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Old 27-03-2010, 14:00   #1
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Washington and Oregon Coast

We are planning on heading down to Mexico next summer. I heard the Oregon coast is some of the worst ocean to cross... Is this true?
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Old 27-03-2010, 14:12   #2
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Its not the worst, and at times its really pretty, but you have to be prepaired..
Durring the summer months the winds rolling over the pacific high pound the coast and what might be a calm morning might build to 30 knots by mid afternoon..
We've made the trip a couple times and found the best time of year to be in the spring or the fall..
About the best information on the coast and its conditions can be found in a copy of "Charlies Charts"..
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Old 27-03-2010, 14:47   #3
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Unless you are harbour hopping(not recommended)you won't see much of the coast.I sailed down in August last year and had to motor most of the Wash.,Ore. coast.It was the northern Calif. coast where things got a bit exciting.Cape Mendocino is the zone to watch out,we had 45 knots for 16 hrs.Gales are frequent on the whole route to Point Conception.Fog was a frequent occurance.Best to stay 60 to 80 miles out to sea and get it over with quickly when weather window opens.
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Old 27-03-2010, 15:04   #4
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Mendocino is the worst. I've rounded it twice, both times North to South.
First time, we were way offshore, and it was lumpy seemingly forever.

I think it's the angle to the coast which determines the lumps.
We got through it a lot quicker when we were close in.
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Old 27-03-2010, 17:39   #5
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bought a J-40 in Seattle a number of yrs ago and sailed it down to San Francisco in June. The trip was one of constant winds of 25-35knts and 8-10 ft swells(might have been bigger?) We tended to stay closer to shore as the waves actually seemed smaller. That trip to this day still makes me tired!
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Old 28-03-2010, 21:54   #6
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Since we are talking about this I have a question. I plan to make this journey in a larger boat (40ft cruiser), only I am going all the way to the canal. Would it be better just to go to Hawaii and then across, or straight down. And if going straight down what would be your off shore distance? I am thinking 100 miles offshore might be the best- tends to avoid the ripping weather off N. California.
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Old 28-03-2010, 22:15   #7
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Since we are talking about this I have a question. I plan to make this journey in a larger boat (40ft cruiser), only I am going all the way to the canal. Would it be better just to go to Hawaii and then across, or straight down. And if going straight down what would be your off shore distance? I am thinking 100 miles offshore might be the best- tends to avoid the ripping weather off N. California.
Where do you plan to stop? What time of year t9o plan to go down the coast?

Paul L
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Old 28-03-2010, 22:26   #8
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Newt
Once you get to SF. Harbor hop the rest of the way. Great spots to visit all the way down to the canal, its an experience not to be missed.
Its a downwind slid all the way, one of the great sails of the world. Hook up with the Baha ha crowd and have a blast!!.

Think about the Hawaii thing. If the perfered way to get to Washington from the canal is to sail out to Hawaii and over the top of the high because its off the wind all the way. Reversing the process puts you bashing into the edge of the high all the way to Hawaii and then doing a counter current/wind bash all the way into the canal. If you sail stright to Hawaii you're going to get stuck in the doldrums found in the middle of the Pacific high for days if not weeks.

off topic Newt, I lived in Layton and Clearfield in my youth.
regards John
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Old 29-03-2010, 09:43   #9
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Newt, I agree with John A. We have made the trip from S.F. to southern mexico two times and have also sailed from mexico to panama and the costal route is really alot of fun. If you don't have the time and need to do it non-stop I don't think the wash-hawaii-panama route would be the best although i have never tried to do it that way.
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Old 29-03-2010, 10:12   #10
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Since we are talking about this I have a question. I plan to make this journey in a larger boat (40ft cruiser), only I am going all the way to the canal. Would it be better just to go to Hawaii and then across, or straight down. And if going straight down what would be your off shore distance? I am thinking 100 miles offshore might be the best- tends to avoid the ripping weather off N. California.
Newt,
Now were just the opposit from many as we love to harbor hop.. but we see our 42 footer as a means of transportation first and a sailing vessel second.. its the vessel that lets us explore and the coat of Oregon and California are great places to do just that..
The ports of Oregon will give you the fishing centers and Charleston on the enterence of Coos Bay is one not to pass up.. Its also the only "All Weather" port on the coat ... Cresent City on the north end of California's coat will give you the Red Woods and a side trip to the groves north of the city will be worth the stop.. Eureka's old town with it shops and places to grab a bite to eat are well worth the stop.. Down In Fort Bragg you pass under the HWY 101 bridge to the marina and the fish shops that line the harbor.. and a short walk up the hill and south of town you'll see the Botanical Gardens of the coastal area, and a real treat. Bodega Bay is another great place to stop and just across from the marina is a little crab shack serving crab sandwiches or fresh clam chowder..
We've always loved to stop and sightsee on our travels and the small ports of the Oregon and the California Coast have added a lot of great memories..
Comming down we've always stayed about 20 to 30 miles offshore.. enough room to stay out of the crab pots but close enough to come in when we wanted.. Rounding the points as cape Mendicino or conception is best early in the morning.. Done them both a few times and have never had anything more than a mild breeze and flat water...
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Old 29-03-2010, 10:35   #11
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harbour hop

My first intentions were to harbour hop the coast of Washington straight down to Mexico... but I guess it will all depend on the waves and wind. We plan to leave September of 2011. Keep me posted on the best places to stop along the way.

Thank you!

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Old 29-03-2010, 11:35   #12
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Charleston

Charleston next to Coos Bay is a nice place to visit. My family vacations there every summer. The crabbing is pretty good in the bay. And if you are not into catching your dinner, there is a shack on the docks (E or F dock) that sells live crab.
There is a botanical garden south of Charleston on Cape Argo Hwy. Sunset Beach is on the same Hwy and a nice safe place for the kids to play.
There is a costal trail that you can walk on and follows the cliffs giving you some great views. I'm not sure how long it is. I've only walked it from Sunset Beach to the Botanical gardens.

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Old 29-03-2010, 14:56   #13
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Thanks guys for answering my question so well. What your saying does make sense. I am kinda burned out with Mexico right now, but I think Coos bay and SF would be nice stops. I wonder if anyone has stayed on Clipperton Island and or Isla Soccoro or any other obscure islands off the Mexican coast.- Sorry CK, I kinda hijacked this thread. I promise not to ask any more questions!
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Old 29-03-2010, 17:23   #14
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Isla Socorro is a volcanic island located at 18° 48'N, 110° 59'W approximately 300 nautical miles from mainland Mexico with an elevation of 1130 m. An established Mexican Naval base on the island houses military personnel and visiting scientists throughout the year. Obtaining a permit to Socorro is difficult and there are subsequently few tourists besides the occasional dive boat. The terrain of Socorro is made up of mostly hardened lava and there is little freshwater. Vegetation is of low diversity and consists of predominantly cactus and sage, which are well adapted to the arid environment
Clipperton Island is a barren, ring-shaped coral atoll located 1630 miles south-southeast of San Diego, California, and 1600 miles west of Nicaragua.The only atoll in the East Pacific, it completly surrounds its stagnent fresh-water lagoon and serves as home for thousands of sea birds and millions of land crabs. Clippertons total area is about 7 square kilometers. Most of the island is no higher than 6 feet, except for Clipperton Rock, a volcanic rock formation which reaches a peak height of 69 feet.

Clipperton Island has no harbor and is French owned.

Both Islands sound unsutible as a cruising destanation.
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Old 29-03-2010, 19:12   #15
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Newt - if you happen to decide to stop into Coos Bay, give us a holler. We live in the area although we have our boat just north of Coos Bay in Winchester bay (not a nice bar). We would love to get together with you.
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