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  #61  
Old 11-12-2008
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Logos,

Made two trips this time of year from San Francisco to Victoria in a Destroyer Escort, a long time ago. Most of the time the bow was totally buried. My dad and I had a commercial salmon troller out of San Francisco and in an attempt to pay the expenses went out when we shouldn't have. I have on the water experience from San francisco to Crescent City and have observed many breaking bars all up the Oregon coast. You asked for information, take it or leave it.

Dabnis
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  #62  
Old 11-12-2008
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Oh darn, you guys ran Logos off, just when this thread was getting interesting. O.K., in the interest of the “fairness” doctrine I’ll attempt to answer Logos’ questions about heading North in winter albeit I’m a bit chagrined in that he would even ask them as he is obviously a better sailor than even the professionals that frequent this board. I can only speak to the Santa Barbara to San Francisco leg. Someone else will have to chime in on points north. Costal Conditions: You will be sailing against the North American Longshore current so expect about a knot difference between boat speed and SOG. This will vary depending upon where you are on the coast. Tides: They mainly affect bar crossings and the approaches to San Francisco. In a normal winter the major ebb can run five knots though the Gate (and can reach 7 if it has been raining that week). You will feel the current effects as far south as Montera and north to Duxbury Reef. The ebb running against the normal current pattern will cause the sea swell to break (north) or increase the wave heights dramatically (south). Expect shore like breakers all along the South Shoal. You will experience breaking waves inside the ship channel too. Wave patterns: You will be fighting two distinct wave patterns. One from the North (caused by the Longshore current and a second one about 30 degrees to the West which is generated by storms in the Bearing Sea. Remember that Mavericks, where the Big Surf competition is held, is just outside Pillar Point Harbor and the highest recorded wave that was ever surfed happened there. Weather: The typical winter storm is a tropical warm front pushed to California by a sagging jet stream. Expect 30 – 40 knot winds or more from the south causing a contra wind wave pattern of several feet resulting in confused seas. These storms will also effectively close down the entrance to all the harbors, bays and coves for small craft. These storms come in “pulses” every four to five days. In between storms, the winds will veer back to the north and blow 25-35 kts down the coast. A high settling in over Western Nevada/Eastern California for a more than a week will tend to calm the wind conditions along the coast. For specific information about entering harbors, you should consult your copy of Coastal Pilot.

Are you referring to the “Clipper Route” to San Francisco? The gold rush clipper ships stayed 400 or so miles off the coast until about 40* north before turning east to San Francisco. That route would put you between the Bearing Sea Storms and the tropical depressions from the south. The old time whalers would sail north from Hawaii up west of the high to the Bearing Sea and then return back south along the coast. Returning sailboats from Hawaii do a modified version of this except they cut the corner across the high. The high isn’t there in the winter so you will get gales and big storms to speed you back to the coast.

O.K. Logos, there is my assessment of winter along the Central California Coast and is gleaned from my thirty years experience of sailing these waters. I was hoping that you would be a little more open about yourself because your lack of communicating makes you sound like a newbie at best and a troll at worst. (You’re not Smackdaddy in disguise are you?). Please tell me more about yourself. I know that Ted Hood was an America’s Cup Defender and sail maker, but did not know that he built small sail boats. Do you have a picture? Please give me more details on your new Hunter 27. Was this an internet sale or was it from a relative? I’m in the process of outfitting my C34 for offshore passages and I’d be interested in your preparations. I’m especially curious on where you are going to fit a thousand feet of rode on your boat and how you are going to manage an autohelm, radar and all your other gear off of a pair of Group 24s. This year in the Pacific Cup, there were a pair of Moore 24s entered as double handers and it was rather bizarre when we crossed paths with one of them about a thousand miles out to sea. One of my friends is a Moore 24 driver out of the Royal Vic in Canada and has done that regatta on the Columbia several times. I’ve driven by the Columbia numerous times but never sailed there. I hear that it really honks around the Dales. Is that where you sail (and not Portland?)

Last edited by GeorgeB; 11-12-2008 at 09:41 PM.
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  #63  
Old 11-12-2008
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Logos-

Basically, people who are familiar with the west coast and sailing conditions there during this time of year are saying it isn't a good idea. The weather is generally against you, the coast is usually a hostile lee shore.....

You apparently don't seem to understand what they're saying or just don't like the answer... and are now whining about it... really classy... really mature... I'm sure someone with your level of maturity is more than capable of making his own mind up as to whether to go or not.

If you want to go... go... Ain't no one stopping you. The one thing I'd add is that since you're so gung ho about it... don't take the EPIRB... leave the Coasties alone... IMHO, they really don't deserve to risk their lives for a fools who go out against all good advice. This may sound heartless... but there's more than enough work for the Coasties without you making more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by logos View Post
here it is in short (lol):

Logos:
Hmmm... what is the trip really like from someone who has done it this time of year?

Everyone:
Oh my god, don't do it, please, you'll die, oh god help us, he's going north, are you out of your mind, you poor fool, someone chain him to the dock.

Logos: hmmm... what is it really like going north.

Everyone: oh god, hear that, he's going north!? You poor sap, what is wrong with you, don't you know it is impossible or worse? You'll die for sure, those that have done it died and those that didn't wish they had, you'll be killed for sure and the murderer of anyone who dies at all in the same year anywhere in the world...

get the idea at all, guys? what about little bit chill? lol

Because I was really hoping for some (more) useful info but it's not that important. I thought the post would be interesting because there is so much hullabaloo about it, but not this provocative.

So, on to some other post. Moderator let's just delete this one jeesh!
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  #64  
Old 11-13-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
If you want to go... go... Ain't no one stopping you. The one thing I'd add is that since you're so gung ho about it... don't take the EPIRB... leave the Coasties alone... IMHO, they really don't deserve to risk their lives for a fools who go out against all good advice. This may sound heartless... but there's more than enough work for the Coasties without you making more.
Yeah; that's about the best advice I have heard on this thread. If you want to do it, go alone and leave all the distress radios and EPIRB behind. We really don't want to hear about the life of some young guy being lost while trying to save your @ss. And to say that my advice to wait for a better time of year is "arrogant" is well troll-like.

The last person I told to wait was SimonV and while he made it it was a pretty damn rough ride for him setting out into a gale. Everyone here was worried that he would not make it through the strong gale conditions in his 39' boat while singlehanding; and when we did hear from him his report was that it he had had a difficult time, broke the vane on his autopilot; but was OK. He had to reef down to 3'rd reef and hold on with water coming over the stern and flooding the cockpit. That was a 3 day downwind sail from SF in early May; in a 39' boat

Honestly; the only reason I am posting to these threads is to hope that people who read them will listen to our advice and heed the warnings. We don't really give a rats @ss if you take the advice or not; but at least we told you the truth about the conditions and hopefully others considering doing the same will read the post and consider the issue of the coastal conditions (at all times of year) here more seriously. I have not sailed in that kind of weather; and when the time someday comes that I do you can bet that I will be prepared to do so and it won't be a situation where I decided OK I think I will sail into a patch of ocean that is known for breaking 40' seas for a couple of weeks. It will probably be during a passage when the weather is predicted to be moderate but turns far worse than predicted. But I'll be prepared for it; it will pass and I will continue on to the destination; as most experienced sailors do.

I won't put myself in harms way just to say "I did it". That's what you might call 'suicidal' or 'manic' or just another form of someone in a mid-life crisis that is looking to have the hell scared out of them so they can justify continuing with their life. In any case the best place for someone with that kind of mentality is in a Psych ward (for their own protection); not off the CA/OR coast during the storm season. But it's a free country unless you have killed or mamed someone else and you have every right to go out there and live, or die. Please don't drag anyone who is not as screwed up in the head as you are out there with out having them at least read this thread first. And again; please don't take an EPIRB, it really is not a "mommy button"; as you would be using it for that purpose in your ill-planned trip. SAR simply won't come if you are too far out of if the conditions are bad anyway; so it would just be a waste of good money.

As far as gleaning good info goes; well it really makes no difference. We are all happy to provide information, but we don't want to encourage you to go so really there is a lot more info you would get if your trip plan was in agreement with the correct weather window. There are not many people who have sailed up or down the coast after early November; at least not too many who have lived to tell. There is a reason why Pt Conception is called "The Cape Horn of California"; people have been trying to explain why it's a bad idea to set out at this time of year for a pacific voyage. The north coast of HI and Mavericks get the biggest surf between Nov-Jan; and it's for a reason. The storms are roaring across the 20's and 30's most with hurricane force this time of year. It's a well known fact; it's almost a continuous SCA/Gale/Storm warning. But what do I know; I've never sailed in it (nor do I ever plan to).

Should we start another "BFS - Rescued" thread now or wait until he is actually picked up?

Fair Winds and Following Seas - Oh wait... that probably won't apply...

BTW - the price of Dungeness Crab is dictated mainly by how bad the weather is. If it's bad the price is high; because the fishermen won't go out to retrieve their pots; and they lose lots of gear if the storms don't subside. If the weather is clear they can stay out but as soon as another storm starts coming in they ditch the pots and head in. Every year a boat or two is lost because they wait too long (get greedy). It's always a good idea to follow what the fishermen are doing; oh wait, you are a foolhearty BFSailor not a coastal fisherman, you probably won't be close enough to a port to head in if the WX is coming.

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 11-13-2008 at 12:39 AM.
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  #65  
Old 11-13-2008
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The advent of EPIRBs has reduced the effectiveness of Darwin's theories IMHO.
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  #66  
Old 11-13-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logos View Post
...
P.S. I have been in my 21' ted hood design flush deck racing sailboat in the upper columbia in 50kt (bare poles) winds- the sailboarders say it is, "nuking" at those speeds. 10' seas in the Columbia R.? Yes. (and that is upper, not mouth)
But hey, it's just a big mud puddle, right? lol

I love it.
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