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Hi all,

We are thinking of moving a boat from San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego next month, Dec 2013, and I'm trying to gather weather/strategy info. I don't know any sailors with experience off the California coast during this time of year. Any pointers, thoughts, experience to share?

Jim
 

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Not the best time of year to do that, although you will be going downhill, baring a storm. There have been many threads on this subject, going both up & down. A Sailnet search may help with details. Weather is crucial, a couple of links;

Northern California NOAA/CDIP Buoy Data

Coastal Waters Forecast for Waters from Cape Mendocino to Pt. Arena CA from 10 to 60 nm (PZZ475)

On the NOAA link, just type in the area you are interested in.

Be careful, not a trip to be taken lightly, especially in the winter months. If you can, find somebody who has done it.

Paul T

My experience was from San Francisco north, but I have read about getting around Point Conception, mostly going north. Sounds like a pretty nasty place when it is rough.
 

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I've done this a few times but never in December, last trip was a couple years ago in late August and it was REALLY cold at night. Multiple layers under full foulies at night, it's so damp it might as well be raining when it hits the dew point.
Point Conception, what a *****, it's kicked my butt more than once. The general myth is of a 3 day weather cycle, it's supposed to be nice for 3 days then blow for 2-3. Last trip I came out of Morro Bay about noon and had nice 10 knot wind approaching the upper end. The forecast was for 5-15 knots and 5 ft seas overnight, hit Pt. Arguelos and the wind went over 25 knots like someone hit the ON button. Ended up being a full gale 40-45 knots with 12-14 foot seas, happily you are going downwind anyway so running for your life is in the right direction.
Takes me about a week because I like to stop over somewhere for a night or 2 usually, a delivery skipper I know made it in 4 days once in a 45' boat. Of course he was pretty much riding the tail end of a storm all the way.
Nowdays when asked about this route my first question is "What boat? And how much faith do you have in it?".
 

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I use a chart called "Pacific Coast Route Finder" it has waypoints etc. for 3 routes, Harbor hopper, near shore and offshore. Pretty good and it has you crossing shipping lanes at a right angle where required. It's about 440 to 550 NM depending on routing, I'd really prefer at least 3 on a crew, each able to stand a watch at night, if you plan to push thru asap.
 
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