pbmaise has it down for collision
issues. I sleep when I'm tired often in the cockpit
. Usually sleep in relatively short snatches, 4 hours or less, that probably has more to do with sleep apnea than keeping watch. At night, you probably wouldn't see a hazard even if you were hanging out on the bow. I try and stay awake within 50 miles or so immovable objects. Easy to do at the end of an ocean passage but difficult when coastal and you are always near shore. Under those conditions, plan your passages so you can drop the hook and sleep at least every 36 hours. AIS
is all the rave these days but it wouldn't be something that I'd delay a passage for. Had it on my solo trip to Hawaii but it didn't alert me to any ships within 10 miles once I was past the Farallons. Off Alaska, the fishing
boats will be your big issue and they don't seem to be big on broadcasting their positions via AIS
. On a recent delivery
from SF to Oceanside, only saw two ships, one off Point Conception and the other making it's way into LA Harbor, both well away.
As far as timing. You can sail to Hawaii year around. The only real issue for those in the PNW is getting below SF in the winter because of the parade of low pressure systems that cross the N. Pacific from November to March. Careful monitoring of weather
systems and timing your run to be able to duck into the few safe harbors north of SF. You can also do it in a straight run from the PNW but good weather
windows are few and far between for that in the winter.
are few in the Winter in Hawaii. Those lows in the North Pacific
send wave systems south that make surf conditions with monstrous waves that you've undoubtedly seen. Not a problem sailing offshore
and between the Islands but but often dangerous and mostly very rolly if you are anchored out. Space available, and their often is, you can stay 4 months in any one State Marina in a calendar year. If you don't mind moving about in 4 month increments you can stay in these marinas
for a long time. We usually have a few cruisers hanging out at our marina in Kona from August to April or thereabouts.
If you want to cruise
Alaska, you'll need to leave Hawaii around May to have some time to explore. Be advised that the trip will be cold and miserable but should be free from serious storms. June in Alaska can be very much like winter in SF Bay
, 50 degrees and constant rain or warmer and dry if you get lucky. Alaska is a lovely place to have a full surround enclosure for the cockpit
, but it sure is a breath taking beautiful place when the sun shines and with those looonnnnggg days you'll have plenty of time to explore. Keep in mind that I live in Kona for a reason when it comes to cold and rain. The passage south can be delayed into the fall because you can do much of it inside in protected waters. Still would want to be safely tucked in a marina by November. There usually are several storm systems that bring near hurricane
force winds to the PNW in the after October.
I've had dreams of doing your journey starting from Kona and back. Unfortunately, can't seem to get it together to get the boat
ready and I'm not getting any younger. Should be a grand adventure for you.