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going from San Juans to Portland

 
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fosterm00



Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Location: boat:Point Roberts, WA home:Salem, OR

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: going from San Juans to Portland Reply with quote

I have a Tayana 37 at Point Roberts, WA and would like to take the boat to Portland, OR some time in September ..I have never sailed the open ocean before and am not a seasoned sailor.. The boat is seaworthy and well equipped…. has all the electronics that is needed..
How should I proceed in my attempt to get the boat to Portland .. keeping in mind I have to go across the bar at the Colombia River.. How is the best way one gets a crew …..Should I hire a licensed skipper .. or should I put out a call for experienced sailors that have made the trip before…If I just put out a call.. What should I ask and expect when interviewing for a crew … and what will they expect in return …. Can any of you old salts out there advice a unexperianced Sailor ... Thanks to all
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I own a 37 Tayana Mk II, I bought it a yr ago, I have not sailed it much, I have been updating the electronics and working on the rigging and the sails, but next summer I intend to sail down the sound to Olympia ....
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petegroves



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Bay Area & Roche Harbor SJI

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:52 pm    Post subject: San Juan to Portland Reply with quote

Well here's advice, for what it's worth, from another novice. (I have sailed from San Francisco to San Juan Island once)

1. Absolutely hire a delivery skipper, one has crossed the Columbia River bar several if not many times. He should be a weather geek too.

2. Do not go with less than three crew, this could include you if you can stand at least a three hour watch.

3. Do not leave later than October 15th.

Good stops are Port Angeles and Neah Bay. Once on the outside you may not be able to stop.

pete
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fosterm00



Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Location: boat:Point Roberts, WA home:Salem, OR

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete
Foster here ...
Thanks for the advice ... how do I go about finding a experinced delivery skipper for the Columbia River bar .. have you ever used a delivery skipper?

Thanks again Pete
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I own a 37 Tayana Mk II, I bought it a yr ago, I have not sailed it much, I have been updating the electronics and working on the rigging and the sails, but next summer I intend to sail down the sound to Olympia ....
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Michael Kahler



Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 25
Location: Peter's Creek, Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try the Latitudes and Attitudes bulletin board. There are several frequent posters on there that have made the Columbia River/Victoria, BC and back run several times. They may not be 'Delivery Skippers', but I'd bet they could point you in the right direction for local talent.

Enjoy yur trip.
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Michael Kahler
S/V Liberation
T37PH #290
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Jack



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Gig Harbor, WA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delivering a boat from the San Juans to Portland, is all about timing. I have made the trip from Gig Harbor to San Francisco twice, but never crossed the Columbia River Bar. If the weather cooperates, It is about a three day trip from here to Astoria. One easy one to Port Angeles. One to Neah Bay to refuel, and check the weather, if it is good you could leave in the afternoon, and time the slack water at the bar. Friends of ours used to come up the coast from Portland every year, but they are now in Louisiana, and not available. I would suggest you contact the Corinthian Yacht Club in Portland, and get the names of racers who annually sail up to participate in Swiftsure. They have a race from Astoria, so are very familiar with the route, timing, and conditions. Good Luck Jack
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Jack Eddy
T-37
Interlude
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Neil



Joined: 24 Sep 2005
Posts: 59
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: San Juan to Portland Reply with quote

petegroves wrote:
Well here's advice, for what it's worth, from another novice. (I have sailed from San Francisco to San Juan Island once)

1. Absolutely hire a delivery skipper, one has crossed the Columbia River bar several if not many times. He should be a weather geek too.

2. Do not go with less than three crew, this could include you if you can stand at least a three hour watch.

3. Do not leave later than October 15th.

Good stops are Port Angeles and Neah Bay. Once on the outside you may not be able to stop.

pete


Mr. Groves is being quite modest as he is a very good sailor, raced many years ago but was just a bit rusty until he sailed from SF up the north coast late last year in very NASTY conditions and faired quite well.

I believe he is giving good advise
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Steve Abel



Joined: 16 Dec 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Mount Vernon, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foster- we're making the trip at the end of August, if you want to join us. We'll be at the Perry rendevous 8/25-26 in Port Ludlow, and then will head to Neah Bay. Assuming favorable weather, we're heading south.

From Neah Bay, the trip is just about 24-hours if you motor sail. We use the 24-hour model for timing the bar crossing, trying to arrive a bit early. With the favorable current and northerly wind, it's a smooth ride... however we've done the trip in "less than favorable" conditions.... not as nice. The only real variable has been fog.

I agree that a crew of 3 is best, but we've usually just had two of us, and the "off watch" person napping in the cockpit at night.


You want to cross the bar during a slack tide, and before crossing, I'd recommend getting a bar report from USCG Cape Disappointment. If the bar is breaking, you won't we able to see it from the outside; and once you commit to crossing.... you've committed to crossing.

Hiring a delivery captain may work for you... or if you have one or two good crew... that may work just as well.


Steve
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Steve Abel
SV Victoria Rose
Tayana 37 #384
Sailing out of Anacortes, WA
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jklewissf



Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 103
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the risk of sounding reckless I would suggest that you just listen to the weather and sail your boat down there.

A lot of sailors in the past have braved the same coast and entrances without benefit of GPS, tide tables, radar, navigation aids, barometers, weather forecasts, vhf contact with coast guard and and modern materials for the construction of their boats. Many did not have engines either.

most of the useful experience I have had in my sailing career has been the result of serving as the master of my boat in conditions that required my full attention.

I could make scary stories out of those experiences or just realize that my safety was never dependent on natural fiber rigging or my ability to do spherical trigometry without a calculator.

Obviously its dumb to head out without an adequate weather window for a comfortable passage. but, in this day and age, we all have access to information that makes short passages like your propose very easy to execute.

Take your seasick pills or patches the night before you expect to feel the swell and just have at it.
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Paul DeMeire



Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 8
Location: St Helens, OR

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foster
I made the same trip almost 4 years ago. I had previous ocean cruising experience sailing down Baja and Northern California, but with a new boat and little experience crossing the Columbia bar, I hired a licensed US Merchant Marine skipper. You can find several advertised in 48 North and online. I chose Thomas Clarke, who I highly recommend. I also brought another sailor along and we made the trip from Seattle to St Helens, OR in 61 hours. Now that I have gotten more comfortable with my CT 37, I wouldn't hesitate in making the trip myself, but at that stage of the learning curve, I am glad I opened my wallet.
Paul DeMeire
S/V Renaissance CT 37 #71
St Helens, OR
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Ralph Richardson



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foster- My t-37 is in Friday Harbor waiting for me to come up this Friday and sail her home to Portland. Here are my recommendations:

If you feel uncomfortable, hire a delivery skipper to accompany you. At the least, recruit someone experienced to tag along.

This year has been one of the worst many San Juan Islanders can remember for winds in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I've spent the summer in the San Juan's, sailing almost daily and watching the weather carefully. There have been small craft advisories in the eastern Strait for weeks on end sometimes. I think I see my weather window for this weekend (Aug. 24-26). I'll sail down to Port Angeles, then Neah Bay, then around Cape Flattery if the weather holds. Count on a 20-24 hour motorsail to the Columbia River Buoy. Gray's Harbor is an option if you run into something nasty, but by then you're only 5 hours from Cape Disappointment.

The combined seas height and swell period is important to watch. I won't go if the combined wave/swell height is much above 4-5 feet, and the period is closer than 7-8 seconds.

Time your crossing of the Columbia River Bar for slack tide, high slack is best.

Fog is very common in Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, the whole Washington and Oregon coast this time of year; although this year it's not been so bad.

Don't listen to anyone who suggests that you just go for it. Experienced cruisers who sail the world have said that the seas and weather off the Washington and Oregon coasts is the worst they experienced anywhere. Most cruisers just don't realize how bad it can get up here. NOAA Marine forecasts for the near shore waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and on down to Cape Foul Weather (nice name) will give you a pretty accurate forecast.

Plan ahead, have back-up plans; 3-4 crew makes things pretty nice; don't be afraid to turn around; don't under estimate the Columbia River Bar.

Bottom line is you'll most likely have a great experience. The scenery is awesome, sea life abundant (whales, dolphins, sharks, sealions, birds), feeling of accomplishment priceless.

Ralph Richardson
TERRA NOVA
T-37 ketch #406
Portland Oregon
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