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Old 12-08-2013, 20:12   #16
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Day One,
I'd like to recall this day as make it or break it. I might just have nightmares with 12' tides in Puget Sound. And, if I should ever leave the Sound stranded by Ports one may or not be able to enter depending on oh so much.
Well, I'm sure with assistance I'll find enjoyment.
G'night,
Roland
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Old 13-08-2013, 14:09   #17
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Hey Rachel,
When we came down the coast, here was the rundown of where we stayed. We were also looking to minimize our moorage costs, so we looked for anchoring options where possible. BTW, do you have Charlie's Charts for this area? We thought it was a good resource for understanding where the anchoring fields were. Okay, here's the stuff:
  • Port Townsend: Okay to anchor a ways west of the marina but steer clear of the kelp beds.
  • Port Angeles: We only found marina access, as we came in at night and it was a busy bay.
  • Grays Harbor/Westport: Cheapish moorage (mostly fishing fleet), but we did surf sizable rollers coming in.
  • Columbia R.: Avoid it if you can. It's not worth the time/discomfort/danger going in and out of the *long* bar. If you do, the marina in Ilwaco was reasonable but provisioning options are limited without transport.
  • Newport: You can anchor outside the breakwater for the Embarcadero (north side of the bay, past the wharf area). We did this for a few days and it was pleasant. The Embarcadero was $27/night, but it did have a hot tub which was worth it at the time. Getting in the jetty over rollers in the fog was probably our scariest entrance to date. Lots of crab pots in the breakwater channel too.
  • Crescent City: Anchoring is available in the bay outside the marina channel. The marina was damaged in the tsunami and didn't have proper hookups last fall, but you can stay there if you want. There's a redwood forest within 5 miles (good for a bike ride, with a short brutal uphill) -- check with the visitor's center downtown. We liked this place.
  • Trinidad Head: Beautiful anchorage with dinghy access to town. Not terribly protected from the south if I remember right, but one of our favorites. Beware, you will attract about 200 flies before you leave.
  • Eureka: Anchoring is good inside the breakwater off to the far side of the channel. It's 5 miles from the town proper though so not much more than a rest stop.
  • Shelter Cove: This anchorage can f*%k right off. We hooked to a mooring ball but had southern wraparound swell that yanked us like a dog on a chain. We left at 3am for Fort Bragg.
  • Fort Bragg: Neat waterway inside the breakwater (rollers can be bad here in rough tide/weather, but it was calm for us), moderate walk up the hill to groceries and a good breakfast cafe. No anchoring, but moorage was $20/night and the showers were hot.
  • San Francisco: Aquatic Park downtown is free to anchor for up to 5 days at a time. Find the number for the parks person in charge to request permission. We also liked Angel Island State Park. Berkeley Marina was the best cheap option with hookups and reasonable access to provisions. Free anchoring is available outside Sausalito, but it was tight, shallow, and there were lots of derelicts.
Good luck on your trip! Wait for your weather windows and wear goggles for your poor freezing eyes!
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Old 13-08-2013, 22:08   #18
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Coos Bay, Or is a deep water port that has an easy bar in difficult weather. But stay in the channels because of sand bars... Eureaka, Ca. is a nice protected harbor. Bodega bay is a good rest before SF. Study the entrance and stay in the channel, REEF....... Michael...

Ps, Stay well off cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda just south of the Cape...
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Old 14-08-2013, 14:00   #19
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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Coos Bay, Or is a deep water port that has an easy bar in difficult weather. But stay in the channels because of sand bars... Eureaka, Ca. is a nice protected harbor. Bodega bay is a good rest before SF. Study the entrance and stay in the channel, REEF....... Michael...

Ps, Stay well off cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda just south of the Cape...
+1

Also: Mendocino, CA... Nice little cove; friendly folk up in the village. Hint: Land the dinghy at the NW end under the cliffs - find the stairs; folk who try a beach landing near the river mouth tend to get really, really wet.

Pebble Beach, at the golf course in CA... Nice little cove for an overnight R&R; helpful harbour master on 16 who came out in his small craft and guided us through the kelp into an inner anchorage, but locals up on the golf course and at the club are decidedly not friendly to non-members and scumbag sailors in funny sea-togs...

We were advised - and found to be true - that passing the capes around 2AM made life easier. Just saying...

James
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Old 14-08-2013, 21:41   #20
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Coos Bay has a lot of good anchoring ground, and it's a really safe bar to get across as long as you stay in the channel. Anchor a little bit upriver from the Charleston channel or you can go almost all the way to the airport. Stay on what is now the East side of the channel, and anchor in about 20 feet of water. If you go up to where you can see the end of the runway, and look off to your right you'll see a boat ramp. That's Empire which is part of Coos Bay. There's a pretty good grocery store about five or six blocks on Newmark Avenue. You can anchor pretty close, if you don't mind the sport boats buzzing around.

Charlie's charts is not accurate for Coos Bay, it says something about the McDonald's which is all the way up river, and I've never seen anyone anchor there anyway.

Port Orford is another choice. Stay clear of Cape Blanco And Orford Reef. Anchor anywhere West of the jetty and avoid the kelp beds. It's a great place, as long as you're sure of having a northwest wind.

Best wishes, Tom
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Old 16-08-2013, 13:28   #21
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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....
Ps, Stay well off cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda just south of the Cape...
I've been around those Capes 4 times bringing boats down the coast from Seattle. The times we went way offshore were the worst. Staying in close to Mendicino were considerably better. YMMV. If in close you are still 5 miles or so off the Cape to round the seabuoy. An old fisherman in Crescent City gave me the advice to take them in close.
We went around about 20 miles off a few years ago. Got hammered. And decided to head for toward shore. By about 10 miles off things had calmed way down. A boat that was 35 miles off was on the VHF to the CG in worse conditions. Again, YMMV.
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Old 16-08-2013, 13:42   #22
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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I've been around those Capes 4 times bringing boats down the coast from Seattle. The times we went way offshore were the worst. Staying in close to Mendicino were considerably better. YMMV. If in close you are still 5 miles or so off the Cape to round the seabuoy. An old fisherman in Crescent City gave me the advice to take them in close.
We went around about 20 miles off a few years ago. Got hammered. And decided to head for toward shore. By about 10 miles off things had calmed way down. A boat that was 35 miles off was on the VHF to the CG in worse conditions. Again, YMMV.
I was off Cape Mendocino 80 nautical miles and awoke from a short nap with my boat 110 degrees off vertical...

Wind had moderated to maybe 22 from 35 gusting to 40 with waves 12-14'. Thought everything was copesthetic before going below... Big problem when you are sailing solo, are exhausted and need some sleep.
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Old 16-08-2013, 14:43   #23
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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I was off Cape Mendocino 80 nautical miles and awoke from a short nap with my boat 110 degrees off vertical...

Wind had moderated to maybe 22 from 35 gusting to 40 with waves 12-14'. Thought everything was copesthetic before going below... Big problem when you are sailing solo, are exhausted and need some sleep.
What boat - not a Flicka?
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Old 16-08-2013, 14:51   #24
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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What boat - not a Flicka?
Not much bigger. Waves capable of rolling a boat need only be approximately twice the boat length. Mine is 27' on deck.

She wasn't rolled, but the mast head light was knocked off, radar reflector ripped away and a kayak was lost overboard (with a jib stuffed inside awaiting repair...). Never got sight of it.
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Old 16-08-2013, 17:35   #25
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

The last time I went around there was a Flicka that set a sea anchor. At least for awhile till the line chafed through. Wondered if it was you
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Old 17-08-2013, 08:00   #26
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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The last time I went around there was a Flicka that set a sea anchor. At least for awhile till the line chafed through. Wondered if it was you
Paul,

Nope, not me. Don't want to get involved in a fistfight so I'll not make any judgement calls about the utility of sea anchors.

The photos illustrate as a matter of consequence, wind strength I experienced for two days on the passage. I used the main to block the wind while moving the yankee from the starboard side to the port side. Then I performed a "chicken jibe" to bring the boat onto a port tack. When the main got to amidships the wind caught the leech violently shaking the sail. Consequently half the sail slugs broke. One lesson learned, only use plastic sail slugs with the 'U' shaped metal insert. Fortunately, the triple reefed sail did not tear.

I can only speculate about what caused my boat to go over, but presume she broached. Earlier in the day my Aries vane malfunctioned. Having resolved the cause it was working fine. Two possibilities occur to me. 1.) The wind suddenly abated, leaving my vane brainless. When the wind drops, waves do not immediately get smaller. In fact, they may for a short period of time actually get larger as they pile onto one another from behind. Thus the broach. 2.) The vane malfunctioned. However, I did not see any evidence of this.
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Old 17-08-2013, 12:33   #27
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

I would hazard a guess that the seas or one rogue were large enough for the boat to be in a very low wind calm in the trough of the waves. The vane temporarily lost wind steering input while the boat was trying to round-up. Without the vane to counteract the round-up, the boat found itself beam to the waves and was rolled by the following sea.

That's about the only time that I'd prefer an autopilot over a wind vane. Of course the auto pilot would have to be gargantuanly powerful to steer in those conditions with an unlimited supply of electrons because it's going to have a VERY big appetite.
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