Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #21
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,360
A few other other things to consider:
  • As Don says, check the NOAA buoy data, it is voluminous and if you follow it for awhile you will get the rhythm down as winds, wave direction and height vary from buoy to buoy based upon where the lows and highs are. They even give you flag colors for good vs bad travel times
  • 5 day or so calmer windows on this stretch are not uncommon allowing you to make the whole trip in one shot. To insure this is possible to do, have the ebbs and floods for the bar crossings plotted well in advance so you can duck in for fuel and then take off again.
  • Talk to your weather router well in advance and pick his brain for suggestions on how weather changes 2000 miles away can affect wave direction and height, these primary swells can carry a long way and with fresher off shore breezes can develop into a nasty cross chop.
  • Your router can advise you as to how far offshore to travel to minimize the effects of current and cross swell secondary waves.
A calm day on the coast can well be 20 to 25 knots afternoon offshore breezes vs the same velocity sustained for a few days being miserable , or as mentioned earlier the effect of fetch at work.

I'd guess your larger boat would be able to take the same conditions Kevin mentioned plus some, so as said his advice is good - remembering you will have largely following seas so throttle control and speed can be your friend. If not done already, prepare a paper chart showing speed vs fuel burn vs distance assuming a known comfortable reserve. Offshore is not a good place to push the reserve envelope. Do your tanks have sight tubes? Gauges can be misleading at times

Some will say take your time and enjoy the sights, not me. If you have an all clear go for it. You may recall Arctic Traveler had a mill pond run a few months ago coming North, it happens.
__________________
Advertisement

sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Nsail's Avatar
 
City: Benicia CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 498
We made the run north last week and it was indeed a mill pond for the last day and a half. However, it was pretty crappy for the first 12 hours or so after leaving the gate.

We use passageweather.com and it's never let us down. Also, the NDBC and the CG. Combined, you'll get a pretty good idea of what you'll be up against.

As for small craft warnings, we find it to be a pretty good indicator of how good, or bad, the ride will be. If it looks like they'll subside within a day or so, we go. If it looks like they're going to stick around, or maybe get worse, no go.

We can handle it for a day or so, but longer than that, not fun.

Be patient.
__________________

Nsail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 10:24 PM   #23
Veteran Member
 
StuartT's Avatar
 
City: Stockton
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Following Seas
Vessel Model: 2001 Bayliner 5788
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 42
Wow! I just got to the boat in Seattle after a 12 hour drive from Sacramento. You guys are awesome!!! I am going to be reading this thread a number of times to absorb all the wisdom. I am still to weary to think clearly and ask intelligent questions until I get some sleep, but I do want to ask this. Neal, you mentioned using the CG. Are you calling them on VHF for reports or what? I agree they have to be a great resource.

And I am going to contact a weather router. Just the education alone in comparing what they tell you vs. what you would have done on your own would be invaluable.

Thanks again for this incredible response from guys that have been there, done that. I have boated for over 40 years in 12 boats from 24 to now 57, have done the inside passage to Alaska which had two ocean stretches each way, and I am still learning.
StuartT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 10:32 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Nsail's Avatar
 
City: Benicia CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 498
We always call the CG whenever entering Eureka as we never seem to get there under perfect conditions, no matter how hard we try.
Nsail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 11:38 PM   #25
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,684
Stuart, welcome to the PNW. I hope your trip up was uneventful. I bet it's going to feel nice to lay down on the master berth on Following Seas and let yourself drift off to sleep.

29 days....not that anyone's counting.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 10:19 AM   #26
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
The fatigue factor is real, and it's cumulative.

The simple task of changing a fuel filter changes dramatically in a rolling sea. When things are so rough the autopilot is overwhelmed, who steers while to go below to take care of a problem that will take three times as long to do.

A couple of examples in our cruising. After cruising about 900 miles in 5 days, I was totally consumed in the operation of the boat. I failed to watch what was happening to Lou. I looked at her at the end of the fifth day, and could tell she was sinking fast. She was slightly dehydrated, and absolutely worn out. I told her to go to bed, and that we would take the next day off for rest. That was my fault for not being more attuned to what was happening to my crew.

Another trip was during the heat of summer. We had crossed from Stuart to Fort Myers in one day, and made it to Boca Grande before evening. When we got to Ft. Myers I looked at Lou. Her face was flush, she was obviously in discomfort. I looked at the temperature----95 degrees. I turned on the generator and A/C. In a few minutes voila 72 degrees. Things started to improve immensely.

The point is everyone does not share our interest or enthusiasm. What we may endure or even relish, can be another persons demise. We must be conscience at all times of our crew and their conditions. We must be careful to stay out of situations that will affect that negatively A cruise offshore can be an almost nonevent, but let things change for the worse or mechanical problems arise it will be a different story. Maybe a disaster.
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #27
KJ
El Capitan
 
KJ's Avatar
 
City: N Myrtle Beach, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Avalon
Vessel Model: Chung Hwa 46 LRC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 896
I made the run from Seattle to Los Angeles last September on an Ocean Alexander 44 .The conditions for the most part were pretty benign. In fact, when we left Port Angeles, the sea was dead calm almost all the way to Newport, OR. We had the NOAA channel on 24/7 and listened diligently to the offshore reports. We found that quite often the most recent reports from a sea buoy that we were passing close to did not reflect the actual conditions we were experiencing. Most often, the wave height and wind strength were significantly less than what was being reported.

We had quartering seas for most of the trip. It was pretty cool to see our speed jump from 8kts to 10-11kts as a wave would pass under us. It was kind of a rush to feel the boat surfing, although we were never in danger of broaching. Occasionally when going into a port, we would have a beam sea which would give us a pretty intense snap roll. Fortunately, everything below was well secured. However, we did have one of the fold-up bikes fly across the sundeck on one particularly wild roll.

We stayed roughly twenty miles offshore which pretty much kept us clear of the many crab/lobster pots inshore, although now and then we would see one floating out where we were.

We did give the Columbia River bar a much wider berth though. Even at 2am when we passed through there was a lot of activity in the area. There was a CG pan call out for a skipper of a fishing boat that had been hit in the head with a block and was bleeding from the ears and seizing. Another boat had picked up the call and relayed it to the CG but didnít get a location so all boats were on the lookout including us. It was kinda eerie.

When we were running down the coast we would make an assessment of the current (real time) conditions and the forecast for the next 24/36 hours. If conditions were favorable, we would decide whether or not to stay at sea and keep going, which would mean overnight runs, which we were prepared for. We did one stretch of three days and two nights between ports. By doing so we were able to eat up sizable chunks of mileage (300+ miles). We did get held up in Coos Bay harbor for two days while the wind blew 35-40 kts. Even the commercial fishermen werenít going out. In fact, I think the steepest seas we encountered on the whole trip (except off Santa Cruz Island) was coming out Coos Bay.

The only real potentially hazardous condition we encountered was fog. The run from the middle of the Oregon coast all the way down to San Francisco was done mostly in fog. You really want to have a good radar unit and know how to use it. Most of the time we had less than an eight of a mile visibility. If you are planning on doing any overnight runs, you gotta have radar anyway. We did have a sailboat slip inside our half mile ring undetected (some of them make poor targets), and a whale sleeping on the surface that wouldnít get out of our way, so even with radar you still have to maintain a good watch.

If you do get caught out in nasty conditions you should know where the nearest safe harbor is. The CG will shut down some of the smaller (and occasionally larger) harbors if the bar crossings get too dangerous (Brookings harbor was closed when we passed it) . Your navigator should have all the harbors that you intend on using at the end of your daily run plotted, plus possible alternatives. There arenít a ton of all-weather harbors along the coast, so again, you should know in advance were they are. And as other folks have mentioned, you will want to keep an eye on the tides for theses harbors, entering against an opposing current could be challenging at best. We would often slow our speed down so that we would be arriving at a harbor as close to slack as possible. Youíll also want to be up to snuff on identifying channel markers as some of the inner harbor markers can get pretty confusing.

Otto did most of our driving as itís hard to hand steer for long stretches. Itís important that your system can handle different sea states. Ours tended to wander if we took a big roll and would take a while to come back on course. Overall though, the navigation is pretty straightforward, just follow the coastline. You gotta be extra careful around Cape Blanco though.

If you are going to Stockton, you probably already know that you will want to enter San Francisco Bay during daylight hours. Iíve come into the bay at night from the Farallones, and it can be pretty tricky picking up the nav lights with all the city background lighting. You could either anchor out at Drakes Bay or go into Bodega Bay harbor (just watch out for the Birds), and make the run up to San Pablo and the Delta the next day or two.

Overall we had a great time doing the trip. However, if we went strictly by the forecasts, on several occasions we wouldnít have ventured out of the harbor. It would be a great asset to have someone along with you that has already made the trip.

As previously mentioned, youíre going to have to take the boat out to find out what it and the crew can handle comfortably. However, trying to keep to a trip schedule can lead to poor judgment, so just remember that the safety of the crew comes first and at the first signs of danger, hightail it into a port, even if it means being delayed for several days.

Good luck and Fair Winds. KJ

PS take lots of pictures
PPS if you do a night run, check your wake for the light show (bioluminescence).
KJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 10:40 AM   #28
Guru
 
Capthead's Avatar
 
City: Long Beach, CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Heads Up
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 42 Classic
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 950
My God, you are talking about a 57 foot boat going downhill and making all kinds of excuses for not going out in seas??? Buy a motorhome.

Seriously, that boat will be fine in all seas you will have unless you go during or right after a front or storm. The NOAA stuff is crap. I've been out when the radio said 6' seas and it was less than a 3' swell. I've also been out when they said it was a red flag warning and nothing but calm seas. I've been out when they said it was 20' seas and that time it was larger.

I now plan based on barometric pressure. Watch the barometer and get experienced with the seas based on pressure. Watch the skies and clouds. Become experienced with nature and not a NOAA radio report.

Soap box removed.
Capthead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #29
Veteran Member
 
StuartT's Avatar
 
City: Stockton
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Following Seas
Vessel Model: 2001 Bayliner 5788
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 42
My god, it just keeps getting better. For me and my crew, this is going to be a very valuable thread with exceptional information we just can't get out of Coast Pilot 7. There is nothing like real world experience exhibited right here.

Tell us about running at night. I can see how you might to start imagining seeing things, or miss seeing that whale. We do have a 48 mile open array radar with a color display and it is pretty good about picking out the small stuff. One comment I have heard is that in the open Pacific (or any ocean), the loneliest you will ever feel will be a 3am on a moonless night in a pitching sea. Valid?
StuartT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 12:25 PM   #30
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartT View Post
One comment I have heard is that in the open Pacific (or any ocean), the loneliest you will ever feel will be a 3am on a moonless night in a pitching sea. Valid?
Yes! And I was on watch on the USS Enterprise!!!
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #31
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ View Post

The only real potentially hazardous condition we encountered was fog. The run from the middle of the Oregon coast all the way down to San Francisco was done mostly in fog. You really want to have a good radar unit and know how to use it. Most of the time we had less than an eight of a mile visibility. If you are planning on doing any overnight runs, you gotta have radar anyway. We did have a sailboat slip inside our half mile ring undetected (some of them make poor targets), and a whale sleeping on the surface that wouldnít get out of our way, so even with radar you still have to maintain a good watch.
The several times I've boated along the northern California, Oregon, and Washington coasts (admittedly on 900+ foot-long "boats"), the seas were usually flatter under foggy conditions compared to clear weather. Is this a valid observation?
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #32
123
Member
 
City: ---
Country: ---
Vessel Name: ---
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ View Post
......................We did have a sailboat slip inside our half mile ring undetected (some of them make poor targets), and a whale sleeping on the surface that wouldnít get out of our way, so even with radar you still have to maintain a good watch.......................

I almost only single handle, and i must admit that now and then i sleep. Mid ocean sometimes for hours. I don't have a radar nor ais.

Pls. don't hit me ;-)
Cees
123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 10:52 PM   #33
Senior Member
 
Nsail's Avatar
 
City: Benicia CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 498
Mark,

That's been my observation at least 80% of the time as well.
Nsail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 08:18 AM   #34
Guru
 
David Carter's Avatar
 
City: Tellico lake, Tn
Country: US
Vessel Name: Carter's Cove II
Vessel Model: Bayliner 4788
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiziger View Post

I almost only single handle, and i must admit that now and then i sleep. Mid ocean sometimes for hours. I don't have a radar nor ais.

Pls. don't hit me ;-)
Cees
I had a senior member tell me that he slept 20 minutes at a time. If you wake up and can't see anything you have 20 minutes before you could hit anything.
__________________
Don't let anyone steal your happy
David Carter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #35
KJ
El Capitan
 
KJ's Avatar
 
City: N Myrtle Beach, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Avalon
Vessel Model: Chung Hwa 46 LRC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartT View Post

Tell us about running at night. I can see how you might to start imagining seeing things, or miss seeing that whale. We do have a 48 mile open array radar with a color display and it is pretty good about picking out the small stuff. One comment I have heard is that in the open Pacific (or any ocean), the loneliest you will ever feel will be a 3am on a moonless night in a pitching sea. Valid?


Actually, running the boat at night isnít that bad. Assuming youíve been travelling all day and into the evening, you already know what the sea conditions are. Unless there is a front moving in overnight you would most likely (not necessarily though) encounter the same conditions that night. If conditions were marginal during the day, you should already be in port by dark.

As evening sets in, you should already have your radar on (if there is fog you will have your radar on all the time) and your eyes should be getting accustomed to the fading light. By nightfall you should be comfortable with your surroundings, as even on a moonless night it seems that you can still make out the water immediately around you. It does seem that the seas lay down flatter in fog, which kinda compensates for not being able to see much of anything.

We stood four hour watches and the off watch person would sleep on the couch in the main cabin with our clothes on so if needed we could be up on the bridge pretty quickly. We did all our driving from the flybridge so if we needed to call the off watch person we would sound a loud buzzer down below. Fortunately, we never had to do that.

It is important that the off watch person gets as much sleep as possible because it does get tiring standing watch in the wee hours.

On my watch I always had some good music to listen to. The other crew person had a book on CD he listened to. I donít know about the lonely thing at 3am, but you sure do get an opportunity for some major introspection.
I set the alarms on the autopilot, depth sounder, and radar and had the VHF scanning 16, 13, 68, and WX alert (we had another radio on NOAA all the time). I would then drape all the instruments except the radar screen. I was able to maintain my night vision better that way. I would check our position on the plotter occasionally, but I focused mainly on the radar screen.

I have to admit that sometimes I did find myself doing the head-bob thing and sometimes it was a struggle not to doze off. Usually I would get up and walk around the bridge for a while and maybe even drop down to the open sundeck for a minute. I was still able to keep a look out while doing this and I found that I was somewhat refreshed when I sat back down in the chair. I donít recall being so tired that at any time I felt I was jeopardizing our safety. If I did I would have called the other crew up and gone to a two hour watch (like a dog-watch) which we had agreed we would do before doing the night run. If you have more than a two person crew, things become much easier.

As I said though, overall it wasnít that bad. However, you really do have to trust your radar. Itís probably ok to sleep for a couple of hours when you are pretty far out on the ocean, but we were in an area where there were fishing boats out all night and larger vessels transiting the shipping lanes. AIS can help you with the big boys, but most of the smaller vessels are not equipped with transponders.

Fortunately, the sleeping whale encounter was during the day. I tooted the horn several times but he didnít move until after I went around him, then he just quietly sounded. I doubt I would have seen him or had enough time to avoid him if it had been at night.

If you have lots of time though, you really donít need to think about doing night runs, just go port to port on day runs. We did them simply because we wanted to take advantage of the favorable conditions which stayed pretty good for about a week after we reached LA. After that a major system moved down from the Gulf of Alaska and basically shut down the whole west coast for a while. Itís all a matter of timing (and a healthy dose of good luck).

On the nights that were clear it seemed like there were a million stars out and the air was clean and fresh. However, it did feel great to see those first hints of daylight coming up over the coastal range.

Iím sure other folks out there have different methods for doing night runs that work better than ours and different experiences. Perhaps they will share them also.

Iíve included some pics just to give you an idea of the conditions we encountered.

Fair Winds. KJ
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	SMOOTH RUNNING.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	67.0 KB
ID:	19402   Click image for larger version

Name:	TATOOSH ISLAND.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	38.0 KB
ID:	19403   Click image for larger version

Name:	NEWPORT OREGON.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	140.7 KB
ID:	19404   Click image for larger version

Name:	SUNSET OFF DESTRUCTION ISLAND WA.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	85.4 KB
ID:	19405   Click image for larger version

Name:	WHALE.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	76.1 KB
ID:	19406  

KJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #36
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,168
I'm loving this thread!

You guys make me want to head out the Golden Gate and keep on going. Great posts!
__________________
Al

Custom Google Trawler Forum Search
FlyWright is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 05:13 PM   #37
Dauntless Award
 
Wxx3's Avatar
 
City: New York, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Dauntless
Vessel Model: Kadey Krogen 42 - 148
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,312
I would liket o add one thing to KJ's detailed, comprehensive post.

You MUST prcatice with the radar during the day in good visibilty, so you can start to understand what it is really telling you. I run my radar whenoever under power. Today, i noticed it "lost" a target I had acquired, even though the tug and barge were as close as ever.

Also in the last few weeks, becuase I have it on all the time, I have noticed that when i acquire a target, if another target crosses its path, ti may switch. Even to the point of changing from a moving boat to a stationary buoy.

You must practice with radar to be able to safely use it when you need to.

Richard
__________________
M/Y Dauntless, New York
a Kadey Krogen 42 Currently https://share.delorme.com/dauntless
Blog: https://dauntlessatsea.com
Find us: https://share.delorme.com/dauntless
Wxx3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #38
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
You guys make me want to head out the Golden Gate and keep on going. Great posts!
You & your boat are more than qualified. Stick your nose out beyond the G.G. Bridge and see how much bigger the water feels. The euphoria you experience when coming back into SF Bay is beyond description.
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #39
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
I looked out over the Pacific Ocean to see just how big it was. You know, it wasn't as big as I thought it was. It didn't look any bigger than the Atlantic!
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 08:42 PM   #40
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
I looked out over the Pacific Ocean to see just how big it was. You know, it wasn't as big as I thought it was. It didn't look any bigger than the Atlantic!
Well, it is! Our sea level in the Western Pacific is higher than the Atlantic, too!
__________________

__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012