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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:38 pm 
Warning: This is strictly a speculative drawing board type discussion at this time.

The basic equipment of this expedition would be a Klepper AEII with sail rig. After some initial research on expeditioning, one book I read suggested that considering adding a sail to long distance travel was a very doable, if not only a recommended option. I've already done some shorter one week expeditions so this wasn't new information, -it's just reassuring to read a contemporary kayak expedition book that supports this idea.

Other books support that the Klepper is very suitable for long distance coastal cruising, even in some light surf conditions.

So here it goes: Has anyone here actually done any long distance coastal expeditions along these coasts?
:arrow: Is it possible to realistically camp along the way? Maps indicate State Parks within 10 to 40 miles of each other the entire way. I am not opposed to commando camping or the occasional marina stop.
:arrow: How bad is the surf around these likely camping areas? Some of these spots seem to be relatively sheltered and may prove OK.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:06 am 
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Kap,

There have been at least four groups (one guy did it each way, solo; a near-newbie did it solo N to S; the others were two-man groups, both N to S) who paddled from Vancouver to San Diego. Steph Dutton did it both ways, the S to N journey being very difficult. Here is a link on Steph (now running a whale watching operation with wife Heide Tiura) if you want it straight from the horse's mouth: http://www.trinityriveradventureinn.com ... i_bio.html They lived over the hill from me for a few years, when Steph was a rep for Eddyline, and I talked to him a bit about the 1993 N to S trip: lots of huge surf to transit, many long days, and several times he was windowshaded coming in. I don't think he ever swam, but with his skills, I suspect he was a rare one.

Verlen Kruger and a partner were another duo; IIRC, they crunched a decked canoe in surf. See this link to his book on the Ultimate Canoe Journey: http://www.krugercanoes.com/pr02.htm His "summary:" Five miles before Skagway, you hit salt water again. Slip down the island-choked Inside Passage. Come down the east side of Vancouver Island and pass by the whale preserve off Johnstone Strait, then paddle on through Seattle, Washington. Coming out around Cape Flattery, on the tip of Washington State, make sure you turn left. Now gear up to put on some miles as you pass endless and exposed coastline with only an occasional refuge from the sea, at least until you hit Santa Barbara (only 1,500 miles away!) Hold on tight around Cape Blanco too! At Monterey Bay, there's a small traverse, then it's south to the Baja Peninsula. Here at Magdalena Bay south 150 miles to Cabo San Lucas.


All were in hardshells; all but one of Steph's were in summer, exploiting the prevailing NW wind.

A small-scale chart may suggest the possibility of regular coves and bays where surf might be reduced; the reality is low-surf beaches you can land on are rare in some stretches. Where the shoreline is sandy, it is typically exposed to big surf; in many coves, the edges have been scoured of sand, requiring landing on bouldery beaches.

Several of the major headlands carry strong winds almost all the time.

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:22 am 
From one Kruger to another ;-) and my summarizing of their summary, if I may:
Quote:
around Cape Flattery, on the tip of Washington State, make sure you turn left. Now gear up to put on some miles as you pass endless and exposed coastline with only an occasional refuge from the sea, at least until you hit Santa Barbara (only 1,500 miles away!)

Just what I thought - the stretch South WA - OR - North CA will be most difficult for a kayak.

Cap; yes, of course, adding sail in long trips is recommended - downwind sail makes paddling easier. Adding upwind sail makes sailing more efficient, and paddling - yet more difficult. Adding outriggers to upwind sail (any outriggers - another boat like you considered, or smaller amas) makes sailing (and overall onboard comfort during long passages) much more relaxed, and paddling - much more difficult (smaller amas are, naturally, lesser impediment than big hull like AE1, but still an impediment).

There is a reason why I keep on mentioning paddling: in Pacific NW (at least, in BC) there can be 4-5 days in row (in summer) with no or almost no wind. Sometimes all you have is few hours of light breeze from noon to 3-4 pm, and then it's dead calm again. Sometimes you don't get even this breeze. Mostly it's NW wind, but can be form the South when weather changes.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:08 am 
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I'm glad Alex added his caveat about sailing the coast of "my" chunk of North America. We used a downwind sail on our Folbot double for a couple seasons. Well, actually, I should say we carried it on deck fror two seasons. We used it maybe twice. Seemed like either the wind was going in the wrong direction or was not strong enough to help much, especially since we could not paddle and sail at the same time. We sold it to a collector, who also has used it maybe twice in eight years.

As well, transiting surf zones with a mast up could be problematical.

OTOH, if you are making a long crossing in an area of reliable trade winds, it might make sense. Read John Dowd's accounts of his marathons in the southern hemisphere (and the Caribbean) for his advice.

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Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:15 am 
Agreed with Dave. Downwind sail that doesn't allow you to paddle makes very little sense on a kayak in this area. I wouldn't like this in Caribbean too. When I said earlier that downwind sail makes paddling easier, I meant the rigs that don't interfere with paddling at all, no matter - with sail raised or lowered/dismantled, and also - easy to raise and lower/dismantle (some are lowered, other are dismantled and stowed under deck). Like Pacific Action or Spirit, for example.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:52 am 
Thanks for these book recommendations, I'll definitely add them to my list for research. I've noticed that thing about the wind just not doing it for days at a time when I can look out on the Juan de Fuca straight and not see a ripple all the way to Victoria.
I'd be too intimidated to do any of this kind of travel after September. -Though this morning gazing down toward Port Townsend and Sequim, not quite a mill pond, but would make for some nice sailing none the less.

I should mention that sailing and paddling the Klepper AE II at the same time is no problem. It's possible to double paddle from the rear seat position or canoe paddle (break down the paddle) from a hiking seat in any point of sail. This method of propulsion is especially recommended when fighting strong currents as we get here in the SJ channel. :shock: The main trick is having sheet cleats allowing the sheets to remain unattended and to have foot peddle access from down below and the hiking seat. If you're seated on the keel, I've found it almost necessary and recommended to reef the main one set and then run it higher up the mast. This allows for more paddling clearance no matter what point of sail. For Canoe paddling from the hiking seat, no special accommodations are necessary since your paddle is at a more downward angle. Once you're paddling a slight closer adjustment in the sail is necessary as propulsion effects the apparent wind, -much the same way as motoring under sail. On very slack days, I've actually experienced having just a puff of wind (force 1) with no paddle and then the sail going completely limp when I started paddling, -creating a situation of no apparent wind or a headwind.

I agree that surf landing with a sail rig sounds very intimidating. I haven't experimented with rigging the sail at sea. theoretically it would be possible to stow the mast and leeboards the same way as one does extra paddles: Under deck bungees. I've figured out how to completely remove the main sail. Since I use shower rings as the "upgrade" from the simple bend Klepper sends stock, one simply unsnaps the shower rings and then the boom and gaff simply come away. Using the main reefs it would be simple to bundle the sail and then pop it under a deck bungee. BTW my jib I've rigged with an out haul, so stowing this while underway is no problem. I couldn't imagine doing any sort of serious sail/paddle touring without this.

When I talk of making the passage in a proper sail boat S to N, most sailors object and talk about having to go "uphill", -meaning the currents and wind are contrary.

Since it would be theoretically possible to not have to paddle the entire 1500 miles to Baja simply by putting into marinas along the way, it follows that investigating camping at sea would be the next logical study. Reprovisioning every couple of days at marinas is doable and the AEII is long enough to accommodate a sleeping position. I would just have to find foam blocks to fill in between the ribs over the keel and a sea anchor to steady the drift and direction. It would probably be very similar to camping on the side of a cliff, eh Dave? No sleep walking. As far as keeping a weather eye out for conditions and traffic, this would be no different than for a single hander in a regular vessel.

Hey, any of you guys want to come along for a day or two in route? That a way I can use your pics for my book option. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Kap,

With all due respect for your many adventures across both hemispheres, for this WA, OR, and CA coastal cruise, I think you are operating in la-la land.

After you have transited a couple surf zones similar to what exists for some 30-40 miles continuously from Grays Harbor to the Columbia River, followed by another 15 miles to Tillamook Head, with NO safe haven of any sort, I think you will understand the magnitude of the problem this coastline presents.

Compounding the issue of lack of safe landing sites is the heavy westerly air flow taking a small craft into the danger zone. There are many days off our shoreline in which even a strong paddler can not overcome this strong onshore wind. Anyone seriously thinking about this expedition should also talk to Steph Dutton and John Dowd first, and read Verlen Kruger's description of his harrowing time.

I am not usually so assertive in my statements here. In the case of a health and safety concern such as this, I think it is warranted.

Good luck with your planning.

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:58 pm 
Point well taken. I've been looking for specifics and you supplied them.
The books you recommended are exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. Also I've been trying to pry 1st hand accounts out of people and/or if they would do touring on these coasts for stretches of a hundred miles or so. I feel I'm being completely realistic in my approach. Unrealistic would be to take off with little or no consultation (A la "Keep Australia on your Left").

What I am getting is the speculation that this journey could well be more challenging than rounding the Horn. (?) If that's the case, perhaps I'll go round the Horn as a warm up.

What I wasn't looking for were speculative engineering qualms that were trying to back track on research I was already covering: Ex The Klepper Cat. The question isn't if two kayaks can be joined side to side successfully, but if the design can be improved upon.

Thank you again for your honest opinion. It's not like we're a bunch of surfers sitting on a beach daring each other to be the first to go: "Go for it dude!" I'm very conservative by nature, otherwise I probably would have done at least one voyage of epic porportions long ago via car, horse, bus, train, bicycle, kayak or even skis. All I do is sit at the shallow end of the pool wondering "what if?" -Instead of doing like Helen and Frank Schneider, Dr. Lindeman or Herbert Rittlinger.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:19 pm 
Alm wrote:
Agreed with Dave. Downwind sail that doesn't allow you to paddle makes very little sense on a kayak in this area. I wouldn't like this in Caribbean too. When I said earlier that downwind sail makes paddling easier, I meant the rigs that don't interfere with paddling at all, no matter - with sail raised or lowered/dismantled, and also - easy to raise and lower/dismantle (some are lowered, other are dismantled and stowed under deck). Like Pacific Action or Spirit, for example.


I'm getting confused as to what makes you think paddling is impossible with an upwind rig. I do it all the time. Accomodations have to be made, but aside from the bargyness of the AEII and the wind resistance of the mast. I think I make relatively the same progress. And paddling down wind, I don't see the point. I get maybe 10 knots down wind and maybe 12 knots beam wind depending on conditions. I can't even begin to see that kind of speed paddling. With a good offshore breeze, 50 to 100 miles per day is not out of the question. Close to the wind, paddle assisting the sail is much like paddling with another person. I only do paddle when I have a stiff current or weak wind or both. For dead into the wind, that's when the sail becomes dead weight.

Sequim or Victoria are only 15-20 miles or so from where I am. With a decent beam wind I could probably make either in about 2-3 hours easily. I just haven't commited to these crossings (yet) since once there, I'd have to camp or trust the conditions not to change for the return. Also the heaviest traffic in the entire area is right there in those crossings.

Does your rig interfere with paddling?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:34 pm 
Quote:
I'm getting confused as to what makes you think paddling is impossible with an upwind rig.

I never said this. Especially with a monohull. Dave (I assume) meant discontinued Folbot "Twins" downwind rig - can't say if it's possible paddling with it, but it is quite cumbersome indeed, be it raised or lowered (especially with 2 people on board).

On a monohull double with only one person there is more room to paddle, with any sail rig. But, as you noted, paddling speed of a double with one person isn't quite impressive (and it will be less impressive yet with a multiday load of food and gear).

I've seen such a one-man sailing crew on AEII in Caribean (in a group of 2 other boats)- with Balogh sail, very low wind, monohull, sans outriggers. But I'm 99% positive she had them deflated and stowed under deck - takes 15-20 minutes to install them again if needed. She could paddle, and did this leisurely. The reason for going monohull on that day was exactly the negative affect of outriggers on sailing speed (and on paddling efficiency too).

The area from Southern Vancouver island and Northern WA is affected by "funnel winds", btw; this is the reason for so many sailing events every year in Victoria. Open coast (and areas to the East of Vancouver island) don't get this funnel effect.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:14 pm 
Thanks for your info. I'll have to look into that funnel wind.

What's bringing this all up must be some sort of mid-life crisis I think. I'm realizing all my boyhood heroes had already written articles and books about their epic adventures at this stage, -al be it 50 years ago, so I find myself once again looking around for inspiration. -So thanks for the imput.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:09 am 
There is no undiscovered land anymore. There is a highway along the coast sometimes very close to water, (even though the shore is often unaccessible by a kayak), and you'll probably have a use of cell phone all the way to Ensenada.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:30 am 
Not undiscovered, but surely plenty of forgotten areas bypassed by what I bitterly refer to as "development." Dave Kruger, used a phrase I haven't forgotten in a post he made a few months ago discussing "a place manmade, but wild."


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:15 am 
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Chris reminded me of this piece, repeated below. It dates from spring of 2000, more or less at the "end" of active writing for me. I don't know why, but for several years, I have not been driven to produce more. I suspect the words were therapy for a frustrating work situation; now that I am a member of the fixed-income elite, my contentment level is too high for prose relief. :roll: :wink:

It epitomizes why I paddle.


Wild Places

Been on a tear the last couple weeks, shedding work-angst. Five days on the water over the last seven -- two overnights and a day trip. Yesterday it gelled.

Smack dab on a coarse sand beach, a divergence in the River, where eighty per cent of the flow edges to the south, past parallel mountains of dredge spoils, and another ten per cent shelves northward. The rest is spread over four miles of shallows and backwaters, all hell-bound for the sea.

A man-made place, yet wild. Broken trees and huge driftwood lace the swash line. Moss and dried annuals scratch at the sand on the dune. Double crested cormorants alight echelons of pile dikes, preening for a mate. Grebes "screebing" at each other, bragging of bigger fish, more fish. Seals smacking the water, chasing vanishing salmon.

Mongo freighters take the larger channel, and the Corps smooths their path with a million dollars a year in spoil extraction, to make the waters turn ten degrees south. Conservation of momentum and money in a standoff. We sit in awe, here shuddering at the power of the River, shaking piles and gouging sand.

The geese know it, the terns know it, and the immature eagle fifty yards off knows it. All are competing for a piece of this place.

And so am I, to scrabble a fragment of sanity. The sun is out, the wet suit off, food gulletting down with water as lubricant. A feeding mode not so much different from the soon-to-be-hatched goslings, now incubating under an adult, itself watched by the eagle, the redtail, and us.

The current runs in two directions here, generating boils and mild haystacks for us to dance over, and we ease off, skirting massive piles of sand, decorated at the lower end with feeble fences of plastic to divert terns. An eagle silhouette stands guard, and two matures help on a grounded root ball.

Leaving this special, diverse, remote place, though it will not leave us. We carry it back to civilization, a tonic for an interval, or maybe a lifetime, knowing it is there.

Are there sand-Druids?

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:38 am 
Hi Kap'n

You are planning an epic voyage, sounds like a great voyage. One that will require great skill and sea sense. You will be well advised to draw on a lot of local knowledge. I would think your best resources are the fishermen along the way, surfers and sailors. The hazards are manifold, I was just up at Tillimook bar, just south of the Columbia and they lost a 45 foot fishing boat with all hands over Thanksgiving in the surf going out of the harbor. Even the locals sometimes have difficulty reading the conditions. Surfers I think have the best feel for conditions, they have a great network to tap into. They can tell you surf conditions up and down central California. Your goal is the opposite of theirs, namely bad surf conditions.

The inside passage and south of Conception I would think will be relatively easy, it is the middle section from Flatterly to Southern California that will present the most problems. Here in California, you will want to go south with the prevailing wind and waves, I don't know Oregon and Washington but would think the same conditions apply. Many of the delivery skippers here wait for winter storms to head north with the winds out of the south.

I know anywhere there is a marina or yacht club, they will offer you a warm shower and a safe berth for your kayak and someone at the bar should be able to help you plan your next leg. You might want to set up your kayak to be comfortable for sleeping. I met a kayaker in Florida who was half way on his journey from Canada down the Missouri, Mississippi, round Florida and back up to Nova Scotia. He spent almost all his nights in his kayak, said it was the most comfortable but his was a custom built, 19 foot kayak designed for the journey.

One resource that may be of help is "Charlie's Charts" - http://www.charliescharts.com/ - These are written from a sailor's point of view, they like to stay well away from shore. It has been awhile since I've used them but they were a good addition to standard charts. You will might want to know the next "Port of refuge" if you are out to sea. If you don't like the break or conditions kick up, you can opt out and go on to a harbor.

Rich


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