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post #1 of 6 Old 03-10-2003 Thread Starter
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sailing south from the puget sound

I am planning on sailing south from the Puget Sound this summer. Heading to Mexico and points beyond. I''m sailing a 30 ft Islander. All the weather data I have seen says that May is when the weather and wind start looking good for the trip south. This data is from the past historical wind info.
Anyone with advice on the correct time to head south?
Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-11-2003
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sailing south from the puget sound

I did the same trip in ''96.

I remember that storms were still a possibility in the spring.

What we did is head to Alaska May 1st for a shakedown. Then we left Anacortes in August. Took a month to get to San Diego and left just after hurricane season - Thanksgiving I think. Then you have great sailing and no worries if you get to Costa Rica by June.

It''s a great trip. I you leave too early, you may get hammered on the trip down the US coast. Most people, including myself, had some heavy weather on the trip (watch southern Oregon - northern California). But, we didn''t have any storms, which could happen that early.

There aren''t many places to duck into along the coast and weather comes up fast.

I also remember, even in the summer, we weren''t short-sleeve warm until southern California. If you''re looking for warmth, the trip will keep you going until south of Cabo - still chilly there at Christmas. But once you hit Puerto Vallarta, you''re in endless summer.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-29-2006
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Did you make the trip?

I'm curious--did you make the trip? I'd like to do the same some day, but still working in Seattle. The coast from Juan de Fuca to CA looks unforgiving.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-29-2006
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48 North had a good article about a year ago that was titled something like the "The Weenie Route to Southern California" that did a good job of retelling a couple's trip south by hopping from bay to bay all the way down. They waited for weather windows, and ended up with a series of relatively short hops.

I also believe there's a Charlie's Charts for the Pacific Coast that can help with such a route.

Finally, there's a local sailor who is currently enroute down, using the hop method. His website is, and so far he's gone from Portland to Newport, Oregon, and may have already moved on to either Coos Bay or Crescent City.

Others, of course, take the offshore route.

Good luck!

Jim H
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-08-2006
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I just got back today from bringing my 65' Roberts Cutter down from Seattle. We left on the 23rd from Pt Townsend and had beautiful weather leaving out the straight of Juan de Fuca, maybe 3' swell. Our plan was to stay the night in Neaha Bay and leave the next morning, but at Cape Flattery we had only a 5' swell with light winds so we pressed on. We motored all night and the next day going into Newport Or on Tuesday about 10:00AM We left that night around 10:00PM with the outgoing tide. We motored the next 4 days with light NW winds and almost calm seas with a 3 to 6 foot swell and got to Monterey CA on Saturday around 11:00AM then left for San Diego at 10:00PM that night. We averaged 6 knots and stayed about 20 miles off shore. We arrived San Diego last Tuesday morning 10/3/06. You can see my Daily reports that I posted to my web site under the sailing link. Just click on the Parrothead logo.

I talked to a guy in San D55iego who took a 45' farrow cement boat down in mid August and had gail force winds and 30' seas 150 miles out so you just never know. One of my crew has been sailing for 30 years and he said he has never seen the weather so good. We are leaving the end of this month for Panama the the USVI.

Hope this helps.

S/V Parrothead
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-09-2006
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be wary, there's nothing but lee shore.
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