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Thread: S. Farallon island

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Petaluma ,CA
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    41

    Default S. Farallon island

    I have it on my gps map... But when rounding it ,,, is there a " safe " distance to keep , and or ,,, a set of three or four gps co-ordinates that would make rounding it safer ? who know's I might have to do it the first time in the dark ,,,

    thanks for any input ,

    Paul Sutchek , Cal20 624 ... OYRA 2011 circuit ! !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    386

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    When rounding SE Farallon Island stay outside of the breaking waves and surf. You can pass quite close to the island from a depth perspective, but you may discover breakers offshore that can push you back into the rocks. There are no beaches on the island and the rocks are completely unforgiving - so you don't want to get pushed into them (be aware there can be a North to South current running upwards of 1 knot at SE Farallone in typical NW conditions).

    The problem is most pronounced to the NW of the island - there is a rocky shelf that extends out quite a bit further than you may expect, plus a shallow spot on the shelf that will generate large breakers in strong NW breeze that are much further out than most of the breakers. So I would recommend keeping well off the island to clear the shelf, and avoid getting too close to the island on the lee side as there can be a significant wind shadow if you're in close.

    It also helps to know where Middle Farallone is - you shouldn't be near them on a race around SE Farallon Island, but Middle Farallone is unlit and just about impossible to see at night - so when transiting to the north of SE Farallone Island I like to know exactly where I am in relation Middle Farallone such that I don't bump into them.

    Does the above help at all?

    - rob/beetle

  3. #3
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    Sep 2007
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    Default

    I have a "clearing" waypoint in my GPS that keeps me just north of the shelf and well south of Middle Farallon. I haven't had to use it yet - so far I've always been able to round the island under VFR.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    San Rafael
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I use coastal explorer on my little asus eee laptop and have an alarm no go zone marked.
    Pat Broderick did a great writeup of this a while back, let me ask him if I can put it on here.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Petaluma ,CA
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    Default clearing waypoint ....

    could you post this clearing waypoint for me ? I'd love to keep off the shelf and away from the breakers....

    thanks - Paul

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    Rather than trust my advice, purchase Chart 18645 (Gulf of the Farallones) and spend some time with it. There are a number of waypoints I would plot to enable safe navigation of the Gulf and return to the Golden Gate. In the meantime, here is the Booklet Version:

    Booklet Chart 18645 Refer to Page 12.

    Subject to your own judgement, a minimum clearance waypoint might be 37 42.4N, 123 00.3W, which is just beyond the point off the NE corner of S. Farallon Is. where the depth drops from 29' to 90'. From there, proceeding W would keep you clear of the same depth contour off the NW corner of adjoining Maintop Is. This is where the breakers start. Note, these are racing clearances (tight). In poor conditions I would allow more room.

    For reference, Middle Farallon is 1.6 nm NNW of the latter waypoint.
    Last edited by BobJ; 01-25-2011 at 09:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    6

    Default Tatiana's 2010 DHF track

    Here are screen shots of the track Tatiana (F31 trimaran) took last year. I remember the swell to be big, coming from somewhere between West and North West. We saw white caps at the Middle Farallones and tried to stay half in between the South East and Middle islands, away from the breaking waves on port and white spray on starboard. Would love to see tracks from others to compare notes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Here's the track from Beetle at SEFI, I believe this was from last year's SSS Farallones race (5/22/2010). It was breezy, no. 4 and full main, somewhat lumpy but not too bad - should have had the no. 3 up.

    http://tbeetle.zenfolio.com/p2530575...9dac8#h7a9dac8

    - rob

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
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    Petaluma ,CA
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    Default

    Thanks all , the information is great !
    -Paul

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    575

    Default Farallon Roundings

    Of course added to the excitement of the Middle Farallon (nothing more than an unmarked rock sticking up out of nowhere), the break on the NW corner (sometimes 50+ feet on the NW corner of the island), and the "jibe" (especially if it's blowing), are the humpbacks that sometimes gather there. Nothing more exciting than the "nautical" smell of a multi-ton leviathan when it "blows" a few yards away. Makes me think of Ishamael after the "Pequod" went down. I use a winch handle to pound on the cockpit locker in hopes they'll hear me. It was even more exciting in the Tuna!
    Pat

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