Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-12-2015, 11:50   #61
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,231
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
So this is just for those motoring the whole way?
I'd motor the whole way unless you had really strong southerlies. Tacking to windward and any kind of sea state allow almost no forward progress when sailing north, and those port tacks will be toward a lee shore unless you're a ways offshore, which would then take a long time to run for shelter, if that was desired. As others have said, I suggest choosing wisely on your weather windows, making sure you have a solid motor with sufficient fuel, and making long (2-day) hops between ports to reassess weather and refuel/recover, if needed.
__________________

__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 12:01   #62
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,105
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
This doesn't need to become a "which is bigger" contest. You both sound like competent sailors. I too have spent 3-4 days tacking to get from the Columbia to the Straits, but more often it is about 30-40 hours.
Relax and watch the snow. It will be summer before you know it.
Tacoma, why don't you stop at the river? It really is not bad if you know when to go over the bank, and we have great Tai food. I think it's easier than Grey's Harbor.
With all due respect, take your head out of your (blank). The OP is a first timer asking about advice regarding sailing north of SF. We are giving him advice based on our experiences. To offer your pap of smooth sailing is both irresponsible and potentially deadly. Folks need to know what to prepare for and the hazards they face so they can prepare accordingly. Evidently you are rather cavalier with others' lives.
__________________

__________________
reed1v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 12:38   #63
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,712
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
With all due respect, take your head out of your (blank). The OP is a first timer asking about advice regarding sailing north of SF. We are giving him advice based on our experiences. To offer your pap of smooth sailing is both irresponsible and potentially deadly. Folks need to know what to prepare for and the hazards they face so they can prepare accordingly. Evidently you are rather cavalier with others' lives.
reed1v:

I agree that a rational account of what to expect is what is needed. However, insulting people does not encourage them to change their mind, and nor does it serve to convince others.

Furthermore, boats vary considerably in their capacities to go to windward against the prevailing current. Without meaning to denegrate your choice of vessel, the Westsail 43 was not blessed with great windward capacity. So I'd say that your experience of little distance made good should serve as a warning for the OP. I'd also say that Tacoma Sailor's figures were perhaps a little optimistic, but may be valid because his personal experience is as valid as mine or yours, and all the other guys who ply this route.

There is an issue hiding in here, too, and it has to do with how we relate to weather and how schedules affect us. So, for the OP, when you are planning your traveling, and assuming that you prefer to sail, rather than motor, there will be times when what makes sense in terms of the weather will be for you to do overnighters. My experience is that you do what you have to do, but you will need rest. Big seas and plenty wind is both exciting and physically tiring. By comparison, a week long passage allows you to get into your watch schedule, and gives the weather time to change. I would suggest your having at least one crew for this trip, as well. There's too much traffic for "safe" singlehanded watch keeping, especially for someone with little experience. Do not base your plan on the expectation of successful motoring; plan to use the sails, and the engine for getting into harbors, if that's what you need to do. Sometimes you get a favorable break with the weather, and you should be prepared to jump on it.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 12:46   #64
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,712
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

I don't think s/v Beth's post was "pap."

Here's what I remember from it:

Columbia River to San Juan de Fuca Straits has taken 3-4 days, "good trips" 30-40 hrs.

A warning about Grey's Hbr. not being as easy as some think it is.

A caution to allow oneself to "go with the flow", take advantage of weather when possible, and accept whatever it gives you.

Sounds more like good sense than "pap".

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 14:45   #65
Registered User
 
TacomaSailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Burnt Store Marina, SW Florida
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,148
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

These discussions are so interesting because we each come to them with a lot of personal experience, bias, expectations, and lack of knowledge. The comments about my "NM and hours" from port to port going north showed me that I had made several undocumented assumptions and came to conclusions that were based on many years of experience that might be quite different than others.

I can see why some found my comments odd - my underlying assumptions were:

1) no sane sailor in a small boat (less than 60' / 25-tons) would willingly sail north along the US West Coast. once north of Point Arenas. UNLESS they had favorable SE to S to SW winds and cooperative seas.

2) Those conditions are quite rare and short lived

3) Few of us have infinite time and cannot sit in Brookings, Coos Bay, or anywhere else for weeks at a time waiting for a pleasant sailing window.

4) Motoring WNW will be necessary except for the rare few with a fast boat and favorable winds / seas

I base those assumptions on:

- thousands of hours of trying to sail against adverse Puget Sound tides and winds while tacking 15-times to make a few miles.

- two sailing trips NW along the outside of Vancouver Island. On one trip we sailed WNW until we were 85 NM offshore while trying to beat into 7' seas and NNW 15 knots of wind for 30-hours. We eventually gave up and beat back to shore, making 25 NM to the good from where we left the shore to where we returned to the shore.

- An attempt to sail from Neah Bay to Tofino in WNW 15-knots and 20' rollers. There were not breaking seas but the rollers were enormous. We would lose all wind in the trough and then be suddenly exposed cresting the swell and just race down the other side. Five hours of that, being scared to death at times convinced me to turn on the motor, make the scariest gype of my life and motor back to Neah Bay.

- many sailing/delivery trips NW from San Diego to Catalina, Newport, Long Beach, LA, Ventura in boats from 32' to 55'. Even the nicest sailing new, big, fast 55' sloop was hard work going WNW into those 6' seas and 15-knot wind

- two 900-mile delivery trips from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. They convinced me that trying to pound into 6' head seas with 15-knot winds for 12-hours a day was a losing proposition.

With that background - it seems logical to me that 90% of the time going north would be under power so why not determine the time needed by using a straight line route?

We all make choices based on our past experience, or at least how we remember that past experience. My foggy memory is that heading WNW anywhere from Cabo San Lucas to Cape Scott on the NW tip of Vancouver Island will be a motorboat ride, and a not so nice one at that.

If I had had more positive and pleasant sailing experiences headed NW along the North American West Coast I would probably have different expectations.

Therefore, I am sure others probably have different experiences and expectations and they are as valid as mine.
__________________
TacomaSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 15:51   #66
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Reed, with all due respect, you have mentioned once, maybe twice traversing Cape Flattery and no experience traversing the Columbia bank. I have now been around the Cape a dozen times, and have experienced large swells and gales offshore, usually coming upon us despite a clear weather window.
Now I agree that my boat was designed to go to windward in such conditions, and my experiences may not have been as frustrating as yours, but to call my experience useless and yours important smacks of ethnocentrism.
The OP was not going to take our experiences and expect the same as far as I can tell. He was just asking for people who had actually made the trip and their impressions, that is why I contributed.
No reason to be angry, just a group of old salts comparing notes, and seeing whose boat is bigger.
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 16:44   #67
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Holman & Pye Red Admiral 36
Posts: 498
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Here is a slightly different take on this trip.

I was delivering a 70-ft gun / patrol boat (the military type) from Cuba to Seattle as deck cargo on my container ship (295-ft) during February.

The cradle that the gunboat was on was a really flimsy aluminum one - it actually was just a storage yard cradle. If a seagull farted within 50-miles of the ship, the whole thing would have blown apart.

So weather and seas were critically important. As luck would have it, I had 5 lows come in towards the coast, one after another, spaced about 3 to 4 days apart.

I adjusted speed (our max speed was only 13-knots) so that we rode the bottom and starboard side of each of the lows - so that we had the wind and seas from each low pushing us the entire time. Winds were 5 to 15-kts, seas were 1 to 6-ft the entire way.

I had a weather fax so were able to plot/plan ahead for each of the lows.
About 40-miles from the entrance we ran into some rougher weather, but the cradle held up and we got in OK.

So lessons learned: watch the weather like a hawk, get 1,3 and 5 day print outs and have bail out anchorages plotted and planned for. And keep your fingers crossed that you get slowly approaching low pressure systems!
__________________
Doug Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2015, 09:33   #68
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
A couple observations:

Noyo River to Eureka 95 NM
Eureka to Brookings 76 NM
Brookings to Coos Bay 99 NM
Coos Bay to Newport 78 NM
Newport to Westport 140 NM
Westport to Neah Bay 114 NM

Assume you can make 4 knots into the swell and wind waves (if you can't you probably should not be out there!) the only legs that are more than 24-hours are the northern two at 35 hours and 29 hours.

The NE Pacific weather forecasting is good enough that you can have a lot of confidence in a 48-hour forecast. So, wait in port till you get a good 2-day forecast and head out with due haste.

Patience and attention to forecasts it key to a safe and not-too-miserable trip up the coast.
+1, Tacomasailor! Good advice, particularly concerning the weather. Phil
__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2015, 09:44   #69
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: Sailing NORTH along California coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
These discussions are so interesting because we each come to them with a lot of personal experience, bias, expectations, and lack of knowledge. The comments about my "NM and hours" from port to port going north showed me that I had made several undocumented assumptions and came to conclusions that were based on many years of experience that might be quite different than others.

I can see why some found my comments odd - my underlying assumptions were:

1) no sane sailor in a small boat (less than 60' / 25-tons) would willingly sail north along the US West Coast. once north of Point Arenas. UNLESS they had favorable SE to S to SW winds and cooperative seas.

2) Those conditions are quite rare and short lived

3) Few of us have infinite time and cannot sit in Brookings, Coos Bay, or anywhere else for weeks at a time waiting for a pleasant sailing window.

4) Motoring WNW will be necessary except for the rare few with a fast boat and favorable winds / seas

I base those assumptions on:

- thousands of hours of trying to sail against adverse Puget Sound tides and winds while tacking 15-times to make a few miles.

- two sailing trips NW along the outside of Vancouver Island. On one trip we sailed WNW until we were 85 NM offshore while trying to beat into 7' seas and NNW 15 knots of wind for 30-hours. We eventually gave up and beat back to shore, making 25 NM to the good from where we left the shore to where we returned to the shore.

- An attempt to sail from Neah Bay to Tofino in WNW 15-knots and 20' rollers. There were not breaking seas but the rollers were enormous. We would lose all wind in the trough and then be suddenly exposed cresting the swell and just race down the other side. Five hours of that, being scared to death at times convinced me to turn on the motor, make the scariest gype of my life and motor back to Neah Bay.

- many sailing/delivery trips NW from San Diego to Catalina, Newport, Long Beach, LA, Ventura in boats from 32' to 55'. Even the nicest sailing new, big, fast 55' sloop was hard work going WNW into those 6' seas and 15-knot wind

- two 900-mile delivery trips from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. They convinced me that trying to pound into 6' head seas with 15-knot winds for 12-hours a day was a losing proposition.

With that background - it seems logical to me that 90% of the time going north would be under power so why not determine the time needed by using a straight line route?

We all make choices based on our past experience, or at least how we remember that past experience. My foggy memory is that heading WNW anywhere from Cabo San Lucas to Cape Scott on the NW tip of Vancouver Island will be a motorboat ride, and a not so nice one at that.

If I had had more positive and pleasant sailing experiences headed NW along the North American West Coast I would probably have different expectations.

Therefore, I am sure others probably have different experiences and expectations and they are as valid as mine.
Well said, TacomaSailor! I did it because I was paid well but to take on the northwesterly beat into head seas and wind is not something I enjoyed, particularly as it entailed long, cold watches, constant weather consultations with oneself and being wet, miserable, sleep deprived or bored hiding out in one of the many spots you can get into. If you are close enough to shore to enjoy the scenery, you can add to that the danger factor and possibility of losing the boat!
__________________

__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cal, california, sail, sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Going north along the East Coast. nikolay Navigation 8 02-06-2014 19:41
Crew Available: Looking for a boat that goes to any were started along the California Coast dave6666 Crew Archives 1 04-10-2012 17:46
Anchoring Along the California Coast Ben M-P Pacific & South China Sea 10 24-10-2011 10:41
Sailing Along the Mexican Coast mtbandrdrider General Sailing Forum 76 11-03-2011 01:18
Best Stops Heading North Along Atlantic Coast? Sonosailor Atlantic & the Caribbean 22 09-12-2005 07:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.