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Old 04-06-2015, 19:33   #31
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

High seas nailed it.
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Old 04-06-2015, 19:46   #32
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

Highseas & zzMyer

You may be leading me to great problems! I love the PNW July - October, having sailed there for 20 some years. We are currently in San Diego and you are making me think seriously about heading NW for the summer.

My wife will be very annoyed with you!
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Old 04-06-2015, 19:50   #33
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

Thanks Zz.One thing worth mentioning is having a 'Verizon' smartphone.Reception was almost seamless all up the US coast,even 10 or 15 miles out,giving me constant updates.This gave me the confidence to keep going,or not.Tacoma,we have had real nice hot summers last few years,this could be the place to cruise these days.As well as Mexico is having a very early season hurricane this week.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:05   #34
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

Good point about cell coverage. I have AT&T with Mexican data plan. Surprised I got reception almost everywhere including deserted anchorages. Was good for GRIB downloads.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:32   #35
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

As a former delivery skipper with probably 30 passages north from Mexican waters over the years, the Baja Bash only has a couple of dicey spots to get through... Entering San Diego at night without a decent radar because of traffic and north of Cedros Isld because of wind and sea confluence. Other than that, it is a pretty scenic and easy trip if you pay attention to your weather windows and fog.
I've done the offshore route a few times and didn't find it too difficult although much slower. Outside was probably easier on the vessel. One passage we went out about 600 miles and picked up a steady nor'easter that took us right into Catalina and LA in less than 2 weeks!
It is helpful if you have a few crew to do the 'Bash on the inside because of watch standing... You need to keep your eyes peeled for other vessels and pangas out fishing without lights at all hours. Good luck, Annie... Phil
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Old 13-06-2015, 17:03   #36
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

The book "Baja Bash II" by Capt. Jim Elfers is fun to read but totally uninformed about any alternatives to working one's way up the coast at night. The author clearly isn't up for beating to windward (he calls the mainsail the 'Vertical Dacron Stabilizer'), so this book isn't for those who feel comfortable doing so (like us). The section entitled 'Clipper Route' simply says that the author has never done it, but he read an article once of somebody going offshore but doubts that passage was any faster than going up the coast. Despite his total lack of knowledge, he says of the Clipper Route, "If you and your boat are up to it, more power to you. Faster and easier? Not in my book." Like many other things, not in his book.

Looking at the pilot charts for August and September, offshore looks about as good as coastal, with presumably much longer, comfortable swells instead of shallow-water chop. We'll do one or the other, and let you know how it came out!
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Old 13-06-2015, 21:53   #37
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

"Looking at the pilot charts for August and September, offshore looks about as good as coastal, with presumably much longer, comfortable swells instead of shallow-water chop. We'll do one or the other, and let you know how it came out!"

During the height of the Baja Hurricane Season?
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Old 14-06-2015, 07:50   #38
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

Im just considering the same dilemma. After reading Gary Elber's article about taking the Clipper Route (webmaster@ishipaco.com) I was leaning that way, (esp as I have a Cabo Rico 40 sailing vessel that doesn't motor well into headwinds and seas) but since the early hurricanes and the strong El Nino impacts I'm thinking staying close to shelter and awaiting a window for a two week run to be more sensible. Id love to stay over in Mexico but need to go north.
Any recent opinions on the Baha run in late June/early July given the current storm trends?
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Old 16-06-2015, 08:55   #39
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

Google "historic hurricane tracks for eastern pacific". September is the height of hurricane season. If you make it North of Turtle Bay you probably won'e get killed by a hurricane in those months.
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Old 16-06-2015, 12:45   #40
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

As some of you may have noted - I love data and charts

I used the the NOAA hurricane tracks graphing website
Hurricanes

1958 - 2013 data for August and September

20 storms of Tropical Depression or stronger passed within 50 miles of Bahia Magdalena. Only 7 of the storms were 70 knots or greater.

7 of those storms made it north of Punta San Lazaro (just NW of Bahia Santa Maria). Only 2 of the storms were 70 knots or greater.

So I guess you have approximately a 1 in 3 chance of encountering a 35 knot or stronger storm on the SW Baja Coast during any given year. As zzMyer said - once north of Turtle Bay you are pretty safe. Only 3 storms, (2 TDs and one Cat 2 hurricane), have made it that far north in the last 58 years.

NOTE: My boat went ashore on a Baja beach that had seen only one Hurricane in 70 years yet we had the 2nd park on top of us. Five of us chose to stay there because of that history. My boat was beached and a friend's was holed, sunk, and declared a total loss. History is little insurance.
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Old 18-07-2015, 12:36   #41
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Here's the End of the Story, Cabo to Ensenada 2015

We left Cabo San Lucas on June 11th on our 34' Coast 34 sailboat and had a great sail WSW for three days, going out about 350 nm. We were heeled 20% for 72 hours, doing 3-hour watches between myself and my husband. Beautiful sail. However, for the first day we were concerned because Trop. Storm Carlos was forecast to become a hurricane and his track was uncertain. I found that it's an uncomfortable feeling to have a hurricane in the Eastern Pacific when you are far offshore. Anyway, the hurricane went elsewhere and after 3 days the wind died at about 116 deg. latitude. Multiple model grib files showed more calms out to about 130 deg. latitude for 3-5 days, then a 20 knot East wind from the fringes of the Pacific High which was larger and further South than usual, as shown on the pilot charts. We abandoned our plan to continue West and turned North for 3 days of motoring through calms with 4-6 ft swells, then headed NE toward Turtle Bay under sail. We stopped at Turtle Bay as we had left Cabo with 83 gallons of diesel on board and although we had thought we would be able to get to Ensenada without refueling, motoring through the swells took too much fuel.

At this point, I want to mention that our trip thus far had no bashing. Swells, yes, and calms or light winds on the nose, but nothing like bashing NW.

After one night in Turtle Bay, fueled up, we motored out passing West of Cedros Island 10-15 miles from the baja shore. Wind was 5-10 knots NW with little sailing, just some help from the main occasionally. Our last night prior to Ensenada the apparent wind piped up in the low 20's and we bashed for 12 hours. No fun, although one learns to sleep through the boat dropping off a wave. We arrived in Ensenada on June 24th, so we were one day shy of 2 weeks out with one overnight at Turtle. According to the log, we traveled 1,020 nm and we had no equipment failures.


The bottom line is, would I do it again? Yes, certainly. Twelve hours of bashing is easier on the boat and us than others had it when I compare notes with other cruisers here in Ensenada. I might try it in May next time and perhaps not during an El Nino year. The hurricanes were early this year and the Pacific High didn't follow it's usual pattern. We'll be heading back down for another season in the Sea of Cortez and the mainland.
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Old 18-07-2015, 14:47   #42
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Re: Offshore From Cabo to San Diego - Clipper Route

Delighted you had such an easy passage, Annie... I agree that nervousness about a TS this time of year is a sound feeling.
Thank you for a descriptive and fun posting about your passage... it brought back many wonderful memories for me. I was only caught out in a couple of nasties on my way north. I had listened to a broker and an owner who wanted their boats in LA like yesterday and were willing to pay a good bonus to make that happen. On one occasion, I recall the bill to repair gear exceeded the amount of the bonus by a considerable amount. Cheers, Phil
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Old 15-11-2015, 21:19   #43
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Re: Here's the End of the Story, Cabo to Ensenada 2015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie in WA View Post
We left Cabo San Lucas on June 11th on our 34' Coast 34 sailboat and had a great sail WSW for three days, going out about 350 nm. We were heeled 20% for 72 hours, doing 3-hour watches between myself and my husband. Beautiful sail. However, for the first day we were concerned because Trop. Storm Carlos was forecast to become a hurricane and his track was uncertain. I found that it's an uncomfortable feeling to have a hurricane in the Eastern Pacific when you are far offshore. Anyway, the hurricane went elsewhere and after 3 days the wind died at about 116 deg. latitude. Multiple model grib files showed more calms out to about 130 deg. latitude for 3-5 days, then a 20 knot East wind from the fringes of the Pacific High which was larger and further South than usual, as shown on the pilot charts. We abandoned our plan to continue West and turned North for 3 days of motoring through calms with 4-6 ft swells, then headed NE toward Turtle Bay under sail. We stopped at Turtle Bay as we had left Cabo with 83 gallons of diesel on board and although we had thought we would be able to get to Ensenada without refueling, motoring through the swells took too much fuel.

At this point, I want to mention that our trip thus far had no bashing. Swells, yes, and calms or light winds on the nose, but nothing like bashing NW.

After one night in Turtle Bay, fueled up, we motored out passing West of Cedros Island 10-15 miles from the baja shore. Wind was 5-10 knots NW with little sailing, just some help from the main occasionally. Our last night prior to Ensenada the apparent wind piped up in the low 20's and we bashed for 12 hours. No fun, although one learns to sleep through the boat dropping off a wave. We arrived in Ensenada on June 24th, so we were one day shy of 2 weeks out with one overnight at Turtle. According to the log, we traveled 1,020 nm and we had no equipment failures.


The bottom line is, would I do it again? Yes, certainly. Twelve hours of bashing is easier on the boat and us than others had it when I compare notes with other cruisers here in Ensenada. I might try it in May next time and perhaps not during an El Nino year. The hurricanes were early this year and the Pacific High didn't follow it's usual pattern. We'll be heading back down for another season in the Sea of Cortez and the mainland.
This year May 24th 2015 we left La Cruz Mexico for San Diego California. We arrived in San Diego June 13th 2015 we did the Baja Bash route. Not Horrible, however not much Sailing. We got run out of Santa Maria by Hurricane Blanca and had big NW wind because Blanca went inside the Sea of Cortez and accelerated the Northwest winds down the outside of the Baja. We took a beating on the way to Turtle bay but not to bad compared to Oregon Standards (we are from Oregon).but it was a lot of motoring. We waited out Blanca in Turtle bay and then went outside the Benito's to get a good angle to Ensenada. Are plans were foiled by a Northwester we sat out in San Quentin. Penelope a 38ft Hans Christian weighs 17 tons and pretty much mashes her way through everything and anything with the 66hp turbo diesel. We are full time Cruisers and are back South again in La Paz at the moment. Heading South to Barra soon. This Year I'm going to Single Hand the offshore route to San Diego see how that goes., the offshore route seems like a nice Sail. And I don't care how long it takes.
Thank you for your report on your trip.
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