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Old 11-09-2008, 10:25   #1
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Advice needed: sailing from Vancouver Island, BC to California in Oct 2008

We have a 47' Kennedy sailboat, and we are leaving for California, on our way to Mexico, for 8 months. Unfortunately, due to the amount of work that we needed to do to the boat, we are not able to leave until Oct. Anybody have any advice on offshore vs harbour hopping in Oct? How long (on average, depending on the weather of course) with either option, could it take that time of year?
Also, we are not members of any yacht clubs, so are looking for advice on free anchorages in either San Franscisco or San Diego. We have more work to do on the boat once we arrive in California, so we need a place to anchor for a couple of weeks.
Thanks very much!!

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Old 11-09-2008, 11:28   #2
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You will need to sit it out and wait for a good weather window to start off. Usually in Neah Bay -- good anchorage and marina. I don't feel you need to make the decision to go way out or harbor hop at the start. Going way offshore buys you very little. The weather isn't better, in general. Watch the weather buoys off of Cape Mendicino and the ones off shore - like 30 mile, 600 miles, etc. You will generally see that when it is stinky around the Cape, it is just as bad or worse 60 miles offshore. I head out of Cape Flattery and make for a course that is close into Cape Mendicino. Then just see how it goes. If it is really light and we need to motor, you are close enough in to stop and get fuel (Newport, Eureka, Crescent City). If we get beat up in S. OR, we can run in and lick our wounds. If Cape Mend looks bad, we can sit it out in Cresent City. Plan on getting a wide range of weather on the way down and at least one good blow.

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Old 11-09-2008, 12:52   #3
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Dont wait too long

Depends on "which" October we get. It's a rough cold coast. Can you do more work in San Diego? It's a good place for outfitting. I dont know the latest, but I think you can anchor in San Diego for quite a while after checking in at the Police dock. Have a holding tank. San Fran with the fog, seas, current and wind might be worth bypassing if it delays you gettting south of Point Conception.
There used to be two philosophies: Go out at least 50 miles and keep going... or...go south along the 20 fathom line, watch the wx and take a rest now and then.
Maybe someone who has done it recently will chime in....
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:04   #4
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The suggested route, actually, is to stick near shore due to heavier seas off shore, more of the favourable current. Haven't done the trip myself so I can't speak from experience, but the other advice here is what I've read elsewhere as well.

Oh, and be extra cautious/possibly head out further near the Columbia River.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
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Old 23-09-2008, 08:52   #5
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If you look at the Pilot Chart for N.E. Pacific it shows a counter current near coast developing in Oct.,running from Mendocino north.I sailed down the coast in July many years ago pre GPS,stopping every night.With coastal fog being heavy in Oct. I would tend to lean towards an outside route,sailing direct to San Fran..Good to know that there is a place to pull in around every 60 miles.Large scale charts of harbour entrances are necessary.Some have tricky sandbar entrances,not to be entered when large swell running!September 1st. is the best time to leave Victoria.That is my departure in 09.
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