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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Sailing from San Francisco to Seattle
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Thread: Sailing from San Francisco to Seattle Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-05-2010 03:40 AM
KeelHaulin Just wanted to say that the weather systems have been coming in late this year; and you need to judge going up the coast in April/May by what the trends have been. If the winter storms have been trending south and it has been a wet/rainy winter, chances are that the offshore conditions will not be good in April and into May. Last weekend wind waves were for 8' swell with 8' wind waves outside of SF (I don't know what the forecast was further north). If it is a mild spring; April-May could be OK; but you are still not out of the winter storm window and you would want a good 4-day forecast with no approaching systems on the 96-hour forecast.

If it were me I would wait until June or later. I'd rather deal with fog and coastal winds than storms and heavy seas/swell. The offshore winds generally get lighter the further offshore in the summer; unless the rare clear-air gale forms (inland strong low, Pacific high that is further west)

If you are considering paying a delivery captain; you might also look into the cost of truck transport.
05-04-2010 09:54 PM
shieek Just wanted to say Thanks for all the help on this post and others. I recently had the opportunity to do a (more or less) even swap from my Yorktown to an Irwin and thus inherited an entirely new set of gremlins to wrap my (puny and overtaxed) mind around. But Cheers and and thanks once more for all the insights!
02-14-2010 04:07 PM
jmolan I know the "conventional wisdom" is to wait until August. The thinking is probably that this is the month with the least amount of storms. It is the best month of the year for NW gales and fog.

I have been pinned down on anchor for 7 days and nights in Aug. when it blew gale or better NW in Shelter cove. The rigging never quit howling...The NW wind sets up as the interior land warms up, and the cold pacific air rushes in to replace the rising air. Hot air + cold water = lots of wind.
The warmer it gets, the harder it blows unless it socks in with fog

April, May, and early June is your best window to go north and not have to fight the NW winds. You have a great chance of variable or south winds in these months.
If you go in Aug. it will blow in 3 or 4 day waves typically. It will blow till it fills up the caost with cool air and the fog rolls in and things go quiet for a day or two before the fog burns off and the cycle starts again.
02-14-2010 01:35 PM
dabnis Shieek,some very approximate numbers:900 nauticle miles, average of 3 to4 knots over the ground,if you are lucky, uphill & against the current, at least to Cape Flattery, about 375 gallons of fuel for about $1100. Plus "Experienced captain" = ?$$$. The incremental cost difference to have it trucked might be a consideration?
If you go, a shakedown trip to at least Bodega Bay and back would give you a very brief look at what's ahead.

Dabnis
02-14-2010 10:50 AM
aquanta I've made the trip too, August is your best month and plan on day hops up the coast. There are some great ports to enjoy all the way up through CA, OR & WA states so get a good cruising guide and plan your ports. Its an uphill run so plan on using the ol'e iron spinnaker a lot!

If weather bows in, you might find yourself stuck in a nice little port for several days before you can get back to sea. I met some great people (other cruisers) going both north and south so take your time and enjoy it!
02-14-2010 12:44 AM
jmolan I have live and surfed and fished and boated on the Oregon Caost since 1973. So what.....:-) I have been up and down this coast more times than I can count.

I only say that to let you know. If you try in July, Aug. Sept. it will be a drag going North. If you go April, May, June, you have a shot at a decent trip. Is true, ports are 60 miles apart. Figure accordingly. The bars are OK except in big swell and the ebb. DO NOT CROSS ON THE EBB. Wait it out outside, It don't matter how lousy you feel. Go in on the flod. You'll be OK.
02-14-2010 12:24 AM
blt2ski Being as the longest day of the year is in the third week of June, How can August be the longest days?!?!?!?

You may find that sailing from Ca to Hawaii, then to the NW to be easiest, depending upon the time you try to travel. Otherwise, pick your weather as best you can.

marty
02-13-2010 09:53 PM
Stu Jackson August. See George Benson's narratives, here: Cruising the Northwest Coast - A book by George Benson

read the narratives. click on the lower right hand corner box

The concept is simple: do day sails, no harbor is more thasn 50 or 70 nm apart and August has the most sunlight per day.

A friend sailed his C34 down the coast in July using this method. It IS "doable" going uphill, as George so well describes. Going offshore makes little sense.
02-13-2010 09:51 PM
nissantwa I've made the SEA to SFO run in a Roberts 44. Blew like stink & took 7 days., Never in danger but N to S was a broad reach the entire way. Heading North is usually a tedious close hauled ordeal. The boat can probably take it until something breaks. Then it's almost impossible to scramble on deck for repairs, night time with cloud cover is unbelievably dark, and the fatigue factor will have set in by day 2. I think that's a real danger. Try sailing a Laser in 20+ knots with confused seas or a big swell for about 3 hours and you'll get a good idea of what to expect. Columbia bar is shallow, Ilwaco a few miles north can be better, or just as bad. Coos bay is best found by following a local, Florence is sometimes silted in, Greys Harbor is usually good if no visible surf with docking at Westport. Stay in the channel, you can bump a keel in a trough if the swells are big and granite jetty on both sides eats boats. Avoid Ocean Shores, real shallow. Once you round Cape Flattery, Neah Bay is good anchorage and interesting to walk around the Makah Indian reservation. Now comes problem two. Strait of Juan de Fuca can blowand the seas can build in a matter of hours. If you're lucky, no fog, steady wind with little tacking, you can make Port Townsend that same day. Port Angeles a halfway point with sketchy acommodations for yachts but a very good breakwater. Decent walking town. Once in the Sound, easy breezy or no wind except during a storm. I've heard of sailors going to Hawaii and then turning right, sounds extreme. No shame in turning back should you change your mind. Fair winds and following seas. Nissantwa
02-13-2010 06:25 PM
jmolan
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
Not now!! Maybe leave from about the first of June to early October, just my 2 cents worth. Try this link, kind of long but covers it pretty well.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/cruisi...ov-2008-a.html

Not a trip to be taken lightly, at any time.

Dabnis
Late April, May and June. After June the NW kicks in and it is a drag. I have made wonderful passages in April and May. Good chance for S. winds and not too hard. Spring gales blow through pretty fast.
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