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Old 09-12-2009, 21:20   #1
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pirate Newport Beach, CA to British Columbia

Hi
Can anyone offer some advice about sailing from California to Vancouver? When is the best time of year to sail this Pacific coast northward?? I'll be sailing the route with a Contessa 26.

Anyone seen a website with this route? Would love to read some logs of this trip.

Thank you.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:56   #2
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The best time is June ,July via Hawaii.If you are crazy enough to try and sail the WRONG way up the coast, August is your best bet.Its a bash like no other,uses tons of fuel,and everyone I have spoken with who have done it,said they would never do it again.Look into a flatbed,seems to be the usual response.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:10   #3
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I have done Southern Cal to San Francisco numerous times. It is almost never easy and a few times has been downright miserable. Going north of San Francisco gets even worse. It's cold with big head seas, gales, and few places of refuge.
Highseas advice is best.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:39   #4
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Of the many people I know that have done the trip both ways ahve said the same thng, NEVER AGAIN. I was having a 34' trawler shipped from the Bay Area for about $3G, but the deal fell through. The savings in time, fuel, crew abandonment (rally!), POCs and stress make the truck worth it. On my many trips up and down I-5, I have seen many sail and power boats being hauled both ways. By truck, by the time your boat gets here, you will still like cruising!!
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:53   #5
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a friend did it the easy way. From SF he sailed south to Ensenada, where his boat was picked up by the Dockwise transport ship and taken to Vancouver.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:14   #6
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Truck it to Anacortes or Seattle WA. Then go sailing.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:48   #7
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I know two friends who brought their boats up to the Puget Sound from San Fran. Both used weather routers and did it in the summer. These were almost entirely motoring trips. Running when the weather was good, sitting it out when it wasn't. Your boat doesn't have the motoring speed to make this entirely a desirable or short duration approach. If you want to sail, and the boat is fixed up for it, Hawaii and back over will get you to the PNW.

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Old 11-12-2009, 14:51   #8
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Doable and builds Character.

We certainly tested our confidence in this bash. I developed a real hate on for Capes and there area several that grab your attention. I have a new appreciation for cockpit drains.
We left San Francisco on in late June and pretty much hung on for our lives until we reached Cape Disappointment from there it was flat calm until we rounded Cape Flattery.
We had been sailing up the Coast from Panama and met up with a two time circumnavigator who buddy boated with us for a while. He opted for the off-shore route from San Francisco while we chose the inshore route.

We had to hole up in Shelter Cove for 6 days to wait out bad weather and low and behold our offshore friends limped in 4 days after we arrived. ( at this point I thoughts of taking a bus home entered my mind)
They suffered worse seas than we did and had to sail a long way to duck out where we only suffered 14 hours of hell. The fun part was meeting all the locals who were more than happy to share horror stories about Cape Mendocino

Advice I can give? Is to really, monitor the weather. 3 times a day and keep a journal of the predictions. We used 2 methods: the GRIB files downloaded on our SSB and used the local marine radio broadcasts. They were using the buoy weather reports and I found it useful to monitor both the offshore buoys as well as the local buoys. Let the weather settle for a day and then go...and if the weather is good keep going. On average the winds were nnw 10-15
nnw 15-30 Point Reys 25-35 nnw gusting 45 at Cape Mendocino.
The opposing swell really messed us up and gave us quite a roller coaster ride.
The only trouble we had was the junk in our fuel tanks clogged the intake lines of our fuel polishing system ( Filter Boss) We developed a routine of checking gauges every time we wrote in our log book ( hourly) We had to jury rig a dingy pump to blow back the fuel into the tank in a convoluted way to avoid stalling. Kind of like trying to open a combination lock while jumping on a trampoline.
A Cell phone is really a good tool as well ( I can't believe I am saying this)
We checked in with the Coast Guard quite regularly to check the bar openings. We were quite surprised when a few days late they called us to warn us of problem at one of the entrances.
We basically motor sailed up the coast planning escape routes for bad weather. So if you are not in a rush, hug the shore but keep well out over 200 feet more of depth because of the crap pots and kelp.
There is a great brewery in New Port and if you grab me a couple of Chipolte ales I will be your friend for life.
A must have, GIS and radar as fog is prominent. Damn it was cold!
3 days of grey is pretty boring so load up your itunes good luck

Would I do it again? Yes I would, but not in a boat under 35 feet no way!
I plan to do it the right way next time going south.
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Old 11-12-2009, 19:08   #9
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Sail to Hawaii, then to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Start in June. Much easier, you'll see a bit of Hawaii and have a good sail to the straits. From Hawaii stay on starboard tack until you pass the Pacific high then go on port tack about even with the Oregon/Washington boarder then start sailing with the wind on your quarter to the straits. Might take you 30-40 days from Hawaii in a 26 footer.
regards,
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Old 22-12-2009, 20:35   #10
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I have done SF to Victoria three times the last being April 2009. Early April you may still catch the end of the S winds caused by the storms off Mexico. September was the best month I found. In all it is still a really guessing game on when best to go. Not so bad as long as you can be patient and have the time otherwise I would have to agree with the Hawaii route which I will probably do the next time.
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Old 23-12-2009, 10:33   #11
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a picture journey

I made a slide show of the trip up the coast to our home of Thetis Island
BC.
There is a lot of pictures of San Fransisco where we waited for our friends to arrive. The trip itself was pretty grey until we went ashore. When we arrived home we were amazed at just how beautiful the waters are here.


enjoy
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Old 23-12-2009, 11:28   #12
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If you want to sail, January has a preponderance of winds from the South. The problem is the winds that don't come from the south. You have to be ready to duck in to a safe anchorage at the drop of a hat or get the crap beat out of you. These southerly winds hang around till the spring. When I delivered my boat from Santa Cruz to SF in March, southerly winds prevailed for two weeks and we had a lovely sail in the midst of it.

Other than that, it's a motor trip in the summer. Power up the coast just off the kelp line. You get a little help from a counter current and coastal wind action that bends the wind to a little off the nose.

There are a lot of anchorages sheltered from the prevailing NW winds along the California Coast. The Oregon and Washington coasts have fairly close spaced harbors but they are river outflows with bars. You don't cross these bars when the waves are up. A close monitoring of the weather and communication with the Coast Guard at the bars is mandatory.

There is a self published book by a guy who made the trip a number of times in a Coronado 27. It's an interesting read with some good info. on the California anchorages. He stayed close to shore and powered with the main sheeted in hard in the summer. Did it in easy stages anchoring almost every night. When I get home, I can get you the author's name and title if you want it when I get home.
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Old 06-01-2010, 22:35   #13
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thank you everyone for the great responses. Most of my sailing has been on the east coast and great lakes, so thank you!

Hmm. I'm weighing two options....

1. partial sail/partial transport on truck or ship. this Ensenada Dockwise transport ship. anyone have some more info about this? perhaps joining the newport to ensenada race would be a great time to go.

2. Newport to SF, to Hawaii, back to Vancouver. would be reasonable to do 30 days to hawaii and then 15 to Vancouver? March/April currents?? any advice?

I wouldn't mind getting the name of the author who did the west coast in a Coronado 27.

THANK YOU!
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Old 07-01-2010, 16:26   #14
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Originally Posted by daveyjustin View Post
thank you everyone for the great responses. Most of my sailing has been on the east coast and great lakes, so thank you!

Hmm. I'm weighing two options....

1. partial sail/partial transport on truck or ship. this Ensenada Dockwise transport ship. anyone have some more info about this? perhaps joining the newport to ensenada race would be a great time to go.

2. Newport to SF, to Hawaii, back to Vancouver. would be reasonable to do 30 days to hawaii and then 15 to Vancouver? March/April currents?? any advice?

I wouldn't mind getting the name of the author who did the west coast in a Coronado 27.

THANK YOU!
I would think that you could get a trailer to transport the Contessa 26 for much cheaper than dockwise. @6 is a pretty small boat for highway transport. I am sure one of the new big diesel pick up trucks could pull the boat up Interstate 5 easily.
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Old 11-01-2010, 21:38   #15
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Not to be a rainshower on a good sailing adventure, I dream of sailing from Puget Sound to Cortez and back thorugh Hawaii on my 37' Ketch. I can't help but appreciate Charlies reply to truck it up I-5 on a small trailer. I trailered my 25' Cheoy Lee at about 6000# from Los Angeles to louisiana on a sailboat trailer I bought for $900 in San Diego. I pulled it with a 1976 Dodge 1 ton with a 440 gas burner. My inexperience with older equipment hit me hard but I was successful. There is a pro truckdriver called a 'hotshot' they drive 1 ton diesel trucks and pull smaller trailers than there 80,000# big brothers for generally less cost. You could buy the trailer and have a pro drive it or do it yourself, then you will have an alternate storage once home.
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