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Old 20-03-2011, 13:13   #1
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Unhappy Sailing the USA West Coast ?

I'm new on this board Why is there no west coast crusing forum of the USA in the pacific without adding the orient. I'm mostly a west coast cruser and live in the Pacific North West but no catagory to post costal USA crusing. Is it too difficult for most costal crusers? Why? No mention of crusing from Seattle to Mexico or even southern CA and crusing back north to Seattle or Alaskia ?
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Old 20-03-2011, 13:15   #2
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

You will see occasional mention of the San Juan's or sailing from Seattle/Vancouver to Mexico, but it isn't as heavily discussed as the Caribbean.
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Old 20-03-2011, 13:43   #3
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

I have some friends who own a boat yard up in Maine and we were actually talking about east coast vs. west coast sailing last night. On the east coast you have little nooks to tuck into everywhere, "tropical islands" pretty close by, lots of shallow water, the ICW, etc.

On the Pacific side you have hundreds (thousands?) of miles of exposed cliffs, nasty conditions, and little to no safe harbors between the major ports.

At least for me if I'm off Point Conception or something of the sort, I'm sure as hell on my way somewhere else and not hanging out very long.
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Old 20-03-2011, 14:31   #4
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

There are many nooks and coves on the west coast except for a short distance south of Monterey to Point Conception and from Ensenada, MX to Turtle Bay. Depending on the time of year, sea conditions, seaworthyness of boat and crew, even the Oregon coast is dotted with small harbors although bar crossing experience is necessary. I've made many deliveries up and down the coast, both power and sail, ranging in length from 28 feet up to a 92 foot gin palace. Watch the weather, have a back up plan (or two) and if you head north, try and do it between hurricane season in the south and winter storms in the north. The west coast is dotted with sea buoys that give wind speed and sea conditions out 600 miles and weather forcasts are pretty reliable, at least on the US leg. Gunkholing up or down the west coast with no set timetable can be really enjoyable. For an extra margin of error/comfort. use a weather router... Capt Phil
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Old 20-03-2011, 14:39   #5
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Other than watching the weather windows the west coast has many safe harbors (except for tsumomi's sp? ). When I brought our Gemini north from San Diego last year we had ok weather mostly and the Pacific waves were about as high as in the Gluf Stream with a breeze from the north ocassionally, just what we had to get used to. We were not worried about pirates on the north west coast like in warmer waters or the Caribian so we felt very safe. Our plans are to yearly cruse from the Columbia river north to the San Juan's and the Salish Sea and my wife is planning on us going to sail to Alaskia next year. Is there any catamarans crusing around Vancouver Island this year?
We will be leaving the Columbia River bar about the last of June and be returning the first of Sept
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Old 20-03-2011, 15:43   #6
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
There are many nooks and coves on the west coast except for a short distance south of Monterey to Point Conception and from Ensenada, MX to Turtle Bay. Depending on the time of year, sea conditions, seaworthyness of boat and crew, even the Oregon coast is dotted with small harbors although bar crossing experience is necessary.
I would disagree about the nooks and coves from Ensenada to Turtle Bay. There are plenty of them. Cedros Island, Bahia Santa Maria, San Carlos, Isla San Quintin to name a few in no partiuilar order. On the Baja Peninsula the only place where there are no hidey holes is between the South end of Mag Bay and Cabo.

As far as the Northwest goes while there are lots of places to stop the problem is that when the conditions are such that you do want to stop the river bars are often closed.
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Old 20-03-2011, 15:53   #7
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

I guess you waite too long to go across most bar's and they close before your weather forcasting system shows bad weather, if you have one onboard.
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Old 24-03-2011, 21:37   #8
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Smile Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Whats involved in going into many of the bars along the Washington and Oregon coast? I have done it in a 16' sport fishing boat 3o times perhaps at Nitinat River bar on west coast of Vancouver island but that is with a 120 hp outboard on the back.
We now have a 57' trawler style disp. cruiser, 8 knot boat very seaworthy. So do you try to go in on the back of a wave or what?

Looking for experienced knowledge. I realize that if its nasty on the outside and low tide with heavy rains and swollen rivers its going to be scary. But Sept./Oct should be good time to try this correct? Thinking of heading down to Mexico in Sept. early Oct.

thanks
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Old 24-03-2011, 22:28   #9
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

If you waite to leave after the middle of Sept your almost too late for a good weather window. Were sailing north from the Columbia River to the San Juan islands the last of June and coming back south the first of Sept and the sea conditions are the calm'st for crusing the north west coast. Check the history on the off shore buoy's web pages to see the wave hight and swell period for the time of year you want to go south. I met a guy last Oct 15 at the Latt's and Att's crusers party on Catalina Island that had a brand new wind generator over spinn and burn up in a blow off the southern Oregon coast he only suffered from sprains and bruses from being bounced around by big waves.
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Old 24-03-2011, 22:31   #10
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Many people have asked Latitude38 to sponsor a cruiser forum to no avail. Richards answer is that he dosen't want to spend the time or energy riding herd on twenty regular very opinionaied posters.
Besides we keep our boats in the water year round, while people in the northeast have some stupid thing called winter were they put thir boats on the hard for half of the year and dream about boats via the cruiser forums.

The West Coast is a different type of sailing than found on the East coast.

It's a lee shore with tidal ranges sometimes ten feet in hieght. Sailors on the east coast can gunkhole and fuss about in protected waters, we on the west coast stick our noses out over the sandbar and we're open ocean sailing with something called swells.
Population centers are spaced futher apart.
Weather patterns are harder to predict. On the east coast all you need do is look to the west and say yup whats over there is going to be over here tomorrow.
I could go on but having ben on both sides, East coast and west coast are a world apart.
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Old 24-03-2011, 22:42   #11
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

We'll be crusing by Vancouver in June heading to the San Juan Island and eventually the Latt's & Att's crusers party in Friday Harbor and another party on Sucia Island. We'll wave if your around when we go by.
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Old 24-03-2011, 22:45   #12
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

30 FT SEAS ARE DIFFICULT TO GUNK HOLE IN. we have those. sometimes we have flat seas. and no wind.
LEE SH0RES ARE NOT FUN TO SAIL-- THEY ARE MAGNETS FOR BOATS. we have these. entire coastline is that. LOL
BARRIER ISLANDS-- WE DONOT HAVE.
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Old 25-03-2011, 00:03   #13
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

So if you get used to crusing the USA west coast the rest of the USA sailing will be easier, especially the east coast.
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Old 25-03-2011, 00:35   #14
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

Some parts of the west coast have relatively protected sailing, so it's not all macho ocean stuff.
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Old 25-03-2011, 01:05   #15
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Re: Sailing the USA West coast ?

it's not all macho ocean stuff. Today 23:03
I know the south west coast is easy crusing most of the time cause I sailed out of San Diago Mission Bay to Catalina island last Oct and only had a couple of hours we could hoist our sails otherwise no breeze to speak of and 5 ft swells at 20 seconds was the norm for our cruse. The crusers party at Two Harbors with Bob Bitchen and the Eric Stone Band was great except for the light drizzle.
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