headed south along the US Pacific West Coast
in October is probably an unwise, if not dangerous, idea. October and November on that coast between Vancouver
BC and Point Conception in California
(~1000 NM) frequently has SW to West storms of over 50 knots and seas over 30'. The bars that protect the entrances to every harbor on the US west coast
are unpassable and there is no place to head
Your course is SSE and the storms usually blow from the SSW so you would be fighting terrible conditions. I've made the trip four times and have spent about 24 hours beating into 20+ knots and 10' seas along that coast and I really do not want to repeat the experience.
I do know experienced sailors who made the trip successfully but I would not recommend that stretch of water
at that time of year for a novice
I skippered a boat from Gig Habor WA (35 miles south of Seattle) on September 25 and arrived in San Diego
on October 7 with almost no problems. But that was in a 68' sailboatboat with a displacement
of 85,000 pounds. We had a big crew and only stopped for a few hours in Newport
, OR and Monterrey, CA.
Unless you are 100% committed to harbor hopping and are very careful about the weather
- I'd suggest leaving before September 20 or wait until June 2014. In mid-September on one trip we were stuck in Westport for 5 days because the wind
was SW 20 - 30 knots, the swell was SW 15' and NW 5' and the bars at every harbor from Westport to Coos Bay were closed.
We had left Port Angles four days earlier with an excellent forecast
all the way to southern Oregon
- by the time we were 12 hours SW of Cape Flattery we were in a terrible cross swell, rolling like crazy with not enough wind
to drive the boat. Six hours later the forecast
went from benign to dangerous and we beat feet into Westport where we sheltered with five other cruisers who also got stuck.
The USCG closed the bar just hours after we got in - as we surfed over the bar in 15' swells we would lose sight of the 65' long line trawler
just 100 yards astern of us - but the 44' USCG rescue
boat that insisted on escorting us in was always just 20 yards off our port side.