didn't call him stupid or dumbass... that will only come to be if and when he implements his plan without significant modifications, like the many suggested on this thread.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:18   #71
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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Newt.

You and I are on the same page regarding this thread.I suggested in my own way that the op get a survival suit and life raft. Learn how to navigate... he clearly lacks the ability and suggested he consider shipping his small vessel south rather than risk his life. Where do we disagree?
I think I'm on the same page as the OP. If you are going to ship your boat over land, what is the point of having the boat? I also don't have a survival suit or life raft or epirb or radar or autopilot or engine or lots of things... but I have a lot of other stuff very useful for survival that few boats have.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:33   #72
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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I think I'm on the same page as the OP. If you are going to ship your boat over land, what is the point of having the boat? I also don't have a survival suit or life raft or epirb or radar or autopilot or engine or lots of things... but I have a lot of other stuff very useful for survival that few boats have.
I noticed that you are in Borneo, where the water is most likely significantly warmer than the Pacific north west. Probably less fog, huge waves and fewer commercial fishing vessels as well.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:36   #73
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

At this point in the discussion, I'd like to give NoB another little story. It's about my younger son, who became a rock climber as a hobby. He told me that having to 'fess up when he couldn't do something was one of the hardest things ego-wise that the sport required of him; and that it was necessary for the welfare of his fellow climbers, as well as himself.

I hope, if after shaking down yourself and the boat some more, you will be able to face up to it bravely, if you decide not to go.

Blue Crab, and Kenomac are in there trying actively to keep you from doing something they consider suicidal. They may be a bit unkind, but that comes from the force of their feeling.

Singlehanding can be very dangerous. The guy who just died in SF Bay couldn't have been tethered. Nor was he wearing a life jacket. Did you know you have to hold the plb antenna clear of the water for it to sent your position? Most of us are worried about what you don't yet know. However, with good preparation beforehand, a good workable weather plan for your boat--a 21 ft. waterline is not going to be a fastie--I'm not worried about the boat very much. More that your lack of experience WHICH IS SOMETHING YOU CAN ADDRESS, may lead you astray. Gotta go for now.

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Old 06-06-2014, 03:07   #74
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

If there is one thing I can say in my defense, it is that I am an excellent navigator. Something I was born with. Just because I am here, over two months beforehand asking for harbor advice, doesnt make me clueless. I think its all part of my being prepared and planning. Its not like I'm now sitting off the Oregon coast in Florence, wondering if I have passed Newport or not. I live in Oregon after all. Im not unfamiliar.

What Im looking for is people who have been there. Sometimes that local knowledge is valuable. Example. Last trip I asked alt about places in BC, and got some good advice to little off the beaten path anchorages, and even advice on bigger places.

This is how we plan trips. DO I really need to know every single rock along the Oregon Coast before I can go? Or do I need to be afraid to ask questions, for fear I'll be ridiculed?

These people arent cheerleaders, theyre the ones giving length, and good advice. I havent heard any advice from the naysayers at all. Just vague references to stories off SF about a guy untethered and not wearing a PFD. It's got nothing to do with me.

This can be done. This is what sailboats do. I already have said, if it takes me two month and I stop at every harbor along the way and hole up, I'm willing to do that. I have the patience. Its going to be fine.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:36   #75
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Re: Give me Encouragement to Sail from Washington to SF

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I also don't have a survival suit or life raft or epirb or radar or autopilot or engine or lots of things... but I have a lot of other stuff very useful for survival that few boats have.
So. In essence, the OP being here is a waste of his time and the time of experienced sailors in these waters. I’m sure a person can traverse this route on a pedalo in the right conditions, but it is not advisable.

I’m also sure that he will not want to undertake the trip without an engine. It CAN be done, but you know what, he doesn’t have an ecological point to make or the necessity to do the trip in a thong.

He is here, full of enthusiasm, for whatever reason, burning with desire to do the sail. However, deep down he also has this aversion to dying, so he came along and asked.

For that reason, and for the SAME reason, newt and others are giving their experience both as sailors AND also as people with local knowledge of the area. A sailor can look at charts, look at the weather check water and make an informed decision but a LOCAL guy who has done it several times has the advantage.

It’s not about the minimum required for this trip. Heck he didn’t need to ask at all, he could have set out with a set of old sails and a blow up Donald duck swimming pool life ring and had a great time.

Now, my first reaction on reading this post, was "Oh oh". Why? Simply because it came across as enthusiasm vs thinking. The trouble with enthusiasm and youth is that it equals an accident waiting to happen. That’s why there are older folk around to say "hold on sonny, let’s just think about this".

Blue Crab, bless him, read everything, decided that the OP was not listening to sensible advice and did what exasperated grown-ups do, wished him well and hoped he would like the afterlife..

Others with more patience continue the conversation.

Now I come from a different place. EVERYTHING is possible. It CAN be done. But SHOULD it be done?

When I was in the military, I was a very young captain in charge of a small unit. We did active service in N.I. and actually got shot at. I didn’t like it much. I was assigned an older professional Sergeant to give advice. He was the most influential person in my entire life. His humour was of the most dry type imaginable couched in respectful army manners.

Example: once I was making a decision as to which road to take into a small town where gunfire was happening… I made a choice for a line of approach and said it.. The Sarge cleared his throat and said “well sir, if we go that route Ill never get to tell my son what a c***you were for choosing wrong sir”.

We are not responsible for you O.P. But we do care because you are one of us. Someone who loves the water and someone who wants to do it. You will not get a second chance. You have the same odds EVERY single time you step on a boat whether it be in the harbor or out there in a force 10. You can do it right or you can do it wrong. EVERYTHING is a calculated decision. The decision can only be made from EXPERIENCE. Its that experience of “Sailing” that will save you. Its that experience that will dictate what you take with you to enable life protection. If you don’t have it……. Know when to admit it and go and get it. It’s a requirement on every journey.

As for me. With my level of experience, Could I do it? Sure. Would I do it? No. My level of experience is not enough for this trip single handed. I’d do it in the company of other vessels or with boatie or newt or Jim Cate or Blue Crab……. Between us we could work things out….sleep and stuff.
We are not wimps OP…… we are men and women who respect the sea and value life. Ours and each others.

I like your attitude and gung ho. I also would like to keep you around and see you develop into a long life.
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