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Discussion Starter #1
Someday I want to sail from Hawaii to San Fran. I'd like to make closer to shore sailings, currently I have no interest in crossing oceans or charting continents.

Now my query is this: How does one survive in rough seas? And by rough I know what they mean. My father was a merchant marine officer(retired as captain) for 30 years. I sailed with him on those massive tankers and bulk carriers and to this day I remember waves as high as buildings thrashing the sides of the hull. I remember the Bay of Biscay which my father labelled the most treacherous water mass on this planet. Does blue water sailing mean you go through these conditions?

I mean I hear people crossing the world in their 26" boats. How do they?
Does Hawaii to San Fran have such waves and hurricanes?
 

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bell ringer
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surviving is pretty basic, don't sink
 

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There are no guarantees, when heading more than a few days offshore. But you can avoid hurricane seasons altogether and plan your route to be in less treacherous seas or downwind, for example. Nevertheless, you and your boat must be capable of dealing with unexpected survival conditions.

Another aid is maintaining long range contact, via SSB, with a paid weather service, while you're underway. They can keep you headed toward the most advantageous conditions. Still they can't guarantee anything, they can just help you prepare. For example, if you're a week offshore and can be warned of gale conditions for the next several days, you can better prepare the sail plan and cabin for it (ie heavy reefs, storm sails, pre-cook meals), as opposed to dealing with it real time.

You may enjoy browsing a text like this, while you spend the coming years preparing.

World Cruising Routes: Sixth Edition: Jimmy Cornell: 9780071592895: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51FG0DmXEqL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are no guarantees, when heading more than a few days offshore. But you can avoid hurricane seasons altogether and plan your route to be in less treacherous seas or downwind, for example. Nevertheless, you and your boat must be capable of dealing with unexpected survival conditions.

Another aid is maintaining long range contact, via SSB, with a paid weather service, while you're underway. They can keep you headed toward the most advantageous conditions. Still they can't guarantee anything, they can just help you prepare. For example, if you're a week offshore and can be warned of gale conditions for the next several days, you can better prepare the sail plan and cabin for it (ie heavy reefs, storm sails, pre-cook meals), as opposed to dealing with it real time.

You may enjoy browsing a text like this, while you spend the coming years preparing.


World Cruising Routes: Sixth Edition: Jimmy Cornell: 9780071592895: Amazon.com: Books
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Can you believe it...I was googling each route one by one!
haha, thanks again.
 

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First you avoid places like Biscay in Winter and hurricane prone places during their hurricane season.

Second you get a well founded boat, something intrinsically seaworthy irrespective of size.

Third you learn 'seamanship'...the art of getting boats from A to B safely, without drama and the intervention of SeaTow or the US Coast Guard.

It's the third element that causes the most problems as most people are not willing to spend the years and sea time required.
 

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69' Coronado 25
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Hell, you can cast away the dock lines and sail away around the world IF you don't get killed on your way to the marina....

There is RISK in every day situations sometimes we don't even have knowledge about those risks yet we venture into them, with sailing we are aware of the risks and can be somewhat prepared to attack them before they attack you, knowledge is your friend, ignorance is your enemy.
 
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Don't call me a "senior"!
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When it comes to boats, size really does matter ... but not the way you might think. Those big waves that bashed into you dad's ship might well have been just big lumps in the ocean for a little boat to ride over. On the other hand, much smaller breaking waves might do in a little boat, but be almost unnoticed by a large ship. In other words, the size of the wave is only part of the problem. The thing that will really get a little boat in trouble is a large breaking wave.
 

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It would be most unlikely you would encounter a hurricane between Hawaii and SF at this time. Perhaps hurricane force winds, but no hurricanes. But with climate change being what it is, things can change.
The bigger the seas, the farther apart they are, so it isn't as bad as it seems. If the waves are 50', most likely they are a hundred yards apart or so.
As mentioned above, knowledge, experience and information are what one needs to have a successful voyage.
But you have to remember that sailing in general is about the safest sport there is, and probably the most forgiving. With a bit of knowledge, experience and a great deal of common sense, most people can manage some incredible sailing adventures without too much trouble. Sailing ain't rocket science.
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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hurricanes do not go between hawaii and san francisco.
not even in summer.
regular pacific swell is 13-21 seconds. normal swell height is 1-2 meters, unless there is some real wind, at which point, you can predict a foot for each 10 ktph of wind.
there is a southerly drift current,so plan on san diego as a potential fall back port of entry....even ensenada if you sleep too long...
and 3-5 weeks travel time in a solid old monohull,say, cal 28.
 

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On a well built, well equipped small boat in mid ocean is probably the safest place on the planet to be. A good drogue of the stern quarter ( series drogue, gale rider ,parachute, etc ) makes weathering any storm, far safer.
 

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I mean I hear people crossing the world in their 26" boats. How do they?
Does Hawaii to San Fran have such waves and hurricanes?
Sail in the right season.

If you look at most deaths and sinkings the boat has gone out in the wrong season. Gone out in hurricane season, or in other areas gone out in winter. every area has a season where the weather is fine for weeks on end, or even months on end. And if there is a storm the storm is short and not very bad intensity. But most areas have a few months where the weather can always be terrible, or long bad storms can pop out of nowhere.

Many cruisers are stupid and sail in the wring season because they pissed about for weeks or months doing stupid boat projects and left too late.
Even the most famous sailors like Lin and Larry pardy screwed up EVERY season date in one of their books... And were kicked by bad storms every time.

Yes, i screwed up too ... I tried to sneak into a Cyclone area towards the end of the cyclone season and very nearly killed myself and my girlfriend. Stupid? You bet! But cruisers can be very very stupid!
 

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Corsair 24
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ivedone lower pacific not mid

like others I feel safe at sea...just make sure yor petcocks are sound and boat basically sound too...

weather yes can get ****ty but its a lot easier than it was before...

in any case
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Have you looked at a map, do you realize how far it is from Hawaii to SF ?
Yes,
around 3850 kilometres(or 2400 American units). Which is what attracts me. I am guessing it'd take me anywhere between 1-2 months.

Hence the reason I said sometime in the future which would be, rationally speaking a few years from now. I want to do it before I turn 30(or during my 30th).
 

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And how long to get back, which way does the wind blow, or would you just go the rest of the way around?
 

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We live in the information age...
That is your biggest benefit since you are able to retrieve weather data from anywhere of any spot of the world in no time... The forecasts are getting better and more accurate and then it all plays down to some basic knowledge about you and your boat and what you are able and willing to overcome...
First and simplest rule: do not cruise on a schedule!
Second: check weather and wave data well prior to your planned departure
Even old, well gone or far off weather systems can cause a very disturbed and confused sea which might be a real problem for a little boat if those wave trains running against each other or against a strong current, resulting in the waves to break violently...
Just have a good look on it, keep your boat in perfect shape and plan well ahead...
 

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oh - and the bay of biscay is for a couple of reasons pretty dangerous...
there is a constant train of weather systems rushing against the british isles from the west...
the most dangerous quarter of those systems is in the SE quadrant whipping against the northern french coast...
building up in northern america and having a long way and a wide sea body to build up sometimes huge waves...
those waves then are getting shorter when hitting the continental shelf line...
and last but not the least - every twelve hours the tidal current is running out of the english canal against those waves and those tidal currents are not to be sneezed about - along the french coast in the normandie the tidal ranges up to 15 m between ebb and high tide... and that is exactly the point where it all gets nasty... ;)

last boat i know of which got in big troubles in that stretch of the sea was cheminesee poujolat - the open 60 racer of bernand stamm - which broke in half.
 
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