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Old 10-07-2008, 21:33   #1
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Seattle > San Diego: Aug/Sep '08 - Advice?

Hello.

I may be aquiring a new Ketch (wooden...details later). It's in Bellingham Washington...I'm in San Diego California. I've been sailing 6 years and can single hand my Angelman Sea Spirit (gaff rigged woodie) to and from Catalina pretty easily and have decent navigation skills; but that's the extent of my experience. I will be travelling with one or two others (possibly one with sailing experience). ANY ADVICE IS WELCOME!!!!!! Planning to do this in Aug/Sept.

FYI. Three years ago visited WA.....my one and only visit in August. Beautiful day on Ferry to Victoria from Port Angeles.....THE STRAIGHT OF JUAN DE FUCA....looks rather ...serious...major short interval wind swell and 30-50 kts. wind...depending on time-o-day
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Old 11-07-2008, 14:43   #2
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I've done the trip down the coast to Mexico twice. Both times, we started in late August and early Sept.
The first time we had an Easterly and a big ebb in the Strait.
I've made several trips in and out of the strait and too many across from Whidbey to the San Juans to count, just watch the weather.

Steve B.
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Old 11-07-2008, 16:21   #3
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The weather has a few distinct districts for lack of a better word. 1) Going out the Straits can be nasty or wonderful on a recent trip from Port Angleles WA to Astoria OR we had a wondrful sail from PA till about halfway out the staits. From there it was 35 knots on the nose with 6 to 8' seas. We pulled into Seiku and spent the night. The next day we took off around 0900 and ended up motoring all the way to Astoria b/c there was no wind. This was in Sep. We could have motored all the way to CA. In May we got out of Astoria just before the bar closed (river bar that is) and had a nice sail in heavy winds of 20 to 20 apparent from the NW. Then the wind died and clocked to the SW and then died agian. We ended up motoring into Humblot Bay. From there we had a couple of nice days sialing down the coast into the SF Bay. The day after we got in there was a nice gale blowing outside the Gate. I've only done one trip and look at the variety of weather that we had. Choose your window and have plenty of time it can be done comfortably. Set a time frame and it can be done but not necessarily comfortably. And possibly not even safely.
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Old 27-08-2008, 15:20   #4
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I sailed from Neah Bay, Washington to San Francisco about mid-August, 2007. I sat in Neah Bay for three days waiting for the weather to improve. Putting it politely, I got my ____ kicked! Left with every indication weather conditions would be improving ahead of me going south. Because I am a solo sailor I elected to sail well offshore, +- 150 n.m.. I enjoy having lots of sea room in case of foul conditions and besides, most agree wind is more reliable well offshore. In particular, because my engine is small I did not want to take my chances of being caught between ports with an approaching storm. On my third day out a weather update warned of "another" approaching high. The forecast was for seas 12' - 14' and wind 35 knots gusting to 40. I saw that and more. Going out was a good choice in the sense that after the weather deteriorated I listened to V.H.F. transmissions declaring Washington and Oregon shoal entrances closed. The short story is that approximately 150 n.m. north of San Francisco and 80 n.m. off Cape Mendocino I broached twice and lost two kayaks. The first broach occurred in the daytime when my Aries malfunctioned and I was trying to set things straight with a boat hook. Felt her going sideways to starboard in time to quickly pull the tiller over, preventing her from going more than about 70 degrees off vertical... Anyone who has ever tried to get a kayak filled with water back onto a dock understands why I let it go, waving goodbye as it drifted away. The following day I never saw the second kayak stowed on the port side go. I was asleep below with everything closed tight when she went over at least 110 degrees from vertical. Knocked the tri-color of the masthead, tore away the radar reflector hanging at the spreaders and bent the masthead v.h.f. antenna. I am not really sure if it was a big wave or a broach that put her over.

First time I've ever announced a pan-pan just so folks would know my position in case I turned up late. Not sure I was heard since there was no response.

This after a four year plus solo global circumnavigation where I never encountered anything like the conditions during the Washington to California passage. I never wanted to do it anyway because the reputation of this particular passage is notoriously bad. Never want to do it again either.
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Old 27-08-2008, 15:46   #5
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Welcome aboard Svarmido:

Sounds like a nasty trip. Have you posted int he meet and greet area. YOu'll get a proper welcome
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 29-06-2009, 10:43   #6
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Check out this ongoing thread:

San Fran to Seattle: Advice?

We are headed out in the "wrong" direction in the next couple of weeks. We will probably document our progress as we go.
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Old 29-06-2009, 20:07   #7
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Back in 1976 we made the run from Seattle to San Diego, from Sept. through Oct. we had great weather all the way down, stayed about 100nm offshore, stopped in Coos, bay, Neah bay, Cresent City, San Francisco, Santa Barbra, San Diego. We had a down wind run most of the way and saw our worst wind coming out of San Francisco headed south. I know this is ancient history, but the thread brought back some fond memories.
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