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Old 12-03-2013, 14:32   #1
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Seattle to Mexico

Has anyone doen the journey from Seattle to Mexico? I hear the leg from Seattle to San Fran can be pretty difficult and may be too much for fairly new sailors.
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Old 12-03-2013, 18:05   #2
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

Have done it in both directions and also the leg down to Cabo and up into the Sea of Cortez. The coasts of WA, OR and N. CA deserve extreme respect regardless of ones experience level. It would be quite an undertaking for less seasoned sailors.
Everyone will tell you to pick your time of year carefully (July, August maybe September) and pay heed to the weather forecasts. Having said that, conditions can deteriorate rapidly and with little notice. The Catch22 is that when you most need to take safe harbor in a port, the bar crossings may well be closed and if open can be dangerous. Safe anchorages are often few and far between.
Do your homework and good luck.
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Old 12-03-2013, 18:24   #3
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

George Benson has written a book about his trip from SF to Seattle. His point is that there are harbors of refuge none more than 70 nm apart. He did it in August. Your choices, depending on weather and what you want to do are: offshore straight shot or harbor hop.

George M. Benson
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Old 12-03-2013, 18:24   #4
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

Very sound advice and I would include central calif from S.F to Pt. Conception as being worthy of respect also.
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Old 12-03-2013, 18:29   #5
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

From Point Conception on down it's pretty easy. Before that, it isn't so easy.
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Old 12-03-2013, 21:54   #6
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

As we havent yet purchased our boat and do plan to head south to Mexico or even east to the caribbean would you suggest as others have that we instead buy in one of those areas and start our adventure from there rather than do the Pacific coast?
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Old 12-03-2013, 22:11   #7
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

yes-without a doubt - especially if you are over 50.
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Old 12-03-2013, 22:18   #8
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

Boats in Mexico are cheep cheep compared to anywhere else.If i was to do it again I would definitely buy one and start from there.I will sell you mine,make an offer.Fully equiped and ready to go in San Carlos
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Old 12-03-2013, 22:19   #9
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

I just noticed that this is the same as the "Getting discouraged" thread on the monohull forum. There is a lot of good advice there. DONT GET DISCOURAGED. Your plans are doable, although probably at more expense than you hope for, but that is just the sailing life. The west coast is not as scary as people make it out to be. Especially in this day of electronics that will do everything but wipe your bum for you. Just make sure you have the basics, for when all of the electrons go on strike at the wrong moment. Live the dream.____Grant.
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Old 12-03-2013, 22:22   #10
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

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Originally Posted by sarahjh22 View Post
As we havent yet purchased our boat and do plan to head south to Mexico or even east to the caribbean would you suggest as others have that we instead buy in one of those areas and start our adventure from there rather than do the Pacific coast?
Absolutely!
In both 2007 and and again in 2008 we sailed into La Paz and watched couples putting their boat in the Marina for the wife to fly home, with orders to the husbond to sell it...she was done. They just hit the easy gravy cruising grounds but the butt kicking they took getting down soured the wife beyond repair. Why start off your cruise in some of the worst seas out there between WA and California? Buy in So Cal, Mazatlan, La Paz and start having fun with easy sailing conditions right from day 1.
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Old 12-03-2013, 22:26   #11
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

Hi Rich,hows Cali?SV Verdia.Hauling out on Friday,season is done for me.
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Old 12-03-2013, 22:31   #12
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

the most fun I ever had was in 1964 - I sailed a rotten 25' folk boat to la paz and gave it away when I got done with it- took a bus back to san diego - was a couple of weeks late for school- thinking about doing it again!
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Old 12-03-2013, 23:12   #13
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

We sailed from Friday Harbour, WA, down to Baja Calif, La Paz.
That's what you wanted, right? People who have actually done the leg?

Strongly recommend the book by George M. Benson as it was written with small boats in mind, doing coastal sailing. Anchor out just about every night during the trip, if you like. Check WXR on the VHF and other sources - wait for a weather window before doing the next jump. We are glad we had his book.

That coast can be, and is, dangerous at times. But do not be discouraged by talk of shipwrecks or pictures of harrowing bar-crossings. Pick your wxr window carefully. Example: We sat on anchor for a week in Coos Bay, OR, waiting for proper wxr before heading further south.

Get your sea charts. Print a copy of the tides for as many places along the coast as you might visit. (Tides and wxr make the river bars dangerous - or not bad at all.)

That's for a small boat you've indicated you'll buy. Gives you some hide away holes. Some folk just get 30 miles or so off shore and make it in one long leg.

Good Luck!
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Old 13-03-2013, 10:07   #14
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Re: Seattle to Mexico

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yes-without a doubt - especially if you are over 50.
I've done the trip down the coast three times and agree it doesn't get easy until you've passed Pt. Conception.
The last time I did the trip was last May, and I'm 67.

Steve
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