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Old 13-10-2020, 14:49   #1
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Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Iíd rather not type a novel here so Iím going to attempt to provide what I think is ample/pertinent information to support my questions.
With the exception of Virgin Island and Bahamian bareboat charters, Iíve only sailed coastal along the central and eastern GOM but have done so for 38 years.

Iím at a point in life where having recently retired and being a reasonably fit 61 year old Iím ready to do some single handed cruising. Iíve located a boat I think up to the task located in Port Ludlow WA.
Im on the AL gulf coast. Although itís a topic worthy of its own thread, I donít desire at this time to discuss anything other than my initial questions which are if I were in a position to leave in late Jan, is that too early to head west anywhere? I need to and will study the weather and currents but can one head directly to HI from there that time of year? Should I sail south first and then west and if I need to sail south should I do Baha first and then west which probably gets me into the trades more efficiently? Also if I do the latter would that bring into play the opportunity to do GalŠpagos Islands and then head to HI?
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Old 13-10-2020, 21:14   #2
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

There are significant weather systems forming on regular basis with an interval of 5-7 days between Japan and Vancouver island in the winter. I am sure you will get many more warnings and there must be previous discussions on the subject in this forum. If I were you, I would remain in the Sound until May or late April and then go South first. There are winter storms in Puget Sound and Salish Sea too with winds reaching 60 knots, but they are usually well predicted and the area is well protected. People do sail in this area in the winter. The scenery is quite nice too!
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Old 13-10-2020, 21:20   #3
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

As for the second part of your question, you should be able to go straight to HI either from Seattle or SF, no need to go farther south. Galapagos are a logical stop on the way to French Polynesia, but please research Galapagos entry requirements, they are a major pain designed to keep the cruisers away.
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Old 13-10-2020, 21:46   #4
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Speaking from California, the main problem I hear is that you want to go in January. While we have had fairly settled weather the last few years into January, I wouldn't expect that, especially farther north. You could head out and easily find yourself in a gale. Maybe you could find someone to go with you, perhaps a professional delivery skipper, and pick your weather windows to come down the coast in January, but as you get into February and March that becomes less likely IMO. Many harbors along the coast all the way down to Marina Del Rey become too dangerous to enter during a winter storm. I am not sure if you meant the Galapagos or not but they aren't really on the way to Hawaii. They are down on the equator and very far south and east of where you are headed and east most of Mexico for that matter. The Sea of Cortez is a lovely place to visit though.
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Old 13-10-2020, 21:49   #5
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

You may find some useful information in threads in this group:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...t+sailors.html

This thread in particular may help:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ry-211388.html
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Old 14-10-2020, 09:13   #6
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

This was yesterday. Although it's an early start, we will have this and worse every 7-10 days until March. My advice is to wait until spring. Good luck.Click image for larger version

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Old 14-10-2020, 09:38   #7
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

I'm PNW based. At that time of the year you will have lots of storm activity. Think 20 foot waves plus wind waves plus tons of wind. Coastal hopping south to at least San Francisco will take a lot of time. While there are quite a number of harbors on the WA and OR coasts many/most will be closed as the bar will be too dangerous. A few years ago it took me over a month to get from SF to Astoria. You can head out to HI, just know that this will be a rough trip. I wouldn't do it personally.

You can cruise the islands in the wintertime in Puget Sound etc. In the spring, head up to Alaska then end of summer work your way back to WA and decide what you want to do. Head to HI or head South aiming for winter in Mexico and then go from there.
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Old 14-10-2020, 09:45   #8
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

You might gain some insight and entertainment from perusing volumes such as Jerry Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" and "Cornell's Ocean Atlas," free on-line pilot charts, etc.
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Old 14-10-2020, 10:16   #9
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Mark View Post
I'm PNW based. At that time of the year you will have lots of storm activity. Think 20 foot waves plus wind waves plus tons of wind. Coastal hopping south to at least San Francisco will take a lot of time. While there are quite a number of harbors on the WA and OR coasts many/most will be closed as the bar will be too dangerous. A few years ago it took me over a month to get from SF to Astoria. You can head out to HI, just know that this will be a rough trip. I wouldn't do it personally.

You can cruise the islands in the wintertime in Puget Sound etc. In the spring, head up to Alaska then end of summer work your way back to WA and decide what you want to do. Head to HI or head South aiming for winter in Mexico and then go from there.

Good advice ^^^. It took me six weeks from SF to Vancouver Island in 2016. The trip was done from Aug 8 - Sept 18. Even in the calmest of months (i.e., August & September) it was CRITICAL to know if the next bar entrances were passable before starting north every single day.


Quote:
Coastal hopping south to at least San Francisco will take a lot of time.
It could be well nigh impossible in winter.


From Lapush south to Brookings they are ALL bar entrances. Every single one. Some of them are horrendously narrow.


Even thinking about winter sailing off that coast is foolhardy.


I've posted our log (with charts & photos) here:

Travels with Aquavite: San Francsico Bay to British Columbia 2016

Photos are under some of the later months' tabs, click on the month to expand to see the photo listings.
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Old 14-10-2020, 10:49   #10
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Buy Jimmy Cornells World Cruising Routes
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Old 14-10-2020, 11:40   #11
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatheelrod22 View Post
Iíd rather not type a novel here so Iím going to attempt to provide what I think is ample/pertinent information to support my questions.
With the exception of Virgin Island and Bahamian bareboat charters, Iíve only sailed coastal along the central and eastern GOM but have done so for 38 years.

Iím at a point in life where having recently retired and being a reasonably fit 61 year old Iím ready to do some single handed cruising. Iíve located a boat I think up to the task located in Port Ludlow WA.
Im on the AL gulf coast. Although itís a topic worthy of its own thread, I donít desire at this time to discuss anything other than my initial questions which are if I were in a position to leave in late Jan, is that too early to head west anywhere? I need to and will study the weather and currents but can one head directly to HI from there that time of year? Should I sail south first and then west and if I need to sail south should I do Baha first and then west which probably gets me into the trades more efficiently? Also if I do the latter would that bring into play the opportunity to do GalŠpagos Islands and then head to HI?
You should spend some time reading World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell and plan your voyage thoroughly. Route PN17 says May, June, and October are the best times for NW to Hawaii. In 2016 we left Neah Bay on May 25 for a nonstop to Hilo. Also, check with your insurance company because some restrictions may applied if you leave later and because you plan to do it solo.

That said you should spend some time to get to know your new-to-you boat before departing. Port Ludlow is a nice upscale place but little to do outside of the harbor. I would recommend Port Townsend, only a few miles north, to get whatever you need done or to haul out. Next stop would be Port Angeles before getting to Neah Bay, your last stop, to refuel and fill up with water then watch for a good weather window for departure. Prevailing NW winds are the norm. Research your choices and make a decision on what you are going to use for enroute weather/communications.

Lastly, the northwest coast is known as the Graveyard of the Pacific, so best be totally prepared before you depart. There are only so many recommended harbors to get into (Charlie's Charts of the U.S. Pacific Coast) and bars rule them. I purposely avoided them all.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 14-10-2020, 13:39   #12
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Having lived in Port Townsend for 18 year's, i would suggest moving the boat to P.T., for social contact, small town, you can walk everywhere, good yard DIY if you wish, sail in the area for the Winter, explore further North in the Spring and Summer, head south no later than Sept. [which i did], from there many option's, Do the HA,HA to Mexico, wonderful cruising area, then in April head across the Pacific.
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Old 14-10-2020, 14:38   #13
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

You can certainly do a crossing to Hawaii from Puget Sound, but I would not attempt it until Spring when weather patterns calm down. In the meantime, winter sailing in Puget Sound and the San Juans can be great with predictable winds. There are many active clubs and winter events, so plenty of opportunities to get involved and meet other sailors.
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Old 14-10-2020, 14:48   #14
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
From Lapush south to Brookings they are ALL bar entrances. Every single one. Some of them are horrendously narrow.

Even thinking about winter sailing off that coast is foolhardy.
I agree with you about winter storms off the Washington and Oregon Coast. Something to be avoided. On the other hand, I think you somewhat overstated bar conditions on the WA/OR Coast. I have crossed every bar along that coast more than once, occasionally in rough conditions. Yes, you need to pick the right conditions and timing, and there is nothing like experience. On the other hand, there is only one entrance which is "horrendously narrow", and Depoe Bay is not even a bar nor is it normally attempted by sailboats.
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Old 16-10-2020, 22:34   #15
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Re: Pacific Destination sailing from Port Ludlow WA?

Hello Mr. Tatheelrod22, Mr. Matt here I live 30 minutes from port Ludlow and if and when you could use some help in a survey check out sail or local sailing or taking a look/ or on checking something at the boat you are looking at, I'm easy to talk into helping /sailing on someone else's boat. :] PM me if I can help.
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