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Old 25-03-2011, 08:53   #16
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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Originally Posted by webejammin View Post
So if you get used to crusing the USA west coast the rest of the USA sailing will be easier, especially the east coast.
No!

You'll maybe be better prepared for a wider range of conditions.
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:04   #17
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

The real reason for not having a US west coast dedicated section is we don't get enough traffic. If we get a lot of interest we will set up more sections but we don't want a lot of sections with almost nothing in them. Members get lost too easily and too many sections makes the navigation difficult. Ironic but true.

The Tagging feature of the forum software can allow members to tag and find specific topics that go beyond just the listed section titles and can search different sections too. Using the search tool can make the navigation problem easier. If you need to know about a specific place use the search tool. It's probably been posted before.
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:18   #18
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Webejamin, bar crossings are exciting but you must use judgement and have some experience to safely navigate over them, particularly if conditions are not optimal. There are USCG stations at many of the bars on the US west coast who are only to happy to give you conditions at any time. Many of them will send out a pilot boat to guide you in if conditions are bad. Call them on 16 or 22 to request conditions. Be prepared to be boarded for inspection if they do guide you in but these folks are professional, friendly and very efficient. The worst can be the crossing on the Columbia River. This spring and summer will extra challenging due to the heavy runoff on all the coastal rivers. Fun spots to visit are Grey's Harbor in WA, just north of the Columbia, Newport, OR, Niya River, CA at Fort Bragg, CA and Humbolt Bay, CA. All are nice, friendly harbors with marinas or anchorages. Crescent City, CA suffered tsunami damage this spring so migh give it a pass. Hope this helps in your planning... regarding Charlies' comments on nooks and crannies, he is correct. I did not suggest stops between Ensenada and Turtle Bay because of questionable holding around San Quintin, a rolly anchorage at the top end of Cedros Island that is small and has many folks waiting for weather headed north. San Quitin is way out of your way headed north or south in my opinion. Bahia Santa Maria, way south of Turtle Bay, is a superb spot just north of Mag Bay that saves you a day in and out of the bay itself, great holding ground and interesting hiking around the dunes between Santa Maria and Mag Bay... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:30   #19
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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Originally Posted by webejammin View Post
So if you get used to crusing the USA west coast the rest of the USA sailing will be easier, especially the east coast.
Pretty much although the Gulf Stream, rivers, and shallow anchorages are taught better on the east coast. But in San Fran you can never see the wind drop below 20 knots and in San Diego you have to make your boat sail with 5 knots of wind and a heavy fog.

Short of SD and SF bays (and barely SF), there isn't a lot of protected water over here. Like someone else said, once you cross the breakwaters, you're in open water. Many stretches don't offer safe harbor for over 100 miles.
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:40   #20
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Thanks Capt Phil . I guess we'll have to keep the post's coming so we get disengaged from the orient or go to www.PNWsailors.com to chat with the Salish Sea folks

Thanks for the chat about the pit stops along the west coast. We crused north to the Columbia river last year from San Diego watching our weather and we had a great non stop trip but we did motor quite a lot. I expect we will motor a lot going north to the Salish Sea the last of June especially the 150 miles or so before we get to the Straight of Juan d Fucia. It's either no breeze and smooth swells or breeze and steep swells seams there's not much good sailing going north BUT our trip south at the end of the summer we should be able to sail easly going south to the Columbia river bar with the dominate breeze from the north.
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:43   #21
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Pudget Sound and the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest offers some of the best sailing in the world. Harbors, bays, marinas, Islands, its just drop dead beautiful.

Its only downside is a pesky reason why it's so green all of the time.
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:44   #22
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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Pretty much although the Gulf Stream, rivers, and shallow anchorages are taught better on the east coast. But in San Fran you can never see the wind drop below 20 knots and in San Diego you have to make your boat sail with 5 knots of wind and a heavy fog.

Short of SD and SF bays (and barely SF), there isn't a lot of protected water over here. Like someone else said, once you cross the breakwaters, you're in open water. Many stretches don't offer safe harbor for over 100 miles.

INSIDE PASSAGE, VANCOUVER ISLAND, QUEEN CHARLOTTES, PUGET'S SOUND, all have protected waters and many anchorages...and cold weather and waters, mainly.
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Old 25-03-2011, 10:14   #23
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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INSIDE PASSAGE, VANCOUVER ISLAND, QUEEN CHARLOTTES, PUGET'S SOUND, all have protected waters and many anchorages...and cold weather and waters, mainly.
Come on, that's like what, 1% of the western US coastline?
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Old 25-03-2011, 10:38   #24
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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Come on, that's like what, 1% of the western US coastline?
I believe the area is larger than the California coastline, just not as many people.It is surrounded by the territories of Washington state, British Columbia province Canada and the lower 1/3 of the state of Alaska. It is traversed every year by vessels from kayaks to cruise ships. Just to get to open ocean from my mooring is a 200 mile adventure, and that's the closest approach. Come to think of it, if you take Mexico away from California, it's bigger.
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Old 25-03-2011, 10:44   #25
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Who wants to go where it's crouded crusing and anchorages are in front of homes. I'll take the piece and quite of the PNW
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Old 25-03-2011, 10:55   #26
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

There is a self published book by George Bensen called Cruising the Northwest Coast that has a lot of information about gunkholing up and down the Pacific Coast from California to Washington. Benson went up and down the coast many times in his much modified Coronado 27 anchoring out every night. There are a string of anchorages that provide sheltered water from the prevailing NorthWesterly winds along most of the entire coast. Most of them are shallow bays and bights behind headlands that are not good for southerly winds but great little hideaways from the winds that mostly prevail in summer and fall. I was going to emulate his experience until I decided to sail west on my way north.
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Old 25-03-2011, 11:00   #27
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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Come on, that's like what, 1% of the western US coastline?
Not if you measured the total shoreline! Puget sound alone has 1,332 miles of shorline. Add the Bellington Bay, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and you have an enormas sailing area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puget_Sound
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Old 25-03-2011, 11:48   #28
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

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Come on, that's like what, 1% of the western US coastline?
...More like 60%?

Chart 530

The 1300 miles from Tijuana to Neah Bay, WA is a pretty small part of the West coast of the US.

Starting at the base of the Puget Sound in Olympia, Washington (gotta plug my home town!) is over 2000 miles of accessible, astoundingly beautiful, sparsely populated, easily navigable and often protected coastline.

It terms of actual shorline it's probably more like 95% of the West Coast.
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Old 25-03-2011, 11:52   #29
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Webejammin, you had asked about bar crossing techniques which I neglected to respond. I hesitated to reply because if you take my advice and roll your boat, not a good thing! I can share what has worked for me (and only me.perhaps)... the most important thing is awareness of the conditions and the seaway. This governed in large part by river outflow, tides and currents, bottom configuration, bar width and depth, wind, swell size and direction and several other varying conditions. It sounds complicated and each bar is different under differing conditions but sitting outside observing can be very informative. Also check in with the USCG for their take on bar conditions. If they say no go, do not attempt it! Make certain of your entry markers both port and starboard, the location of the entry buoy which usually marks the outer limit of where the shore swells begin to steep and a usual rendezvous point if you need to be guided in. Don't feel embarrassed about asking for help... the coasties would far rather guide you in than pick you off the rocks! Once you have lined yourself up with the entrance buoys, try and match your speed with slightly less than the incoming swells. Be very cautious to keep your heading as close to right angles with the steepening swell as you can. If you find that that course is taking you off of the harbor entrance, abhort and head back out early and smartly to try again. Do not try and turn if you are in breakers... get realigned long before then. As you approach the surf line, if any, watch your helm and make slight course adjustments. As you feel the swell steepen and roll under your boat and perhaps break, hammer the throttle to maintain control and try and keep your speed at the rate to keep you just behind the breaking wave. As the next wave catches you, you may begin to surf. The tiller or wheel will feel light to your touch so be careful not to over correct. As the next breaker approaches your stern, stay focused on what is ahead, not behind you. As the breaker passes beneath and to either side of you, stay alert for the entrance markers and head right between them. As soon as hit the flat water inside the bar, back off on the throttle and pat yourself on the back... you made it !! Tie up or drop your hook and open a cold one... you've earned it! The purpose of trying to discribe what has worked for me is to provoke critical comment from others. I'm certain there are many other techniques that are equally as effective, if not more so. It would probably be helpful to try out your crossing technique in very moderate conditions before attempting anything major. Hope this helps... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 25-03-2011, 12:13   #30
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

very good description Capt. Phil considering your closest water is that little inland pond of Lake Roosevelt.lol Practice, patience, and caution are the terms of the day. I've been out Columbia's bar when it was almost smooth as glass, and 25' steep seas, and it gets lots worse. Many years ago, a buddy of mine lost both his crew on a 44' motorlife boat when their harnesses were compromised in a rollover, patience and caution, bow to the force.
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