Originally Posted by Chasing Summer
TacomaSailor ... I see your location as San Diego
and Puget Sound
. I presume sailed both north and south more than once. I'm currently in San Diego
rebuilding my boat. What route
do you take going north. Do you gunk hole it using your diesel
a lot or do you go out to sea and tack north? When I'm finished I'm headed to SF Bay
then on to Puget Sound
. I've always wanted to cruise
Puget Sound. After that I head
for the South Pacific
Our boat is in San Diego 'cause I am tired of the cold and dreary weather
in Puget Sound (south part of the Salish Sea to be PC). I am authorized to say that because I started sailing in Bellingham, WA (far north part of the Salish Sea) in 1972 and have endured that miserable weather
for much of the next four decades.
I've sailed four boats from Puget Sound to San Diego, two from San Diego to the Sea of Cortez
, and two from the Sea of Cortez back up to San Diego (900 NM). I sailed several times from San Diego north to the Channel Islands.
And I've sailed NW and SW the entire length of the west coast
of Vancouver Island.
I do have a deep appreciation for US West Coast offshore
I love the downwind trip from Cape Flattery to San Diego. I would never consider the upwind trip from Point Conception to Cape Flattery (west entrance to the Strait Juan de Fuca / Salish Sea).
The worst, most miserable, and scariest trip I have ever done was on my brother's Tartan 42 from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. Fourteen days of misery - dead into 15 knots and five foot swell every inch of the way.
And that is trivial compared to what I would expect from Cape Mendocino to Cape Flattery. The wind
is usually not the issue and with good-modern weather forecasting it is possible to avoid all those 20+ knot
NW wind days that are so common from Mendocino north.
BUT and it is a huge BUT
one cannot avoid the ever constant, persistent, and prevailing NW to NNW swell that is seldom below four feet. The swell is what makes it so hard to sail upwind along that coast and very uncomfortable to motor
into it. There is nothing dangerous about the conditions - it is just uncomfortable and unpleasant trying to make progress NNW into a persistent NNW swell, cool air temps, and cold water.
t is particularly unpleasant when the wind is out of the West or WSW and at right angles to the NNW long period swell. 25 degree rolls at 12 seconds was pretty common for many, many days and nights.
Here is a video on our last trip - 100 mile SSW of Cape Flattery with a big Low west of us and a 5' NW swell -
You can see many other sailing videos of my September 2010 trip from Tacoma WA to San Diego at TacomaSailor's channel - YouTube
Mid-July, Mid-August downwind, 50 miles off the Oregon
coast at 3 AM in light fog
and four knots apparent from astern - 55 degree water temp, 57 degree air temp and I could not stay warm in the cockpit. I've spent at least 15 nights out there and every one was damp and cold.
I have stopped in almost every port along the US West Coast and would take advantage of all of them if I was motoring/sailing north. Given that I would plan on at least six weeks if I wanted to be comfortable and avoid struggling with the NW swell.
When it was time to take Mirador from the Sea of Cortez back to Puget Sound I chose a truck from San Carlos
. I am pretty good with finance and economic calculations. I figured it would cost me about $4,000 and two months to take Mirador on her own bottom from the North Sea of Cortez back to Tacoma, WA. The truck trip cost me $8,2000 including ALL costs.
Friends sailed their 35' boat from Cabo to Seattle
- they went out 1000 miles, motored thru 700 miles of North Pacific
high calms and then sailed the rest of the way. Took them 36 days - non-stop.
Other friends motored and sailed from San Francisco
, CA to Seattle
in their Hylas
46 - took them 18 days and they had a great time. They had east or SE winds for 12 days and didn't think the swells were that big an issue.
As for sailing in Puget Sound (Salish Sea is now the term and it incorporates Puget Sound, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan
and Gulf Islands, Straight of Georgia
, Bellingham Bay and who knows what else) is spectacular when the weather is nice.
I love it there and the San Juan
and Gulf Islands are about my favorite place in the world to be on a boat. However - after five days of mist and high temps in the upper 50s in August, 2010 I left the San Juans for a trip south to San Diego.
You can check out my web site (THE VOYGAGES OF MIRADOR
) and Flickr page (TacomaSailor) for hundreds of pictures and stories about sailing in the Pacific NW.