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Old 06-02-2014, 08:16   #16
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Re: Is it good to sail from Southern CA to Seatle?

Originally Posted by jongleur View Post
I'm skippering my 2005 Prius from SoCal to Seattle
to go to the boat show. Navigating along I5. Should take me
about 2 days with one night holed up in some cozy
anchorage (hotel).
I went the other way on a motorcycle in September. It was cold then. I wouldn't want to be in the cockpit to day, but then I'm from Texas

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Tom Bodine
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Old 18-02-2014, 02:04   #17
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Re: Is it good to sail from Southern CA to Seatle?

I commercial fished from San Francisco north. I only saw the ocean flat once. You have a prevailing NW wind and NW swell. As you get closer to Vancouver Island the swell comes more from the west. In an average summer fishing week you have 2 or more days with strong wind - 20 -50 knots and 10-30' NW swell with a sea on top of 10-15', then maybe 3-4 days when the wind was coming down - what we called a lumpy sea - uncomfortable if you're not used to it, and maybe 2 good days with just the leftover NW swell and light wind. It's not like Southern California. Maybe Southern California in winter. North of San Francisco there are few ports that don't have a bar to cross. Crescent City is probably the best. Eureka and some of the smaller river bars are the worst. Especially in a storm. Sometimes the bars are closed. I had a friend pitch pole the Eureka Bar in average weather. Pitch pole is when the stern is lifted over the bow. Sometimes the wave action will make the trough very shallow. In his case his bow grounded and stopped so the swell just lifted the stern over and past the bow. When the boat rolled and righted itself he was pointed out to sea. No mast, radar, antennas or fishing gear. Remember the best time to cross a bar is slack water, high tide. When I run off the coast, I try to stay 25-30 miles offshore because the swell gets worse near land and especially near major points like Mendocino or Arena. They call it ground swell. The waves get steeper and closer together.
So if it gets bad, you need a thought out plan, a port to head for that you can get into. A course the seas and swells will allow. Many years ago I was Tuna fishing 200 miles off Coos Bay. Probably late summer. A bad storm came, several commercial boats near me sank. I headed south, angling as much east toward the coast as the seas would allow. I ended up near San Francisco. At times my boat was making 22 knots while making turns for about 7 knots. I had a 55' boat and was surfing down the swells. At night, in the glow of the running lights, I could see surf breaking down both sides.
My point is north of Frisco is not smooth. At least 2/3 of the trip will be a rough ride. Probably too bad to cook. If you're doing this for fun, it won't be. You're looking at a pounding passage. And that's summer. In the fall sometimes between storms, you can get a week or so of good weather, meaning close to a smoother ride. I wouldn't do it in winter.

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