Originally Posted by queendido88
I am planning a voyage out of SF sometime in July. Being a native of the Bay Area and based on what I have heard, it seems that I have probably chosen the worst time to sail out. That is if I want to sail south... Does anyone know of what the best course would be in terms of safety and what destinations would be desirable and well within range?
What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice and with the intent to help the OP and to answer a few questions that were asked (but not yet answered) by the other forum members who have already posted suggestions and questions to the OP.
On April 25th, the OP (QueenDido) started her first thread here, and it caught my attention because it was related to sailing off the California
coast. Here is most of her first post:
"I am a 26 year old female, and I own a 66' Islander Wayfarer 33', which is currently sitting in Moss Landing (between Santa Cruz and Monterey) getting the mast un-stepped. You could say that I jumped the gun a little since I bought a boat without knowing how to sail it. Originally, my partner, who has sailing experience, was teaching me the ins and outs of sailing, but he had a family emergency and will be gone for an undisclosed period of time.
This has left me in a desperate attempt to find someone to, basically, captain my boat. My plan is to leave Moss Landing by the end of the month and sail down the CA coast to Mexico, with a few stops along the way. "
To the OP: You asked in this thread's introduction
, "what the best course would be in terms of safety
My suggestion to a "newbie" sailor and recent boat buyer: "Learn to sail in San Francisco Bay first and get several months or a year of full experience there before sailing down to Mexico, and only do so when you and your boat are well prepared for what you might experience on the trip offshore (going North or South)."
I advise this because at this point you (Queendido, the OP) have stated you have a boat that in your own words: "without knowing how to sail it"
and you feel "desperate."
A boat sailing with a sailor/owner who has a lack of sailing skills and experience and knowledge (a captain's role) can be dangerous on the Northern California
1. Strong Winds are very common in the summer months.
Conditions can appear mild in the morning and be very "hairy/gnarly" in the afternoon.
2. High Seas can come with the high winds, even if the morning starts with light wind and relatively low seas.
I have been in an offshore race
heading down the coast when a large sailboat (about 50') capsized in high seas and winds we were experiencing. This happened at night and the crew was luckily rescued by USCG helicopter.
3. Summer Fog
can be very THICK and on you before you make it to the next port or safe harbor). I have been offshore (sailing South from SF to LA and been in fog so thick one cannot see anything beyond about 50-75 feet in any direction. This becomes very dangerous if you do not know what to do and exactly where you are on the coast.
4. Long stretches of rocky coastline that have caused many wrecks over the years.
That is an unforgiving coast.
5. Crews can get so seasick they cannot function.
I have been on a 42 foot boat that we took down and up the coast. Three of the four crew got so seasick I was left steering
the boat alone up the coast for hours. The other three people (one experienced, two inexperienced newbies) got "deathly sick" and could not function.