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Old 08-08-2013, 13:45   #1
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Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Hi all,

We are heading south from Seattle to SF with our 36' sailboat and I was wondering if anyone had some good suggestions for places to anchor along the coast. We are very short on funds and are moderately experienced with anchoring. Thanks for any help!

Rachel
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Old 08-08-2013, 13:51   #2
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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Hi all,

We are heading south from Seattle to SF with our 36' sailboat and I was wondering if anyone had some good suggestions for places to anchor along the coast. We are very short on funds and are moderately experienced with anchoring. Thanks for any help!

Rachel
After Neah Bay most entrances to ports are shoal. If your boat is quick enough to beat approaching fronts into each port, motoring and or sailing, you may be able to hop from port to port. When the weather deteriorates ports along the coast close because treacherous standing waves develop over the entrances.

Otherwise, sailing well off shore is the preferred option.
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Old 08-08-2013, 13:59   #3
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Look at your charts. Neah bay, as mentioned, is excellent. I hear you can inside Greys harbor but have not tried. Just inside the Columbia bank on the Oregon side (by Hammond). Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2013, 14:14   #4
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

George Benson has written a book about traveling that coast. It used to be a narrative on his website, but he's made it into a book. Very good reading.

BOOK: Cruising The Northwest Coast

Click on the home link, see the brown books? One of those should be his written description in addition to the blue book.
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Old 08-08-2013, 14:48   #5
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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Originally Posted by raharper View Post
Hi all,

We are heading south from Seattle to SF with our 36' sailboat and I was wondering if anyone had some good suggestions for places to anchor along the coast. We are very short on funds and are moderately experienced with anchoring. Thanks for any help!

Rachel
I cannot say for the California coast but the Washington and Oregon coasts are not all that "nice" foir anchoring. Expecially in bad weather.

I do get between the Columbia River and Neah Bay quite often. It is about a 24 hour down hill run from Neah Bay to the Columbia when there are the typical NW winds.

I think that the amount of time that you have will be a great factor in how you go about heading to SF. Lots of time then explore the PNW river bars.

Crossing the various bars along the Washington and Oregon coast can take up a lot of time. In calm weather the river bar could be flat and easy. Hit it at the wrong time and it could be very stressful for you and your boat. You could find yourself waiting for good conditions to cross one of the bars for hours. And then get stuck inside for a while too.

If I were doing it I would just head offshore and go straight to SF in a single long passage. Get into the watch routing and let the miles pass under your keel.

I might pick a place somewhere about halfway for a stop over. As well as data on places to pull in if really bad weather is forecast. Check your Coastal Pilot. You can download it here: United States Coast Pilot®

It is 800 plus miles so a minimum is 5 days or so.

Others who know the lower Oregon and Northern California coast should chime in.

Never underestimate the risk in a river bar crossing. Needing to cross a bar is a needless risk.
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Old 12-08-2013, 13:02   #6
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

I am happy to report that George is alive and well and living in Klamath River, CA.
If you're interested in getting a copy of his "Cruising The Northwest Coast" he can be e-mailed at:
george@georgebenson.us
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:31   #7
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Drake's Bay, before you get to SF, is a nice anchorage. Sausilto is OK to anchor.
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:59   #8
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Fascinating read, all you posts that is. Sounds like our move to the PNW is going to be a challenge. I hope the 'Seattle Freeze' is more rumor then fact. Because we'll certainly need to make fast friends.
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:14   #9
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

Rlsalem,

If you'd like a good read, Sailing from Frisco to Fort Bragg, by Gregg Stevens
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:35   #10
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

George Benson made the trip up the coast from SF in a modified Coronado 25. He did it with an outboard so wasn't going to reel off a lot of miles against wind and waves. His maximum leg is 70 mile legs with most way shorter than that. Essentially, he gunk holed up the coast. Many of the anchorages are seasonal and/or safe in the prevailing NW winds.

It's a great read especially if you are interested in doing more than just first Marina on the Left cruising. Got me enthusiastic for making the trip up the coast. Unfortunately, sailed Home to Hawaii without doing it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 18:20   #11
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

My wife and I were just saying how we'd like to return to Hawaii soon. Thanks for your post
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Old 12-08-2013, 18:35   #12
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

My wife and I were just saying how we'd like to return to Hawaii soon. Thanks for your post
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Old 12-08-2013, 19:06   #13
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

IF, and thats a big IF, the weathers perfect for south sailing, there are many places to anchor along the way down the coast! Ya have to remember the tides control the bar entrances all the way down the coast! Ck the Coast Pilot it will tell ya what ya need to know!
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Old 12-08-2013, 19:20   #14
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

The San Francisco Bar | CoastsideFishingClub.com

San Francisco Entrance Chart
Introduction
The purpose of this article is to familiarize the average boater/fisherman with the often- treacherous bar outside the Golden Gate – the second most dangerous major port entrance on the west coat behind the Columbia River bar. It is not intended to be all-inclusive and is not able to replace experience and caution. I’ve seen many posts asking what the bar is. It is not wise to venture out without a good working knowledge of it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 19:42   #15
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific NW

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
George Benson made the trip up the coast from SF in a modified Coronado 25. He did it with an outboard so wasn't going to reel off a lot of miles against wind and waves. His maximum leg is 70 mile legs with most way shorter than that. Essentially, he gunk holed up the coast. Many of the anchorages are seasonal and/or safe in the prevailing NW winds.

It's a great read especially if you are interested in doing more than just first Marina on the Left cruising. Got me enthusiastic for making the trip up the coast. Unfortunately, sailed Home to Hawaii without doing it.
Oh yes! Do get George's book. It's great! We hopped down the coastline using his book and were glad we bought it. Lovely places we wouldn't have thought of just from looking at the charts. {Well, some places were too small for our 48 footer, but still... }

And pick your attitude! Fast run to just "get there" or stop and smell the roses. We would have missed SO much by staying far off shore. No regrets at all at all.

James
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