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Old 18-03-2015, 20:20   #31
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

"From your posts this sounds like 'local knowledge' which I have always found more reliable than charted predictions which can underestimate conditions particularly in areas sailors try to avoid."

Well Yes - four trips - all from Cape Flattery south.

here are some links to stories I have written about Cape Flattery to San Francisco
UNEXPECTED GOOD SAILING and TYPICAL MISERABLE MOTORING

http://www.svmirador.net/Waiting_in_Newport.htm

WAITING IN NEWPORT Part 2

Mirador Log Tacoma to San Diego

Mirador Log Tacoma to San Diego

I've only encountered gales once near Cape Mendocino in a Tartan 42 - we had eight hours of 35+ knots and 12'+ short period breaking waves. We also had 35 gusting to 50 for about six hours around Point Arena but that wind was offshore and the waves only built to 10'.

But I've spent a lot of time waiting out gales in the following ports:

Neah Bay 3-days - tried to leave but the 15' swell turned me back and waited another day
Westport, WA 5-days (bar was closed for three of those days)
Newport, Or 2-days on two different trips
Coos Bay 3-days one time and a single day another time (bar was closed for three days)
Noyo River 2-days on two different trips
Half Moon Bay - one day and then we got impatient and left and had the worst 12-hour sail I have ever experience
Moro Bay - 2 days

My friend in his Norseman 447 has encountered gales between the Oregon border and San Francisco all three times he has made the trip. The worst was 12-hours of bare poles running down wind in gusts to 50 knots and the boat doing 9 knots as it surfed on 15' breaking waves. He is no novice - a trip from Seattle to Ft Lauderdale and another Seattle - PV - Honolulu - Seattle.

The weather is well forecast - the problem is that you can't enter any of the harbors protected by a bar (all of them north of San Francisco) when the waves are breaking. So - you have to go in early and wait a couple days till the bars are again crossable. No big deal if you pay attention but it takes time and costs money.

My first link spends a lot of time explaining the Gale Alley issue.

"Yes, Voya will maintain cruising speed motoring or motor-sailing to windward in this, uncomfortable I agree but not likely to do any damage."

Well maybe... I know that in July 2013 the local Beneteau dealer hired two captains here in San Diego to take their 45' trawler to Vancouver. They spent two days from Pt Arena to the Oregon border at an average speed of 2.5 knots because it was so uncomfortable pounding up and over the constant swell and occasional breaking waves.

I know that the S&S designed Tartan 42 SORC race boat could not maintain 4 knots in the swell and chop between Cabo and San Diego. We made that trip in the company of a dozen or so 45' to 72' offshore fishing boats and an Ocean Alexander 72. None of them could make more than 6-knots on most days because of the short steep swells.

As a minor side note:

The OA 72 left Bahia Santa Maria (first possible stop 180 miles NW of Cabo San Lucas) at 4 AM to "test the waters." Ten boats had been sitting there for two days waiting for a window to pound north to Turtle Bay. None of us thought the waves had laid down but the OA went out to check. Two hours later they tried to turn around because the waves from the NW were too steep and close together. As they turned downwind, a breaking wave caught them broadside and knocked a bronze portlight out of their bow where the hull is 2" thick. The port was 6' above the waterline. The next wave ripped their 16' RIB off it's cradle on the boat deck 10' above the water.

We waited another day.

All the fast boat professional captains said it was an unusual situation and they normally could stay on a plane most of the way.

When I took a 53' 55,000 pound trawler from Cabo to San Diego we could stay at 6-knots most of the time but occasionally had to slow for a few hours to let the chop diminish. We only had to deploy the paravanes to stop the rolling for about six hours on two occasions. But, even with that boat we did most of our travelling between 3 AM and 2 PM to avoid the swell.
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Old 18-03-2015, 20:28   #32
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Check out shipping agents in Vancouver.. theres no reason it can't go on a normal vessel if a suitable cradle can be constructed...
Sevenstar ships both yachts and containers on the same boats.. maybe there a smaller ship with deck space going up for a collection,, cargo is always welcome I'd think.. same space as a container..
Maybe you could even get a cabin and go with her
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Old 18-03-2015, 20:41   #33
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

[QUOTE=roland stockham;1778309]
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
"

Pt Reyes to Cape Blanco (340 NM) is the most dangerous (July - September NW 35 - 45 knots and 18' short period breaking seas at least twice a month)

This is at least double that predicted by the pilot chart for July; 1% report of gales, one small area of 10% chance of 10ft+ seas, The wind rose shows 50-60% for N 16 - 21kn, wind with current.

The plan for this section would be to wait for a weather window but if it is more likely to be 2 full/strong gales a month as well as 50% difficult winds AND no shelter for a few hundred miles that could be a very long wait.
You may not have had a chance to read Benson's material. He did it in a 27 foot boat. In August 2003.

PM me and I'll send you his trip report.

I still don't think it's a good idea.

1) N California is great to explore the SF Bay Area.

2) North of that is not much, since the Columbia Bar is treacherous and a long way in to get to Portland, for example.

3) Once to Neah Bay you're "there" but it's a long way.
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Old 18-03-2015, 21:16   #34
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

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Just had another check for Dockwise and Seven Stars. Neither of them list PNW as a destination in the sailing schedules.
Seven stars transported a Leopard 48 that I took from the BVI to Panama. The broker took it to Golfito, Costa Rico where it was loaded for Victoria.
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Old 18-03-2015, 21:19   #35
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

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Thanks all. A few people suggested Panama as a stop. I had only looked at the marinas at the canal entrance which did not look good.
Shelter Bay is a great marina on the Atlantic side. I was there about 5 days late August / early September.
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Old 19-03-2015, 00:50   #36
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

[QUOTE=Stu Jackson;1778328][QUOTE=roland stockham;1778309]


You may not have had a chance to read Benson's material. He did it in a 27 foot boat. In August 2003.

Thanks, sounds like he had a great cruise
. One thing that puzzled me He referes to a nuber code for sea state I have never come accross, eg 5x8 seas with 3ft waves. Anyone know this system?
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Old 19-03-2015, 01:30   #37
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

"This is at least double that predicted by the pilot chart for July; 1% report of gales, one small area of 10% chance of 10ft+ seas, The wind rose shows 50-60% for N 16 - 21kn, wind with current."

NOAA has a great web site for buoy data that is searchable for almost any criteria. For example, the Eel River bouy 17 miles west of Eureka is at:

NDBC Station 46022 Historical Data

Looking at the data for July 2013. An interval is only listed in the data if the event lasted more than 3-hours.

There were no gales but three intervals of 7, 5, and 5 hours with wind speeds that exceeded 26 knots from the NNW. No big deal Right?

There were over 200 hours in July during which the NW swell exceeded 6.5 feet. The longest period lasted 64 hours (2.5 days) and the maximum swell height was over 13 for nine consecutive hours. The average swell height was 7 right on the nose of your desired heading for that 2 and half day period.

During the time the waves were over 10 the period was less than 6 seconds which means they were very close together, steep, breaking, and almost impossible to pound through.

July 2006 had two 6-hour periods with gale force gusts from the NW.

There were over 104 hours in July 2006 during which the NW swell exceeded 7 feet. The longest period lasted 51 hours (2 days) and the maximum swell height was over 14 for nine consecutive hours. The average swell height was 7 right on the nose of your desired heading for that 2-day period. During that 51 hour period the average wave period was 7.6 seconds and was less than 6-seconds about 1/3 of the time.

Probably not dangerous but certainly:
- uncomfortable
- hard to move forward into
- very hard on the boat and rigging.

The numbers for wind and waves are worse in August and much worse in September.

You can do the same analysis for other buoys along the coast.

You can have a very enjoyable trip up the coast if you have the time and patience, and again MONEY, to spend waiting for the right weather windows. My wife and I have been into almost every port on the West Coast between Cape Scott and Cabo San Lucas. But, we have no schedule and can afford to sit and wait in all those cool little ports.
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Old 19-03-2015, 02:00   #38
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

Thanks Tacomasailor that buoy data link is exactly what I need, will have a good look. I do get that this is an area to be cautious in. Once north of San Fransisco time is not so important as I can fly to and from from home when I need to, not exactly a weekend flight but 'home ground' That's why I was origionally focussing on the long stretch up to there from Panama. I can compare the data to areas that I know and get a much better idea of the reality. What does seem clear though is that quite a few boats do do that stretch so not so much 'no go' as 'how to go' need to put it all together now.
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Old 19-03-2015, 10:27   #39
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

[QUOTE=roland stockham;1778420][QUOTE=Stu Jackson;1778328]
Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post


You may not have had a chance to read Benson's material. He did it in a 27 foot boat. In August 2003.

Thanks, sounds like he had a great cruise
. One thing that puzzled me He referes to a nuber code for sea state I have never come accross, eg 5x8 seas with 3ft waves. Anyone know this system?
He's probably referring to the Beaufort Scale which is a way to estimate windspeed based on sea conditions. Doesn't directly translate into wave height but will tell you what the conditions are building towards. Force 4 is ideal sailing conditions, Force 3 light but sailable, force 5 an exhilirating reach but wouldn't want to go to weather fo long, Force 6 and above I'd want to be running off. You can get the scale with pictures of seas that correspond by Googling Beaufort Scale.

Pretty sure Benson made the trips up the coast using an outboard on his Coronado.
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Old 19-03-2015, 14:30   #40
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

I don't have much to add here, since I've never done the west coast north of where I am now. I myself would seriously heed all the warnings, but then it seems like you are.
I would say you should do the canal as soon after arriving as you can, and your idea to use the Taboga Island outfit sounds like a cost effective and safe one. The marina at Chiapas is beautiful so you might consider that for the hurricane season. If you can make it farther north, I would recommend the Marina at Barra de Navidad over Mazatlan for safety during the storm season, and the summer rates are very good. Plus it's beautiful here.
I would also like to ask why are you bringing the boat north? For the price of a Captain or a ship, you could afford a LOT of flights down to sail her for a week at a time in whatever cruising ground you choose. And if you are working in the PNW, you could probably easily afford a small weekender to sail the local waters there.
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Old 19-03-2015, 14:48   #41
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I don't have much to add here, since I've never done the west coast north of where I am now. I myself would seriously heed all the warnings, but then it seems like you are.
I would say you should do the canal as soon after arriving as you can, and your idea to use the Taboga Island outfit sounds like a cost effective and safe one. The marina at Chiapas is beautiful so you might consider that for the hurricane season. If you can make it farther north, I would recommend the Marina at Barra de Navidad over Mazatlan for safety during the storm season, and the summer rates are very good. Plus it's beautiful here.
I would also like to ask why are you bringing the boat north? For the price of a Captain or a ship, you could afford a LOT of flights down to sail her for a week at a time in whatever cruising ground you choose. And if you are working in the PNW, you could probably easily afford a small weekender to sail the local waters there.
-Margo
I would hazard a guess its because Wooden Boats of traditional build (pre-epoxies etc) die in the tropics 5 times as fast, they're cold water boats.

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Old 19-03-2015, 17:16   #42
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

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I would hazard a guess its because Wooden Boats of traditional build (pre-epoxies etc) die in the tropics 5 times as fast, they're cold water boats.

Ah, I didn't know that. So he is in a pickle. He should hire you to take it offshore all the way there from Panama. Guaranteed loving care!
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Old 19-03-2015, 17:27   #43
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post


Thanks, sounds like he had a great cruise
. One thing that puzzled me He referes to a nuber code for sea state I have never come accross, eg 5x8 seas with 3ft waves. Anyone know this system?
It's the system used on the west coast, at least here in N California.

5 feet (height) and 8 seconds (period), 3 foot wind waves ON TOP OF THAT.

5 feet at 30 seconds is fine.

Anytime the height and period are close together, ya don't wanna be out there.

You can look up the west coast buoy observations on the noaa website. They also have historical data and graphs.

[QUOTE=roverhi;1778700][QUOTE=roland stockham;1778420]
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1. He's probably referring to the Beaufort Scale which is a way to estimate windspeed based on sea conditions. Doesn't directly translate into wave height but will tell you what the conditions are building towards. Force 4 is ideal sailing conditions, Force 3 light but sailable, force 5 an exhilirating reach but wouldn't want to go to weather fo long, Force 6 and above I'd want to be running off. You can get the scale with pictures of seas that correspond by Googling Beaufort Scale.

2. Pretty sure Benson made the trips up the coast using an outboard on his Coronado.
1. No about the Beaufort Scale, yes about the rest.

2. Yes, you're right. I sent the Benson report to the OP by email.
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Old 22-03-2015, 15:34   #44
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

Thanks for that, that seams a really useful way of measuring sea state. What forecasts or reports (if any) give it in that format? Easy enough to do if you have the bouy data but don't have internet when sailing.
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Old 22-03-2015, 16:12   #45
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Re: Help - Passage planning, getting stuck

I think the Dial-A-Buoy system is still working. You can call a NOAA phone and enter the buoy number and get the most recent data and forecast.

I've used it up to 40 miles off the Washington, Oregon, and California coast.

NDBC - Dial-A-Buoy

I don't know if Canada has a similar system
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