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post #3 of Old 09-14-2008
KeelHaulin's Avatar
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Not a trip for a beginner; if you are a beginner or even and advanced sailor you should be extremely careful in the decision to sail down the coast. Puget Sound alone can be very trecharous going out to the Pacific (from what I have heard) and if you don't time the weather correctly there is little shelter along the coast from Washington all the way to Los Angeles. Just a week ago a sailor who was returning from Hawaii who had just won the Singlehanded Trans-Pac (from SF to HI) abandoned 300 miles west of SF. Luckily was picked up by a cargo ship. He had over 35 years of experience and an extremely well equipped boat. The gale force winds had the ocean up to 20-30' seas and breaking waves.

I'm not saying it can't be done; but be sure you, your boat, and your crew are up for it. Study the wind patterns and plan very carefully before you commit to making the trip. Know where you can find shelter and be sure you can enter those places with rough seas; many ports become blocked by breaking surf when the seas are heavy.
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