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Old 23-12-2009, 21:41   #1
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Up the West Coast in Winter

We are in process of the possible purchase of a schooner located in so. Cal..
She is "older" and of course "needs a little work". The plan is to get up to our home waters in the northwest, haul her , and do the work, cosmetic, etc., and have her ready here for the summer season for chartering. That means unfortunately making it up the coast in winter (Feb.?). Any input on that would be good from people who have done it; what is the best month, is it possible to do with out getting totally trashed, where are the best (possible places to duck into,etc.,etc...
Thanks,
Art
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Old 23-12-2009, 22:00   #2
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you do know this is an el nino winter. you do know it is an uphill trip, i hope? you , i hope realize the seas could be 30 ft after each el nino storm--btdt----and you will be sailing against these. how much time do you have for this??? this is the year you sail to hawaii then to places more north than lost angeles lol......
my questions to you---have you done this before? have you sailed this area ?? how much sailing time have you and where?? this is not an easy trip--it is difficult on the boat and tough on the crew..boats in perfect shape have been lost on this run----research your trip and your boat and make sure if it isnt in perfect shape--do not do this trip...you do have current and wind against you---is why is called uphill.....be sane --be safe....fair winds.......for this trip there is actually no good month...is always wet and wild---the truly best way is to take it out to about hawaii then back in to pnw...that is for comfort and current and wind....check your weather daily....
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Old 23-12-2009, 22:28   #3
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OREGON / Search ended for lost sailors


google search found in the lower toolbar search button:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...9-a-33008.html


Buy and read Charlies for some options. Can't find mine right now but winter is not a good time IIRC.

Online bookstore for Charlie's Charts cruising guides

John
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Old 24-12-2009, 00:29   #4
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Going up the west coast of N. America in winter might not be "the" worst trip in the world, but I'll bet it ranks in the top twenty.

Summer is easiest, as the winds are lighter, but even then it is no cake walk. As Zeehag pointed out, the usual weather patterns won't apply, so it might actually be tougher, longer.

Seriously, it might actually be cheaper to truck it north than repair the damages from a difficult trip. You might also want to look at buying something that's already in the area.

ID
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Old 24-12-2009, 00:36   #5
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Old 24-12-2009, 00:56   #6
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Found the Charlie's. Still think that it's a good reference but there was only a couple of mentions of northbound, but it wasn't much different than this advice:

Do a find of North to Seattle
Latitude 38 Letters - March 2005
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Old 24-12-2009, 01:21   #7
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This has been the most rain that I have seen this early in the winter for several years. Big El Nino. This is also the first time that they have been able to hold the Eddie Aikau surf contest in 5-6 years. They require that there be a solid 25' swell (Hawaiian scale) to hold that contest. They call head high surf 2'.
Oh, and the wind will be on your bow the whole way. I wish I had something helpful to say. Carry lots of fuel.
Almost every sunken sailboat story that I've read included the calender as the main motivation for the trip. That watch and calender will kill you.
Just wait until summer.
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Old 24-12-2009, 03:30   #8
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I've motored from Bodega Bay, CA to Cape Disappointment, WA during Dec/Jan

I was crabbing on a 38' double-ender. The we started the season a little north of Bodega Bay, after a very disappointing opening my skipper heard they were hitting them father north, we put half our string on a flatbed driven by his father, and off we went. We would run from port to port, getting our butts kicked in between safe harbors. After setting pots off Bodega Bay, Cresent City, Bandon, and Coos Bay, the skipper heard from a buddy that Cape Disappointment was the only way to save our season.

Between hellish weather, tow barges, horrific deadheads (logs that float on end; think vertical battering rams), bar crossing with a deck stacked with crab pots, I decided that commercial fishing lost it's sparkle.

I was on a very heavily built, wooden, bronze keeled, ironwood re-enforce bow, fishing boat, circa 1940's (a survivor) powered by a huge diesel with hundreds of gallons of fuel.

There is no way you could get me on a slower probably under powered sailboat between San Francisco, and the next safe heavy weather entry port north.. Seattle. No joke, there are a couple of anchorages that are survivable in a storm, Shelter Cove and Trinidad come to mind, but not many, and far apart. Every bar north of San Francisco is very hairy with a lump and a flood tide, near suicide in a blow or a lump on ebb tide. If for any reason you are forced to make port, you could be in trouble.

If you do go, and you are not a highly seasoned skipper on a bullet proof s/v, you would likely make it unscathed only with freakish good weather or a bit of luck.
Best wishes,
Dennis
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Old 24-12-2009, 07:49   #9
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We have our boat in Winchester Bay, Oregon. I am familiar with the weather here on this part of the coast. While you can once in a great while have a nice day, they are very few and very far between. Lately, there has been no such thing as a nice day that I have heard of. We have not even considered trying to take our Ingrid 38 across the bar in two months now.
Captain Oba was an experienced skipper and local guide:
http://www.justice.gov/usao/or/Press...at_Captain.htm

Yachting Magazine - Lessons From a Sinking

Pacific Pioneer Oregon Coast Deep Sea Salmon Fishing Charters

I add these links as an illustration of two things: The west coast is nothing to mess with - especially in winter. Also, if one decides to take a foolish risk in a boat and there is an accident or fatality, it may mean more than just if you are rescued or not. Captain Oba was rescued. He was then sentenced to six years in prison. To the best of my knowledge, he has not yet been released from prison.
If you do decide that this trip is necessary, invest in:
A new EPIRB,
A very good, new liferaft.
Immersion suits for each crew member with strobes and waterproof plb's attached.
Each crewmember should also have a handheld waterproof marine VHF.
Perhaps there would be a chance this way.
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Old 24-12-2009, 07:55   #10
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Don't let the dollar, and or schedule kill you. Sail her to Hawaii, and do the work in S. Cal. There's a reason it's called the tradewinds. You can still arrive in time to charter. Oct. is a decent time to motor north with a wee bit of sailing.......i2f
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Old 24-12-2009, 08:58   #11
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Even San Francisco can be difficult to sail in and out of during the winter months. The huge horseshoe shaped sandbar extending eight miles from the Golden Gate Bridge makes it mantidory to round the "light bucket" and enter via the main shipping channel, where you'll find commercial ships within the fog.

If you try, remember, sometimes a 180 degree course correction is a wise choice.
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Old 24-12-2009, 09:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisNAlison View Post
..... If you do go, and you are not a highly seasoned skipper on a bullet proof s/v, you would likely make it unscathed only with freakish good weather or a bit of luck.
Best wishes,
Dennis
We came back from Hawaii in the middle of November, one year, to Vancouver. We made it because the ketch was NZ built, and stood up to the weather. That was about the latest that was do-able.

Any seasoned skipper would refuse to go from California, north to Juan de Fuca, in February in a yacht. Best do the work in the warm south...
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Old 24-12-2009, 09:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clausont View Post
Immersion suits for each crew member with strobes and waterproof plb's attached.
Each crewmember should also have a handheld waterproof marine VHF.
Perhaps there would be a chance this way.
This assumes, of course, that the rest of the crew could actually execute a MOB without getting broached.

Not at all a reasonable assumption in the conditions described.

Really, I hope the OP has gotten the point.

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Old 24-12-2009, 11:05   #14
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I've made the trip 6 times over the years and havent tried to make the passage any sooner that April 1st.. The higth of the wave is not so much a problem as the distance between them.. we've sailed calmly in seas of 17 feet but were 25 seconds between peaks... during the winter you'll see 17 feet every 8 to 15 seconds..
what we learned was the best possable advantage was to have local knowledge..
I'd suggest you take a drive up the coats and speak to some of the local fisherman..
A good book on the route is Charlies charts.. he goes into the areas in detail.
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Old 24-12-2009, 11:09   #15
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This assumes, of course, that the rest of the crew could actually execute a MOB without getting broached.

Not at all a reasonable assumption in the conditions described.

Really, I hope the OP has gotten the point.

ID
Exactly!
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