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Old 05-08-2009, 17:54   #1
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San Francisco to San Diego

Well we did it my son and I bought a sailboat that we plan to sail to San Diego. We are looking for all the advice we can get to help us prepare for the trip. Could anyone direct us to books, or web sites that would be helpful ? No timeline has been set yet.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:55   #2
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Rider--

That's a pretty long schlep for a Coronado 27 if thats what you're sailing (per your profile) and unless the yacht is in good condition and well prepared, the trip could amount to a fairly hazardous enterprise. Assuming you're considering doing it in a single shot, your looking at about 450 miles (nautical). At an average of 5 knts, you're looking at roughly 4 daze at sea along a coast that has few ports of refuge and is subject to high winds (unless one is unduly near shore) and lots of fog. Unless you have radar, you'll need to stay inside the shipping lanes which will put you in fairly shallow and accordingly rough water, even along the 50 fathom curve.

If you choose to do it in hops, from the Gate to Half Moon Bay will be farily easy as it's only a short way 30 miles+/-. From there to Santa Cruz or Monteray is a long run, rougly 60 miles to Montery so a good 12 hour sail. The first big jump is from Monterey to either Morro Bay or Port San Luis (100 or 120 miles respectively) with only one possible stopping point, at San Simeon, roughly 30 miles north of Morro Bay, and that's a rough anchorage at best. The next big jump is from Morro Bay or Port San Luis, past Pt. Conception and down to at least the northwest anchorage on Santa Rosa Island. From Port San Luis that's a good 90 miles and bresting Pt. Conception heading down wind is something I wouldn't do less than 10 miles or more off and without a crew with several good helmsmen to spell one another. Pt. Conception can be as flat as a mill pond--rarely--but it can be a stone b1tch with srong northwesterlys and northwesterly swell with a southwesterly cross sea. From Santa Rosa Island south is farily easy sailing. One can go coast-wise but it would be more efficient to simply head directly to the back side of Catalina, about 80 miles, with Santa Barbara Island a little more than half-way if you need a stopping point for a rest. From Catalina to Pt. Loma is only another 80 miles and is generally an easy down-wind run.

You can review the charts for the trip at NOAA BookletCharts and pilot charts for the Pacific Coast are available at North Pacific Pilot Charts . Additional information is available at Nautical Charts & Pubs .

Another alternative, of course, is to load the boat on a trailer and ship it down to San Diego. It's only 8.5' wide, 26.75' long and only displaces 6200# and I can't imagine that it would be particularly difficult to find a trailer in SF capable of handling that. Check the Richmond Boat Works as a starter.

FWIW...
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:59   #3
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Is Port San Luis the same as Avilla Beach?......i2f
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Old 06-08-2009, 18:45   #4
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Is Port San Luis the same as Avilla Beach?......
PSL is in the same cove but 2 miles west. Nice place. The Old Port Inn is on the pier and I've never had better "Arster Stew". We miss it alot--But not the weather!!!
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:51   #5
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PSL is in the same cove but 2 miles west. Nice place. The Old Port Inn is on the pier and I've never had better "Arster Stew". We miss it alot--But not the weather!!!
Isn't that the wrong coast for "arsters"?
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:22   #6
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Isn't that the wrong coast for "arsters"?
Gordo--the "left coast" is the the wrong coast for darned near everything these daze but arsters ain't one of em. In fact, some of the best arsters come out of the area and particulaly San Luis Bay, Morro Bay, and up north in Tomalas and Bodega Bay (actually I think they're being "farmed" near Marshall at this point). When I was a kid we kept an old 14' sailing skiff at Nick's Cove on Tomalas Bay. We'd take our motorcycles up there, pick up a couple of buckets of arsters, crackers, hot sauce, and a six pack, and sail over to Hog Island and grill 'em on a driftwood fire on the beach (beach is a misnomer--it was mostly pebbles!) As long as you didn't get fogged in, and some darned Gray whale didn't come and try to rub his back on your hull, it was pretty safe (but always cold!). (Arsters, Mussels, a piece of potatoe and an onion in beer broth makes a pretty good stew too!)
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:24   #7
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There are two places in Tomales bay that farm "arsters", Tomales Bay Oyster Company and Drakes Bay Family Farm (Formerly Johnson's Oyster Farm).

I have had oysters from both coasts and I have to say that West coast oysters are much larger and "sweeter" than East coast oysters.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:00   #8
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As a kid my Dad would always go to San Luis Obispo. Put the camper next to the beach, and for days dig oysters with his fork. I remember watching him open, rinse, and then swallow the oyster while knee deep in the ocean. I also remember finding that completely replusive. NOT ANYMORE!....YUMMMMMMY......i2f
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:20   #9
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I have made this trip before when I moved my boat from SF to Ventura. Stopped at Halfmoon Bay first. Next day at Montery and anchored at Still water cove, continuing we bypassed Morobay and went overnight through fog to Pismo Beach, Continued on that day to anchor behind Point conception in protected bay. Next was full day to Ventura. Weather was good and is a downhill run most of the time. We Hugged the shoreline most of the way. I would Bring a laptop and install GPS mouse with Free SeaClear software.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:34   #10
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oh my!

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Isn't that the wrong coast for "arsters"?
Are the moderators paying attention to this vicious calumny?

The only diff between east coast oysters and left coast oysters is that the former are in a state of decline while the latter are sweeter, larger, tastier and, indeed, far more attractive.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:47   #11
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sorry about the thread drift, but...

...them was fightin' words.

I've made the trip a bunch of times, and it's actually pleasant southbound this time of year. Realize that you're going to be dealing with fog at some point, and that you'll have some long stretches between anchorages. The worst is Monterey to Morro Bay. You may be able to shorten it a bit by anchoring in Stillwater Cove (Carmel Bay) and using that as a jump off point, but you should avoid Stillwater in a southerly swell because it gets nasty and the holding ground is uncertain. Likewise, you don't want to anchor in San Simeon on anything but a northwesterly swell.

There are times when the harbor bar at Morro Bay experiences breakers, and the Coast Guard "closes" the harbor. When that happened to me once during a June passage, they put out PAN PAN notices that I was getting half a day before getting to Morro Rock. Was able to get into Port San Louis no problem, however. Even if you don't hear a PAN PAN, it's always a good idea to call the MB harbormaster before entering to get conditions, they're happy to give you an up-to-the minute report, but realize that Morro Rock casts a big radio shadow where you won't be able to get them.

One thing I like to do, once south of Pt. Conception, is work my way to San Diego via the Channel Islands rather than going in toward Santa Barbara where the breeze tends to get light this time of year. Realize that Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel can get really stinky in a blow, with some of the worst willowahs I've ever experienced.

I wouldn't even think about making the trip unless I had EXCELLENT ground tackle and was prepared to deal with long stretches of fog. I've made the trip a couple of times without radar, and would never do it again--not any time of year, but especially not during the summer months. If you don't feel confident about your ability to navigate thick fog, the suggestion you trailer the boat south is worth considering.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:54   #12
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one more thought

Someone above said that the trip would take you four days. Sorry, not in the boat you're taking. That's a nice 4-day trip in my boat, but I've got twice your waterline. Give yourself AT LEAST a week, at which point you'll be kicking yourself for not allowing more time to experience the channel islands. And don't even think about doing the trip in less-than-ideal conditions in a Coronado 27. And don't take that boat out the gate until you are 100% convinced that the hull is sound, the rigging is sound, the keelbolts are sound, the rudder/steering is sound, the engine is sound, and the crew is sound.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:16   #13
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Are the moderators paying attention to this vicious calumny?
The only diff between east coast oysters and left coast oysters is that the former are in a state of decline while the latter are sweeter, larger, tastier and, indeed, far more attractive.
I was merely implying that West coasters' spoke the word (oyster) in comprehensible English, whereas the East coast pidgen (arster) isn't universally understood.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:25   #14
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ahhhh....

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I was merely implying that West coasters' spoke the word (oyster) in comprehensible English, whereas the East coast pidgen (arster) isn't universally understood.
you're forgiven
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Old 07-08-2009, 13:51   #15
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I've done the trip two times. Once in July and the other in January. We had strong northwest winds and did hull speed from the Gate to Point Conception. Made the trip in three days in a Westsail 32. These were deliveries so didn't even think about stopping till we got to Newport Beach. Later, went to the Channel Islands in February and had a wonderful time. With the exception of Lobster fisherman, had the Islands to ourselves and loved the solitude.

Point Conception is a real crap shoot. In the summer passage, the wind slackened before the point and we had a lovely sail past it. In the winter passage, winds also died a bit before the point so put up the reacher drifter. Winds came back with a vengeance just before the Point and had a bitch of a time getting the R/D down. As soon as we got round the point, the wind died and we had to motor till well clear of the point.

Interestingly, the temps were actually warmer in January than July or at least felt that way. In July we had fog and overcast and the water temp hadn't warmed much from the winter. We were really happy we brought heavy jackets. In January, had mostly sunshine and there was still a bit of warm water left from the summer. A light jacket was all we needed.

Winds are reliably strong NWerlys from April to December. January actually has more days of winds with a Southerly component than Northerly. The chances of Southerlys are pretty good through March. We had light Southerlies when I brought my boat up from Santa Cruz to Alameda in March. In the winter, you have to be very aware of low pressure systems. These can make things very exciting with huge seas and very strong winds.

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