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Old 17-09-2018, 16:09   #1
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crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

Hi, Everyone!

Need some advice from your good experience of sailing. I may have to do something everyone advices against: sail from LA to SF in Fall 2018. I have a 2006 Hunter 31' with a Yanmar deisel inboard. I'll not be in a great hurry and may be going solo, I'd be grateful for any advice on this topic.

Help appreciated.
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Old 17-09-2018, 17:23   #2
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

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Originally Posted by dreamwalker View Post
Hi, Everyone!

Need some advice from your good experience of sailing. I may have to do something everyone advices against: sail from LA to SF in Fall 2018. I have a 2006 Hunter 31' with a Yanmar deisel inboard. I'll not be in a great hurry and may be going solo, I'd be grateful for any advice on this topic.

Help appreciated.
I would just put her on a truck. It is a small sail boat, ship it. Why punish yourself this way.
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Old 17-09-2018, 18:32   #3
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

There are at least 9 anchorages along that route and you will need to do at least 2 overnighters. You will also need a really good sea state several times.
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Old 17-09-2018, 18:51   #4
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

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Hi, Everyone!

Need some advice from your good experience of sailing. I may have to do something everyone advices against: sail from LA to SF in Fall 2018. I have a 2006 Hunter 31' with a Yanmar deisel inboard. I'll not be in a great hurry and may be going solo, I'd be grateful for any advice on this topic.

Help appreciated.
It is a very tough patch of water. I was once offered a paid delivery to do this trip, which I have previous done (both ways) on a 40 foot oceangoing boat.

I was excited about the opportunity--until I was told the boat was a Catalina 32. I turned down the job, and as RockDAWG suggested, told the owner to call a trucking company.

Just to give you a feel for the problems you can encounter... we were motoring north in ZERO wind, approaching Morro Bay. We called the CG station there at 2AM and asked about the condition of the inlet. It was closed. The swell, which we hardly noticed offshore, was breaking 13 feet high across the bar.

Just because there is an anchorage there, doesn't mean you can use it. Not one of the the anchorages from LA to Monterey can be entered or used in all weather. If the ocean turns nasty a Hunter 31 is not a place I want to be in stuck out there.
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Old 17-09-2018, 20:14   #5
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crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

Iíve done it a few times. Pick your weather window, check the off-shore buoy reports and donít be in a hurry. Getting to Santa Barbara is easy. SB to Coho anchorage. Very early am departure for Morro Bay, the entrance isnít closed that often and easy to avoid if you pay attention to the weather and sea state before you leave Coho. Morro Bay to San Simeon anchorage. Then the toughest/longest leg, to Monterey. You can break-up the next leg by crossing the bay to Santa Cruz or carry on to HMB. From there, 6 hours to the GG. Make sure not to cut the corner entering the shipping channel into SF Bay. I usually donít turn for the bridge before I get to the second set of channel markers. Stay close to shore, a couple miles or less, thereís a counter current that you can use to your advantage. What do they say, ďSometimes adventure isnít fun or comfortableĒ or something like that. Have fun.
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Old 17-09-2018, 20:57   #6
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

The main question is, how's the engine?
...and your dodger.. and your reefing system...
Be aware that your boat's structural integrity and rigging will likely be tested by what may be many hours of bashing to windward along the way, and there may be a time when it is just best to call it a day and run back down to the best nearest harbor to rest in before continuing on.
I wouldn't recommend going solo unless the boat and you are well prepared for it.
A couple weeks ago the weather was nice and calm along the central coast but now lately it has picked up a bit off Pt. Conception. So it is a nice motor/sail day up to Channel Islands or Ventura if you leave really early. Then up to SB is about a 6 hour motor. A Lot of folks like to go up to Cojo anchorage in the evening, figure 8 hours motoring from SB or so. Most folks wait at Cojo until it is calm (which may be a few days) and then motor around Concception and Arguello in the wee hours when it is calm and then sail up to Port San Luis or up farther around to Morro Bay if the entrance to Morro Bay harbor is open. Up from there I have only come down so my observations don't come from sailing up but IMO the stretch from San Simeon (which is a very nice cove and anchorage to hang out in) to Monterey is the long leg that may be the most challenging of the trip, you may face some strong breezes on the nose for quite a ways there, and there are only a few spots that fishermen use for shelter which aren't what you'd call a normal anchorage. Pfeiffer Point is probably the best in there. Check Coast Pilot for some useful info:
https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/publ...lot/index.html

as well as Brian Fagan's guide:
"The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California"

The trick is to pick your calm weather and motorsail up as far and as fast as you can in the more exposed parts of the coast. Ordinarily fall can be a time when we'll see some pretty windy spells right on the nose and then some calm windows or periods of offshore winds, but this year I am not sure. The typical summer weather seemed to come in late, so maybe there'll be another good month or two. I see that lately at Point Conception there has still been a good breeze on the nose even in the wee hours so you may have to wait a few days in some places for the best conditions. It's hard to make good progress motoring into 15 or 20 knots and some swell. Once north of Arguello then it's ok to tack out, it's just the seas can get squirrelly right off the point so it's best to get past that as soon as you can. It looks like in the forecasts I see, September may not be so good but October may offer some better weather for the trip, both in terms of wind and swells coming down the coast.

I have a good friend who did it in a 20 foot boat with an outboard and it took him over a week from Santa Barbara. But I wouldn't recommend that
If you have confidence in your skills, your boat and don't mind waiting for the good weather it could be a truly beautiful trip.
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Old 18-09-2018, 09:28   #7
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

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I would just put her on a truck. It is a small sail boat, ship it. Why punish yourself this way.
From MdR to SB, leave over night and stop in SB, rest. Leave next afternoon to get to Conception early AM, rest at Port San Louie. Early start to Morrow Bay, rest. Early start to Santa Cruz. Its just a short hop to HMB.
Your boat has to be outfitted for the trip, good engine, dodger, double reef main, storm jib. Would be good to have a person or two to help.

Its been a long time since I did the north trip but that was how I did it singlehanded for the SSS to Hawaii in a New Port 30.


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Old 18-09-2018, 19:34   #8
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

If you trust your motor, Just Do It! Watch the weather. You can always turn around and ride the weather back to a harbor. I would have a dinghy with an outboard. You can tow yourself into port. Also you can sail into anchorage at Santa Barbara or San Luis.I think I'm going to Monterey soon from Ventura. If I get a job I'm hoping for. Just for a couple weeks.
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Old 18-09-2018, 22:28   #9
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

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Iíve done it a few times. Pick your weather window, check the off-shore buoy reports and donít be in a hurry. Getting to Santa Barbara is easy. SB to Coho anchorage. Very early am departure for Morro Bay, the entrance isnít closed that often and easy to avoid if you pay attention to the weather and sea state before you leave Coho. Morro Bay to San Simeon anchorage. Then the toughest/longest leg, to Monterey. You can break-up the next leg by crossing the bay to Santa Cruz or carry on to HMB. From there, 6 hours to the GG. Make sure not to cut the corner entering the shipping channel into SF Bay. I usually donít turn for the bridge before I get to the second set of channel markers. Stay close to shore, a couple miles or less, thereís a counter current that you can use to your advantage. What do they say, ďSometimes adventure isnít fun or comfortableĒ or something like that. Have fun.
Ditto on all the above after having done it once northward. So many people said "ship it overland." Sheez. It's a boat. You just need to be prepared. As stated, the main thing is to pick your windows well. Ask someone to help with this if you are not familiar with trying to predict the weather or pay for a weather routing service. Be prepared to stay in the harbor for a few days, if weather turns really nasty, but Fall should be a good time (less fog and warmer!). You might also get a nice southerly, but watch the potential for storms later in the season. Make sure you have a good reefing system and your engine is reliable. Bring spares such as filters in case you stir up muck in the tank. Might be better to go with crew and stay offshore for 2-3 days or do the whole thing in one hop because it takes a long time to come in. Also, mind the point at Ano Nuevo. Few people mention that spot but it can also create strong conditions similar to Point Conception. Dungeness season starts Nov 3 so you'll want to stay beyond (at least) 3 miles to avoid the traps, and keep a close eye out when transiting to shore and back.
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Old 18-09-2018, 22:40   #10
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

If you're just short of Monterey, Stillwater Cove in Carmel Bay usually lives up to its name and can shave an hour or two off of getting all the way into Monterey. There's kelp and there's moorings but I've never not found a place to anchor (and you can sometimes get a mooring from the club master) and it's quite pretty (even when you look toward shore and the manicured lawns of Pebble Beach).
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Old 19-09-2018, 00:14   #11
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

Hi, dreamwalker,

Jim and I did this trip a number of times before we got a bigger boat and went cruising full time, in an S&S 30 (a Yankee 30). We went from the Channel Is. to Cojo (sp?). Left there 0100, and went into Moro Bay. Pleasant reception from Yacht Club there (thanks, guys!) Overnighter to Monterey Bay. [We have stayed in Stillwater Cove, had a wonderful experience there, but when it is night, and the Mark 1 Eyeball is your best aid to navigation, we went outside everything, then into Monterey.] Monterey to Half Moon Bay, and then into the Bay area on the next good window.

As others have said, you may want to have two reefs; a dodger will be a godsend, because wind against the tide makes splashy waves; and we did not use the motor except to enter anchorages. When we were there, there was a lot of kelp to avoid going into Cojo. I was glad we had a folding prop, so the kelp could slide off, rather than having to be poked off with the boat hook.

About using the motor. It was our preference to sail, rather than motor into it. Motoring into it is a shorter distance, but for me, riding on a sailing boat, heeled, was far more comfortable than motoring into it, slam, slam, slam! All that bashing doesn't do the gear any good at all.

Enjoy the journey.

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Old 19-09-2018, 00:40   #12
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

One other thing, for a fall trip there is a chance you'll get a forecast southerly (it can happen ). In that case my preference is to anchor at Santa Rosa until the wind comes around (you'll generally still have decent protection) then go like hell as far as you can before the wind gives out or you get too tired.

Wouldn't say it's common, but not unknown in the fall. Otherwise the Coho/MB/onward path is "normal."
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Old 19-09-2018, 19:01   #13
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crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

One last thing that hasnít been brought up when mentioning the motor. Be absolutely sure your fuel tank is clean, youíre going to stir up every speck of crud in there bashing North and bring a half dozen new filters just in case.

Gamayun, Good call on the crab season, although I donít believe heíll have to worry about traps until he reaches Pigeon Point.
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Old 19-09-2018, 20:17   #14
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

Having done it a number of times I think you are more likely to have better weather in the fall than spring or summer. Much has been said about extra fuel filters and you may want to carry extra fuel on deck in jugs. Make sure they are very well secured. No one seems to be mentioning anchors. Good ground tackle is your best insurance policy. When you leave Cojo at O-dark 30 you should monitor the weather radio and anchor at Port San Louis if it sounds like Morro Bay might be closed out. Morro Bay is a great spot but the entrance can be calm or very dangerous and it is possible to get stuck inside if it kicks up at the entrance. If you are past Port San Louis and find out that Morro Bay is closed, keep going to San Simion and anchor out. Reasonable protection and less miles to Monterey from there. I almost always stop at Phiefer Cove (spelling?) and try to plan for arriving mid day or early afternoon. It is usually a nice calm place to get a nights sleep. It breaks up that long Big Sur coast. Leave Phiefer early and keep looking ahead. It can be flat calm in Phiefer and in the few miles it takes to get to Point Sur it can really kick up. Reef and put up with it for a few hours and it typically gets back to normal a few miles north of Point Sur. At Monterey and Santa Cruz you can anchor off of the beach and it is easy to get underway anytime you want. I have always had to put out a stern anchor at Santa Cruz to keep from rolling all night. Pay close attention at Half Moon Bay and dont cut corners. The main ship channel is probably your best option going into San Francisco. This is all assuming normal NW winds. If it swings around to the South, none of the anchorages are any good but take advantage of it and sail like hell. Make sure to safety wire your anchor shackles. Best of Luck. ____Grant.
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Old 19-09-2018, 20:55   #15
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Re: crew wanted Mrrina Del Rey to Halfmoon Bay

Yeah, what they said. Most important: watch the weather windows.
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