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Old 27-06-2009, 08:46   #31
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"Tacking" ,:beating to windward ,with wind over one side of boat,then the other.I wasn't talking about from Hawaii,I meant from San Fran.It would be roughly 1500 miles.I have sailed from Hawaii to B.C.(2600 mi.) in July,first due North on a starboard"tack", until about 40 Deg. N,then a port "tack" all the way into JDF. and know that if you reach that waypoint ,you will make Juan De Fuca.I think it coincides roughly with the clipper route.
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Old 27-06-2009, 08:52   #32
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Oh yeah,we never used the motor over the High.
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Old 27-06-2009, 09:13   #33
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I know it's typical to go via Hawaii when coming from Panama - the added miles make up a small portion of the total distance. By comparison SF to Seattle is 800 NM direct, but about 4300 NM via Hawaii. Surely there is no benefit to going over five times the distance.
The only benefit is that you get to visit Hawaii. Next year I will be racing there (in the Pacific Cup), so for me the issue is whether to return directly to San Francisco, or to stop off in the Puget Sound for a few weeks on my way home.

I agree that unless you were already planning to visit Hawaii it wouldn't make a lot of sense to do this.

Actually, there's another benefit: The mostly downwind S.F / Hawaii / Seattle route is much more pleasant, and is probably easier on the boat, especially if you would have to bash through the typical conditions along the mainland west coast. The direct route should take one or two weeks, and the Hawaii route should take about five weeks, so time is certainly an issue.
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Old 27-06-2009, 09:17   #34
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What is this "tacking" of which you speak?
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"Tacking" ,:beating to windward ,with wind over one side of boat,then the other.I wasn't talking about from Hawaii,I meant from San Fran.
Sorry, I guess I wasn't paying attention. I thought you were talking about the Hawaii - Seattle passage.
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Old 27-06-2009, 09:48   #35
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That 800 NM to Seattle could take longer to sail than the 4300 NM via Hawaii!

Bashing into the current, wind, and ocean swell for days or weeks, waiting for the weather to improve in a harbor of refuge, or staying out in crappy conditions because the bar is closed is not the way to protect a marriage or keep a crew onboard. Gear failure from these harsh conditions is also possible.

There has been way too many boats lost or crew injured, on this coast, to not take the advice of those who have sailed in these waters lightly.

Sail safe and have fun
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Old 27-06-2009, 18:55   #36
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Keep in mind...

There's a nasty stretch of water from roughly the lower third of Oregon to about the level of San Francisco. This portion of the downwind leg can be pretty unpleasant - there has been gale force winds there daily for the past week and a half or so - and is worst in July. That's why the Vic-Maui is in June, just before the Pacific High gets established and ramps up the wind through that stretch.

Not too terrible going down stream and down current if you're snugged down and ready for the weather. But I guess I wouldn't be thrilled heading against it - it might be worth a 2000 nm detour.
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Old 27-06-2009, 20:22   #37
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There's a nasty stretch of water from roughly the lower third of Oregon to about the level of San Francisco.
Yeah about 150, maybe 200 miles of rough stuff then it moderates - going to Hawaii you're also going to have 150-200 miles of the same thing, followed by 1800 miles of 3-metre seas. And it's a 3500-mile detour BTW.
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Old 27-06-2009, 22:02   #38
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::grin:: 3500 as the crow flies, or 3500 after tacking against wind, wave, and current? I believe Valis was getting about 2-4 kts per hour VMG, and more than twice that over the ground, and they hadn't even made it to Mendocino.

I suspect I'm being more than fair in guessing 1500 worth of travel extra to make good 800.
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Old 27-06-2009, 23:00   #39
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::grin:: 3500 as the crow flies, or 3500 after tacking against wind, wave, and current? I believe Valis was getting about 2-4 kts per hour VMG, and more than twice that over the ground, and they hadn't even made it to Mendocino.

I suspect I'm being more than fair in guessing 1500 worth of travel extra to make good 800.
You're probably correct about our VMG, I haven't had the motivation to actually figure it out (the numbers would no doubt depress me). Of course VALIS is hardly an up-wind screamer. We can probably tack through 100-120 degrees CMG under good conditions. With the head seas we saw we did much worse. The extra cruising gear on deck probably didn't help, either. Of course the southbound current isn't going to help any boat's performance on this passage.

If you can wait for good conditions it is certainly do-able, especially with plenty of fuel. You would have to go pretty far offshore to avoid the very common coastal gales in July/August, which is why (I suppose) so many people use the near-shore harbor-hopping method, although the harbors are few, far between, and often have dangerous entrances in rough conditions.

Even the Hawaii-Seattle route can get dicey as you approach the continent. During the '08 Pacific Cup return, several boats got really hammered a few hundred miles off the Washington / Oregon / No. Calif. coasts. 40+ kt gusts and big waves were reported. Look at what happened to Skip Allen ("Wildflower") as he was approaching San Francisco. I've not seen such terrible conditions, but I suppose I've been lucky.

Plenty of people do make the coastal passage, and I will probably try it again myself one of these days. Do pay attention and be careful.

Perhaps not yet mentioned is sailing up "longitude I-5" (trucking the boat north on the interstate highway). I can't bring myself to do this, but many people do and it can make good sense.

I'm just sharing what I have learned and guessed, based on some limited experience and a lot of reading. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 27-06-2009, 23:37   #40
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some of you seem to be forgetting...

...that gentlemen don't go to weather.

Honestly, I had a friend who got his boat from SF to Seattle by sailing out the Golden Gate, turning left, cruising his boat to Mexico over the course of a few months, and then putting it on one of those yacht-hauler ships, shipping it to British Columbia, and then motoring it south to the destination.

Between you and me, I suspect that the SF-Hawaii-Seattle route is not only shorter and quicker, but a far sight less expensive.
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Old 28-06-2009, 03:34   #41
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It looks like everyone has given you good advice so far. Having done this bit of coast three times now (twice southbound and once northbound), I'd personally go via Hawaii or I-5, but that isn't very helpful to you. So here are some tips from our northbound voyage:

Wait for no wind, especially for Point Arena, Cape Mendocino, and Cape Blanco. Then motor-sail. We didn't wait long enough for Point Arena and got bashed up pretty good. We waited at Noyo River for Cape Mendocino, but there's also an anchorage that the commercial fishermen use closer to the cape called Shelter Bay or something like that. We waited at Eureka for the next bit and then couldn't get around Cape Blanco and ducked into Brookings for awhile. Don't even try Gold Beach or Tillamook if there is any weather at all. Those bars are killers.

The advice to enter bars at slack is good. If the bar is especially shallow, you want high-water slack, but if it's deep, I like low-water slack for the push upstream afterwards (I'm thinking Columbia River here.)

The crabpots disappear after you reach 200'

The earlier 20-40 miles out recommendation is good to avoid fishing boats and shipping, but that's awfully far out for northbound. For that you need to stay close so that you can duck in if the wind comes up.

The trip to Seattle is the hard part. There are lots of books on the Inside Passage, and we did that too as far as Juneau. It was great! If I were you, I'd try to convince my friend to truck the boat to Seattle or Anacortes and then join him for the fun part.
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Old 28-06-2009, 09:16   #42
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Just a quick note: We live here on the Central Oregon coast. We just returned home from three days on the boat with gale warnings every day and the bar was closed to ALL traffic for the full duration of our time there. Winds were calm in the morning until about 09:00 or so then built up to 25-35 with maximum gusts while we were there of 52. They usually close the bar when the wind comes up because the bar gets too dangerous to cross. Imagine yourself outside wanting in and not being able to for three days - or two weeks - in rough weather.
One of the guys was stuck outside for three days with a sick crew member. Not pleasant.
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Old 28-06-2009, 10:26   #43
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Where on the Oregon Coast??
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:34   #44
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Our boat is in Winchester Bay. Just north of Coos Bay.
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Old 28-06-2009, 18:02   #45
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I'm betting all the Kiwis are rolling on the floor, laughing their arses off.
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