I think that is what Schooner and I are trying to ferret out: who has tried what when SAILING north! I know I've been stalled in spots too and have pondered the "I wonder what would have happened if I had gone..." It is a matter of winds and currents, and nowadays there is a bunch of current
data. My guess is that it's best to tack out about 10 miles or more to minimize currents and maximize winds. BUT I could swear I have seen coastal currents dragging kelp and buoys NORTH at times, as in eddies I gather, close to the shore.