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Author Topic:   San Francisco to Los Angeles and back.
WT posted 01-14-2005 01:30 AM ET (US)   Profile for WT   Send Email to WT  
Is this conceivable in a Montauk? (I must have too much time on my hands.)


myakka posted 01-14-2005 06:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for myakka  Send Email to myakka     
Is yout trailer up to the trip?;)
bobeson posted 01-14-2005 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

I've been fantasizing about doing an SF->LA trip for about a year now. If you go harbor-hopping, the two hardest hops by far are from Monterey to Morro Bay, and from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara. With 60 gallons of gas tankage and optimum weather conditions, I've calculated that it could be accomplished during multiple days of daylight-only travel with my Montauk 170 (90hp/4s). I forget exactly how long those hops are, but as I recall they are about 200+ miles or so.

The trick is having perfect weather conditions, which rarely occur in this area. Needless to say, you're pretty screwed if anything goes wrong out there, since there are so few places of refuge, and help would be very far away. If your motor quits, you're looking at a helicoptor evacuation, most likely, since near-coast traffic is very scarce. The shipping lanes are fairly far off, and a commercial vessel rescuer would almost certainly require you to abandon your boat as well.

This would be a one-way trip, as well, since LA->SF would likely be heading into prevailing winds and seas, which would really cut down on your speed and range. I've been trying to talk my wife into driving my truck and trailer down the coast to pick me up in LA, so far without luck ;) I sure would love to have my boat out in the channel islands for scuba diving though.

WT posted 01-14-2005 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I just chatted with someone that had the same desire to make the trip. It is agreed that the trip back home would be quite tough.

I'm thinking possibly in June of 2005. Plan 5-6 days.

We would need to stop at just about every marina to refuel.

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-14-2005 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Actually YESTERDAY was the day to do it, if you have been
watching the weather reports. Flattest I've ever seen the
Pacific up here, and it will hold through at least Sunday.

Buddy boats, and be able to move the aux gas from one to
another in the event of a breakdown.


Chuck Tribolet posted 01-14-2005 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
bobeson: Kawika, who posts here occasionally, has towed his
Montauk 170 down to dive the channels with some regularity.
I personally prefer Monterey diving.


jmarlo posted 01-14-2005 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmarlo  Send Email to jmarlo     
If you guys get serious about planning a SF to LA trip, please let me know. I'd be interested in towing my boat north and joining you for the trip. A caravan would be the smartest way to do something like this.
Sheila posted 01-14-2005 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
And if you make it as far as LA, it's only a hop, skip, and jump (with plenty of services en route) to contine down to San Diego....
WT posted 01-15-2005 12:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Does someone what to draft an game plan? I think that we need at least 3 boats.

Perhaps we can complete the trip in 5 days? 2 to get down and 3 to come back?

I would like to follow the pack, not lead it.


andygere posted 01-15-2005 01:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Is this conceivable in a Montauk?

In a word, No. Chuck's observations notwithstanding, it blows like stink on the Central Coast every day, and there just isn't enough time to cover 103 miles of open ocean in a small boat before the wind comes up. I wouldn't consider doing the Monterey to Morrow hop in my Outrage 22 Cuddy, never mind a Montauk.

WT posted 01-15-2005 01:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

The wind data for the Morro Bay buoy just about mirrors the Bodega Bay buoy data for average wind speeds for the past 18 years. June is actually the windest month of the year.

But if we left Monterey at 6 am we should get to Morro Bay before 11 am. I don't know how bad it gets from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara.

A lot of my buddies said I was nuts to hike 11 hours to get to the top of Half Dome and back. Here's a picture of me on the "diving board" ontop of Half Dome.

Anyone else out there with sucidal tendencies? (My wife says I can go so what the heck?)


andygere posted 01-15-2005 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think it would be tough to average 20 mph in a Montauk in that stretch of water. It's certainly not impossible, but I wouldn't call it prudent either. When you are that far from assistance with no shelter whatsoever, a minor problem turns in to a big disaster. I have driven that section of coast on Highway 1 numerous times, and it is rarely calm. In addition to wind, that is a part of the coast with an enormous swell window. I can recall many days taking an absolute beating in my Montauk inside of Monterey Bay, often before noon. That's why I bought an Outrage 22.

If you do decide to go, I'd file a float plan with both Monterey and Morrow Bay harbormasters, go with at least one other boat and carry an epirb with integral GPS, back up radios, dual batteries, etc. As tough as the Half Dome climb is, I think it's entirely more predictable, and is in a relative population center compared to being offshore on the Central Coast.

jmarlo posted 01-15-2005 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmarlo  Send Email to jmarlo     
I think it could work with some decent planning. I may be interested from Santa Cruz south. I forsee:

Santa Cruz -- Monterey: 1/2 Day

Monterey -- San Simeon or Morro Bay: 3/4 Day

Morro Bay -- Santa Barbara ?

Santa Barbara -- Channel Island Harbor or Marina Del Rey ?

Thus, I think you are looking at least a 4 day trip to Marina Del Rey from Santa Cruz.

I know there are some members from Morro Bay, maybe they can give some input.

The worst leg is most likely Monterey to San Simeon or Morro Bay. Just glad I'll be in a 22', not a 17!

Sheila posted 01-15-2005 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
What I meant to say, of course, was, "If you venture as far south as LA" rather than "If you make it..."


WT posted 01-16-2005 01:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
If the trip is planned right, I'm in.

I plan on carrying 50-60 gallons of fuel.

I will also have a float bag with, extra flares, handheld GPS, handheld VHF, and a airhorn. I will also have a 40 pound bouyancy life jacket.

WT posted 01-16-2005 01:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

At Bodega Bay (Blowdega Bay) it has taken me about 3 hours to travel about 12 miles. One of my ugliest trips ever. I don't plan on doing this trip if the forecast is ugly.


I would love to make it down to San Diego. I have a client that has a beach front home on San Diego Bay. I would also love to go to Japango's in La Jolla.


Sheila posted 01-16-2005 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
I'll be watching as the trip develops. If anyone wants to head south, terrific! If not, perhaps we'll head up to Los Angeles when you all arrive....
seasicknes posted 01-18-2005 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
I did a trip from san diego to encenada, mexico on my 22' hydrasports. My running partner was a 23' boston whaler walk around.


seasicknes posted 01-18-2005 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
We had alot of boats going to the davis boat fishing tournament in ensenda, mexico.
Lots of davis boats, hydrasports, whalers, cabo's, seaswirls, etc....

Even brought my 17 montauk one year.


WT posted 01-18-2005 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Can trailers and tow vehicles be left for 3-4 days at boat ramp parking lots?

Should we scale down the trip, perhaps in half? (San Francisco to Morro Bay)

I'm open to suggestions. I just want to take a trip out on the ocean. (I want to sleep in a hotel room.)


jmarlo posted 01-19-2005 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmarlo  Send Email to jmarlo     
A great ocean trip is from anywhere in So. Cal. to Catalina Island. Generally about an hour and half (depending on where you go from), there is a good destination (Avalon), have lunch, and return. Easily done in one day (I've done it in a 13'). Or plan ahead and stay overnight. Send the family (and luggage) over on the ferry.

Convince your wife and family you need to do this and trailer your boat down.

RJM posted 01-20-2005 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for RJM  Send Email to RJM     
September and October are usually the flattest with the least chance of fog from Point Sur to Point Conception. I have seen the wind blowing 15 knots and it still be foggy in this area! If I was going to do it in a little boat I would look to do it in the fall after the Santa Ana winds have quit blowing in Southern California. This is when the ocean is at its flattest. The area south of Avila, from Point Sal to about Point Arguello can get huge and scary! If Morro Bay has a 3-foot following sea, (which is usually does) you can count on it to be big by the time you get to Point Sal. And then, you still have a very long run to Santa Barbara Harbor. If you get any wind on top of a big swell, you will definitely have a trip to remember. We once had a wave break all three pilot house windows out on a 45-foot patrol boat while going south in that same area putting hundreds of gallons of water in all the wrong places. It wasn’t uncommon to have small craft advisories for that area for a week at a time. Because of the swell and wind, I would only run that stretch of water at night when going north. I would leave the anchorage at Point Conception about 1:00 a.m. and make it to Avila before noon to avoid the afternoon wind that seems to always blow and make for a miserable trip north. (You used to have to get permission from Vandenberg Air Force Base to transit the area close to shore by calling “plead control” on channel 16. I do not know if that is still the case). Because of fuel and afternoon wind concerns, I would count on three full days to get to Marina Del Rey. The ocean is relatively flat south of Point Conception.
When the weather gets bad between Point Sal and Point Conception there is only the old Coast Guard boat house in which to anchor and wait for the wind to let up. I would not even consider June or any summer month, unless you have radar because of the fog. To make your trip even more exciting, look up: “The Tragedy at Honda”
to read the story of seven US Navy ships going aground in the fog in that area. Can it be done? You bet. But, you need to take that area seriously and be prepared.
andrewbanks posted 01-21-2005 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for andrewbanks  Send Email to andrewbanks     
Information on 'The tragedy at Honda'.

WT posted 01-21-2005 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
The tragedy at Honda was caused by navigational error and unusual currents caused by an earthquake at Tokyo. They were traveling in fog and at night, 9 pm.

It's unfortunate but accidents can happen. I don't plan on traveling at night or in the fog.

Does anyone want to make a 3-5 day trip starting from either?

1) Bodega Bay
2) San Francisco Bay
3) Half Moon Bay
4) Santa Cruz
5) Monterey Bay

I would like to get at least 3 boats for this "Cannonball Run".


RJM posted 01-21-2005 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for RJM  Send Email to RJM     
andrew, Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that.
WT, I was just trying to point out that the area, specifically from Point Sal to Point Arguello is unpredictable and I think different than the rest of the coast. I have seen it flat calm, but I have talk to a lot of skippers over the years that give that area a lot of respect and look at it as an area to get bye. Without doing the research, I believe that two opposing currents come together at Point Conception and cause the area to act abnormal all the way to San Miguel Island. It can be blowing 30 miles an hour at San Miguel Island and Point Arguello and be calm at Santa Cruz Island and Santa Barbara Harbor. Just a heads up... enjoy the trip.
WT posted 01-22-2005 01:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Thanks for the heads up.

I'm just looking for some experienced guys that want to take a
3-5 day trip. I just want to be on the ocean and check out the coastline.

I don't care where we start or how far soth we go.

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-24-2005 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I've been south as far as Pt. Sur in my Montauk a few times.
On the right days, you can average 20 knots south bound no weat. On the days when you can't make 20 knots, you wouldn't
want to try this trip. So it's a matter of picking your days.

A tow vehicle could be left in the Monterey launch ramp lot
for several days provided you had someone to buy a new parking
voucher from the machine each morning between midnight and
9:00 a.m. and put it on your dashboard.

The area off Vandenberg shows on the charts as a "Military
Practice Area" and says "See Note A". But I can't figure how
to get the Note up on BlueCharts.


WT posted 01-24-2005 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

From Monterey Bay to Point Sur is around 30 miles one way. Morro Bay is another 90 miles with no fuel stops in between Monterey and Morro Bay.

You want to make a run for it? At Morro Bay Marina and Yacht Club there are guest facilities along with lodging nearby.

Port San Luis to Santa Barbara Harbor is 110 miles. I guess you just stay out 6 miles from shore boating by Vandenberg.

Once you get to Santa Barbara it's a cake walk all the way down to Mexico. (Meaning lots of marinas or fuel stops.)

I'm going to West Marine to buy some charts and a cruise guide which will show the best routes.


Estero posted 01-25-2005 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Estero  Send Email to Estero     

With the proper planning, that trip sounds like a real adventure. I agree with the comments regarding the wind though- it generally howls from May through mid- to late June in this part of the coast. July or August would have a higher percentage of calm days, but lots of fog too. The advice to go in Sept/Oct is right on.

The leg of the journey from Morro Bay (or you could start from Port San Luis and shave off about 20 miles) seems like the biggest hurdle to me- you've got a challenging run between San Luis Point and Pount Sal, but to me the most daunting part of that leg is Point Conception. I once paddled a kayak from Jalama to Gaviota for a day trip; Jalama had a small 3' swell going, but a bright and beautiful day until we rounded Conception. Weird currents, fog, very confused 4-5' seas. Once we turned the corner it was sunny/FAC all the way to Gaviota, and probably would have been the same all the way to Santa Barbara.

Also, be sure your passage of VAFB doesn't coincide with a missle launch- they may want you even farther away than 6 miles.

The uphill return trip sounds like an exercise in masochism- better to have someone drive your trailer down to you. Good luck with the trip!


WT posted 01-25-2005 01:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

I thought I was nuts. 4-5 foot confused seas in a kayak?

I agree that Point Conception can be the most challenging area along the Pacific Ocean. Are there any gas stations between San Luis Port Harbor and Santa Barbara Harbor?


Buckda posted 01-25-2005 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Chuck -

To access "NoteA" on BlueCharts. Right click on the chart near the area in question. Do not click on an object such as a buoy or other nav aid. The bottom option should be "features" or something like that option.

There will be a box with two windows..upper and lower. The lower one will have Warnings, Cautions, and notes for the'll have to scroll down through it to find "Note A".

Sounds like a really cool trip guys.



Estero posted 01-25-2005 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Estero  Send Email to Estero     

No fuel facilities between Port San Luis and Santa Barbara. There's the VAFB boathouse near Pt Arguello, but they'd probably just shoot across your bow or something if you approached unannounced!

That Conception crossing was definitely the most challenging kayaking I've done. I enjoy ocean paddling, but that was less like fun and more like work. If we'd known what it was going to be like we probably wouldn't have gone, but once we were there, the only thing to do was press on. The nice thing about a cockpitted kayak is that they bob like a cork so as long as you stay right side up and can make headway you're OK. I used bracing skills I didn't know I had that day and didn't have to roll, fortunately.

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-25-2005 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Thanks, Buckda. Note A was just a pointer to the Coast Pilot.

Navigation regulations are published in Chapter 2, U.S. Coast
Pilot 7. Additions or revisions to Chapter 2 are published in
the Notices to Mariners. Information concerning the
regulations may be obtained at the Office of the Commander,
11th Coast Guard District in Alameda, California, or at the
Office of the District Engineer, Corps of of Engineers in Los
Angeles, California. Refer to charted regulation section

The interesting stuff was in Chapter 2, page 225.
Sounds like they do closures when they are going to launch
something at Vandenberg. But the zones only go three miles


Morocco posted 01-28-2005 04:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Morocco  Send Email to Morocco     
Take an Epirb, a waterproof handheld that can clip to your type 1 offshore vest and definitely go in a fleet if you can. You're planning for the possibility of disaster, really -- the trip is certainly doable if everything goes well -- if you get very lucky on the weather, and if nothing breaks. On that stretch of coast, even in Sept/Oct., if you hit a log, wrap a prop or have a water pump suck up/throw off bit of plastic, you are a very long way from help. Even in an armada, imaging having to tow one of your boats even HALF the leg distances! A 45 mile tow? Yikes.

The way to do this would be if you could get a real 'Mothership' like they do for offshore skiff fishing!

elaelap posted 01-28-2005 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Warren (and anyone else interested),

How about a break-in sea trial from Bodega Bay down past Ten Mile (where I know you fished your MT 170 several times last season), around Pt Reyes, down past Bolinas/Duxbury, around Pt Bonita, through the Gate, through Raccoon Straits between Tiburon and Angel Island, up under the Richmond Bridge past San Rafael, between the Sisters and the Brothers, past China Camp and the Pumphouse, up San Pablo Bay to Pt Sonoma and the mouth of the Petaluma River, and finally up the river to the Petaluma Marina. We'd have to figure out a shuttle for our trailers between Bodega Bay and Petaluma, but the trip itself is easily doable in under six hours on a good day, since we're going downhill with the swell and nor'westerly breezes the whole time at sea. I haven't checked the chart for exact distances, but I'd estimate about one hundred miles. I launch at the Petaluma River all the time when I want to cruise the SF Bay, and there's always plenty of easy parking for boat trailers (the ramp and parking fee is only two bucks!).

My brother-in-law and I almost made the trip on the spur of the moment on a nice day last October, but couldn't get the trailer shuttle worked out in time. I just talked with my wife and she said she'd be willing to shuttle it this time after a lesson or two. And if two or more of us did the trip together, the shuttle would be simplified (right?).

As to the longer trip, I'd be leery of the stretch off Carmel/Big Sur and then down south around Pt Conception. Once around Conception it's a breeze most of the time all the way down to San Diego...I sailed those locations for many years (Santa Barbara, Ventura, the Channel Islands, Oxnard, Catalina, the whole Santa Monica/San Pedro/Long Beach curve, and the many beach cities down to La Jolla/Coronado/San Diego). The weather's almost always decent down there unless the hot Santa Anas are howling.

Email me or post if you want to warm up with the Bodega Bay-SF-Petaluma trip fairly soon on a decent day.


WT posted 01-29-2005 01:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

I would like to do it. Depends on the weekend because my son has basketball tournaments coming up.

I would be riding by myself. I guess if someone picks us up to take us back to Bodega Bay it could work.

I just ordered at 6 hp Mercury kicker that has to be installed in about 2 weeks. I'm suppose to drop my boat off at Outboard Motor Shop on a Saturday and pick if up the following Saturday.

What timeframe are you thinking?


Chuck Tribolet posted 01-29-2005 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The bigest problem is that you are can't just pick a date now.
You have to be able to get a quorum (three boats?) together
on about five days notice. That's about how much lead time
you'll have in the forecast.


elaelap posted 01-29-2005 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
We're in the middle of a month-long trial, Warren, so nothing like that for me for at least two more weeks. After that I can get away on a weekday if that's easier for you. I'm going to work on Royce to join us with a third boat (though if he decides to take his OR 25 cuddy rather than his 18 he will have to cruise along at about quarter-speed or leave us in his wake). And of course any other CW member would be welcome to come...the more the merrier! A veritable Whaler flotilla!

There wouldn't be any problem having either my wife or my son get us back to our trailers in Bodega Bay from the Petaluma's only about a 25-30 minute car ride.

Sounds like fun, and it's a beautiful trip all the way if we get the weather right. You and I have already done the first quarter of the trip (BB to 10 Mile/Pt Reyes) in one direction, and I've done two thirds of the other direction (Petaluma down through the Bay and up around past Pt Bonita) many times. Now we just have to link them up.

You might want to get a chart covering the area if it doesn't come up on your chartplotter, and let's talk by phone to finalize stuff. Please email me with your phone numbers and I'll give you a call in the next several days.


bobeson posted 02-08-2005 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

So this is what happened to this thread! After my initial post, I guess it got moved, but I had assumed it had been deleted because of the rather insane proposition being discussed. I'm glad to see the dream is alive!

I still think the SF->LA trip would be an incredible adventure, but I doubt I'll be able to pull it off this year. We have a newborn at home now, and I've been challenged just to go out on day trips, much less week-long adventures out of town on short notice.

The trick is picking the weather window. Like Chuck said, you have to be ready to go on short notice, when a reasonably valid forecast permits it. I'd suppose september or october would be the best timeframe, which also coincides with the best diving time of year in the channel islands :)

I think everybody that went would need to have their trucks and trailers brought down to LA for the trip back, which might be a little challenging. I don't know who I'd be able to convince to do this for me.

WT posted 02-08-2005 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Congratulations on the newborn. It's going to be tough for you to get away for quite some time.

I think a one-way (downhill) trip can be done. I believe going uphill or the trip back would be unrealistic.

Perhaps I can Shanghai some more interested parties at the Norcal Rendezvous.


thekidd posted 02-10-2005 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for thekidd  Send Email to thekidd     

Go ahead and pick up a navionics chip for your gps. It will have all of the ports for you. A necessity. If you are concerned about fuel, I could run up from my harbor here in Santa Barbara and meet you around the northern end of Hollister Ranch . There is a pier at Gaviota where one could also load fuel, but you may need it earlier. Just give a shout and I might have time to run up and re-fuel you. The run home from there is all down swell and you can hug the coast line without obstacles. The southeast winds kick up in the afternoon, but I'd say it's about an hour and a half from Governments to the SB harbor if the weather is nice and you are traveling down swell. Maybe a bit longer.
A visitor's slip is cheap and you can get one on your way down the coast. There's always something available. First round at Brophy's is on me.
You can also shoot me an e-mail for a weather check.

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