Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Indian Ocean
Thanked 99 Times in 94 Posts
Rep Power: 6
I did the trip 12 years as the start to our offshore sailing life. I contemplated that trip for several years, as it can be one of the nastiest bodies of water on the globe. They don't call it the graveyard of the Pacific for nothing. I do not recommend you stopping anywhere on that coast. The limited harbors all have bar crossings, which will be very dangerous in any kind of unsettled weather conditions, this is probably when you will want to go in....tired, poor decision making time, breaking bar conditions can all spell disaster for the small yachtsman.
I suggest you take an off shore route. we went out about 175 miles off the coast and then made our rhumbline for SF. Nice passage with 2 days of 30-40 knots. The day after the big blow we had these long Pacific with swells winds of 15 to 20 knots, sunshine and a great feeling of accomplishment for our first big offshore passage. Man that was some good sailing.
After many more years and a few voyages in the roaring 40's I'd still say that the PNW passage to SF may be the toughest one of all. Good luck, prepare well and good sailing!