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Old 18-12-2015, 14:50   #31
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
...I've never regretted spending the money for the trucking for a single second.
Many people had suggested that I do this, too, but I'm glad I went by water. It is a 'sailing boat,' of course; and experience is the best teacher, along with experienced friends
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Old 18-12-2015, 14:55   #32
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

[QUOTE=Ann T. Cate;1991316]
Second boat:
Palmer John Standfast 36. Franz Maas designed sloop, 29 ft waterline. SD to SF. SD to Cojo to Moro Bay. MB to SF. All coastal. Crew of 4. February. Did some motoring, but mainly sailing. The boat had a foil, and a full set of sails.


Any chance that boat was named Sarah?
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Old 18-12-2015, 15:09   #33
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

I commercial fished north of SF for salmon (April - August) and tuna (about July-November). I usually worked my way north to about central Oregon, waiting for Albacore to show up. Some seasons I went as far north as central Vancouver Island. The Oregon coast is known as a graveyard of ships and not just sailing ships. There are few anchorages that can be used in any weather. Most are only suitable for heavy built vessels with heavy all chain gear and big anchors. Just a couple weeks ago, a mariner was heloed off his boat about 20 miles off Oregon.
Prevailing winds are from the NW and gradually turn W the further north you go. Because the winds blow for months, there is a strong NW swell except in large storms when the NW swell is beat down somewhat by S or SW winds. But then you have the S or SW waves on top of the remaining NW swells. Sometimes right after a storm there is a day or two of light (5'-10') confused waves, but little wind. Usually after a storm, very strong NW winds would blow, gradually diminishing over several days. Rarely a storm will remain off the coast and move north. Those are very dangerous. The usual cycle was storm - strong NW winds gradually diminishing, becoming foggy/light wind - storm. The cycle was about a week. Smaller salmon boats fished about 4 days of the cycle. Some big boats toughed it out, but not always.
The only experience I had sailing off the coast was as a crewman in a large fishing schooner. We motored about 80% of the time and sail was for going far offshore. Diesel was $.20/gallon. The wind usually was not our friend. Going north in power or sail is usually days of pounding into the swells unless you wait for the small windows of somewhat good weather.
It's totally doable for a well built boat with a strong rig. But be prepared for long hours of bad rides. The ride is better 25 miles out in deep water. Close in and passing over shallows (25-50 fathoms) gives you the ground swell and it can make very big, steep waves. In just a few miles I've seen 20' swells go to 50' and tower over the boat, much higher than my 30' mast.
I also transited the coast several times in a navy destroyer. I slept forward. Sometimes going into big swells it would throw me into the bunk above and I would get a foot of air between me and the mattress. Once we had to crawl and a carrier outside of us was taking solid water over the bow. As fishermen we would see yachts come north and hang around a port, going in and out. We assumed they were fishing until we found they couldn't get around the next headland, something we did all the time.
I also did boat deliveries after fishing. I found the fall to have the most agreeable days.
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Old 18-12-2015, 15:34   #34
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

[QUOTE=Guy;1991400]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Second boat:
Palmer John Standfast 36. Franz Maas designed sloop, 29 ft waterline. SD to SF. SD to Cojo to Moro Bay. MB to SF. All coastal. Crew of 4. February. Did some motoring, but mainly sailing. The boat had a foil, and a full set of sails.


Any chance that boat was named Sarah?
Answering for Ann...

No, although we did met Sarah some years later in French Polynesia iirc. Our boat was named No Problems when we bought her, and had previously been named Target and Fantasia... none of those names seemed apt to us

And back to the Yankee 30... before I met Ann I did do one trip from the Channel Islands to SF on the offshore route: one logn tack out, around 140 miles or so, then one long tack in. This was long before satellite navigation in small yachts, and before i learned celestial nav, so it was all done on DR. I had expected to fetch somewhere around Half Moon Bay. Hah! We hit the coast about 30 miles south of Monterrey, and short tacked up from there. It was a bitch of a trip, and I wouldn't advise it in such a small boat. I was seasick for the first (and so far only) time, and both my crew (12 and 16 y.o boys) were too. Not fun, possibly damaging to the boat, and generally a bad call by my inexperienced self! The inshore path is easier, more fun and far less damaging to crew or ship.

Jim
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:16   #35
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

I've done the whole trip a couple of times, and segments more often, but all long ago It is, without a doubt, unless fortuitous weather and sea conditions intervene, a long, often miserable, uphill slog, if the sea is calm, you may motor if you want to spend the fuel. This is clearly not specific help, but a broad general description. On one of the long hauls the captain (my buddy) took us way off shore (I do not recall how far) and that was the better of the two trips. We did make it both times without major breakage or breakdown.
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:27   #36
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

I have done the leg from Southern California to Santa Cruz/San Francisco about 10 times. It is generally more difficult in the summer due to the prevailing NW winds which can whistle down the coast for days at a time. In the winter, there are far more opportunities to power north in flat seas, but you obviously have to avoid the occasional winter storm.

If you do go N in the spring and summer, you may find relief immediately off the coast. There tends to be some wind shelter, and counter current, if you stay 1/4 to 1/2 mile off the coast. Very few hazards, although there are some.

One issue is the leg from Morro Bay to Monterey. While you can anchor at San Simeon, Wreck Beach, and possibly Stillwater cove, it's a long haul (105NM if I recall correctly) and very few places to hunker down if the breeze comes up.

Traditionally, I have left Santa Barbara in the afternoon so I could round Conception and Arguello in the middle of the night. This generally works, and you can end up in either Port San Luis or Morro Bay in the evening.

Wreck Beach, which I don't think is labeled as such in the 1:200,000 chart of the area, provides more protection in NW winds that it would appear from the chart. Anchor in about 30' of water, clear of the kelp.

Chuck Hawley
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:49   #37
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

[QUOTE=Jim Cate;1991419]
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Originally Posted by Guy View Post

Answering for Ann...

No, although we did met Sarah some years later in French Polynesia iirc.
Jim
If you liked her I think you have good taste in boats. I would own Sarah if my wife had wanted a flush deck boat.
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:58   #38
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
We've had at least a dozen similar threads over the last 10-years. And, I can't remember a single one where the OP came back and gave a detailed report about the trip north to Puget Sound.

I wonder if any of those folks actually made the trip?
I have offered free dinner and sometimes $$ if they would just come in up the Columbia and tell me how they did (this time of year). I have never had any takers.
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Old 18-12-2015, 18:59   #39
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Have done the trip and it can be very rough and it can be a cake walk..Weather is the key element..there is a pretty constant current south about a knot give or take a little..after Santa Barbara there is Port San luis, then Morro bay, Monterey then Half moon bay..depending on time of year there are other places to anchor once in Eureka on North there are plenty of good safe anchorages...our particular trip in the first of June we had gale force winds all the way up and more forecast so we decided to go double reef main good mule up front and just go..This is not more or less than anyone gets on any ocean crossing..as you get north past the oregon border there are lots of crab pots in shore so use caution best to go out past any area where there are fishing vessels..We made this trip in 43 Hans Christian I would personally not want to go in something to much smaller or lighter..did not have winds much less than 35 to 38 on deck our destination North Bend Or have also done from that area up to Sn Juan Islands can be bad but not as consistently bad as Pt conception North..with good weather there are no major problems not consistent with cruising..good luck and do it..you will be glad you did it and you will end up with Masters in experience..Don in Friday Harbor
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Old 18-12-2015, 19:13   #40
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

North from SF can be a bitch. We used to run a 50ft charter from Victoria to Mexico every year. We would return going from Mexico to Hawaii then Hawaii to Victoria on the return. If you go north from SF I would definitely choose August.
The graveyard is off the mouth of the Columbia.
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Old 18-12-2015, 22:06   #41
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

I delivered a boat from LaPaz MX to San Francisco USA last month, 2165 miles in 25 days. My routing kept me 200-300 miles offshore until Pt Conception and then slowly closing the coast up towards Monterey, and then staying just to the west of the traffic lanes. This will keep you away from a lot of traffic and all the inshore fishing fleets and their related gear. The local advice is to head north at the change of seasons, in the spring or fall. During this trip there were 3 gales and 3 calms, during which I motored straight north as fast as possible. This is an open ocean passage with a vigorous sea state and the boat must be able to handle the continual pounding into the weather. The weather conditions I encountered ranged from flat calm to 15-20 seas, sunny days to dense fog. Traffic was 1-2 ships per day, no sailboats sighted.The delivery could have been completed 3-4 days sooner if the electric autopilot had not broken and there was someone else to help steer in the calms- this was a singlehanded trip. The best advice I can offer for heading north on the Pacific coast is to forget the straight line mileage and just double it and be prepared to spend some time bouncing around in a rather uncomfortable manner...there will be a few nice days, but mostly it is just doing the day and counting down the miles made good to the finish line. Don't drive the boat too hard if you are getting beaten and bruised too much, so is the boat, back of a little bit-another day or two is not that important and you will make the trip with little, if any damage to the boat or crew.
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Old 18-12-2015, 22:27   #42
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

[QUOTE=Guy;1991525]
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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post

If you liked her I think you have good taste in boats. I would own Sarah if my wife had wanted a flush deck boat.
If I wasn't gonna like Sarah, I wouldn't have bought Insatiable.... which was a PJ Standfast 36, on which Ann and I lived and cruised for 17 years and 86,000 miles.

The Standfast was a pretty good cruiser, considering that she was designed to compete in the IOR one-ton racing circuit... those were the days when race boats were not all stripped out shells, and were able to take a beating and come up ok. And she was a lot more comfortable going u p the coast than the Yankee was!

Jim
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Old 18-12-2015, 23:13   #43
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

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We are currently based in Ventura. We plan to move our boat up to Puget Sound in April. On a truck.
Good choice.
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Old 19-12-2015, 00:10   #44
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

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We are currently based in Ventura. We plan to move our boat up to Puget Sound in April. On a truck.
Good plan! Phil
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Old 19-12-2015, 00:12   #45
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Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

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Originally Posted by magellanyachts View Post
North from SF can be a bitch. We used to run a 50ft charter from Victoria to Mexico every year. We would return going from Mexico to Hawaii then Hawaii to Victoria on the return. If you go north from SF I would definitely choose August.
The graveyard is off the mouth of the Columbia.
+1! Phil
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