alctel

Sailing solo from Neah Bay down to San Fran

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So I am planning on doing this starting the last week of this August.

The current plan is to go 35/40nm offshore, stop at Crescent City, and then continue to San Fran.

My thinking is that it's far enough away from the coast to avoid the majority of traffic while being close enough that I can run in and hide if I see any weather coming in. I'd probably prefer to harbour hop along the coast but the distances are too great in several places for me to make it in one day so this is a compromise.

Weather forecasting will be gotten through the SSB/Pactor modem and checked several times a day.

I have a Radar I can set up with guard zones and an AIS transponder, a decent below decks autopilot and a fleming aux rudder windvane. I sailed around Vancouver Island 2 years ago which included coastal hopping down the VI west coast so I've been in ocean swells before.... sort of.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this? I've been doing a lot of reading and some say to coastal hop, so say to go where I will be and others suggest going allllll the way out!

Also if anyone has any good guides to the route they would recommend please let me know

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I've done that trip solo. There's quit a bit of traffic in the first 40 miles off the coast, and a lot of commercial fish boats don't use their AIS transponders. My humble opinion, based on my own experience, is to go out at least to 125W, or farther, follow the meridian South, and turn in to SF Bay when you have a nice shot under the bridge. It's much less stressful than trying to harbor-hop down a dangerous coastline. You appear to be well-equipped, so give it a go. 

 

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The problem with the ~100 miles off the coast is that it's a day to sail out that far, and a day to sail back. So if the weather window is only 3 days (typical of the meh forecasting on the west coast) you have done a lot of sideways sailing during your short window.

So the run and hide option isn't that great when you are a day's sail from the coast because the bars might close up before you get there. I entered Grey's Harbor with 15' swell breaking either side of my boat, with a USCG self righting lifeboat in front, and another one right behind. The pucker factor was very high. I was 100 miles out when the weather turned...

Can you stay awake all night? That opens up a lot of options:

Neah Bay to Grey's Harbour = 110 miles. Sleep a night or two.

Grey's Harbour to Astoria = 50 miles

Astoria to Garibaldi = 54 miles....

you get the idea. 

This guy did a solo San Diego to Seattle passage. Mostly motorsailing in calm conditions during summer.

http://www.ecosailingcharters.com

Not sure the year so you will have to search the blog but he lists all the stops he made up the coast. Was a good primer on the little harbours that Charlie's Charts suggests are death traps but people transit every day :)

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Are you sailing solo out of choice or necessity? I'm good with heading offshore solo, but sailing solo 'round the clock off any North American coastline...I think I'd be looking for a crew. Of course that can be fraught with danger too.

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KevinJones/Zonker, thanks for the feedback. My initial plan was to go that far off but then like Zonker said, I got worried about how long it'd take to get out of any storm systems that came up - esp since most of the harbours are on bars. How much traffic is there 40 miles off? Hitting a dark fishing boat is definitely one of my worries.

Zonker that's an interesting idea. I'd certainly feel like shit though after staying up all day/night. If only I was still in my 20s.

 

1 hour ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Are you sailing solo out of choice or necessity? I'm good with heading offshore solo, but sailing solo 'round the clock off any North American coastline...I think I'd be looking for a crew. Of course that can be fraught with danger too.

Bit of both... there are only a couple of people I'd want to take with me, and they all have other plans (in Hawaii after transpac, starting new job etc etc). I don't think I'd feel that safe taking on some random crew - I've heard some real horror stories. But yeah I'm not exactly super comfortable with it - I am going to try to sleep in short bursts and have my radar setup correctly with a loud alarm.

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Not much heavy coastal shipping N of SF. See marinetraffic.com. Those that are out there sail cape to cape. So good to be awake near the major capes and just inside the rhumbline betwixt the capes. The fish are long gone, so no issue there :-(  Any fishermen out there are simply avoiding their wives.

I'd do it singlehanded. Go slow while asleep, with all the lights on. Far enuf offshore so you can't hit anything continental-sized no matter what. AIS and radar alarm are a plus.

I don't think weather is an issue southbound until October.  Should be nice. Not much out there.

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We went down this part of the coast last August.  It would be a good idea to plan your weather windows.  You can have serious weather from late July thru into winter.  We had pea soup barely see the bow fog from Port Angeles to Coos Bay, but very light conditions which we were after.  The coast from Victoria to San Fran is very busy with commercial and recreational fishing and pleasure traffic in Aug. Alot of the fishing boats turn there AIS off!!  You can safely assume one or two hits on radar or AIS will mean more in the area.  Alot of the medium size boats drift at night, some squid boats too lots of ligths and can be confusing.  We went straight to Coos bay, I would recommend it as a easy bar to cross and the USCG station sits directly above it with a birds eye view, they are very active on VHF.  The marina just inside to the right has dirt cheep transient moorage and is a good spot to wait for a weather window to go south.  We got the shit kicked out of us off Mendocino, for the third time, and had pretty severe conditions from point Arena to Drakes bay.  I would highly recommend planning to have time to wait for a good weather window or committing to running fairly far off shore then coming in via the Farallons.  The weather and seastate can change very quickly on the coast north of SF up around the cape seastate can differ significantly from forecasts due to local conditions.  You can expect alot of fellow cruiser traffic heading south, lots of SSB and Ham nets will be active.  I think the BC Bluewater cruising something or other is pretty active then, the US has the Coho ralley leaving thru out the month.  We met several boats along the way, some single handers too, its a nice trip.

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I might see you out there. Planning on leaving Aug 24 or when weather permits. But I have a crew. I think I'm planning to run well offshore, keeping an eye on the weather. Pilot charts show July - August to be the most benign months. There seems to have been a change recently in that the bars can be legally closed, get a fine if you transit. An acquaintance did it in a series of day sails, picking his weather, so it is possible. 

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I'd want to be more than 30 or so miles off the mouth of the Columbia. A very experienced offshore sailor once told me that it affects the sea state up to 100 miles offshore.

image.png.1a6efd81b339c5db52c4df32e69067f5.png

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1 hour ago, SASSAFRASS said:

You can have serious weather from late July thru into winter.

Or early June.  The first week of June we got hammered pretty hard about 20 miles offshore of Cape Blanco on a southbound trip.  My blog report, with photos of the waves and wind: http://sailvalis.com/wordpress_1/?p=597

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The first time I sailed Seattle to San Francisco I was solo in a 3,000 pound racer and got nailed by some really tough weather. I was scared to death. You pick your window and go, though, and sometimes it turns nasty anyway. When it does, you'll be better off with some sea room and a drogue than trying to beat a storm into port. Honestly, if your boat is well-prepped, a bad weather surprise is a great opportunity to try out your storm handling skills. It will be scary and uncomfortable, but you won't likely be in life-threatening danger, and you'll get to SF with new confidence in your skills. The problem with being close to the coast in bad weather is that you'll only be a few hours from being dashed on rocks, and bars will close if it gets too bad. I'd only go close down the coast with a full crew.

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Late September is too late for some. The sooner the better really. Then you're not pressed for time as the weather closes in for the fall.

I spent 7 days in Greys Harbor convinced that long underwear from the local army surplus store were in my future. In late September.

No, I don't agree that you need to be 30 miles or more from the mouth of the Columbia. Maybe in June during the fresheet. It's a big river, but right now it is flowing about 1/2 the volume of the Fraser River to put it in some perspective. 

And don't forget about the "crab pot free lanes" - a few miles wide running north - south that are supposed to be free of crab pots so towboats and barges can run unimpeded.

http://wsg.washington.edu/brokering-lane-agreements-between-crabbers-and-towboat-operators/  There is a link to data files for your charting program. Be really good to have these plotted.

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Thanks for the comments everyone. Forgot to mention I have a jordon series drogue and a sea parachute setup to use on a bridle ala the pardeys

 

Would way prefer to be able to dodge any serious weather though.

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By far the people we have met who most enjoyed their trip down the coast were the ones who harbor hopped and took their time.  As Valis and Zonker pointed out there really is no "safe" time frame you can get weather just about anytime now and really have to watch things.  We have gotten beat up in May June and Aug all avoidable due to inexperience and being on a schedule.  I have heard the sea trial argument for "just going" on the PNW south leg before and can't say that it makes any sense.  You can get the shit kicked out of you really anywhere and knowingly embracing it seems a little nuts.  You can get the same shitty conditions between Santa Cruz and Catalina as you can get anywhere on the WA Or Coast if you want to play around in a storm, minus the accompanied hypothermia.  

Check the city/harbor schedules for potential stops as well, Aug-sept is fair and festival time, lots of fun stuff to see.

Have a safe trip

Also head for the aquatic park in front of Guiridelli Square when you get in the bay, its free anchorage for 5 days right in front of downtown, the swimming clubs are very nice and you can lock your tender to a light pole on the beach.  The Park service come by to give you paperwork etc, you only need a pre approved permit if you are over 50'.  Very busy with swimmers and tons of current so be cautious entering.  

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1 hour ago, SASSAFRASS said:

By far the people we have met who most enjoyed their trip down the coast were the ones who harbor hopped and took their time.  As Valis and Zonker pointed out there really is no "safe" time frame you can get weather just about anytime now and really have to watch things.  We have gotten beat up in May June and Aug all avoidable due to inexperience and being on a schedule.  I have heard the sea trial argument for "just going" on the PNW south leg before and can't say that it makes any sense.  You can get the shit kicked out of you really anywhere and knowingly embracing it seems a little nuts.

I can understand the urge to avoid harbor-hopping by going offshore, if doing it singlehanded.  When all alone, each trip in/out of a river/harbor, esp. unfamiliar ones, is more complex and stressful than just carrying on.  So the safest plan with the most options would be to find at least one crew.  Bon voyage.

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Tillamook (Garibaldi) Bar south jetty is washed out and the approach is fucked up.  Come in from the south, avoid the sunken jetty on the right but stay away from the middle ground sand bar, get close to the north jetty and hang a right.  Don't even think about it singlehanded at night or on an ebb tide.

Two weeks ago or so, the conditions south of Mendocino were something like 13 feet with a seven second period.  Basically breakers everywhere for a 50 x 100 mile area.  Not just uncomfortable, deadly.

But today we've got 2 foot seas at 15 seconds and the fishing is great off the Columbia.  Have fun but be careful out there.

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The Cape Blanco - Cape Mendocino area is probably the worst in summer in a typical summer. Big Pacific high, a big low inland around Idaho, from the air heating up over the plains and that area is right in the middle of the steep pressure gradient. Right now the Pacific high is further offshore and further north than typical and it's pretty tranquil.

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If one must go nonstop, is there any advantage to staying in deeper water?

Neah_Bay_San_Fran_2D.thumb.jpg.50e25cbcafaeb81da5083592ee731c1b.jpg

Neah_Bay_San_Fran.thumb.jpg.ae94f5ddcdaf5c5df7670570823ca4fb.jpg

835 statute miles = 726 nautical miles...

  • 104 miles/day for 7 days
  • 121 miles/day for 6 days
  • 145 miles/day for 5 days
  • 181 miles/day for 4 days
  • 242 miles/day for 3 days
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1 hour ago, ProaSailor said:

If one must go nonstop, is there any advantage to staying in deeper water?835 statute miles = 726 nautical miles...

  • 104 miles/day for 7 days
  • 121 miles/day for 6 days
  • 145 miles/day for 5 days
  • 181 miles/day for 4 days
  • 242 miles/day for 3 days

Why do you stop the calcs at 242 mile days? B)

You may be overthinking this. You won't know until you go. Winds, seas, currents, traffic, fishing...today would have been a good day to leave, for example.

 

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21 minutes ago, daddle said:

Why do you stop the calcs at 242 mile days? B)

Nice to average 10 knots or more, 24/7...

1 hour ago, ProaSailor said:

835 statute miles = 726 nautical miles...

  • 104 miles/day for 7 days  (4.3 knots)
  • 121 miles/day for 6 days  (5 knots)
  • 145 miles/day for 5 days (6 knots)
  • 181 miles/day for 4 days (7.5 knots)
  • 242 miles/day for 3 days (10 knots)
  • 363 miles/day for 2 days (15 knots)

 

21 minutes ago, daddle said:

You may be overthinking this. You won't know until you go. Winds, seas, currents, traffic, fishing...today would have been a good day to leave, for example.

Headwinds Friday and Saturday: https://www.windy.com/?2018-08-14-00,45.529,-123.519,7,m:eXyacCL

Neah_Bay_San_Fran_windy.thumb.jpg.0933708ab21fb52c0da46c4dddf77e46.jpg

Better to wait until Monday afternoon:

Neah_Bay_San_Fran_windy_Aug12.thumb.jpg.0dbe9bf81c2f6e177b836d1361a0725e.jpg

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You would not be out there today...but trying to sail out of the sound. But the forecast is very likely wrong anyway.

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2 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

If one must go nonstop, is there any advantage to staying in deeper water?

Neah_Bay_San_Fran_2D.thumb.jpg.50e25cbcafaeb81da5083592ee731c1b.jpg

 

 

If you look directly west of Mendacino you can see the underwater mountain range extending well offshore, deep water runnign close into the coast on the north side.  The prevailing west to north west swell mixed with any weather coming out of the gulf of Alaska or west of BC makes this into a vortex of shit.  Very steep seas very fast alot of times wind waves counter to swell etc.  By staying far enough out 150ish miles you stay clear of the range and it's local effect. 

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On 8/10/2018 at 7:27 PM, Tom Keffer said:

From an earlier post on the subject: 

 

 
 

Oh some great info in that thread, thanks! Don't know how I missed it on the search.

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On 8/8/2018 at 3:00 PM, alctel said:

So I am planning on doing this starting the last week of this August.

The current plan is to go 35/40nm offshore, stop at Crescent City, and then continue to San Fran.

My thinking is that it's far enough away from the coast to avoid the majority of traffic while being close enough that I can run in and hide if I see any weather coming in. I'd probably prefer to harbour hop along the coast but the distances are too great in several places for me to make it in one day so this is a compromise.

Weather forecasting will be gotten through the SSB/Pactor modem and checked several times a day.

I have a Radar I can set up with guard zones and an AIS transponder, a decent below decks autopilot and a fleming aux rudder windvane. I sailed around Vancouver Island 2 years ago which included coastal hopping down the VI west coast so I've been in ocean swells before.... sort of.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this? I've been doing a lot of reading and some say to coastal hop, so say to go where I will be and others suggest going allllll the way out!

Also if anyone has any good guides to the route they would recommend please let me know

Read Skip Allen’s (who often posts here) excellent and gut-wrenching account (as a singlehander) of abandoning his boat, Wildflower, off Northern California en route from Hawaii.  Just by way of info (it was late August, but I think he may have been a bit further out).  Good food for thought - forewarned is forearmed, or something like that.

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/78146-skip-allans-report/&

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Yes, that was a tough situation for Skip Allan. Coming in from Hawaii one does not get the luxury of choosing the coastal weather upon arrival two weeks later. A run from BC can benefit from far more accurate forecasting.

Also a good case for a Jordan Drogue. Being able to sleep thru a gale is valuable.

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I'm stuck in the yard now for another week so probably be leaving the first week of September, a bit later than I would have liked.

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That would be one hell of a ride all the way from Yreka down to the Bay Area.

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15 minutes ago, IStream said:

That would be one hell of a ride all the way from Yreka down to the Bay Area.

One summer we tried to sail north from San Francisco to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and were getting walloped pretty bad by the time we got past Pt Arena (well south of Cape Mendocino).  I was watching the forecast get worse and worse, and decided to just turn around.  We had a fast and fun run back to SF.  Killed my whisker pole though...

On a Hawaii return we sailed through the same patch of water as Skip Allan, but a week earlier when conditions hadn't developed nearly so much.  It was still puckering.  Some friends were doublehanding through there around the same time as Skip, on a bigger and heavier boat than his.  They got hit pretty bad and were quite shaken by the experience.

It can be a nasty area, and it can be a lake.  Pay attention and be careful.

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3 hours ago, valis said:

One summer we tried to sail north from San Francisco to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and were getting walloped pretty bad by the time we got past Pt Arena (well south of Cape Mendocino).  I was watching the forecast get worse and worse, and decided to just turn around.  We had a fast and fun run back to SF.  Killed my whisker pole though...

On a Hawaii return we sailed through the same patch of water as Skip Allan, but a week earlier when conditions hadn't developed nearly so much.  It was still puckering.  Some friends were doublehanding through there around the same time as Skip, on a bigger and heavier boat than his.  They got hit pretty bad and were quite shaken by the experience.

It can be a nasty area, and it can be a lake.  Pay attention and be careful.

I once talked to a senior Canadian naval ship commander (who has also raced a big old sailing ship in the Vic-Maui, the HMCS Oriole, amd cruised down to Central America with his family on a 50-ish footer.  He also informally (via local cruising association) teaches meteorology and offshore route planning. He described hitting bad weather (while cruising as a family) at either Cape Mendocino or Blanco in pretty serious terms.  Made me want to stay away! :-)

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Well, I'll be in Neah Bay by the 6th and waiting for a weather window. Gulp.

I plan to go out 50 miles or so and check the forecast after a couple of days and then either go into Coos Bay or carry on to San Fran depending what's happening.

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Good Luck - We did the trip from Port Angeles - SF a few weeks ago and had pretty good weather - had to motor for about 24 hours to get breeze, then had some ripping downwind sailing in 20-25 down the coast about 100-150 miles offshore, then another day of motoring back through a weird low sitting on the bay to get in to the bay.  Only issue we had was smoke from the wildfires - we had two days about 150 miles off the coast where we had to wear bandanas and respirators on deck the smoke was so bad.

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I just got in Saturday from the trip. Leaving Port Angeles on Sunday we went on by Neah Bay and sailed the rest of the afternoon close hauled on the port tack into a 8-10 knot S wind. At about 35 miles offshore the wind quit, motored for 1/2 hour, then the a light wind filled in from the N. Too light to really keep the sails full and a decent NW swell, so we motorsailed till about 3 am when it had picked up enough. About 4 am the autopilot clutch began to act up, letting go randomly. By 7 am I turned back SE toward Astoria - not going to hand steer all the way to SF! We found by running the engine the system voltage was high enough to keep the clutch engaged. Came across the Columbia bar a couple of hours into the ebb (which was fun...) and spent the next day getting parts driven down from Everett. Off again on Tuesday, mostly motored for 48 hours in a pretty flat and calm sea until finally the N wind came back, eventually getting up to around 25. A bit of a rollicking rolly ride near DDW, 12 knots on some of the surfs. We were going to arrive late in the evening so I gybed towards Drakes Bay, anchored for the night and came in on a beautiful sail on Saturday. It was supposed to be 25 gusting 30 but we had 5 - 12. 

I thought kind of strange weather for this time of year. I'd expected N wind all the way, and maybe more of it off of Cape Mendocino. We motored by Cape Mendocino in pretty much flat calm. We didn't see much other traffic. 

Here's our track.

At Port Angeles we met Tom Keffer on his J42, docked right behind us, bound for Astoria. Good guys. 

I can recommend the Next Door Gastropub in Port Angeles - 1 hour wait and worth it; also the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria - very close to the yacht harbor and also good. 

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Thanks guys. Looks like I'm going to arrive in Neah Bay just in time for a bunch of southerlies :/

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5 hours ago, alctel said:

Thanks guys. Looks like I'm going to arrive in Neah Bay just in time for a bunch of southerlies :/

Yup.  The northerlies we've had for days along the Oregon coast are moving south, leaving calm conditions Thursday with southerlies starting Friday.  Nice weather ashore, not ideal for you.

https://www.windy.com/?44.072,-123.585,7

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Wave forecast off Oregon gets ugly late Sunday, reaching shore on Monday - all the way to S.F. through next week.

https://www.windy.com/?43.357,-125.024,6

wave_forecast.thumb.jpg.ee2aeaab59c12f5d840824d8963461d7.jpg

As for wind, tomorrow (Thursday, Sep 6th), it looks light but a decent wind direction (NW) for departure, with a westerly/SW component prevailing Friday afternoon.  If you can make it to Cape Blanco where the wind splits (just north of Brookings and the California boarder), you have northerlies the rest of the way.  If south of Port Orford by Sunday, you beat the heavy sea state off Oregon, but still have ~260 nautical miles of California coastline to S.F.

wind_forecast_20180908.thumb.jpg.36f6db84b9f1fc69bf963da9c63a8d98.jpg

Stay warm!  P.S.  Below, one week from tomorrow:

wind2_forecast_20180908.thumb.jpg.e22f4628d4ff99da1d96ad543e589001.jpg

wave_forecast_20180908.thumb.jpg.467a378cc61f4049cbd7092d281c3795.jpg

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4 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

As for wind, tomorrow (Thursday, Sep 6th), it looks light but a decent wind direction (NW) for departure, with a westerly/SW component prevailing Friday afternoon.  If you can make it to Cape Blanco where the wind splits (just north of Brookings and the California boarder), you have northerlies the rest of the way.  If south of Port Orford by Sunday, you beat the heavy sea state off Oregon, but still have ~260 nautical miles of California coastline to S.F.

Neah Bay to Cape Blanco is ~343 nautical miles?  To do that in three days is 114 nm/day at an average 4.8 knots.  At that rate, you could leave tomorrow (Sep 6th) and make it by same time Sunday, catching up to the tail end of the northerlies that hold all the way to S.F.  Crescent City is ~74 nm. further south (~16 hours more at same speed), Brookings is ~56 nm south of Cape Blanco (~12 hours at same speed).  Either could work if you want to stop...  Options, anyway.

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If you're f'un-employed maybe it's better to enjoy the little harbors along the way so you're not stuck offshore a hundred miles hand steering in giant ocean swell. I chose the Neah to SF route and it was no fun due to gales and huge breaking seas for half the time. I think most people who motor south in flat water while harbor hopping have the most fun. It may take you a month or two but you get to check out every available port before SF. If you're heading south after that, you still have the same shit until after Mendo...then it's blue, warm, and boring.

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14 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

Neah Bay to Cape Blanco is ~343 nautical miles?  To do that in three days is 114 nm/day at an average 4.8 knots.  At that rate, you could leave tomorrow (Sep 6th) and make it by same time Sunday, catching up to the tail end of the northerlies that hold all the way to S.F.  Crescent City is ~74 nm. further south (~16 hours more at same speed), Brookings is ~56 nm south of Cape Blanco (~12 hours at same speed).  Either could work if you want to stop...  Options, anyway.

The problem is I want to get off the coast a bit to avoid the pots and any traffic (being solo), so it's more like 4 days. Thanks for the analysis (appreciate it), I am actually still in Victoria due to trying to fix a few last bits and will be in Neah Bay Saturday (just in time for that low to arrive just North of Neah) and looks like I may have to hole up there until around Wednesday.

 

12 hours ago, ni·hil·ism said:

If you're f'un-employed maybe it's better to enjoy the little harbors along the way so you're not stuck offshore a hundred miles hand steering in giant ocean swell. I chose the Neah to SF route and it was no fun due to gales and huge breaking seas for half the time. I think most people who motor south in flat water while harbor hopping have the most fun. It may take you a month or two but you get to check out every available port before SF. If you're heading south after that, you still have the same shit until after Mendo...then it's blue, warm, and boring.

Would like to do that but at least on the WA coast the ports are a bit far for a day trip - once I get to Coos Bay I may do that though.

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In Neah Bay now - fog and tons of rain - it's really cold. Thank gawd for my diesel heater.

 

I need to find internet tomorrow as I managed to somehow wipe my navionics card while trying to update it with dodgy internet in port angeles - and it doesn't look like I'm going anywhere till at least the middle of next week anyway with the weather

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2 hours ago, alctel said:

In Neah Bay now - fog and tons of rain - it's really cold. Thank gawd for my diesel heater.

 

I need to find internet tomorrow as I managed to somehow wipe my navionics card while trying to update it with dodgy internet in port angeles - and it doesn't look like I'm going anywhere till at least the middle of next week anyway with the weather

September in Neah Bay is always a joy to be remembered. Have you thought of selling everything and buying a Vanagon?

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Heading out tomorrow - could have done today but the swell is 7ft at 9 seconds which seems uncomfortable, it switches to 5 ft tomorrow at 8.

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According to Predict Wind, you will have headwinds for about a week. Light, but from the south. Make sure your tanks are topped up!

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2 hours ago, DDW said:

According to Predict Wind, you will have headwinds for about a week. Light, but from the south. Make sure your tanks are topped up!

Yeah, hoping there is enough of an angle I can sail most of it - I only have a range of 200-250nm motoring 

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Could be only ~100 miles of motoring to reach the northerlies, before they swing east and become adverse southerlies near the coast.  Then good west wind becoming northerly (NW) at the California boarder: https://www.windy.com/?43.739,-124.431,6

Neah_Bay_San_Fran_windy0912.thumb.jpg.07122e0913d132b935bb21f3aaa136ea.jpg

Steep waves (pink below) are fading and receding south: https://www.windy.com/-Waves-waves?waves,43.739,-124.431,6

Neah_Bay_San_Fran_windy0912_waves.thumb.jpg.5e32f1c8dca148ef4f1fe0425e16f97a.jpg

UGLY seas developing off California coast next Monday and Tuesday, getting much worse (12') on Wednesday and Thursday, persisting through Friday!

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I remember Jean Socrates took of on her nonstop attempt a year or so ago, but left later in fall - and got hammered by SE’lies somewhere off WA/OR/No Cal.  I think she turned around.

That was eye opening for me.  She’s been through the southern ocean at least once and is highly experienced.  Maybe leaning Victoria in November  isn’t a good idea...(but I just looked at her blog:  planning to set off again next month, in October!  Amazing.)  https://svnereida.com/

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Jesus Christ that succccked.

Had North winds of 5 knots for the first while with swell of around 4 feet (and I can't figure out how to sail in light airs in swell - the sails just slat all the air out?) and then the wind switched round to the south and the swell increased. The wind seemed always dead on the nose so I couldn't even motor sail, it rained, a bunch, and I regretted maiy many times not getting around to building a dodger. There were a lot of fishing boats around at 40 miles out so I spent most of the night dodging them, and throwing up. Eventually after 24 hours of motoring I ditched Coos Bay as a destination and instead went to Astoria - the bar itself wasn't too bad but I got hammered on the approach from around 12 miles out till I was on it - some of the biggest, steepest wind waves I've seen, even more the the straits of georgia and JdF.

Once inside the bar I had 10 knots on a close reach for once, so finally got a couple hours sailing in.

My seasickness is a real problem, day 1 it's just uncomfortable (and I don't have any fun), then I always throw up at night (probably due to lack of horizon) and then I'm miserable for the rest of the night/next day, not being able to go inside to rest. I've tried ginger, gravel (kinda works but knocks me out) and Stugeron. Even the old motion sickness bands from my pilot days didn't work.

Unless I find something that works I'll have to do single hops from place to place.

 

 

 

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Weather windows can open up anytime. But as I understand it , Socrates is trying to set a time record and was basing her departure around timing at the Torres Strait. 

 

Just read Peter Starks account of the Astoria expedition crossing the Columbia Bar in March, without a clue. Wow. They just threw away a bunch of guys lives for nothing. 

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8 minutes ago, alctel said:

Jesus Christ that succccked.

Had North winds of 5 knots for the first while with swell of around 4 feet (and I can't figure out how to sail in light airs in swell - the sails just slat all the air out?) and then the wind switched round to the south and the swell increased. The wind seemed always dead on the nose so I couldn't even motor sail, it rained, a bunch, and I regretted maiy many times not getting around to building a dodger. There were a lot of fishing boats around at 40 miles out so I spent most of the night dodging them, and throwing up. Eventually after 24 hours of motoring I ditched Coos Bay as a destination and instead went to Astoria - the bar itself wasn't too bad but I got hammered on the approach from around 12 miles out till I was on it - some of the biggest, steepest wind waves I've seen, even more the the straits of georgia and JdF.

Once inside the bar I had 10 knots on a close reach for once, so finally got a couple hours sailing in.

My seasickness is a real problem, day 1 it's just uncomfortable (and I don't have any fun), then I always through up at night (probably due to lack of horizon) and then I'm miserable for the rest of the night/next day, not being able to go inside to rest. I've tried ginger, gravel (kinda works but knocks me out) and Stugeron. Even the old motion sickness bands from my pilot days didn't work.

Unless I find something that works I'll have to do single hops from place to place.

 

 

 

Hey, congrats on making the Washington coast in one go though!

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11 minutes ago, alctel said:

Jesus Christ that succccked.

Had North winds of 5 knots for the first while with swell of around 4 feet (and I can't figure out how to sail in light airs in swell - the sails just slat all the air out?) and then the wind switched round to the south and the swell increased. The wind seemed always dead on the nose so I couldn't even motor sail, it rained, a bunch, and I regretted maiy many times not getting around to building a dodger. There were a lot of fishing boats around at 40 miles out so I spent most of the night dodging them, and throwing up. Eventually after 24 hours of motoring I ditched Coos Bay as a destination and instead went to Astoria - the bar itself wasn't too bad but I got hammered on the approach from around 12 miles out till I was on it - some of the biggest, steepest wind waves I've seen, even more the the straits of georgia and JdF.

Once inside the bar I had 10 knots on a close reach for once, so finally got a couple hours sailing in.

My seasickness is a real problem, day 1 it's just uncomfortable (and I don't have any fun), then I always through up at night (probably due to lack of horizon) and then I'm miserable for the rest of the night/next day, not being able to go inside to rest. I've tried ginger, gravel (kinda works but knocks me out) and Stugeron. Even the old motion sickness bands from my pilot days didn't work.

Unless I find something that works I'll have to do single hops from place to place.

 

 

 

I hear the best cure for seasickness, next to sitting under a tree, is to just get used to it. I don't have that issue so I'm passing on other info. First two days are the worst, after that you either get better or die. Going out for more than one or two days might be a better idea, if you adapt. Some do, some don't.

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15 minutes ago, alctel said:

Jesus Christ that succccked.

Had North winds of 5 knots for the first while with swell of around 4 feet (and I can't figure out how to sail in light airs in swell - the sails just slat all the air out?) and then the wind switched round to the south and the swell increased. The wind seemed always dead on the nose so I couldn't even motor sail, it rained, a bunch, and I regretted maiy many times not getting around to building a dodger. There were a lot of fishing boats around at 40 miles out so I spent most of the night dodging them, and throwing up. Eventually after 24 hours of motoring I ditched Coos Bay as a destination and instead went to Astoria - the bar itself wasn't too bad but I got hammered on the approach from around 12 miles out till I was on it - some of the biggest, steepest wind waves I've seen, even more the the straits of georgia and JdF.

Once inside the bar I had 10 knots on a close reach for once, so finally got a couple hours sailing in.

My seasickness is a real problem, day 1 it's just uncomfortable (and I don't have any fun), then I always through up at night (probably due to lack of horizon) and then I'm miserable for the rest of the night/next day, not being able to go inside to rest. I've tried ginger, gravel (kinda works but knocks me out) and Stugeron. Even the old motion sickness bands from my pilot days didn't work.

Unless I find something that works I'll have to do single hops from place to place.

 

 

 

You're going down the coast without a dodger? Might as well go ahead and disable your autopilot while you're at it, just to keep things interesting.

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45 minutes ago, IStream said:

You're going down the coast without a dodger? Might as well go ahead and disable your autopilot while you're at it, just to keep things interesting.

Sail naked!

 

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Seasickness?  I use Bonine (same as non-drowsy Dramamine), and my crew has used the scopalamine patch, Gravol, and others with some success.  I start taking Bonine a couple of days before casting off, which gives my body time to acclimate.  I feel less drowsy when we cast off, and if there are going to be any side effects they can be managed on land.  A doctor who works training maritime crews advised starting the meds two days early and it really helps.

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Re: seasickness, I read about these seasickness glasses a year or so ago.  Apparently developed by the French Navy and apparently they actually do work.  Hey, you’re solo, so who cares what you look like :-)  Personally, I’d try them.  Helps lighten the mood, too, when you look in the mirror...

Saw a review in a Brit sailing mag but can’t remember where - read this:

https://www.cnet.com/news/i-would-totally-wear-citroens-weird-motion-sickness-glasses/

vid: https://mashable.com/video/glasses-cure-motion-sickness/#YXSZBw5ltOqH

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9 hours ago, valis said:

Seasickness?  I use Bonine (same as non-drowsy Dramamine), and my crew has used the scopalamine patch, Gravol, and others with some success.  I start taking Bonine a couple of days before casting off, which gives my body time to acclimate.  I feel less drowsy when we cast off, and if there are going to be any side effects they can be managed on land.  A doctor who works training maritime crews advised starting the meds two days early and it really helps.

^^^^^^ this, and I'll add that it's a good idea to taper off alcohol a couple of days before casting off.

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I have a shipmate who takes bonnie (aka bonamine, meclazine) the way Valis describes and swears by it.  He says he has to get it in the states though.  I've had other guys who like the scopalomine patch, and some who feel like they're "on something" and go without. One thing to be aware of with the patch is not to be thrifty and cut it in half.  This ruins the time release and rams the entire dose right into you.  Then you're fucked.  Some common symptoms of scopalomine overdose is a headache on one side that radiates down into the shoulder.  Also a throbbing in the ear. 

Ishmael has the best answer though.  And stay hydrated. 

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Thanks guys. Someone gave me a patch which i am wearing today while I hang out in austoria keeping an eye out for side effects - although apparently it's prescription here (OTC in Canada) and an appointment is 150 USD... So I may try the bromine two days in advance thing

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50 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I have a shipmate who takes bonnie (aka bonamine, meclazine) the way Valis describes and swears by it.

This: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meclizine

13 minutes ago, alctel said:

So I may try the bromine two days in advance thing

Not Bromine!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromine

Quote

Bromine is a chemical element with symbol Br and atomic number 35. It is the third-lightest halogen, and is a fuming red-brown liquid at room temperature that evaporates readily to form a similarly coloured gas. Its properties are thus intermediate between those of chlorine and iodine.

 

How far off shore did you go?  Total distance and time?  (~156 nm minimum?)  Can you post your GPS track?

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Re: seasickness, I read about these seasickness glasses a year or so ago.  Apparently developed by the French Navy and apparently they actually do work.  Hey, you’re solo, so who cares what you look like :-)  Personally, I’d try them.  Helps lighten the mood, too, when you look in the mirror...

Saw a review in a Brit sailing mag but can’t remember where - read this:

https://www.cnet.com/news/i-would-totally-wear-citroens-weird-motion-sickness-glasses/

vid: https://mashable.com/video/glasses-cure-motion-sickness/#YXSZBw5ltOqH

Love the glasses!

https://visuall.net/2018/07/09/seetroen-the-first-glasses-to-elimitate-motion-sickness/
https://www.boardingglasses.com/

seetroen1.jpg.ac8f15bd98473217b288b1aeaa7a3acf.jpg

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Where the whole British “stiff upper lip” thing may come from - to keep the vomit in!!!!!! :-) :-)

Letter shows depth of Admiral Nelson’s seasickness

LONDON (Reuters) - He was blind in one eye after besieging a French port and missing his right arm from another 18th century naval scrap and now a newly discovered letter has shown just how much British Admiral Horatio Nelson also suffered from seasickness.

Writing to the Earl of Camden, the Secretary of State for War, in 1804 about the Camden’s nephew who had abandoned a naval career due to seasickness, Nelson acknowledged his own struggles with the condition ever since joining the navy at the age of 12.

“I am ill every time it blows hard and nothing but my enthusiastic love for my profession keeps me one hour at sea,” he wrote from his flagship HMS Victory.

“Nelson used his seasickness as a means of expressing his patriotism, duty and sacrifice,” said James Davey, Curator of Naval History at the National Maritime Museum.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-nelson/letter-shows-depth-of-admiral-nelsons-seasickness-idUSBRE8BA0PP20121212

 

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Scopalamine can also cause psychotic reactions when used too long.  My crew who use it taper off after a week or less.  I stop taking the bonine after a few days, and do just fine but that may be to some extent because the rough seas are generally at the start and finish of my Hawaii trips.

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44 minutes ago, valis said:

Scopalamine can also cause psychotic reactions when used too long.  My crew who use it taper off after a week or less.  I stop taking the bonine after a few days, and do just fine but that may be to some extent because the rough seas are generally at the start and finish of my Hawaii trips.

That’s intriguing and a bit alarming (the psychosis/Scopalamine connection).

On my firstong offshore (Hawaii-Victoria), I took part of a stugeron (sp?) tablet.  Worked well.  The owner/skillet was basically seasick, sleeping in his berth, the first 3 days out of Honolulu, which amazed me.  He was a very, very experienced singlehander, and clearly trusted the crew (two of us, mainly the other guy, and old friend of his) well.  But the idea of always him apparently normally being out of it /tired at the start of a voyage, despite having taken seasickness meds, somehow amazed me.  I guess, like Nelson, one just carries on.

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7 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

This: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meclizine

Not Bromine!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromine

 

How far off shore did you go?  Total distance and time?  (~156 nm minimum?)  Can you post your GPS track?

Im not sure I know how to get the track (NSS8 with navionics) 

Went 40 miles offshore, basically tracked slightly away from the coast after Neah Bay until the land fell away, then ended up going ESE to get to Astoria once I had decided I was going to go there

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Probably staying put tomorrow as well - sat night has gusts of up to 25 which doesn't sound v fun

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50 minutes ago, alctel said:

Probably staying put tomorrow as well - sat night has gusts of up to 25 which doesn't sound v fun

A light breeze. Get used to it.

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About the third day you'll be fine - at least most people are. Also the time you've spent already counts. The Navy has done tests, aclimatization to motion sickness lasts about a month. They would put Navy Seals in a barfo-matic (the machine that twirls you in all 3 axis), gradually increasing the time until they were pretty used to it, then knocked off. Up to a month later, still good. The reason the Navy was interested was they don't want the Seals hitting the beach in rubber boats for a black op, and having all of them puking and incapacitated. 

I liked Marazine, better than Meclazine I thought, but no longer made. After a couple of days you don't need it. One of my crew was pretty much incapacitated the first day, borrowed a scopalamine patch from the other one and was saved by it.  I took some Meclazine the second day, seemed to help a bit (we were rolling downwind). Normally I'm pretty immune from flying the glider but I haven't flown much this summer. 

I'm surprised you saw that much traffic - we didn't see much except around the Columbia river.

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Coming back from Hawaii we saw 90% of the traffic in the last 25 miles to Flattery.

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On 9/13/2018 at 7:29 PM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 Maybe leaning Victoria in November  isn’t a good idea.

A virtually guaranteed ass kicking awaits you if you do.

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9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:
On 9/13/2018 at 7:29 PM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 Maybe leaning Victoria in November  isn’t a good idea.

A virtually guaranteed ass kicking awaits you if you do.

She's got guts, no doubt, but she don't seem to learn too good.

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

She's got guts, no doubt, but she don't seem to learn too good.

It’s always the  “human judgment/error” factor.  When you’ve been through the SO several times as she has, and singlehanded to boot (https://svnereida.com/travels), you probably feel you’ve pretty much “seen and done it all”. (And you basically have, I suppose, other than ice navigation.)  That, and I believe on her last attempt, her departure was delayed due to various issues...which leads you to either decide to wait another year or, what the heck, I can *probably* make it based on what I’ve done before.  The human decision factor is always the weak link...I always think of that Volvo race boat —with lots of redundancy in the form of sophisticated nav and comms gear, on shore support, and several people on board overseeing/signing off on the nav decisions— that didn’t zoom in on the plotter to see the reefs they were headed for...

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2 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

It’s always the  “human judgment/error” factor.  When you’ve been through the SO several times as she has, and singlehanded (https://svnereida.com/travels), you probably feel you’ve pretty much “seen and done it all”. (And you basically have, I suppose, other than ice navigation.)  That, and I believe on her last attempt, her departure was delayed due to various issues...which leads you to either decide to wait another year or, what the heck, I can *probably* make it based on what I’ve done before.  The human decision factor is always the weak link...I always think of that Volvo race boat —with lots of redundancy in the form of sophisticated nav and comms gear, on shore support, and several people on board overseeing/signing off on the nav decisions— that didn’t zoom in on the plotter to see the reefs they were headed for...

I fully realize I'm Monday morning quarterbacking in the worst way but...I can see leaving late the first time thinking you can *probably* make it and then having to turn back. Totally understandable. However that's not what's happening here. From her blog:

Depart Oct 19, 2016: turned back to Victoria due to weather and associated damage

Depart Nov 13, 2016: abandoned attempt in San Diego due to weather and associated damage

Planned departure Oct 5, 2017: injured prior to departure

Planned departure Oct, 2018: TBD

Maybe she's got her reasons, but she's never tried to leave Victoria any earlier than October. 

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21 minutes ago, IStream said:

I fully realize I'm Monday morning quarterbacking in the worst way but...I can see leaving late the first time thinking you can *probably* make it and then having to turn back. Totally understandable. However that's not what's happening here. From her blog:

Depart Oct 19, 2016: turned back to Victoria due to weather and associated damage

Depart Nov 13, 2016: abandoned attempt in San Diego due to weather and associated damage

Planned departure Oct 5, 2017: injured prior to departure

Planned departure Oct, 2018: TBD

Maybe she's got her reasons, but she's never tried to leave Victoria any earlier than October. 

I suppose one figures, based on the long time one has sailed in the SO, “how bad can it get if I leave in Oct?”  I have no idea what the timing/sched should be leaving the PNW in such a voyage to round the Horn at the “right” time, etc., but I see that probably the most recent one from around here (Tony Gooch) left Sep 29. http://www.solocircumnavigation.com/solosailingcircumnavigation/SoloCircumnavigators/TonyGooch/TonyGooch.htm There’s another guy, Peter Freeman, also from Victoria, BC who did a solo nonstop way back in the ‘80s on a 30-ish foot ferrocement boat, left Oct 14. (Scroll down: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Around_the_world_sailing_record.html )

Luck...also plays a part... :-)

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The October start is in part driven (i suppose) by the timing to round Cape Horn in the southern summer, and to not be at sea (solo, nonstop) any longer than necessary.  I was tracking her 2016 attempt and for a while it looked like she was going to make it.  She had weathered one system and there was a short gap before she was going to be clobbered by the next one.  She didn't make it through the gap and got clobbered.

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23 hours ago, valis said:

Scopalamine can also cause psychotic reactions when used too long.  My crew who use it taper off after a week or less.  I stop taking the bonine after a few days, and do just fine but that may be to some extent because the rough seas are generally at the start and finish of my Hawaii trips.

I hate the scop patch. For me, I can't tell if I'm dreaming or awake, either way it's nightmarish. I think it makes me hallucinate, but it screws me up so much I'm not sure. Since I skipper, I'll no longer touch it. I use Stugeron mostly, Bonine if I'm out of

I'm almost always fine by the 3rd day, but I've found that, even if sick, I can pull it together in a pinch and do what I have to. Buck up little buckaroo, as they say. My main problem is that some years Bermuda is my first sail of the season, and there's a party the night before. 

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Had the scop patch on yesterday and the day before and didn't seem to have any side effects asides from feeling slightly floaty. Took it off yesterday evening.

Leaving tomorrow morning, going to try to get to Eureka and will use the other scop patch I have.

I also bought some meclazine here as well for future use.

I'm surprised the stugeon didn't work to be honest, everyone raves about it. I was even taking it a day in advance.

Where do the crab pots stop being an issue?

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3 hours ago, alctel said:

Had the scop patch on yesterday and the day before and didn't seem to have any side effects asides from feeling slightly floaty. Took it off yesterday evening.

Leaving tomorrow morning, going to try to get to Eureka and will use the other scop patch I have.

I also bought some meclazine here as well for future use.

I'm surprised the stugeon didn't work to be honest, everyone raves about it. I was even taking it a day in advance.

Where do the crab pots stop being an issue?

Chile.

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7 hours ago, alctel said:

I'm surprised the stugeon didn't work to be honest, everyone raves about it. I was even taking it a day in advance.

The same doctor who advised us to take the meds two days prior also felt that Stugeron was a "messy" drug, that had a variety of unpredictable side-effects.  He didn't recommend it.  However, I've certainly heard about people who love it... 

Anyway, I've found what works for me (Bonine, and I always use the brand-name stuff because I figure that 50% of the effect is placebo and I want all the help I can get.)  In our med-kit we also carry Scop patches, and some kind of anti-nausea suppositories for when it gets so bad that the victim can't keep any medication down.  So far we haven't needed those though.  I've had crew be badly sick for four days, and that's the point where it can get dangerous.  Usually we all feel pretty good after two days, and fine after three or four, regardless of the particular meds we take.   The meds do get us through the first two days without feeling terrible.  In my Pacific Cup communications boat role, I have to be below at the nav-station doing hours of radio and computer stuff, as well as our own navigation chores.  There's no way I could do that on day-one in a lumpy sea without the Bonine.

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I'm really impressed with the number of people here who matter of factly admit to getting seasick and still go out on the  ocean in boats. That speaks to dedication I suspect I lack. Fortunately, in some fairly rough conditions, I've never had to deal with seasickness.  Stupidity is occasionally my thing.

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4 hours ago, kinardly said:

I'm really impressed with the number of people here who matter of factly admit to getting seasick and still go out on the  ocean in boats. That speaks to dedication I suspect I lack. Fortunately, in some fairly rough conditions, I've never had to deal with seasickness.  Stupidity is occasionally my thing.

I got seasick once. On the way out the straits for Vic-Maui. After closing the bars out and spending another couple of hours with the cutest little blond from Ottawa I was just a bit hung. But still able to do my job on deck. Just after race rocks we tore a huge gash in the luff of the main and the skipper sent me below to get the repair kit. Opposing tide and wind coupled with being the newest crew member who didn't know where damn near anything was, meant that it took about 10 min to find it and I finally discovered what motion sickness was. Fed the fish for the first time in my life. I still like to claim it was just a hangover and not seasickness. Im sure it was a contributor, But Ive never had a hangover that made me feel like that. It really was hell. Dont know if I could go to sea if that happened every time. I wound up taking meclazine that day and the next and that was it. It was bad enough.

I think if I had to suffer that everytime I would give it up. Dont know how you guys do it.

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Back when I was involved in NASA research reviews (well, I still get one once in a while, but it's pretty rare) motion sickness was kind of a weirdly taboo topic.  None of the astronauts would cooperate. Because if they figured out a way to tell in advance who was or might be susceptible, it would be just one more way to ground people.  

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