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Thread: Trip planning, CA coast, help please Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2007 09:58 PM
chrisn586 Thanks for the info.
Carson City is well West of LA.
My wife is trying to convince me to keep our Fraser 51 in San Deigo because "it's to hard" to get it to San Francisco. I'd only be able to get to it once or twice a month.
We are going to start a year cruise and move abord in July.
See ya, Chris
01-29-2007 10:05 PM
ianhlnd San Diego to Alameda Eh?

Suggest you tack straight out from bhouy 5 at San Diego Harbor for about 300 miles, clip the outside of san miguel in the channel islands by 100 miles to the west, then turn on the motor, 'cause you have 200 miles of motoring into 15 to 20 foot sea and swell, winds up to 50kts+ on your nose.

Actually, although that's pretty close, there are times which the transition can be made, Forget Fagan, Forget Weather Forcasts, and just plan on a 1 month trip allowing for weather, particularly rounding Pt. Conception. I spent a couple weeks in Coho waiting for weather. And even though the name is Pacific, it isnt the Chesapeake, and it's anything but Pacific.

A good time is later in the year when the Santanas kick in. Watch the charts and when there's a high pressure over the 4 corners, and a low off Arizona, winds will be from the E to South East. This flattens the seas, and gives a good push going north. By the way, look at your charts, the California bight will throw you off.

This leads tho the trivia question, which city is further west. Los Angeles or Carson City Nevada????
01-29-2007 01:32 AM
Specific SF Link

Remembered that the NWS set up a separate SF Bay, Bar, Approach forecast link..............due to potential challenges & dangers transiting this area by both commercial & recreational vessels
01-28-2007 10:52 PM
KeelHaulin You might consider hiring a delivery captain or having the boat transported via truck. If you go the route of delivery you could leave the delivery date open until late April so there will be time to wait for a good weather window. You might also be able to have the boat transported under the Delivery Co. insurance so that there is no worry about damage should there be a problem.

Remember, if the boat is new to you it is also unfamiliar in terms of it's sailing characteristics in offshore conditions.
01-27-2007 12:39 AM
HenkMeuzelaar Well, insurance issues are always tough nuts to crack and things have not been getting any easier over the past couple of years. Our own Lloyds agent dumped us shortly after 9-11, even though we had been with them for 10 years, sailing all over the Pacific and never ever submitting a claim.

So now Rivendel II has been uninsured for the past 4 years and it does not make us sleep easier, especially now when the first South-Pacific cyclones of the season are starting to rear their ugly heads again...

Even if you do have a longstanding track record with any agent or company, they don't like to change their empirical time/zone restriction rules. Try to find out if that particular rule also exists if you have at least 3 experienced offshore-sailors on board....

Yeah, I understand that might create other problems. However, I have seen people find crew members for this type of "rough" spring delivery trip on some of the bulletin boards (where plenty of sailors are getting stir crazy). So, you never know.

Best of luck

Flying Dutchman
01-26-2007 08:55 PM
chrisn586 Thanks for all of the info and yes I have been checking out the suggested links.
The last week or two would have been great to go, but I only have Feb 10-21 or the end of March. We will be heading back to the Channel Islands in July-Aug, so if we can't get her up here soon we might leave her in Ventura, if we can find a slip. I hate to have my new baby so far away. I'll keep watching those links and see what happens.
Also I'm shopping for insurance and some underwriters aren't willing to let me pass Point Conception going North until late Spring. Any recommended underwriters you might want to suggest?
Thanks everyone, Chris
01-26-2007 04:34 PM
HenkMeuzelaar Chris,

Don't know if you're still watching this board. If not, I hope you're watching the FNMOC site forecasts (using the link in my previous post).

There are currently some unseasonally strong coastal highs that are expected to keep producing very nice sailing conditions along the California coast for the next 6 days or so.

So, in case you'r ready to go NOW, this might be your window!

It might be several years before another January window like this comes along.....

Fair winds

Flying Dutchman
01-25-2007 03:17 AM
HenkMeuzelaar Sorry, but when I replied earlier in this thread it did not occur to me that Alameda is actually in San Francisco Bay (rather than somewhere in the greater LA area)....... I sailed the Channel Islands area for quite a few years and although never having to go North of Point Conception myself, studied weather developments in the Pacific very carefully in connection with Rivendel's ssuccessful passages to Hawaii ('94, '97) and the Sea of Cortez ('93 and '95).

This has taught me (the hard way) that pilot charts and other forms of historical weather data are pretty much useless unless the ENSO (El Nino vs La Nina oscillation) status is pretty close to neutral. Currently, we are in a moderately strong El Nino phase. As a result, one may expect the relatively late establishment of a relatively weak Pacific High.
This can be important because the steady procession of strong depressions spinning off from the polar low tends to penetrate further South than when the West coast of the USA is being protected by a large, strong Pacific high.

Even under favorable ENSO conditions the Pacific High tends to establish itself sometime during the Spring. This is one of the reasons that Winter passages up and down the W Coast are generally discouraged. Only a few weeks ago there were horrible weather conditions along the Northern part of the coast that resulted in the loss (with all hands) of a large catamaran, as most of us do probably remember. So, in most years, longer coastal passages are best made in May or later. In an El Nino year, however, it may well take till June or July till the risk of marauding low pressure systems diminishes significantly.

In short, I would keep a keen eye on the establishment of a stable Pacific High before planning to leave. When getting ready, make sure to plot the 5-6 day FNMOC wave and wind forecasts, as the low pressure system that might be threatening you 4 or 5 days from now is almost certainly already in existence way up North and current prediction models often do an amazingly good job of predicting its trajectory. Here is an impression of the highly informative format of the FNMOC EastPac 0-144 hr wind/wave forecasts (just click past the security certificate warning typical for many DOD sites).

Finally, I would strongly discourage trying to make the trip shorthanded as fatigue is the single most dangerous factor on these type of long coastal or near-offshore passages.

Fair winds!

Flying Dutchman
S/V Rivendel II
Port Vila (Vanuatu)
01-24-2007 07:09 PM
Offshore is Better

Good sailing buddy has made the trip twice in recent years.
One harbor hopping & the other offshore (>30miles)
His advice would be to do the latter.............being offshore avoids wind/water compression points ie; Point Conception, minimizes impact of current, etc
He felt the trip was smoother & safer..............they used the Farallon Islands as waypoint area to start their course/heading toward the Golden Gate Bridge.......which approaching the entrance will also require care / planning given the currents/tide effects, shallow areas north & south plus shipping traffic.
NOAA is a great source for weather & surface data.
Fair Winds
01-24-2007 03:01 PM
camaraderie can access historical buoy data here:

note that waves and wind are measured in meters and meters/second with 1 meter/sec = to about 2 knots
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