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Thread: Qualifying Cruise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
    Posts
    238

    Default Qualifying Cruise

    As someone else pointed out, for those of us outside the Bay area and consigned to running our own qualifying cruise in lieu of the Long Pac, we at least get to choose a favorable weather window. The problem from San Diego is often too little wind, and I donít have the luxury of taking off more than 4 or 5 days at a time. So I need good wind for 4-5 days straight -- not always a given.

    My next trip to the boat is coming up, and while planned for 4 days, I could stretch it to 5 just to be safe. And at least for the moment, the weather forecast looks like it might work.

    I had initially thought of just mimicking the Long Pac by sailing west from San Diego for 200 nm and then turning around. Now Iím thinking of a course with a few more turning marks: Cortes Bank buoy, DART buoy, Begg Rock, and Santa Barbara Island all to starboard, then San Clemente Island to port, then finish.
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    Plugging these distances into my Excel float plan calculator, putting in a start time of 13:00 on Friday, March 24, and inputting best guess as to VMG for each leg, gives me a projected completion time of 02:34 on Tuesday, March 28.
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    If this plan held to form, and we were rounding the southern end of San Clemente Island Monday afternoon, I would heave-to for the night and wait until daylight to finish. Iím not exactly on my best game between 02:00 and 04:00, and there is usually no wind anywhere near shore in these waters during those hours.

    The chances I will be attempting this next weekend are pretty small. I will not make the attempt unless forecast on Friday looks like thereís a good chance of getting back by mid-day the following Tuesday. I can adjust the projected VMG for each leg based on the forecasts as of Friday morning, and make the go/no-go call based on what the float plan calculator then tells me. And there is always the possibility that something comes up at work this week that makes me cut the trip short.

    Iíve spent as much as eight days continuously afloat before, but with most nights at anchor, on a mooring, or in a slip. My longest prior run continuously under way was a 200 nm round trip to the Cortes Bank buoy and back, roughly 48 hours, last fall. That trip was very enjoyable, and very satisfying, so I am looking forward to doing the 400 miler whenever I can.

    Any and all comments, suggestions, and criticism welcome.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Venice, CA
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Hi There...if this helps, our club the PSSA (Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Assoc) is hosting a race next march that is 400 miles and would be good for our qualifier. I have to do it again since I have a different boat, and I believe a bunch of us are doing it. I can get you more info if you email me at mwbfoto@gmail.com Cheers!
    -Margie Woods
    "Cassiopeia", Hanse 371
    www.sailinghaunani.com
    mwbfoto@gmail.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Thanks, Margie. I have thought about PSSA's Guadalupe Island race. The logistics of getting up to MdR from SD adds at least a couple extra days, since Morning Star is not a trailerable boat. Plus, while she points pretty well "for a cruising boat," going to weather in wind < 12-15 kts is real slow, and it looks like the entire return leg is pretty much dead up wind -- I note that the 2016 SI set the finish cut-off at 10 days! So I'd need to plan for at least a two week window to get to MdR, run the race, recover a day or two in Avalon, sail back to SD, and get home to Phoenix.

    That said, I might do it for the adventure and the added experience, even if I've done the qualifying cruise by then. I'll watch for when the 2018 race packet goes up on the website.

    BTW, I'm a fan of the PSSA. Looks like you guys run a great series of races. Just wish there was any such thing out of SD. As far as I know there is only one organized race out of SD that has a single handed division allowing the use of wind vane/autopilot.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Hi Lee,

    Your course looks pretty good to my eye, especially if you can pick your weather window. Keep in mind if you wait towards June the wind will go tend to go light overnight with June Gloom and the summer shore breezes. I also like how you stay offshore helping the chances you have breeze. Toughest leg will be the close reach up to Begg Rock, but the V32 should be fine. Keep in mind the rocks and brief lee shore as you near SBI, the calms behind SBI, and the lee shore along San Clemente. Finally, the Navy can be active around San Clemente Island.

    Pretty sure next year PSSA's Guadalupe Island Race is off the table as it's being replaced by a race tentatively called the Meridian 400 that runs out to 122W, much like the Longpac. You can go to any point along the meridian. Light modern boats and traditional cruising boats are tending to balk at the 280 mile upwind leg of the GI race. The tentative plan is to have the Guadalupe Race return in 2019 for the crazy diehards and tradition.

    Here is the Meridian course, if you are interested in waiting until next March. We do have a San Diego guy and some Dana Point guys come up and join us for the longer races.

    Hope this helps.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Sailor View Post
    As someone else pointed out, for those of us outside the Bay area and consigned to running our own qualifying cruise in lieu of the Long Pac, we at least get to choose a favorable weather window. The problem from San Diego is often too little wind, and I donít have the luxury of taking off more than 4 or 5 days at a time. So I need good wind for 4-5 days straight -- not always a given.

    My next trip to the boat is coming up, and while planned for 4 days, I could stretch it to 5 just to be safe. And at least for the moment, the weather forecast looks like it might work.

    I had initially thought of just mimicking the Long Pac by sailing west from San Diego for 200 nm and then turning around. Now Iím thinking of a course with a few more turning marks: Cortes Bank buoy, DART buoy, Begg Rock, and Santa Barbara Island all to starboard, then San Clemente Island to port, then finish.
    Name:  route.jpg
Views: 431
Size:  109.5 KB

    Plugging these distances into my Excel float plan calculator, putting in a start time of 13:00 on Friday, March 24, and inputting best guess as to VMG for each leg, gives me a projected completion time of 02:34 on Tuesday, March 28.
    Name:  float plan.png
Views: 426
Size:  59.2 KB


    If this plan held to form, and we were rounding the southern end of San Clemente Island Monday afternoon, I would heave-to for the night and wait until daylight to finish. Iím not exactly on my best game between 02:00 and 04:00, and there is usually no wind anywhere near shore in these waters during those hours.

    The chances I will be attempting this next weekend are pretty small. I will not make the attempt unless forecast on Friday looks like thereís a good chance of getting back by mid-day the following Tuesday. I can adjust the projected VMG for each leg based on the forecasts as of Friday morning, and make the go/no-go call based on what the float plan calculator then tells me. And there is always the possibility that something comes up at work this week that makes me cut the trip short.

    Iíve spent as much as eight days continuously afloat before, but with most nights at anchor, on a mooring, or in a slip. My longest prior run continuously under way was a 200 nm round trip to the Cortes Bank buoy and back, roughly 48 hours, last fall. That trip was very enjoyable, and very satisfying, so I am looking forward to doing the 400 miler whenever I can.

    Any and all comments, suggestions, and criticism welcome.
    I don't know about anybody else, but I sure am looking forward to seeing the movie.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar View Post
    Toughest leg will be the close reach up to Begg Rock, but the V32 should be fine. Keep in mind the rocks and brief lee shore as you near SBI, the calms behind SBI, and the lee shore along San Clemente. Finally, the Navy can be active around San Clemente Island.
    Thanks much. I put in 3.5 as the VMG for the leg to Begg Rock just because of that. I overnighted at SBI once, and circled the island on the way back the next day, so I at least have seen that and know what you're talking about. The lee shore on San Clemente claimed s/v Uncontrollable Urge and one of her crew in the 2013 Islands Race; I have studied USSA's accident report and have great respect for what that's all about. Fortunately the Navy's website for SCI gives a schedule of operations.

    Part-time San Diegan for nearly 20 years. Know all about that June gloom thing. Hence if the forecasts hold for the upcoming weekend, I just might take a run at it!

    Thanks again. Appreciate the feedback.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    I don't know about anybody else, but I sure am looking forward to seeing the movie.
    Thanks, Jackie (I think :-) . . . ). Won't likely be a movie, but when/if I attempt this, I'll post a report.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Sailor View Post
    Thanks, Jackie (I think :-) . . . ). Won't likely be a movie, but when/if I attempt this, I'll post a report.
    That will be just terrific! I really do look forward to reading about it. And yours is such a gorgeous boat! Any photos of you on it will be much appreciated. The curvy lines of the Valiant 32 are, in my opinion, the very prettiest of any sailboat. Good luck! We will all be thinking of you out there. Take care and fair winds.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
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    238

    Default

    Thank you for the kind words. Here she is at anchor in Catalina Harbor.
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    As of this morning the weather forecast is looking pretty good; no signs of trouble breaking out at work; so the chances of an attempt starting Friday are getting better.

    Does anyone with SSB want to set up a time for an attempt to talk while I'm out there? Send me a pm or email to lee[dot]johnson[at]q.com and we'll try to figure out the right frequency and set a time. So far I've only had a couple of brief conversations over the SSB -- once with a Ham net I didn't know I wasn't supposed to talk on, and once with the commercial ship-to-shore telephone operator, WLO. I'm interested in trying a ship-to-ship call, but the RFI is so heavy in my part of SD bay that I need to be off shore for voice communication via SSB.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Long Beach CA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Looking good Lee. I'm getting ready to to the same trip, although likely in June. I am out of San Pedro.
    My SSB is down at the moment, or I would be happy to check you in.

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