I was reading about this the other day , I think in Michael Pocock's "The Pacific Crossing Guide" (published by the Royal Cruising Club).
The books at home and I'm in the office so I'm going from memory.
Prevailing winds (presuming northern hemisphere summer) are NE so its a down hill run all the way while you are in the NH. Once south of the equator you'd tend to pick up westerleys.
Again, from memory, I seem to remember that the advice for heading south along the US coast is to get out to sea away from Washington and Oregon.
Hopefully one or two of the PNW regulars can advise on the dos and donts of US coasting but if heading out to sea away from Oregon is the go, then it would seem logical to me that you'd stick to a downhill run all the way south.
Other than the Pacific Crossing guide you should probably get a hold of Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Handbook" and "World Cruising Routes".
I do emphasise that this is from an Australian who has never even set foot in Alaska, let alone sailed from there.
"Those who do not observe the impulses of their own mind must of necessity be unhappy." Marcus Aurelius
Last edited by tdw; 09-18-2009 at 01:28 AM.