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Old 02-10-2008, 10:03   #1
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Best Time to Head South from PNW in Spring?

We have decided to postpone our trip (from Vancouver BC to Mexico) until the Spring - too much work to do on the boat, and the weather window is closing. We are considering a couple of options in the Spring - heading down the Coast as soon as the weather permits, or heading to Hawaii, again as soon as the weather permits. We have been studying Coast Pilot, and other sources, but were interested in hearing first had advise from people who have made either of these trips.
Generally speaking, when would it be feasible to leave?
Thanks
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:14   #2
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Anytime after May is pretty safe,but you leave too early,then you must wait in Socalif. to go into Mexico till end of Oct. Best time to head south is July /Aug. if you harbour hop.If you sail straight to Calif. then late Aug. is good timing.Im heading down in late Aug in 09'.TillThen,what boat are you on?
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:58   #3
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We have a 47' Kennedy (not too many of them around - hull is very similar to a Maple Leaf). This boat was designed and built to go off-shore, and the previous owners went around the world in it for 20 years. My husband is a mariner - he has his 500 Ton Masters ticket.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:54   #4
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Here are two descriptions of trips down the coats in April.
S/V Songline - Our Sailing Adventure
Start at April 2007

Prior Blogs
Look at Hawk in San Francisco

As mentioned above, most people go down the coast at mid or late August. This gives you an opportunity to enjoy the PNW summer and shake the boat down. It is also means you have less time in CA which generally translates to less costs. Most leave San Diego south bound end of Oct to mid-Nov.

Paul L
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Old 07-10-2008, 22:52   #5
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This can all get confusing with so many differing reports! We are hoping to do this next spring as well and need to know where to get more information????
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:38   #6
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CF!

Like science, cruising info is really the general consesus of people out there doing it.

This is a good place to ask these kinds of questions because many of us are connecting from all over the planet, and can tell you what our experiences.

Generally, if money is not an issue for you, heading south any time after May 1 is fine. You'll end up staying in marinas and on moorings, the more so the further south you get, as you wait out the hurricane season along with all the other boats heading south. The stackup in San Diego results in a great chance to get to know your fellow cruisers, learn a lot, and (not unusully) discover must-have go-slow gear and professionals to install it.

For most of us, arriving in San Diego around November 1 would be a lot less expensive, and the first coastal section is nicer in warmer, more-settled weather. So either starting much later, or at least taking your time to mosey down the coasts of Washington and Oregon, maybe poking a nose into the Columbia... dawdling to arrive in San Diego as late as possible.
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Old 09-10-2008, 20:37   #7
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Thumbs up This is all starting to make sense

Thanks When you talk about " must-have go-slow gear" What do you mean? Is that a drog and/or storm anchor?

My husband is the Captain of our vessel and I am the researcher!

We have both spent alot of time on the water North of Victoria BC so this is all new to us.

We are very serious about eventually getting to Costa Rica........but first things first. We need to get down the Pacific North West coast.

Our vessel is very sea worth, the Captain is also it is I the first mate that needs some experience!


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Old 09-10-2008, 22:00   #8
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Thanks When you talk about " must-have go-slow gear" What do you mean? Is that a drog and/or storm anchor?

My husband is the Captain of our vessel and I am the researcher!

We have both spent alot of time on the water North of Victoria BC so this is all new to us.

We are very serious about eventually getting to Costa Rica........but first things first. We need to get down the Pacific North West coast.

Our vessel is very sea worth, the Captain is also it is I the first mate that needs some experience!
That was tongue-in-cheek... "go-slow gear" is anything which isn't, strictly speaking, involved in getting the boat from point A to point B, little things like berth cushions, stoves with ovens, pressure water, &c. It seems whenever you land in a crowd of cruisers someone is extolling the virtues of some piece of gear they wouldn't leave the dock without, and somehow or other it becomes an important priority for your budget to get that gee-wiz thing. Sometimes it can really be a lifesaver, but if you've managed to get from the PNW down to San Diego, well, you *know* it isn't that vital for cruising because you've already done a huge cruise without it.

Frankly, if you can safely cruise in the PNW, you're experienced enough to sail south. Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait can be as nasty as any other patch of water, and if you've done your Vancouver Island circumnavigation then you have been out on the big water; heading south is like the west coast of Vancouver Island, only with less hospitable holes to duck into.
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Old 09-10-2008, 22:49   #9
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I guess I need to lighten up!

Usually I am quite fun but all this reading of threads and information has made this seem pretty serious. Thanks for lightening the load.

I did read some where that folks do over prepare their vessel. We are trying to research and get the priority items and keep on a budget so I dont think we will be one of the ones getting a lot of geewhiz things.

Thanks for the comparison you gave. I know can relax a little.
I know it will be an adventure with some times of foul weather and I do think I will be okay.
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Old 09-10-2008, 23:56   #10
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::grin:: Now, break out the duct tape and tape your skipper to the galley while *you* take the boat someplace you want to go. Maybe up to Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island, to the nice restaurant there, or down to Nanaimo for a weekend. You'll feel a lot better if you pick the itinerary, pull out the charts, plot the waypoints on the gps, check the tide tables, and then *go*!
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:17   #11
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The next step

Yes, I know. I do help alot now. I can steer and run the boat when we motor. I am becoming a good first mate when we anchor and pull up prawn traps. We both took the power squadron course and the mobile radio.
Am not proficient though.
Claes plans on getting me to sail soon.........right now I steer and help him tack.

So I have a way to go yet.

We will be able to leave here anytime after April if the vessel is ready. SO in that time I am hoping to get more experience before we actually head down the PNW coast line.
We will have all summer to play in the Straights around here.


ANyways thanks for you time.....................
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:20   #12
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I did read some where that folks do over prepare their vessel.
The only penalty for over preparation is financial

A possible feature of under preparation could be loss of boat or even death.

Take the case of the lonely sailor on another thread as an example.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:39   #13
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over-preparation

Eh... Talbot, that's not quite true, but that's the topic of another thread.

Luepetri: Looking forward to seeing you on the water! Mine is the teeny 25' boat with a tanbark headsail and baggy white main... Njørđson (or, in less-weird spelling if your browser can't display that, Njordson) ::
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:26   #14
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The Sacramento river delta is a good place to kill a couple of weeks going south,check out "Potato Slough".Leaving early August is probably best compromise of catching best weather to San diego,taking time down coast.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:57   #15
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Balance is our rule of thumb

We hope to be well prepared and peaceful so that the journey will be a joy..for the most part.

Again thank you all your time...........I have many more questions but will keep them for another time.


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.................
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