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tagster 06-11-2007 07:20 PM

Seattle to SF
I'm looking to go from the sound to the bay.

Anyone have any good course suggestions? This is my first trip of this size, and I'll probably be on my own or possibly with one more.

Since this is my first trip of this size, I was planning to basically bounce off the coast anchoring in harbors as much as possible.

Going from
Lake Union to Friday Harbor,
Friday Harbor to Neah Bay,
Neah Bay to Gray's Harbor,
Gray's Harbor to the mouth of the columbia,
From the Columbia on out for a few days, and head strait to newport.

From there...I don't really know the terrain too well I've not spent much time down there even on land. So I'd look into any suggestions people might have.

Moonfish 06-12-2007 12:27 AM

Tagster, sounds like fun. What kind of boat do you have?

I've known a couple of people that have taken pretty much the same trip. There are two schools of thought. One is to head offshore 60-120 miles all the way down to SF. The other is to harbor hop. Not necessarily an easy proposition on much of the Washington/Oregon coasts, as deeper drafts can make some bar crossings difficult (not to mention the conditions themselves).

If you don't already have a guidebook, take a look at Exploring the Pacific Coast—San Diego to Seattle, by Don Douglass and Réanne Hemingway Douglass. They have a good reputation, and I know of no other complete guides to the Pacific Coast.

Exploring the Pacific Coast

When do you plan on cutting the dock lines?

CharlieCobra 06-12-2007 11:12 AM

Ya have to be careful with the bars in WA and OR as they quickly become unnavigable if conditions deteriorate. If caught out in the crap off this coast, it's best to claw to seaward for room. The PNW coast is a bad, BAD place to be in a storm. Pay attention to the forecasts and ya should have a nice downhill run to SF.

TAREUA 06-12-2007 11:43 AM

Tagster I would agree that you want a good guide, good charts, and waypoints preset in the gps for every harbor before you leave. A number of trawler owners go up and down the coast every summer, and they like to set a maximum swell size + wind wave size (say 4ft swell + 2ft chop, the combo not to exceed 10ft)as predicted on the marine forcast. The problem on a delivery, in my experience, is that when conditions are good you want to take advantage of them and keep heading south, but when it gets sloppy those bars are no fun. If you hear of weather problems ahead, bail out early. Getting in (or out) of Newport in fog or large swells was not a lot of fun for me. One advantage to staying well offshore is that you also avoid the fishing boats drifting across your course. If you could get even one person to come along to watch for traffic while you got some rest, I think it would really improve your trip. Be patient for good weather while you sit in Neah bay, and have a great trip!

sailingdog 06-12-2007 12:54 PM

I'd second what Charlie said about many of the harbor entrances becoming unnavigable in heavy weather.

jrd22 06-13-2007 11:01 PM

I would agree with the previous advice that if you have good weather and favorable winds you will want to take advantage of them and keep going. Having another person along is strongly advised for a first offshore trip.
Why go all the way to Friday H., just turn the corner at Pt. T and go to Pt Angeles, save yourself almost a day(great Thai restaurant there too). Have a good time. PS buy all the entrance charts there are, not just the ones you "plan" to go into.

tagster 06-14-2007 08:00 PM


Tagster, sounds like fun. What kind of boat do you have?
A '71 Cheoy Lee Clipper 42' (Staysail rigged Schooner).

I have a set of harbor charts and a complete marina/services guide for the west coast.

I'm not cutting lose (for this trip anyway) until august. I'd like to take a second pair of eyes, ears and hands with me. But I might only be able to take my little boat dog, as I'm not hearing of any volunteers for the trip amongst my friends :-) My girlfriend may come with, if she can get the time. She'd work for eyes and ears, but isn't much help in terms of labor.


Why go all the way to Friday H., just turn the corner at Pt. T and go to Pt Angeles, save yourself almost a day(great Thai restaurant there too).
No real reason, I just like friday harbor and don't get up there much. Plus this is a one way trip, I'm going to miss the sound I thought I'd take my time leaving it. :-)

Moonfish 06-18-2007 10:34 AM

Tagster, that's a beautiful boat indeed. Did you buy her fairly recently? I was watching what I think is the same boat on Yachtworld for quite a while. If it's the same one, I saw her up here in Friday Harbor a couple of summers ago.

If you're still looking for crew on the trip down to SF, my friend Hank Schmitt has a company called Offshore Passage Opportunities ( Offshore Passage Opportunities: Halesite, New York ). Primarily he organizes the annual N.A.R.C. rally, but another purpose is providing a venue for skippers looking for crew. I don't know if you have to be a member to take advantage of that or not, but it might be worth looking into.

And when you stop in Friday Harbor say "hi". Always looking for a good excuse to have a fresh pint of Staboard Porter at the Ale House. I'd love to see that boat of yours.

tagster 06-18-2007 05:52 PM

Yes it's the same vessel, I purchased it in August of last year. I bought it from Mark Dorsey who was previously out of Port Ludlow. Surely he brought it to Friday Harbor at least a time or two. Message me your number and on the way through, I'll make sure to have you aboard for that pint. ;-)

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