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Old 12-23-2017, 02:58 AM   #21
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Well, less cold, especially in BC and Alaska. Never gets warm. Actually we found May to be nice and headed to Alaska mid June and had a very nice time there.
Brand,

Do you live in the PNW? I thought I saw Florida listed as your home base. Here's the plan.

I'll run down to Ensenada and stay until it gets too hot then I'll go back up to PNW and cruise until September. Then I'll head back down to Redwood City (home). I'll cruise the delta for a few months. Then I'll plan my big trip down to Panama, through the canal and up to Florida. Stop by BrandB's place and have a beer. Then over to Cuba for a while, then back to the PNW and up to Alaska via a lot of stops and layovers. Then I'll head back home to Redwood City. While I'm on my home turf (or in my home water), I'll head over to the Napa River and up to Napa and do some wine tasting. Then back down the Napa river and hang a left at the Carquinez Bridge and go by the Mothball Fleet on Suisun Bay and into the delta again to do some more exploring. The delta has hundreds maybe thousands of miles of waterways to explore. There are people who have lived there all their lives who have not been on all the sloughs. There are little old towns that history has forgotten all over the delta. The coast guard won't even look for you in there. I ran across an over turned boat about 8 years back on Montezuma Slough. It looked fairly new. Only the overturned bow was sticking out of the water. I called it in to the USCG and they told me to proceed with caution. Didn't even ask for my location. After that who knows. Maybe I'll sell my NP45 and get a Kelly Krogen 44 and do some blue water cruising to the South Pacific to Hawaii then to Guam then to Palau.

Anyways, that my plan. We'll see how far I get.
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:46 AM   #22
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Congrats on your decision to head south to the warmer weather. We left SF / Delta area in 2015 living aboard full time in a Mexico for the last two years. First suggestion, hired Captain as far as SF good idea, beyond that you should be able to manage on your own. If this is going to be your only trip down the coast enjoy it. It took us 6-8 weeks to go from Sf to SD, enjoy the ride.

Before you leave put as much solar on your boat as you can handle. I have four 335 watt panels and a water maker. This allows to to save a ton of money and enjoy Not being tied to a Marina. Look at some of my other posts for more information or PM me with any questions, we love it down here ,the people are great, anchorages are unbelievable and the weather is not to shabby. We just finished two years in the Sea of Cortez and not are in Puerto Vallarta
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:24 PM   #23
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Sounds like you know what you want to do BUT..I sure would suggest you spend the summer in BC & Alaska then head south.

I can't remember the name but there is an informal "gaggle" of boats who head south from the Seattle area in late summer/early fall and head for Mexico and points south. Here are a few cruise reports from the southern portion of the trip.

Cruise Reports – Slowboat
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:45 PM   #24
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Brand,

Do you live in the PNW? I thought I saw Florida listed as your home base. Here's the plan.
No, we live in Fort Lauderdale, Paradise. Your plan sounds great but just sounds like by the time you get to Ensenada it will be time to head back to the PNW and not much time on the trip down or back to enjoy. I'd suggest doing some more detailed route planning and looking at stops and times each way, then determine if you like what you end up with or want to modify it some. We do this all the time and sometimes just decide it doesn't accomplish what we wanted so adjust it.

In looking at it, do consider potential weather layovers. We had a three week trip planned from late November to mid December. Originally we wanted to make it over to Panama City/Destin/Pensacola area. However, as we got to Clearwater, we saw that conditions were going to worsen if we headed across and we'd find ourselves rushing back. So, we stayed in that area, then on to Key West. Panama City was definitely doable and we had great conditions but had we gone there and spent a couple of days, it would have turned into more and Key West would have been out.

The fact you have future years to continue and repeat is always heartening. I love your plans to do the Canal and then the east coast. Read "Cruising the Big U." It's sort of like the Great Loop on Steroids.

So much cruising to do and so little time. We plan on doing the East Coast this summer, up and around and down the St. Lawrence to Montreal, briefly to Lake Ontario and back. This spring we've debated the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean. Think the Bahamas are winning.
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:25 PM   #25
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Dirtdoc1,
If you get 4 or so experienced skippers to caravan with why would yo need the delivery captain?
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:58 PM   #26
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Dirtdoc1,
If you get 4 or so experienced skippers to caravan with why would yo need the delivery captain?
Unfortunately it doesn't look like there is enough interest. I didn't expect it but tried!
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:06 PM   #27
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Unfortunately it doesn't look like there is enough interest. I didn't expect it but tried!
Wouldn't expect a lot of people wanting to make a delivery run. Now, post your progress here and I'm sure boats along the way will chat and even meet you for an evening or so.
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:00 AM   #28
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Wouldn't expect a lot of people wanting to make a delivery run. Now, post your progress here and I'm sure boats along the way will chat and even meet you for an evening or so.
Good idea. I plan on slowing the trip way down and make numerous stops to check out the different coastal towns. For me this is just a safe way to learn about the boat and coastal cruising in addition to learning where the harbors are and which ones have gas and how difficult access is to the various harbors. Another important reason for the trip is to get to a warmer climate! I'll come back up in a few months, maybe July.

What kind of boat is in your picture? It looks pretty fast.

Cheers!
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:25 AM   #29
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What kind of boat is in your picture? It looks pretty fast.

Cheers!
Wifey B: It's my Baby Riva (a Rivarama). A play boat, 42 knots WOT, 35-37 knots cruise. Obviously, not a trawler.
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Old 12-27-2017, 01:37 AM   #30
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Good idea. I plan on slowing the trip way down and make numerous stops to check out the different coastal towns. For me this is just a safe way to learn about the boat and coastal cruising in addition to learning where the harbors are and which ones have gas and how difficult access is to the various harbors. Another important reason for the trip is to get to a warmer climate! I'll come back up in a few months, maybe July.

What kind of boat is in your picture? It looks pretty fast.

Cheers!

Just a few general observations,

If your going to run the boat all the way down to Mexico keep it there for a couple seasons.. even for a seasoned offshore cruiser... heading North and South on the West Coast kind of tends to be pretty sucky.. it is not called a "slog" for nothing.

Rarely are the conditions flat and nice enough to be really comfy offshore North of Pt Conception.. even in decent weather the movement of a boat offshore gets tiring after 18 hours.

I can tell you the longest time I have spent at sea was 27 days and I was in prime shape ( triathlete ) and 30 years old and lost 20 lbs and gained amazing core strength from the pitch and roll.

A lot of boat owners start to get tired of the HUGE fuel bills your talking about racking up..

Ok on the positive..
Cruising the West coast can be a ball, the previous comments about stopping to check out the sights is totally true.

For most mariners the destination is the draw not the voyage. its the places and people that make cruising great.. not the sea miles.

On my last trip North we pulled into Sf Bay behind Tiburon and BBQ a steak at 0200 as we were so excited to not be hanging on for dear life and the fact we hadn't had a decent meal since rounding Conception, it was one of the best steaks I have ever tasted.

Have fun with the planning and a great trip
HOLLYWOOD
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:33 AM   #31
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Unfortunately it doesn't look like there is enough interest. I didn't expect it but tried!
It's difficult enough to organize more than one boat to make an overnight cruise.
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Old 12-27-2017, 03:31 AM   #32
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It's difficult enough to organize more than one boat to make an overnight cruise.
I'm not organizing anything. If someone wants to tag along or jump in at different points that's great. If we get to know each other over the radios and decide to stop and check out a town for a while and get to know each other, great. Otherwise it's going to be take it as it comes. Kind of the way I've always done things. It drives many people nuts but seams to work for me. But, that's why I'm hiring a captain. To keep my stupid ass out of trouble.

As far as it being a slog and beating you up. I grew up on the San Francisco bay. I know it's not the ocean but there have been times on my 25' Skipjack that I didn't think I was going to make it to the harbor. The chop can get brutal here. San Pablo bay same thing. If it turns out to be a brutal slog then I may stay down in Mexico for a while. At least it's warm down there. The boat will have stabilizers so that should help.
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:07 AM   #33
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When does it start to warm up around the PNW?
We in SW BC are hoping for a warm weekend in early August.
The PNW should get one then too.
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:33 PM   #34
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We in SW BC are hoping for a warm weekend in early August.
The PNW should get one then too.
Are you serious or pulling my leg? You must be teasing me. When I was in Washington in September it was T-shirt weather all week long. I fell in love with Washington until it snowed on Friday. Now I know why a lot of older folks move to warmer climates. I'm old.

I apologize for simply disregarding the PNW based on the temperature. I can tell how proud the locals are of the PNW and I can see why. I also understand why so many people are strongly suggesting that I stick around to cruise the PNW. I bought two books on cruising the PNW. Amazing scenery and beautiful anchorages. I'm starting to rethink the timing of my trip.

I should also mention that when I was in Washington I was surprised at how friendly and welcoming the locals were. Californians - not so much. I was born in San Francisco in 1956 and lived in the bay area all of my life. It has really changed. The road rage is down right scary. It's just too crowded. That's another reason that I'm fleeing to the sea.

The amazing thing about the San Francisco bay area besides the climate is that within an hour you can be walking the marsh lands or boating on the bay or be walking in the redwoods in the mountains with waterfalls or be on the coast. Add a few more hours and you can be skiing in Tahoe or hiking in Yosemite. Camping, riding dirt-bikes or 4 wheel driving or hunting in the Sierra's. I forgot to mention boating or duck hunting in the delta. Thousands of miles of sloughs to get lost in. There are people who have lived in the delta for 20-30 years and haven't boated all of the sloughs. I kept a campsite and tent in the redwoods all through high school. Nobody ever found it or bothered it. They are still logging the redwoods but it's selective logging which is good for the forest. There is enough land that has been purchased by the land conservancy that the redwoods and bay will always be left alone. But we need public transit infrastructure something terrible. Sorry I got a little bit off subject.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:31 AM   #35
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Dirt doc
When you make the trek down south, try and stop over in Ventura and I'll buy you a beer.
My good friend is also a Bay Area transplant from Belmont. He and his wife are live aboard on there Helmsman 38 across the harbor from me and are also planning on motoring down south in the future.
Looking forward to following your adventures.
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Old 12-28-2017, 02:10 AM   #36
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Dirt doc
When you make the trek down south, try and stop over in Ventura and I'll buy you a beer.
My good friend is also a Bay Area transplant from Belmont. He and his wife are live aboard on there Helmsman 38 across the harbor from me and are also planning on motoring down south in the future.
Looking forward to following your adventures.
Tunajoe,

I'm not going to turn down that offer! I'm stoping in Santa Barbara to visit my daughter, 30 more miles and I'm there.

Cheers
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:01 AM   #37
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Leaving in May makes no sense. Enjoy the Pacific North West in the summer and head south in October when conditions are best. You can probably cruise south in less than two weeks in October if your hell bent in getting to Southern Ca. There is a reason there are so many boats in Washington and BC, it's probably the best cruising grounds in the US. I personally don't like the restraints of traveling with other boats.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:57 AM   #38
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Hey Doc, have fun and keep us posted and share lots of pics. I have done the trip from SF to the Columbia River Bar and from the bar to Puget Sound.


Down the coast North of SF Crescent City is the only marina that is not influenced by a river, hence no bar to cross. Good place for fuel. Have fun!!!
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Old 12-28-2017, 12:28 PM   #39
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As far as it being a slog and beating you up. I grew up on the San Francisco bay. I know it's not the ocean but there have been times on my 25' Skipjack that I didn't think I was going to make it to the harbor. The chop can get brutal here. San Pablo bay same thing. If it turns out to be a brutal slog then I may stay down in Mexico for a while. At least it's warm down there. The boat will have stabilizers so that should help.
I grew up in the Bay Area too (born one year after you) and cut my boating teeth in the Bay as well. I'm sure you know the saying "if you can sail here, you can sail anywhere!" And there is some truth to that. But the Bay simply does not get swells - other than those that come in under the Gate. It gets a lot of chop from all the wind. And it is cold and miserable. Good prep!

Being out in the Pacific with big swells for days on end is really another matter entirely. There's no "getting in the lee of Angel Island."

The NP website shows the 45 weighs 34,000# dry. IMHO that is a very light boat for the Pacific. She who must not be underestimated.

[FYI all my Pacific ocean miles (about 6,000) are in a 70 full displacement trawler that weighs 220,000# - 110 tons.]

Still, I admire your verve and love of water and travel. I'm with the others that believe the PNW is the premier cruising ground in the USA. Yes, the wx is not FL nor Mexico, but that's why we have nice warm/dry boats.

Those recommending heading south from the PNW in September know what they are talking about. The run south at that time of year is easily the best weather/wave window. Mexico is freaking hot in the summer, it's definitely a winter playground.

I have been out in the Pacific when it is as calm as Lake Chabot. And when we had 15 foot swells 10 seconds apart and the other four people were too sick to really stand watch.

I would say:

1. Keep your plans totally flexible. We often had to spend a week in a small town (Coos Bay, Eureka, etc) to wait for decent wx in order to continue.

2. Know your options for getting out of the ocean at all times, and if in doubt, head in. Getting stuck with a closed bar in Oregon is a nightmare.

3. Learn to read and use GRIB weather data so you can really be your own weatherman. If you can feel confident about the weather ahead of you, you know how to manage #1 and #2.

And have fun! It's a great adventure.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:14 PM   #40
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[QUOTE=JustBob;621036]
Being out in the Pacific with big swells for days on end is really another matter entirely. There's no "getting in the lee of Angel Island."

The NP website shows the 45 weighs 34,000# dry. IMHO that is a very light boat for the Pacific. She who must not be underestimated.
QUOTE]

Great advice from someone who has been there and done that. Another advantage of playing in the PNW for a season is you will definitely get your vessel and yourself tested so that an informed decision as to offshore transit is well defined. And you can check out the performance of the passive stabilizers.

Also, there will be some new vessel hiccups. These can be easily addressed in the Seattle/Vancouver area before the going to big seas decision is made. BTW, for a single engine vessel no matter how new, a really good set of engine spares and how to install them would be worth considering, especially when planning Mexico.
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