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Old 10-02-2009, 22:12   #31
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People that don't know what they are talking about always say, "Oh, that's easy". Makes them feel like they know more than they do.
Agreed. Overconfidence is the true hallmark of the rookie cruiser.

Crewing on a 100' motor yacht, I once left San Diego at 1700h, bound for San Francisco, and we were no more than half way to Long Beach, steaming at 12 knots, when we encountered a flock of USN warships engaged in some sort of training exercise. Without lights.

Let me tell you: even with three radars, the cruise between SD and LB can become an quite an adventure. The navy was pretty good at vectoring us through the fleet, but even then, when you can't distinguish the radar blip of a submarine from the radar blip of a helicopter, things get interesting.
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Old 10-02-2009, 22:32   #32
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With all the cross words sent out on this thread MV probably got smart and is ignoring this thread. For the most part the passage from LB to SD is not a white knuckle ride but it is a good idea to be prepared b/c it is a coastal passage and it can get rough.
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Old 11-02-2009, 00:24   #33
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Update

Many, many thanks to all who have posted with advice and thoughts. I have not been ignoring this thread at all. I have been reading it through with each new post just to absorb what is being said -- and what is _not_ being said. But I did hold back on responding to let my thoughts settle and process what folks have been saying.

I am not buying a ton of stuff (Mark!) at West Marine -- but I am dropping some dollars.

Hud mentioned it first, then Chuteman, then Bella.... Yikes! by the time I heard of "Jacklines" for the fourth time in this thread, some dim memory finally woke up and I called Todd (local rigger who helped install the lines for my alternate backstay SSB antenna). Did he give me an earful about the importance of jacklines! Yes, I could keep being cheap and wrap some flat line around my stancions, but he thought that was a lousy way to go. He looked at the boat today and said to do it right I needed 4 padeyes and about 25 feet of jackline on each side of the boat. I told him to go ahead and install the jacklines.

I did order a Lifesling, wooden tapered plugs, sailtape, small flashlights, submersible VHS from Defender. I will get the MOB pole from WM this weekend as well as a Horseshoe. Found a private party who sold me her brand new 5:1 Lifesling Hoisting Tackle at a good price.

So MarkJ... How the hell do you NOT drop a ton of cash when all the stuff I am getting is utterly necessary? I suppose I ought not to have spent so much on varnish, boar bristle brushes, 400 grit sandpaper these past two years. I ought to have installed jacklines and bought good tethers ages back instead of buying a Playstation 3, wiring in the Samsung flatscreen, and installing a Sirius radio!

Stan (who did my total rewire) went to the boat today and installed an alarm that is wired to the engine water temp. I have a bell that rings if the oil pressure drops, but no water temp alarm. As some of you might recall, when I rewired the boat, I flipped the entire instrument panel around. It is no longer on the outside where water can short the damn thing out, all the gauges are inside the cabin. Stan installed an inverter and he wired in an alarm that will light an LED in the cockpit AND sound the alarm if either the oil pressure drops or the temp gets too high.

This weekend, I plan on changing fuel filters, the oil, and the transmission fluid. I will also install the Lifesling, the additional hoisting rope, the horseshoe, and the MOB pole. I feel pretty confident about the engine. It sounds good and always starts right up. I did rebuild the water impeller Cheechako, but I am not sure what you mean by carrying a spare impeller. That was a hard job to rebuild that thing -- getting it out was supremely tough. I doubt I could do it while underway.

Scott and others here have advised Catalina first -- sounds good to me! I don't know what Steven will think of that -- he is giving up a ton of time to help me with this.

You folks are right: I was way off on my 140 mile estimate. I charted a possible course on MacENC and it is about 90 nautical miles.

Aside from the course corrections and the food advice, the one thing I read here that was like a slap in the face was Kanani's warning not to force a departure date and time. After reading and following the Simpson thread, I could see that my mindset was beginning to become a mindset about my departure time. I read Kanani's post and it was like an instant WTF DUDE! Wake Up!!! Anyways, I won't push it like Ronnie did. I will scan the three day window mark carefully and look at the very latest images from our satellites and I will get the WEFAX charts.

I am not sure yet exactly how I will decide to go if the weather looks dicey. One thing I have come to love about working for the military is that they have a damn flow chart for everything. My mind's sailing weather algorithm is in its infancy -- I will talk with Steven and follow his lead, but I am very much aware that while this will be fun, the weather patterns at this time of year are not stable. Even I can see that with my eye in the sky! Regardless if we go to Catalina or not, I plan on sailing west and clearing the coast for about 20+ miles. Clearly, the entire west coast is a leeward shore (that too hit me hard while reading these posts and pms) and I can see the need for open ocean should the weather turn on us.

Unbusted, I don't see on my charts a buoy called "Number One" in the San Diego Channel. I see a Scripps bouy way out there..... I plan on making that left turn about 4 miles SSW off the tip of Point Loma. Does that sound about right? How does one actually say I am going to turn left 4 miles out about 8 O'Clock off Point Loma in nautical language?

In summary, the plan now is to downshift and count the tiny chores that need to be done (oil, coolant etc), plan the course in more detail, and plan food stores for a week. I do have a ton of fresh MREs on board. Folks keep giving me these things LOL!

I will have a back up GPS. Likely going to but an inexpensive handheld from Garmin. But I truly wish I had radar. However, Steven says he knows the first thing I will buy when I get to San Diego will be an autopilot.

Anyways, I will "just go for it" But I cannot "dispense with all the lists" -- nor can I afford to "discard" all this expert advice. I simply don't have your guys' fund of intuitive knowledge about sailing. Right now, all of my knowledge is based in (a) my lists, (b) my completed tasks on the boat, and (c) posts in CF!!

If it was just me ......... but the fact is, it is never, ever just any one of us out there. There is always a web of people that get deeply affected if we screw up!

Again, I want to thank those that have posted -- believe me, I have learned alot and some of things that are happening to the boat these days directly come from suggestions here!


Michael
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:33   #34
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Quote:
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Unbusted, I don't see on my charts a buoy called "Number One" in the San Diego Channel. I see a Scripps bouy way out there..... I plan on making that left turn about 4 miles SSW off the tip of Point Loma. Does that sound about right? How does one actually say I am going to turn left 4 miles out about 8 O'Clock off Point Loma in nautical language?
You'll be fine. Typically the kelp lies within 3nm of the coast. Worst case you can run through it.

You're heading downwind with good help. Just make sure you have vessel assists number.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:51   #35
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So MarkJ... How the hell do you NOT drop a ton of cash when all the stuff I am getting is utterly necessary?
Michael
Its called a Debt Card. When the money runs out the card stops.

I remember being in the Caribbean when we just bought this boat and telling Nicolle we had an option.... an EPIRB or provisions.
Stuff the fancy-pantsy stuff. An Eprib or food. And we had to leave where we were because the money had run out and we needed the week at sea to wait for the next cheque to arrive!

The final solution was we could afford the Epirb if our total food budget for 10 days, 1,000 miles at sea was $126. And that included another week or 2 emergency food.

But we went with no spares at all except for a V-belt and a couple of galvanised hose clamps (couldnt afford stainless steel), 1 universal spare piece of rope and 1 spare budget block and a shackle.

Pity a split pin broke I had to use and Allen Key wired into the hole


Michael, now you have bought all this stuff, and have a list for everything... could you please write on every list in the top position: ENJOY MYSELF AND THE SAILING!

When we sail out of any port just as soon as Sea Life feels her first wave we get this wonderful liberated feeling! Ports suck! The sea is freedom!

Have fun with it


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Old 11-02-2009, 04:19   #36
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Hey, Michael, you're on top of it, man! "All that stuff" that you bought is really just the basics you need if you're going to do any overnight ocean sailing, so it was just a matter of "when", not "if". Some people are more than comfortable with the "don't sweat the details, just do it" approach, and some have to make their lists and work them endlessly. I get the impression that you feel more comfortable with making careful preparations, but you're also focused on the real goal--sailing! That's my approach, too. I like to be well-prepared. I've never had to use my Life Sling or MOB pole, but you can bet that they're there and ready if needed.

You need to find your own comfort zone for the type of sailing you plan to do. I think you've figured that out, by the way you're reading and processing the sometimes conflicting advice you're getting in this thread. Going out on this trip with the experienced former owner is going to be a great learning opportunity and confidence-builder for you. You're doing everything right, in my opinion.

Take photos, and post 'em for us!
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:34   #37
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You know, MV, I had some friends once that were just goin' out for a small cruise once. "A three hour tour, a three hour tour" they kept singing...but the weather started gettin' rough, and their tiny ship was tossed...and they were never heard from again!
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:24   #38
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MV,

Has the boat been tied to the dock for 2 years or have you been out in the harbor a couple of times to do systems checks? I would be somewhat concerned if your fuel tanks have not sloshed around in 2 years and you have a bunch of water in the bottom waiting to get stirred up at the wrong time.

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:20   #39
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Bash is correct about military exercises off-shore of Camp Pendleton. Check the latest "Notices to Mariners". That will tell you if there are exercises planned and if it may effect your passage.

To answer your question about your way-point for turning into SD Harbor......going 4 miles past your destination then doubling back makes little sense and adds 8 miles to your trip. Also going 20 miles off-shore will all add a lot of time to your passage (unless you stop at Avalon) and possibly turn your 18 hour cruise into 24 hours.

None of that should be necessary, if you plan your trip with an eye to the weather.

Keeping off of a lee shore in fowl weather may be a good strategy if you are making a long ocean passage and arriving at an island at night with no chance of entering a port or traveling along a coast line that has no "Safe harbor" available. However, this is not your case.

A better strategy may be to stay closer in, with plans on ducking in at Newport or Dana Point if the weather sours (be sure to have charts of those harbors). You have options of "seeking safe harbor" if you are close to one. If you are 20 miles out, it will take you 4-5 hours to get in with the possibility of further deterioration in weather conditions. Also 20 miles out will give you more ship traffic. I see that as being a bigger issue than being close in. Ship traffic at night may make your voyage very uncomfortable, if you've never experienced it before.

Giving Pt Loma 1 1/2 miles berth is PLENTY safe, even in bad weather.. As you approach, you will see many vessels transiting the harbor and will be able to determine where to cut in.

The water is very deep right up to the sand bar off of Pt Loma. You will see surfers at the bar. I used to take surfers out to the bar on my sailboat and I drew 7'. I'm not suggesting that you get that close, I'm just saying that you may see boats right out close to the sand bar.

With the planning that you've done and the information that you've received, your trip will be uneventful to boring. That's the best kind of sailing there is.

Just one other note........

Putting jack-lines down with pad-eyes may not be a good idea on some boats. If you use pad-eyes, be sure that they are stout. Also be sure that they are through bolted through the deck with backing plates.

I ran my jack-lines fore & aft, mounted to the fore & aft cleats. If someone goes overboard while the boat is moving, there will be a tremendous amount of stress on the jack-lines. If the pad-eye pulls out, the jack-lines aren't much good. The fastening must be the strongest point of the system.

Also, consider if you are going to be tripping on the pad-eyes and if you want to take the risk of deck leaks. It's a big decision to drill holes through your deck. Don't take that lightly....in my mind, that's a bigger decision than all of the planning that you are doing for this voyage.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:01   #40
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MV - We were in somewhat the same situation as you are in. Last September we bought an Ingrid 38 in Olympia, WA and had to get it down here to Oregon. I have never made that passage. I was not familiar with the boat. But the owner that we bought it from was very familiar with both having cruised the boat for 6 years and fished the coast for 20+ years. After much discussion with him and inspecting the boat, we left Olympai on about the 17th of Sept last year and had a wonderful 8 day passage to Winchester bay, OR. We did pull into Grays Harbor for a couple of days bad weather which is what took so long.
The boat was well equipped and maintained (though I am now rebuilding the interior to suit us better). We had our personal equipment with us and yes, in September, it is COLD on watch at night. It will probably be cold this time of year down there also.
All in all, I think the ones who say "Relax!" have it right. As with the owner of the boat that we bought, the owner of the boat you are buying is not likely to allow anything in his control to be overlooked or go wrong.
On our passage, we changed filters once when the vacuum went up pretty high, but the engine did not fail since we were able to monitor the vacuum. I am still not sure that having 2 micron primaries is a good idea.
You will have a GREAT time! Just watch the weather and choose wisely.
Just my two cents worth.
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Old 11-02-2009, 17:57   #41
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I agree completely with Kanani's suggestion on jack-lines etc.

I use my bow and stern cleats which are quite strong and require no new holes in the deck.
I was also thinking 20 miles off might be excessive and put you in more active shipping lanes...and further away from a safe harbor..have the Harbor charts to possible bailout locations!

I think you are doing it right, because you are being thoughtful, thorough and cautious. You crew expects that of you. In time you will have confidence in yourself and your vessel.

Do you have good music aboard, fishing gear..?
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Old 11-02-2009, 20:52   #42
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Old 16-02-2009, 12:07   #43
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It's starting to like like you may have lucked out in your timing. As you well know, the weather is very nasty today (Winds SSW at 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50mph) and it looks like the next cold-front will be coming through next week.

Leaving ahead of a cold front will often give you fairly settled weather as the cold-front pushes a warm air mass ahead of it.

I would be cautious about staying over at Catalina. If that next cold-front comes early, you could find yourself with an uncomfortable ride into SD....the next few days will give you a more clear picture.
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Old 16-02-2009, 19:29   #44
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It's starting to like like you may have lucked out in your timing. As you well know, the weather is very nasty today (Winds SSW at 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50mph) and it looks like the next cold-front will be coming through next week.

Leaving ahead of a cold front will often give you fairly settled weather as the cold-front pushes a warm air mass ahead of it.

I would be cautious about staying over at Catalina. If that next cold-front comes early, you could find yourself with an uncomfortable ride into SD....the next few days will give you a more clear picture.
I agree. There seems to be window opening. Look at how fast these systems are moving through. The cloudy shot was this AM and the clear one about an hour ago. Passage Maker says likely clear and quiet -- not much wind to speak of.

Yellow cross is the location of my boat (Los Alamitos Bay Landing)

Michael
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Old 16-02-2009, 19:37   #45
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