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Old 07-01-2008, 20:38   #1
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Victoria to San-Francisco passage

We are planning a passage from Victoria, BC to San-Francisco. Any advises on best time of year and route off shore.
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Old 07-01-2008, 22:17   #2
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Hi I am planning a similar trip[ Astoria OR to SF. When I look at the pilot charts the months of May June July look good. I hope to do the trip in April/May. If everythign falls into place. The Pilot Book talks of fog being prevalent I'll look it up and see what months are the worst for fog.
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Old 07-01-2008, 23:13   #3
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I've done it twice. Once in Early September, the other time in late September.

First time was on my own boat a Lord Nelson 35. We went straight to SF after going out a hundred miles. Farther out than we needed to go, but we got decent wind for the most part.

On the second trip I was crew for a newbie on a Gulfstar 44. The owner thought he knew everything and I was just a crew peon. To him, "Offshore" meant just out of the sight of land, and as such we did lots of motoring. He insisted we motor if we couldn't sail making at least 6 knots. He finally "got it" after a couple of days while bitching about fuel costs, and the interminable drone of the engine.

One night after both he and his wife fell asleep, I gingerly unrolled the genoa, eased the main and ever so slowly dethrottled the engine and finally shut it off. After sailing for about a half hour, the owner woke up and said, "WHAT'S THE MATTER?" I said, "Nothing, I'm sailing." He said, "What's our speed?"

"Eight and a half knots."

About 30 seconds later he said,

"oh." and plopped back down and went back to sleep.

After that, I had a lot more sway in what should be done re the operation of the boat on the trip.


Steve B.
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:29   #4
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Depends on whether you're motoring or sailing - do you want wind? May and June are foggy, and often very calm - so maybe not too good for sailing, but fine for motoring (if you're comfortable with radar use). Winter tends to be stormy, so not advised in either case. As for how far off-shore - it really depends on what you're comfortable with. Be aware that Navy and large commercial vessels tend to run about 50-100 miles off-shore. Ports of refuge are few and far between, so there's no need to hug the coastline either. My opinions are based on general observations taken from the bridge of a destroyer, so not necessarily applicable to small-yacht app's. Have you checked Noonsite?


Kevin
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Old 08-01-2008, 16:38   #5
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I was reading the pilot book 7 last night. I would advice you to get a copy as it has alot of planning info in it. Their take was that August and September were the foggiest months. It's more of a time when you don't want to go down the coast. Anytime the wind is from the south. or in a storm from any direction.

Where are you ging after SF? That might make the most difference.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

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 08-01-2008, 18:43   #6
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Most of the boats making the trip down the coast are going mid-Aug to mid-Sept. This has more to do with the timing of getting to CA and then onto Mexico. That time of year you can expect to see a wide variety of weather. Light - medium NW, dead calm motoring, an evening or two of 30kts gusting higher and maybe a 1/2 a day of blowing light on the nose. It is a good shake down for a cruising boat and crew. There are a number spots that you can break the trip up with. As far as going way offshore or not, I suggest leaving Neah Bay and pointing down the coast toward Cape Mendocino. This will put you 20-30 miles offshore for a lot of the trip. Then as you see how the weather turns out you can decide how far off you want to get. There's not a lot of point of heading way offshore. You could just as easily end up 150 miles offshore and need to power in get fuel. That time of year you might get a few days of fog to complicate the experience.

Paul L
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Old 10-01-2008, 14:15   #7
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Thank you for the recommendations. We plan on continuing to Mexico after spending a few weeks in SF and September for no other reason than we want to spend July and August in BC. I will definitely get the Pilot Book 7.
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