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Discussion Starter #1
Would really appreciate some advice from someone who has sailed this route before. We are departing San Diego for Seattle WA this Sept. 13th.
I've done my due diligence with pilot charts and route planning but what would be really valuable to us is some anecdotal advice from any sailors who've bashed north on this route. Please don't tell me about going to weather for two+ weeks. I know about all that. In fact, my racing background predisposes me going to weather and pretending I like it!

We are delivering a well found Mason 43 to the Seattle area. I'm a world sailing veteran/sailmaker. I've asked around my network of buddies but no one has done this route. We will of course be very strategic about wind and currents determining our route.

Everybody I mention this to says " go the Hawaii route and sail downwind the entire way". Yeah, sure -that's possible but triples the route and time...

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've done my due diligence with pilot charts and route planning but what would be really valuable to us is some anecdotal advice from any sailors who've bashed north on this route.
Per. my original post. Um. -I'm looking for folks who've done the route.
I have ALL of Jimmy books BTW. God bless Jimmy.

Actual "hey we did this last year" is of more value than just about anything. El Nino and weather patterns that defy books make anecdotal advice pertinent. I'm just gathering all the info I can. Just as I fly aircraft and am obliged (by law) to gather all pertinent information related to the flight.
 

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A Hawaiian vacation may be in your future. It is quite a bit longer, but a lot easier sail.
 
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Your just going to pound into it pretty much the entire way...Not sure of your world sailing veteran status if can't understand this...
 
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A Hawaiian vacation may be in your future. It is quite a bit longer, but a lot easier sail.
Starting in San Diego for Seattle I would certainly go by way of Hawaii. The prevailing winds along the coast mean it would be a beat all the way in some very challenging conditions. Going by way of Hawaii means running and reaching all the way. Of course you may occasionally encounter contrary winds but, on the whole, it will be a much more pleasant trip. If you time it right, it would not even take that much longer.
 

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I've only gone up as far as San Francisco, I've used the Pacific Coast Route Finder charts, there's also some Charlies cruising guides available but seem more appropriate for down coast routes. For a delivery, probable best to use "off shore" route or maybe even further off. During Santa Ana winds or something that shifts winds to the North you can get some decent tacking angles. Otherwise your course has so much West in it that your almost dead into the prevailing westerlys. You can plan on about 1.5 kts. current down coast, during a storm or high winds the surface current can be 3-4 knots. There's some eddys behind the big points but you'll probably to far out. It'll be hard to estimate a schedule, are you planning re-supply stop ? You'll want a good crew.
Pacific Coast Route Planning Map, South
 

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I think the most important thing to observe at this time of year is that the Pacific high is still out there a lot of the time. Combine that with a trough over the land which happens often and you will get bright sunny skies and 30 knots of northerlies. If you check out passage weather for the next couple of days, ( Sept. 5 through the 8th you will see exactly what I'm writing about. Over Southern Oregon and Northern California there is a 1014 trough and a pacific high off the coast. The high is filling in the lower trough (Squash zone) increasing the northerly winds from Brookings just about to SF. Seas will be moderate at 3 to 4 meters. The trough is usually created at this time of year and through the summer by heat over the mainland. This trough or low may be a weak low over N.E California. Winds and seas are usually strong from just off the coast to 70 or 80 miles out but that is not always the case. Looking at the pressure differences you can see a bend in the isobars that are close to N. California. That can make for more wind than predicted and gusty at times.

We used to own a Mason 44 so I know you have a well founded vessel but I would read your marine weather well and be ready to pull into a port before you can't and get all banged up going to weather.

Hope that is what you are looking for.

Cheers

Steve
SV RC LOUISE
Boreal 44
 

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Swab
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We have never tried the coastal route going North but on our way South in September of 2010 we encountered two other cruisers heading the opposite direction who gave up and left their boats in Eureka rather than continue up the coast that year. Don't underestimate the conditions North of San Francisco. It is not just uncomfortable this late in the season. It is dangerous.

The only port of refuge up there is Crescent City and it is, or was, a crappy harbor. Every other port has a dangerous or difficult bar to cross and you may not be able to get in at all between CC and Neah Bay. Neah bay can be tricky too in bad weather.

From Cape Flattery on the only problem is the heavy commercial traffic and the fog.
 

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GO. AWAY. TROLL. ...See all the intelligent peoples replies?
An intelligent world veteran sailor might be able to look at the pilot charts and determine the weather for himself. How'd you ever get the delivery job with the routing being in question? Your worried about a little extra time enroute to Hawaii, but never considered the weeks you may be sitting in Coo's bay, Or. or some other really knarly bar entrance harbor waiting for the weather for to lighten up, after having gotten your ass kicked from San Francisco to mid way up the Oregon coast. That is, if you can weather Cape Mendocino.
 
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Take what you want from this, I am sitting in Victoria. We just brought my Swan 46 up from San Francisco. You might say it's well founded. With years of experience I hired a captain. About all he does is bring boats up and down this coast. I hired him because I know what a biatch this coast is and how dangerous these river bars are. With the boat cost, time and years of work, I consider it was money well spent.
There are a lot more ports along the coast than most people think. But in some conditions they are closed, for good reasons.
We tried getting around Point Arena twice and was turned back twice to spend days waiting in Bodega Bay. It starts at 20-25 but as you approach the point, it quickly builds to 35-40 with 6-8' seas at 6-8 seconds. Sure my swan can take it. But how long until something breaks or someone gets hurt? And then you still have Cape Mendo in front of you. I suggested we go offshore to get around, but it's a couple hundred miles. Might as well sit in Bodega eating cheap crab and good beer while you wait for a weather window.
Once we got ours we went fast and hard only stopping for fuel. We stopped in Brookings and Westport. Weather was closing hard behind us.
I'd be happy to recommend Captain Ken Murray to you.
 

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Too many hurricanes out towards Hawaii this year for that route. And it is a long long way, a long way from shore, too. That option is out. I was just out there. You have a big boat with a big engine. Just motor up the coast. Retreat or duck in during the gales. Stay in-shore, in the meager lee and counter currents caused by the capes. Don't get trapped in the weather window nightmare rotting in port with a bunch of other timid sailors. Just go. The worst weather is normally just 20 miles either side of the dozen major capes. The later you wait in the season the bigger the fair weather windows are. Except this El Niño period has the winter cold fronts coming south early...maybe.

Pilot charts are useless for any type of short term forecasting. Also useless now because of El Niño.
 

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Swab
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Too many hurricanes out towards Hawaii this year for that route. And it is a long long way, a long way from shore, too. That option is out. I was just out there. You have a big boat with a big engine. Just motor up the coast. Retreat or duck in during the gales. Stay in-shore, in the meager lee and counter currents caused by the capes. Don't get trapped in the weather window nightmare rotting in port with a bunch of other timid sailors. Just go. The worst weather is normally just 20 miles either side of the dozen major capes. The later you wait in the season the bigger the fair weather windows are. Except this El Niño period has the winter cold fronts coming south early...maybe.

Pilot charts are useless for any type of short term forecasting. Also useless now because of El Niño.
Patience is a cardinal virtue for sailors; especially cruisers. If you have to wait a few months for the right conditions, you wait, or suffer the consequences.
 
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