Where in America? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-08-2003 Thread Starter
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Where in America?

My wife and I are moving to the coast buying a boat 35-40'' and over the course of the next several years will be training for our circumnavigation. We hope to live aboard pending severity of the winters. However, since our ultimate goal is curcumnavigation, sea conditions will be the crucial deciding factor in choosing our training grounds. So, where in America is a good place to live if one wants to be able to sail in conditions that would provide sufficient challenges to prepare one for circumnavigation?
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-08-2003
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Where in America?

IMHO there isn''t a bad coast to live on for preparing to circumnavigate. It''s where you would feel most at home left coast coast right coast Great Lakes or south coast... Take your pick.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-08-2003
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Where in America?

Perhaps San Francisco Bay. There you have a real chance to sail in heavy air, short chop, light air and strong currents. As Twain said, "The coldest winter he ever lived was a summer in San Francisco." That will put hair on your chest and a swagger to your walk.

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post #4 of 6 Old 12-09-2003
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Where in America?


I''d rephrase your question somewhat: "From where should we depart given our plans to circumnavigate, given that we''ll be working hard on the boat and will probably sail long distances not at all before our departure, and given that our initial cruising grounds will - in truth - be a shakedown period for the boat''s gear and crew before doing a circle?"

If you plan the circle that most crews choose, the bulk of it in the tropics, you''ll want an initial shakedown period in which boat gear/systems you''ll need to depend on in the tropics can be trialed and adjusted (awnings, bimini & dodger, ventilation, good/efficient refrigeration if you plan on having that aboard, water maker ditto, good deck collection system when it rains, etc.). Departing San Diego will get you cruising in Baja and along the Mexican coast, with a season to sharpen up your skills and not too far away from the U.S. infrastructure for the things you need. Jumping off from anywhere in the Southeast will do the same thing re: the Caribbean...but the U.S. infrastructure is a bit more accessible from Puerto Rico, USVI or Trinidad than it is from Mexico, at least when you look at importation issues, chandlers on hand, and such. RE: your shakedown period, a Caribbean run can combine numerous offshore jumps, short or long depending on how you feel and with weather not much of an issue, while visiting a variety of interesting cruising grounds. (We found Trinidad, Puerto Rico, the DR, Haiti, Jamaica and Guatemala a fascinating mix of cultures, histories, and sights to see - and most of those could be folded into a sea trial period when leaving from Florida.

I see no reason to prep and work on the boat in such a tough climate as the Great Lakes or the Northeast. The Northwest is barely better, and the Gulf is only a marginal improvement when compared with SoCal and Florida (either coast).

I''d recommend starting with those guidelines and then see where the boat is, after which you can sort out how ''she'' and your crew can end up in one of these areas in the easiest, most satisfying way possible.

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-02-2004
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Where in America?

My home port is Dana Point, might be biased but I think anything south of Los Angeles (Newport to San Diego have even nicer conditions in winter than LA) can''t be beat for winter. New year''s eve was a great sail, 60''s during the day (bundle up),boat doing 5.5 Knts., Great Sunset. For a challenge, outside the Channel Islands & Santa Barbara Channel can get beyond a pleasure cruise. North along California has been a challenge for sail since Dana, Big Sur and Mendocino Head can seem the windiest places on earth or foggiest.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-03-2004
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Where in America?

Sailing isn''t the only thing you should gear up for. I sail from Channel Islands and I''m amazed at how much trouble people can get into in the coves at the Channel Islands. Sailing to an island, picking an anchorage, checking out your galley away from stores for a week, seeing how your boat handles flys or other bugs, moving from anchorage to anchorage to check out groung tackle handling skills, seeing how you do with your sun shades. these are all importand especially since you will be spending more time doing these things than sailing. Just something to thik about
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