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Old 17-09-2012, 08:00   #31
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Location: Gig Harbor, WA
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Re: Delivery Captain from San Diego to Seattle

Insequent, I've delivered a number of vessels that size south from Cape Flattery to SoCal every month except January and February. The biggest difference is the length and intensity of the weather windows and storm cycles you have to deal with. This is avoided somewhat by taking an offshore track out several hundred miles to the Pacific high which slides south September through April before it begins to move north. I avoid an inshore northern passage between November and March. If you plan a coastwise passage south, you need to have experience crossing bars to find shelter on the way down which you will undoubtedly need to do at least once or twice in my experience.
Your boat needs to have clean tanks, a superior filter system, weatherfax or similar weather equipment and know how to use it/read it, engage a weather router to advise you of wind and sea conditions until you turn Pt Conception. Your navigation gear needs to be backed up and you need to be knowledgeable in using it constantly, an experienced crew is important if you expect to get any sleep. Helps if your boat is stabilized, as well, to minimize the roll in a power boat.
Don't set a hard deadline and push the weather windows as you may get trapped with no place to run. Capes like Mendecino and Blanco can be particularly challeging if you choose the inshore route... it all depends on your comfort level cruising far offshore.
In summary, I wouldn't leave Flattery after November 1 or before April 1 to maximize your chances of having acceptably long weather windows to travel the inshore route. Fair winds, Capt Phil
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Old 17-09-2012, 15:03   #32
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Re: Delivery Captain from San Diego to Seattle

Thanks. Sounds a bit too tough. I'm not into pushing things to the limit. The boat is close to being set up and fit for the trip at present, but I would need a crew. The reason to do it would be to catch the late Dec Dockwise departure from Golfito, Costa Rica to Brisbane. Freight from there is $45k less than from Vancouver. So my choices are to pay the money and ship from Vancouver in Nov, or wait in the PNW for several months and then take a leisurely inshore trip south to catch a later Golfito departure. That sounds great, but a full winter or waiting is not so appealing.
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Old 17-09-2012, 21:36   #33
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Re: Delivery Captain from San Diego to Seattle

IMHO, you should get under way prior to late October. The big lows from the Alleutions will blow in and you don't want to head south in southerly's. Having said that, it's ALL about weather windows and once you are south of SF, you'll have strong NW winds/seas to get you there. Give yourself enough time and you can hop scotch down the coast anytime of the year. I left Anacortes this AM and in Ilwaco for fuel right now and leave in the morning. Next stop Eureka for fuel then Bodega Bay etc., in to Santa Barbara. We are making 20-25 kts but with 9-13kt boats you can do 1 or 2 day jumps all the way down.
Done it many more times in 6-8 kts sailboats but your 50ft trawler should have no issues with 20-25kts of wind and associated seas behind you anytime of the year.

Safe passage. Contact me for more info anytime. Happy to help. earthakat @ msn . com Cheers-Jeffry
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