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Old 05-02-2009, 12:58   #31
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Great thread. I too am interested in Costa Rica.

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Old 05-02-2009, 13:01   #32
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highseas- a little off topic but hows the preperation going? as for myself I have given notice to the company for aug 1st so theres no turning back. I'm leaving all of aug. to pick a good window to leave victoria and next stop san fran, 7 to 10 days does that sound right?. I have been told thats the way to go if the wind is there. I dont really like the idea of crossing those bars. jeff

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Old 05-02-2009, 21:51   #33
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some of the sailing lingo is confusing

so in my inexperience this is what I understand: harbour hopping verse off shore obviously the later will be quicker; harbour hopping can be tedious to get into if the bars are closed for weather. ( Is it expensive to harbour everynight? )If one were to leave in July from VIsl sailing directly to SF then SD t knowing that one would have to wait till mid October in SD which in of itself is fine if it is not to expensive. Yet, if one waits till Aug Sept there is less wind so off shore would take longer. Oh my what to do?
I guess one has to remember that time if of no concern but money is.
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Old 05-02-2009, 22:16   #34
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No no no... When I say the wind is somewhat down in August/September, I mean only about 20kt each afternoon, as opposed to 25-30kt. (And knowing my luck, you'll end up with a la niña passage where it's headwinds!) If you go too far off shore you risk getting stuck in the Pacific High, but it's easy to keep track of and if you start ghosting on stbd tack, gybe!

Just double checked my paper Pilot Charts for North Pacific in Aug. & September. You can expect a high percentage of Beaufort 4 and some 5, predominately N and NW. Especially in the later part of September the favourable current moves offshore along the Washington/Oregon coast; in fact, an inshore eddy forms in October. And August has the lowest chance of gales for the entire year.

So I may have been over-estimating the windspeed, or the Pilot's numbers are daily averages. Still looks like August would be the best departure time; it's much easier to slow down and smell the salt flats when it's warm.

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Old 05-02-2009, 22:30   #35
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After Aug. 1 makes sense for departure to SanFran.,about 80 to 100 miles offshore,7to 10 days.Harbor hopping can be expensive as many stops only have marinas.
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Old 06-02-2009, 13:55   #36
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Definitely best to hide in California until hurricane season is over. The pacific hurricanes howl along that coast all summer so waiting until October at the very least. November preferably.

Once in Costa Rica there is almost no chance of a hurricane hitting you. It happens once every 10-20 years that a pacific hurricane goes that far south. Last one was in the late 90s sometime I think (though it did do significant damage I hear)
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Old 06-02-2009, 17:14   #37
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Just checked the tides for early Aug.,looks like the 10th.has best ebb tides to push me out of Juan De Fuca,hopefully winds are favourable.
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Old 06-02-2009, 18:13   #38
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Costa Rica? Gotta get down the coast first....:-)

I lived on the Oregon coast for more than 30 years. Surfing/sailing/fishing etc.
Just a few thoughts. The NW winds that prevail in the summer are a result of inland warming up and the cold water/air rushing in to replace it. It gets packed up against headlands and valleys where it can really get hooting. It is a cold miserable wind, with a lot of windchop on to of any swell you may have to go along with it. It can be the worst part of a round world passage for folks from BC and Seattle.
There is very few anchorages along the way and all of them are open to the sea that make them roll and uncomfortable. Not recommended.
Choosing the harbor hopping option looks like a good idea, the problem is, you are stuck in the narrow envelope of blustery NW winds. The harbors are ALL river bars. I hate river bars. I fish the Bearing Sea and I prefer here over this coast for that reason. Do not...DO NOT attempt a bar on the ebb. At worst it will expose you to a long time on getting across the bar, at worst it will stack up breakers where non existed just an hour ago. If your boat wallows at all on swells it is going to be a real lousy feeling to be stuck on the ebb with your boat wallowing on the swells and only making a knot or two fwd. Just don't do it.
July Aug. and Sept. you can go offshore a ways and find warm water. I never seen any sailing books talk about this. Ask the fishermen how far out the tuna guys are going. There are years where small outboard powered boats are going out 10 miles to get Albacore. If you go out to "blue water" it will be 68 or 70 degrees water. All of the sudden you loose the blustery NW wind. Remember the NW wind is from cold air/water rushing in to fill the heat inland. You loose the system that is hammering the coast. Get a hook in the water. Canning tuna is easy and a great way to travel south. If you are in Neah Bay, talk to the trollers, they will be fishing salmon, but thinking about tuna. They will know where the blue water is. Check a satellite pic for the same. Get away from the cold water. If you get a southerly, the warm water will move back inshore overnight. You will not have the big NW for a while after that. Typical NW will blow for 3 or 4 days then back off. But I was stuck in Shelter cove on the hook for 7 days and nights it blew a gale NW....just would not let up.
I harbor hopped a 37' Trimaran with a 10 HP outboard from SF to Astoria Oregon years ago. It was miserable. I would never try it again. But you gotta get offshore to get away from the NW system that dominates near shore. The rule is the farther south you go, the harder the NW wind blows. I have see Cape Blanco or Cape Mendicino look as bad as any blow in the Bearing gets worse going south because the inland temp is higher. The NW wind causes the upwelling by blowing the surface water away and the nutrient rich cold water hangs on the coast and the system self perpetuates.
Careful with sailing directions. These same winds were perfect for large lumber sailer's. They could handle 30 to 40 kts. with all kinds of reserve. It sucks on a boat with the cockpit close the water and a rock and roll ride.

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