Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2020, 08:08   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Dana Point, Ca.
Boat: Benneteau Oceanus 38'
Posts: 4
Images: 1
Dana Point to San Francisco

Good Morning fellow Sailors,
I have a 38" 1991 Benneteau Oceanus docked in Dana Point and am preparing to sail with 2 hands to San Francisco sometime in early Fall, 2020. I have sailed around all of the Channel Islands except San Nicholas and am considering launching from Forney's on the west end of Santa Cruz to San Francisco with the following layovers:
Cojo (Pt. Conception)
Morro Bay
San Simeon
Monterey Bay
Santa Cruz
Half Moon Bay
San Francisco.
I am not adverse to sailing at night and have just retooled with a new Raymarine chartplotter, sonar and radar. Does this sound like a reasonable float plan and can any of you give me hints on how to best approach any of the tricky passages (i.e. Pt. Conception, Golden Gate)?
Thanks!
__________________

Dana Point Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 08:33   #2
Moderator
 
Adelie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 9,854
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Start by getting a larger boat. I have no idea how you would fit in a 38” boat let alone with 2 crew.

As a guess that’s a little late in the season. You’d want to check World Cruising Routes by JCornell.
__________________

__________________
Num Me Vexo?
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
Adelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 09:11   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 526
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Point Greg View Post
Good Morning fellow Sailors,
I have a 38" 1991 Benneteau Oceanus docked in Dana Point and am preparing to sail with 2 hands to San Francisco sometime in early Fall, 2020. I have sailed around all of the Channel Islands except San Nicholas and am considering launching from Forney's on the west end of Santa Cruz to San Francisco with the following layovers:
Cojo (Pt. Conception)
Morro Bay
San Simeon
Monterey Bay
Santa Cruz
Half Moon Bay
San Francisco.
I am not adverse to sailing at night and have just retooled with a new Raymarine chartplotter, sonar and radar. Does this sound like a reasonable float plan and can any of you give me hints on how to best approach any of the tricky passages (i.e. Pt. Conception, Golden Gate)?
Thanks!
Your boat is fine for this. Dress warm - it will be cold, especially if you don't have a dodger.

I spent about 5-years as a full time professional delivery skipper in the mid 1990s through early 2000s. I moved a lot of boats out of California for sales tax purposes, and a few dozen new Nordhavn's out of Dana Point north, mostly to Oregon or BC area. I've also cruised my Willard 36 trawler from SF to Channel Islands so know this area well. As you can imagine, a delivery skipper mostly heads north against prevailing weather, which was certainly my experience. I'd say 80% of my trips were non-stop, about 5-days to the Columbia River (I rarely stopped in SF even though that was my home base at the time).

First, you need to decide if this is a pleasure trip with stops, or a delivery where you run when the weather permits. Prevailing winds are from the NW, so you won't be sailing much unless you tack way off westward.

Sometime in mid-late September, a rock-solid weather window opens and the seas get super nice. Last trip I made on my Willard from SF to Ensenada - we left Oct 17th 2018 and steamed 500nms/75-hours straight to Ensenada and never took spray over the gunwales. Truly beautiful ride. Fuel capacity permitting, its very possible you can make this run non-stop if you are so inclined (I personally like multi-day runs, but I sense I am weird that way).

From Dana Point, I typically timed my departure to hit Conception/Arguello at midnight or early morning when I would have best chance of laid-down seas. Depending on boat I was delivering (7kts was typical), would leave around 10PM or so. I have anchored in Cojo of Goleta, but not my favorite. It's a bit eery to be anchored behind massive kelp beds less than a mile from a killer surf break. But it's the closest place to stage your passage around Conception if the weather is dicey. Conception deserves respect, but it's not the fearsome cape of legends, it's just a helluva lot different than the relatively protected waters of SoCal. And its the absolute dividing like between SoCal and the Central California Coast, which is pretty desolate. When I was delivering, the most current charts were coarse scale and dated back almost 70-years to the 1930s.

I rarely stopped at Morro Bay due to tides/current made it difficult to time entrance and exit. But I was delivering boats. I preferred Pt San Luis where I could anchor and leave anytime. Morro Bay has a good reputation for cruisers, with hospitable yacht club.

From there, in my mind, next all-weather port is Monterrey CA. I forget how far, but at least 125 nms - this stretch of the Central California Coast includes Pt Sur and Cape San Martin, and they definitely deserve respect and there's a good chance it will be bumpy regardless of what the weather forecasts state. The anchorages in between - San Simeon, Stillwater Cove, are just not tenable except in fair weather. In fair weather, the boat needs to be moving. Monterrey is a good town to visit, and the marina is right in the middle of town. Downside is it's a long approach to get into Monterrey so adds considerably to your trip.

From Monterrey, it's about 100 nms to the GG Bridge. Santa Cruz is semi-interesting. Pigeon Point (Half Moon Bay) is a nice semi-commercial marina (both it and Monterrey have 24/7 harbormasters due to fishing boat traffic). From there, you are about 30nms to SF.

In closing, unless you get damn lucky and encounter a southerly (very unlikely), your trip will be divided into fuel stops. Either strap jugs on deck or plan accordingly. You will want some sort of line cutter on your prop shaft. And move the boat when the weather is good and try not to stop until you're either in SF or the wx changes.

Also, crew of three (total) works well. two 3-hour watches and one 2-hour watch overnight seems to work pretty well.



Good luck!


Peter
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 09:31   #4
Registered User
 
Dennis.G's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sea of Cortez and the U.P. of Michigan
Boat: Celestial 48
Posts: 893
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

BTW 38" would indicate 38 inches. A mistake I would assume.
Dennis.G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 10:24   #5
Sponsoring Vendor
 
groundtackle's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: Cal 2-46'
Posts: 650
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Weebles, excellent advice from experience. I'd like to add; The entire coast appears on the map to be totally exposed but in fact has many different conditions. These good or bad areas are influenced by things like mountains, depth / severe changes in topography, water / air temps, salinity / runoff etc.
I've found that going offshore or inshore even a few miles can make a huge difference depending on what you desire.
For example; you could run for two days in thick fog but have clear sky right if simply turned a little.
My advice is - if things aren't happy just experiment with altering, you can always go back into the fog if that's your preference. Yes.. bring clothes!
One voyage on our own vessel took 3 months SF-Cabo with only a few overnighters, take your time and smell the roses. Williard is next when i go dark side.

Adelie, haha. You have a Cal 20. I love those boats too, like a Tonka truck.
Chris
__________________
Ground Tackle Marine 250-516-9589
groundtackle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 13:50   #6
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 18,043
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

We used to take Jim's 30 footer (Yankee 30 sailboat) to the Channel Is. in late summer, (Aug/Sep) and sail her back to SF for 2 week vacations. The ride back was a lot of tacking.

With a crew of 3, I'd treat the trip as a delivery, not as a cruise. It is all uphill, so to speak, up wind and up current. In our much smaller boat, we waited at Cojo, Morro Bay, Monterey or Santa Cruz, and into SF, but we were on a schedule. If the conditions are easy, I'd go straight through, watch schedule very managable with 3. I guess my real point here is, if your boat sails well, sailing it will be farther than rhumb line motoring, but it will be far more comfortable than bashing into it. Carry seasickness prevention meds for the whole crew.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 14:23   #7
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 8,452
Images: 50
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

That and September are usually the best time. That’s how I’d do it. Forneys to cojo is a nice daysail and then wait till the wee hours at cojo for a good chance to motor around if it’s blowing there. You might as was mentioned get lucky with a southerly there. I’d probably wait at San Simeon for a good window, point sur gets a concentration of wind and waves at times, and other than Pfeiffer cove there’s no good place to duck in and wait. Check the threads in the pacific coast sailors social group, there may be more good info there.

I should amend this, lately even October and November have had plenty of favorable weather. It used to be July was pretty reliable but the last few years, at least to me, seem to have seen spring weather stretch into July. I wonder if anyone else noticed the same.
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 15:30   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 526
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

My advice was for the seasonal wx window in late September through mid/late October. The same wx system that produces summer-like temps and conditions in SF also produces a predictable high pressure system that causes the seas to lay down flat, perhaps a swell from far off, but that is not a problem. Many cruisers from PNW head south to start the Baja Ha Ha so you will have traffic in the opposite direction. Bottom line - when the wx is predicted to be good (e.g. no wind and >80-degrees in SF), make tracks and be headed north from Conception/Arguello. Try not to fit into a work-schedule. You can give your crew 3-days notice.

If you end up in a normal bash-pattern with afternoon NW winds, well, that's a different strategy. Small whitecaps generally form around 17-kts of wind. Not uncommon to see them early morning, but if they continue through 11AM and start to build, you are in for a long day - they will build to 25-30 kts within a couple hours, and will not dissapate until after dark. If they do not build until 1PM, you're okay - will only have 4-6 hours of junk (6-8 foot chop more or less on the nose, and you'll be reduced to 3-4 kts). If your motor is strong and reliable, take the beach route by tucking in behind points, generally staying about a 1 to 1-1/2 miles off the surf break during the day. In the evening/night, crab traps are a problem so you'll have to move offshore, but the winds should have moderated by then. You will need to get into at least 400 feet of water, even then you may see traps, though not many at that time of year.

From Dana Point, I took a rhumbline to Conception with two excceptions: First, have to avoid the Long Beach/LA shipping channels (no small feat at night). Second, a jog between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands. Well, you will also cross the traffic separation zone as you cross from SR/SC islands to Conception, and that can take some navigation, especially since this is probably at night if you're planning rounding Conception at midnight-ish.

I believe it was Ann who said carry motion sickness medicine. I can tell you that the vast majority of my deliveries - even 5-day deliveries, were with my self and a rock-solid crew person. I am not prone to seasickness, but I am also not immune to it. Given I ran boats short-handed (two people on a coastal run is difficult, not sure I'm up to it at this point in life), I often took prophylactic half-doses of meclazine (Bonine). Having half the crew sick on a short handed delivery would be a problem. Meclazine works well, but messes with dizziness, sight, and drowsiness, so a half-dose is manageable. It's cheap stuff - Walmart carries it under their Equate brand.

This is an immensely doable trip if you have a sound boat and you have reasonably strong boat skills and are adventure-hearty. If you're a Huck-Finn dreamer/wannabee, well, you will want someone more skilled and experienced aboard. There is a lot of fear and legend amongst the SoCal sailing community about the dangers of Pt Conception. I do not mean to under estimate it, but also I believe it is manageable for someone with decent McGyver skills. You will get a lot of awful feedback from folks along the docks about how you're taking your life in your hands. You are, but not in the way they think - you are headed to sea along a coast that has few safe harbors. Chose your wx window wisely, and be prepared to make your own decisions, not the weekend warrior-types on your dock. It can be cold and uncomfortable, but as long as your boat is shipshape, it's a safe journey.

Good luck!


Peter
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 16:42   #9
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 8,452
Images: 50
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post

If you end up in a normal bash-pattern with afternoon NW winds, well, that's a different strategy. Small whitecaps generally form around 17-kts of wind. Not uncommon to see them early morning, but if they continue through 11AM and start to build, you are in for a long day - they will build to 25-30 kts within a couple hours, and will not dissapate until after dark. If they do not build until 1PM, you're okay - will only have 4-6 hours of junk (6-8 foot chop more or less on the nose, and you'll be reduced to 3-4 kts). If your motor is strong and reliable, take the beach route by tucking in behind points, generally staying about a 1 to 1-1/2 miles off the surf break during the day. In the evening/night, crab traps are a problem so you'll have to move offshore, but the winds should have moderated by then. You will need to get into at least 400 feet of water, even then you may see traps, though not many at that time of year.
Peter
Whole post, especially this paragraph, are exactly my experience too. You oughta write the guide book Peter!
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 17:03   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 526
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Whole post, especially this paragraph, are exactly my experience too. You oughta write the guide book Peter!
Thanks Don. I just love this coastline. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee at daybreak. Anyone who doesn't well-up on their first trip beneath the GG Bridge after a trip like this is broken. Absolute milestone in passagemaking.
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 17:09   #11
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 8,452
Images: 50
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Thanks Don. I just love this coastline. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee at daybreak. Anyone who doesn't well-up on their first trip beneath the GG Bridge after a trip like this is broken. Absolute milestone in passagemaking.
Yep! I completely agree! The whole stretch is gorgeous.
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 17:35   #12
Registered User
 
boat_alexandra's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: charleston
Boat: bristol 27
Posts: 3,595
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

I was able to run wing and wing from santa cruz to san francisco in 20 knots, but usually the wind blows the other way.
boat_alexandra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 18:57   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Dana Point, Ca.
Boat: Benneteau Oceanus 38'
Posts: 4
Images: 1
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

That is an unusual wind direction from Santa Cruz. Seems like it's usually a W or NW wind blowing in that area. Lucky You!
Dana Point Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2020, 08:50   #14
Sponsoring Vendor
 
groundtackle's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: Cal 2-46'
Posts: 650
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

[QUOTE=Don C L;3073359]Whole post, especially this paragraph, are exactly my experience too. You oughta write the guide book Peter![/QUOTE

Don, weebs just did.

DPG, You say new radar. Leave it on everytime you are onboard and educate. I'd take a working radar over a compass.

You can go anytime of the year with our wonderful forecasts and new weather satellites.
Stop me if I'm repeating...I was crew on a big white yacht off Conception running south in heavy air trying to stay just in sync with the triple overhead breakers. I'm standing on the aft fun deck when one overtakes, climbs and covers the entire back end of the boat. I just jump up on the hot tub or something in awe. Well... don't the main salon doors open as the motion sensor wasn't disengaged. A knee high wave went inside the boat. What a mess but a real giggle.
Chris
__________________
Ground Tackle Marine 250-516-9589
groundtackle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2020, 11:12   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 526
Re: Dana Point to San Francisco

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
I was able to run wing and wing from santa cruz to san francisco in 20 knots, but usually the wind blows the other way.

This is really unusual - rare. I wouldn't plan on much sailing on this trip north, but who knows. Wx is always fickle. Unless the OP gets lucky, this is likely a motor-trip. Looks like a Beneteau carries about 35-gallons, so around 150nms to empty (guess). Stops will be planned around fueling. If a fair wind comes up, so much the better.
__________________

mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dana point, san francisco

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Wanted: PNW to San Francisco, San Fran to San Diego and San Diego to Mexico svasunto Crew Archives 19 09-09-2015 19:44
Marina"s Between San Pedro And Dana Point Ca Svsilvergirl Liveaboard's Forum 4 26-03-2012 09:09
Dana Point to San Francisco in 1/4 tonner JAMcDonald Pacific & South China Sea 8 08-07-2011 11:09
Ensenada, Dana Point, Newport Beach - from San Diego sailbird Pacific & South China Sea 5 07-09-2010 20:47
Just rented a 20? Ft Catalina in Dana Point sailinggeorge Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 10 07-09-2008 22:14

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:25.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.