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Why Harbour Hop Down to Mexico


Why choose to do all the short hops instead of just sailing from White Rock to Mexico?  The choice is personal and everyone sailing south from our area has to make there own decision.  There are both pro's and con's to the harbour hopping approach.  For us the pro's seemed best and it worked best for our schedule. 

  Good things about harbour hopping:  
    The sailing is easy,  no more than 5-12 hours at a time,  so you stay well rested and alert.
    You get to enjoy the west coast.  There are interesting places on the way.  Stop and smell the roses.
    For sailors with limited offshore experience, it is a good way to build up skills and confidence.
    You get to take your time getting there and enjoy the traveling.
    You can completely avoid inclement weather by using the NOAA forecasts.
    You can test your self and your boat systems and fix any shortcomings while in close proximity to marine services companies.
    You are in range of good local weather forecasts.
    People like Margo Wood have written good cruising guides to the area.  
  Not so good things about harbour hopping:  
    Lots of day to day deadlines and scheduling.  Once you depart, you must make your destination each day.
    The navigational challenges getting in and out of harbours and across bars increases risk.
    It is slow to get to your ultimate destination.
    You and your boat don't get "offshore" tested.
    The west coast of USA is a pretty foggy place July, August and September.  That makes navigation more challenging.  But you will learn to use your radar!  
  These are the the pro's and con's that we considered when we chose the habour hop strategy.