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Old 29-02-2016, 08:04   #1
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Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

We need to get our sailboat (a 51' steel ketch) from San Carlos, Mexico to Victoria. How bad is the "bash" really? Can anyone share weather patterns/ideal times of year to sail/routes? What if we only went as far as Ensenada?

Thanks,
Jen
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Old 29-02-2016, 08:36   #2
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

choose your window well and no sweat. northing is uphill. uphill is work. work not always fun.
south of conception is protected from heaviest seas. you willbe heading north west, actually, against the current and winds. year round sailing is possible as long as you watch your weather windows.
i found passage weather to be most accurate for this purpose. time your travelling between storms in northern areas so your seas arent so bad, and make your soc passage smooth.
i willnot be doing this, as i enjoy this area more than coldville, and i will not bring my boat to cali. i have done parts of the bash in other boats-- it is tolerable with the right window
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Old 29-02-2016, 08:57   #3
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

Had a boat delivered from Cabo to San Diego once. You better have a good motor. Leave very early and find a spot to anchor before the wind on the nose builds in the pm. It took 2+ weeks.
Some say you are better to go out to Hawaii and then up north. Likely true.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:21   #4
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

You'd never get me to motor north to bc I'd sail to Hawaii and home any day
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:43   #5
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
You'd never get me to motor north to bc I'd sail to Hawaii and home any day
Mostly +1

I've done it both ways to San Francisco, and via Hawaii to Sitka. Much prefer the Hawaii route for anything north of Los Angeles, but then I really enjoy passages that put me at sea for a couple of weeks. Some don't like those so much.

If it were me, and I was doing the coastal route, I would be starting pretty soon. The El Niņo weather may make things a little different, but if you can time things for spring weather you might get some southerlies following the movement of storms. Trick is to wait for the worst of the winter weather to be over, then head north before the Pacific High settles in for the entire summer and sets up the westerlies. Timing is everything trying to play the spring weather.

With a pilothouse you might not find the northing along the coast quite as onerous, and the sailing can actually be quite fun, but a month or two of that and I'd rather be doing the passage route.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:48   #6
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

It all comes back to what type of timeline you are on. If your schedule is flexible, you have many small anchorages within 100 miles of each other. Motor sail during the night, anchor during the day.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:54   #7
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

1. Cabo to San Diego - Cruising World published an article called the "Baja Dash" a long time ago: harbor hop up the coast. pm me, I'll send you a copy.

2. San Diego to San Francisco - people do it all the time. Read Brian Fagan's book.

3. San Francisco to PNW - George Benson (http://georgebenson.us/)
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:58   #8
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

^^^

Pretty much a list of all the best resources if you want to go the coastal route.
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Old 29-02-2016, 10:09   #9
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Mostly +1

I've done it both ways to San Francisco, and via Hawaii to Sitka. Much prefer the Hawaii route for anything north of Los Angeles, but then I really enjoy passages that put me at sea for a couple of weeks. Some don't like those so much.

If it were me, and I was doing the coastal route, I would be starting pretty soon. The El Niņo weather may make things a little different, but if you can time things for spring weather you might get some southerlies following the movement of storms. Trick is to wait for the worst of the winter weather to be over, then head north before the Pacific High settles in for the entire summer and sets up the westerlies. Timing is everything trying to play the spring weather.

With a pilothouse you might not find the northing along the coast quite as onerous, and the sailing can actually be quite fun, but a month or two of that and I'd rather be doing the passage route.

And don't forget about getting to see Midway...

WX is weird lately, we helped some friends bring a 60' CC ketch from San fran to PNW in OCt 2014, it was glass and in the 60s-70s the whole way.
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Old 29-02-2016, 10:56   #10
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

How long did the Mexico to Hawaii to Sitka route take you? We are not averse to going that way. Did you actually go all the way to Hawaii, or is it more of a two-legged trip, sailing northwest for a while then turning northeast? PM me if you'd be interested in discussing this more. Our ultimate goal is to get the boat up to Alaska.

--Jen


I've done it both ways to San Francisco, and via Hawaii to Sitka. Much prefer the Hawaii route for anything north of Los Angeles, but then I really enjoy passages that put me at sea for a couple of weeks. Some don't like those so much.

If it were me, and I was doing the coastal route, I would be starting pretty soon. The El Niņo weather may make things a little different, but if you can time things for spring weather you might get some southerlies following the movement of storms. Trick is to wait for the worst of the winter weather to be over, then head north before the Pacific High settles in for the entire summer and sets up the westerlies. Timing is everything trying to play the spring weather.

With a pilothouse you might not find the northing along the coast quite as onerous, and the sailing can actually be quite fun, but a month or two of that and I'd rather be doing the passage route.[/QUOTE]
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Old 29-02-2016, 11:46   #11
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

Cabo to Hawaii, mid-March, about two weeks. About 2600 nm traveled (so pretty much rhumb line).

We spent some time in Hawaii waiting for summer in the NW, and as CruisingScotts alluded to, went to Sitka via Midway. That passage was a little slow, about 10 days (~1200 nm), as we passed through the Horse Latitudes and did not do it expertly No need to go via Midway, you can proceed straight north from Hawaii (pretty similar to the track used to get around the Pacific High on the way to SF) and then turn NW toward Sitka somewhere between ~35N and 45N depending on what the weather looks like.

Midway to Sitka was 18 days in mid-June (~2700 nm - and I would expect a pretty similar time from Hawaii).

I haven't posted speeds, as boats vary so much, you can use the distances and times and compare that with what you would expect to make on generally comfortable passages.

I would provide a mixed review about cruising in Hawaii, some of my favorite little anchorages are there, but also some of my most uncomfortable (as in keeping an anchor watch, etc.).

If you want to take the time and can get the clearances, Midway is the stop of a lifetime. I've posted my experiences on that a couple of times here, PM if you have an interest and any additional questions.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:12   #12
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

You would be better sailing to Hawaii then north and over to the west coast. If you try and straight shot it you will find your self skipping up the coast, only getting out during certain times due to weather windows. Farther you get north, better it will get because this time of year northern cal to washinton has a bit of southerly due to storm systems. Later you wait the more the NW will migrate north. So its a catch 22 kind of deal.

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We need to get our sailboat (a 51' steel ketch) from San Carlos, Mexico to Victoria. How bad is the "bash" really? Can anyone share weather patterns/ideal times of year to sail/routes? What if we only went as far as Ensenada?

Thanks,
Jen
S/V Northern Passage
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:43   #13
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

Having done the traditional route to Hawaii once and coastal bashes many times, I have to say I would never go the long way round again. It's a bloody long way from Mexico to Hawaii, and an even bloody longer way from Diamond Head, up north a long way, then a long way back down from Alaska. Did I mention it's a long way?

So if you're up for major Pacific Ocean passages, go for it BUT - as long as you have a good engine the bash isn't too bad as long as you harbour-hop. The biggest legs in Mexico are from Cabo San Lucas to Mag Bay and then Turtle Bay, then up to Santa Barbara USA is gravy. Yes, Point Concepcion can be a pain but go round at night and choose your time you'll be just fine, done it about 12 times and only got beaten up once because I was in a hurry. There's plenty to read about San Francisco to Victoria so I won't repeat that.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:55   #14
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

Hawaii also gets my vote, if along the coast you can shelter a bit behind Cedros, it's a slog and you have the current against you.
But with careful planning not a tough slog.... well maybe Conception is a PITA.
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You'd never get me to motor north to bc I'd sail to Hawaii and home any day
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:58   #15
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Re: Bashing north from Mexico to Victoria

I've done that voyage both ways. Out to Hawaii (my favorite) four times and the slog from bar harbor to bar harbor once. You can save a lot of engine hours by pointing it west but this can be an awfully wet trip as well. Cruising around Hawaii is amazing but it requires a higher level of vigilance than many are used to.

The trip up the coast wouldn't be all that bad in a vessel your size. Pack on extra fuel filters. At least you get lots of respites from the pounding by being able to duck in fairly frequently. The little fishing towns are fun. Just be patient and if and when it does come around behind you take the best advantage of it.
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