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Old 15-10-2008, 16:53   #1
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Spring or Early Summer from San Diego to PNW

We are looking into sailing from San Diego north to the PNW sometime spring/Summer 2009. Any advise as to if this is a good time to head north would be helpful.
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Old 16-10-2008, 05:51   #2
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There is never a good time for this trip. It is upwind, up current.

There are three traditional methods for this trip.

The best, in terms of time and money, is to hire a truck to ship your boat. Where to put in is up to you, but Port Townsend in Washington leaves you plenty of options, and has great boatyards & support.

The second best, particularly in terms of sailing adventures, is sail to Hawai'i, spend a short time there then sail roughly due north up and over the Pacific high, then coast in to Cape Flattery and the Juan de Fuca. This latter leg, assuming you wish to spend the summer cruising either Puget Sound or the BC coast during its best season, should be timed to arrive early to mid July. This is sometimes called the "clipper route" with no justification I can find.

The least enjoyable, imo, is to motor sail up the coast from port to port, keeping a weather eye out. Again, you want to time your arrival in the north for early July, but you also want clear weather ahead of you because you're heading into the general weather pattern, so your next fuel port may be unapproachable if something comes down the pipe toward you. Most ports on the west coast have shallow bars at their approach, and the US Coast Guard will prudently close them as soon as they become risky: do not disregard their bar closures. They really do know what they're talking about. The time you're planning is the most settled; June can still be unpleasant farther north, but is usually fine.


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Old 16-10-2008, 08:47   #3
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I agree ,when I sailed down coast harbour hopping in July we met a couple travelling north to Alaska in a 17 ft. speedboat with 115 Merc o.b.,(they made it).This famous couple then circumnavigated the U.S. and Mexico in same boat a couple of years later!Leave before dawn,wind comes up around early afternoon,so you have to be at next anchorage,harbour by then.Some days they would have to turn around and go back.Wind would be up to 35kn. or so down coast every day.We also met two french canadians from Vancouver in 18 ft canoe circumnavigating North and South America,I believe they made it to Mexico.I returned from Hawaii the following year in late July,trip was smooth.Stronger winds as you approach coast.
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Old 31-12-2008, 20:30   #4
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Hawaii is a great place to visit. It will not ruin your boat as the beating it will take if you try to come up teh coast, even if you harbour hop. You will spend less money enjoying it, about the same amount of time, and a lot less in repairs once you get here.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amgine
... The second best, particularly in terms of sailing adventures, is sail to Hawai'i, spend a short time there then sail roughly due north up and over the Pacific high, then coast in to Cape Flattery and the Juan de Fuca. This latter leg, assuming you wish to spend the summer cruising either Puget Sound or the BC coast during its best season, should be timed to arrive early to mid July. This is sometimes called the "clipper route" with no justification I can find...
The Clipper Route passage from Mexico back to Northern California or the Pacific Northwest is named for that leg of the New York to San Francisco (round the Horn) route taken by Clipper ships during the California Gold Rush.
Because the winds and currents along the West coast of the Americas are adverse to a Northbound passage, they sailed as far West as necessary towards Hawaii, to reach the Easterly Trades, thence the North-Westerlies towards San Francisco.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:23   #6
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Thanks Gord! It's always confused me why the route to Cape Flatter was called that as I hadn't found it well used by clippers, but if it was actually just the portion to San Francisco which lent its name then all is made clear.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:33   #7
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Seriously consider putting her on a truck and enjoying the sailing once she gets there.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:56   #8
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The Crusing guide to Central and Southern California (Brian Fagan)will get you from San Diego to SF. It is a very good book and gives you some real good pointers on harbor hopping and trip planning. I am planning on sailing from SD to SF in April. This is my plan written in sand at low tide.:

The family and I will harbor hop from SD to Santa Barbra hitting Dana Point, Newport Beach, Catalina and then the Channel Islands before hitting Santa Barbra.

From SB I have some hearty souls to help me round Point Conception and our plan is as follows. I assume a speed of 6 knots made good per hour (boat sails/motors at 7.25)

Day 1
SB to Cojo 40 miles 6 hrs 40 minutes
Leave SB 1000 to Cojo(anchorage south of Point Conception) 1640

Day 2
Cojo to San Simeon 89 miles 14 hrs 30 min
Leave Cojo at 0000 arrive San Simeon 1430

Day 3
San Simeon to Carmel 75 miles 12 hrs 30 min
Leave San Simeon 2300 hours Arrive Carmel 1130 (Day 4)

Day 4
Carmel to Half Moon Bay 75 miles
Leave Carmel 0400 Arrive HMB 1640

Day 5
HMB to SF 42 miles
Leave HMB 0800 arrive Alameda 1500

Depending on weather and distance made good I have points to make the legs longer or shorter. The crew I have is willing to slug it out and do the trip in longer runs but they're a good group of guys and hanging out at anchorages is fun. We are going to try and do as much sailing as possible but won't be hard ass about it. Hope this helps.
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