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Old 11-06-2015, 09:49   #16
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

What is the earliest you would suggest arriving that far north after leaving Kauai? Sounds like a long trip south to Puget Sound.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:59   #17
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

Have done that loop 4 times. Did it once in a strong el nino and the trades almost shut down, very light. Was becalmed for 2 days. Easy trip except for the first week after leaving Hawaii.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:57   #18
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

robert sailor, How far north did you initially head and what month?
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:18   #19
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

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robert sailor, How far north did you initially head and what month?
All different times but generally in July/August. I'm just home for a short visit so don't have my old logs but the pacific high usually goes further north in an el nino year so because you are trying to get on top of the high you have to go further north. I remember being on a latitude that was abeam Alaska before sailing down to BC. If you have big fuel tanks you can motor thru the high which is easy but in those days I didn't have that much fuel. Leaving Hawaii you have to sail upwind for close to a week and if the trades are really blowing its fairly uncomfortable but one you crack off life is easier. Once on top of the high you are open to low pressure systems that come thru and its not uncommon to have a gale or two although in most cases they are not that strong. It certainly is a tougher sail than the easy/lpeasysroute from Mexico
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:25   #20
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

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robert sailor, How far north did you initially head and what month?
Forgot to mention that it is a cool sail and you need good gear. Even though it is summer it is still crap weather for a good part of the trip home. It can also get some fairly dense fog and there are quite a few large fish boats about 1000 to 1500 miles off the BC coast.
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Old 11-06-2015, 15:03   #21
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

robert sailor, I am considering the routes you suggested for next summer. One option is to simply get to Hilo, amble northwesterly through the islands, then jump off from Hanalei bound for Puget Sound, where I would spend the summer, visiting family and friends in the Anacortes area. I am also considering taking the longer route to the north, due to the suggestions of Mike Reed to consider Prince William Sound as a spectacular destination, followed by the journey south through the Inside Passage to Puget Sound. So many choices, and all dependent on what the winds and weather will turn out to be. Hence the question about the soonest to arrive in Prince William Sound to allow a leasurely trip south. I realize that the likelihood of running into a low pressure system is not a long shot, and that I will have to make up my mind as I go, as to the smartest tactic for the time I am actually in the region. I have had experience in rough weather, and my boat is going to be up for the experience (after I finish the overhaul of all its systems). The choice of crew hasn't been made yet, and will be dependent on the final destination. But, the adventure of seeing Prince William Sound before the Inside Passage is very seductive. Thanks for your advice. At the conclusion of my stay in the Pacific Northwest, I would be departing south to San Diego in September or early October, dependent, of course, on wind and weather and having had my fill of oysters.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:00   #22
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

Roy,

Right now would be a great time to be making landfall, although a few weeks ago the charts were less benign, keeping in mind it will probably take around 3 weeks for the passage from Hawaii.




We did not arrive in Kodiak until late July and as a result had good weather, but were a bit rushed as we raced the season south. We were originally aiming for Vancouver, but the pacific high set up in front of us and we took advantage to ride it up to Kodiak, which at that point was less than 600 miles away. You may encounter weather along the way form Hawaii, but as long as you stay south of the 5640 meter line it should not be too rough. Your Searunner will, of course, will handle it just fine and will be easier to heat than a cat!

If you can't make it up to PWS, there is plenty to see in the Inside Passage, including Glacier Bay, the Lynn Canal, and Tracy Arm, just to mention a few. On the other hand, to sail along the coast, looking in at the Fairweather Range with 30 mile wide glaciers spilling out of the valleys is mind-boggling. I swear I saw a herd of wooly mammoths on the moraine, but that may be the baneberry talking.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:25   #23
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

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I think it is best to allow yourself time to explore the Hawaiian Islands and enjoy "paradise" and the warmth for as long as you can.

If you're interested in some Hawaiian interisland sailing, I recommend The Hawaiian Voyages of the Ono Jimmy. It's maybe a bit dated but it has some good info about sailing to and from pretty much each island. http://www.hawaiisailing.com/
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Old 11-06-2015, 19:58   #24
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

Believe Alaska is cool and rainy into early July. Was there from mid June to the beginning of July and it never got to 60 degrees and rained some every day. Was always overcast but didn't rain steady or heavy, just passing showers. Wouldn't want to arrive too early. If I get it together, will shoot for an early July arrival. Unless you like a cold passage and a wet and cold stay in Alaska, you don't want to get there too soon. Think I'd want to be in Vancouver no later than Late September for the trip south.
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Old 11-06-2015, 20:37   #25
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

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robert sailor, I am considering the routes you suggested for next summer. One option is to simply get to Hilo, amble northwesterly through the islands, then jump off from Hanalei bound for Puget Sound, where I would spend the summer, visiting family and friends in the Anacortes area. I am also considering taking the longer route to the north, due to the suggestions of Mike Reed to consider Prince William Sound as a spectacular destination, followed by the journey south through the Inside Passage to Puget Sound. So many choices, and all dependent on what the winds and weather will turn out to be. Hence the question about the soonest to arrive in Prince William Sound to allow a leasurely trip south. I realize that the likelihood of running into a low pressure system is not a long shot, and that I will have to make up my mind as I go, as to the smartest tactic for the time I am actually in the region. I have had experience in rough weather, and my boat is going to be up for the experience (after I finish the overhaul of all its systems). The choice of crew hasn't been made yet, and will be dependent on the final destination. But, the adventure of seeing Prince William Sound before the Inside Passage is very seductive. Thanks for your advice. At the conclusion of my stay in the Pacific Northwest, I would be departing south to San Diego in September or early October, dependent, of course, on wind and weather and having had my fill of oysters.
Sounds like you have thought this through Roy. Leaving Hawaii heading north Hanalei Bay is a natural because it has an excellent area to anchor in plus it is a very beautiful place. Hawaii is not known for good anchorages. Each time I was there we left Honolulu and sailed to Hanalei Bay, rested up a bit and then headed home. Expect it to be a bit rough between islands. On one of our voyages 2 weeks after leaving there a Hurricane hit it dead center and it really wrecked that island.

Prince William Sound would be a natural landfall from Hawaii and probably would be about the same time or maybe less as making landfall in the Straights further south. That would be a nice trip as most of the way south from there is protected and the scenery is pretty spectacular. When you head south from BC to California, especially if you sail it, which usually means being 75-100 miles off the coast you can expect some pretty good wind and seas, common but not always. I much prefer this over the coastal/motoring/stopping at fishing villages but that's just me as I think most folks do the coastal day-sailing trips. Also this trip is best made in early September so keep that in mind when planning. Its a great trip your planning, if I can ever be of any help just pm me. Cheers, R
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Old 11-06-2015, 22:14   #26
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

In 1996-7, my wife, three small children and I sailed from San Diego to southern Mexico, over to Hawaii (made landfall at Radio Bay), then on to Sitka, up into Glacier Bay and finally worked our way back to Southern California. Our passage from Mexico to Hawaii was done in April, from Hawaii to Alaska in June and our trip down the west coast of the mainland US was done in Fogust.

Our weather was almost ideal the entire way with the exception of a 986-millibar low that hit us while en route to Alaska but that was a fast moving storm and we just deployed a sea anchor for 24 hours. No one got hurt and we didn't break anything expensive.

Interestingly enough, the passage from Mexico to Hawaii was 2,606 miles and took us 18 days. The passage from Hawaii to Alaska was 2,612 miles and took us 23 days. We were gone on the trip a total of one year.

The trip was defining for our family and we still talk of it frequently, remembering it fondly.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:03   #27
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

Hey there!
Have heard rumours -- looking to confirm -- that there's a big quantity of cruisers that make the trip over to Hawaii and abandon the trip there. Meaning there's a lot of cheap cruising boats up for sale in Hawaii. Is this true? I have a window during December where I could fly over and check this out in real life. Is that a good time window? Are these rumours true? Where would one start looking?

Thank in advance, Cruisers Forum!
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:28   #28
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

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Hey there!
Have heard rumours -- looking to confirm -- that there's a big quantity of cruisers that make the trip over to Hawaii and abandon the trip there. Meaning there's a lot of cheap cruising boats up for sale in Hawaii. Is this true? I have a window during December where I could fly over and check this out in real life. Is that a good time window? Are these rumours true? Where would one start looking?

Thank in advance, Cruisers Forum!
I suggest you look farther….to Malaysia.
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Old 10-07-2015, 13:12   #29
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

Oh yah? Is there a reason they end up there instead? And what part of Malaysia you talking!?

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2015, 13:16   #30
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Re: The big pacific loop: San Francisco/Hawaii/Alaska

This thread should be renamed "small" or "US" pacific loop to prevent confusion... Big pacific loop would be more like San Fran, Tahiti, NZ, Japan etc....
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