Friday, 25 September 2015

Eureka, CA

The weather finally cooperated and I motored out of Newport last Friday. By late afternoon the wind freshened and I was able to sail. This continued for 2 days and nights. I sailed past Cape Blanco about 8 Saturday evening, and right into Crescent City, CA on Sunday afternoon.

I took a couple rest days at Crescent City and motored on to Eureka on Wednesday. Eureka has some really nice architecture which I have been enjoying. Today (Friday) I will get out on the ocean once more (if anything is gonna happen it's gonna happen out there). I should pass Cape Mendocino this afternoon. The forecast for the next few days is good, so I am hoping for some good progress to the south.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Newport, Oregon. Still...

Hello again from Newport. The past week and a half have been a time of changes. First the wind got too strong from the NW, then too strong from the S - along with a small craft advisory for steep seas. The latest forecast is pretty good. Tomorrow should bring light southerlies and gentle seas, changing to the W and finally the NW for the next several days. By Monday it may be too strong again, but I hope to make it at least to Crescent City, CA before that.

Pete needed to go back home to Quesnel, BC, so for the present I will be single-handing Cygnus. It is difficult to balance a life with a home, adult children living nearby, and grandchildren with the carefree life of the vagabond sailor, but Pete is finding the way admirably. Once I get the boat south of Cape Mendocino it may be time for me to pay a visit to Quesnel. We hope to enjoy Mexico together for at least parts of the coming winter.

Pete and I rented a car here to get him up to Chilliwack, BC where his car was at. On the way home I stopped to visit James and Becky Peet. Their hospitality was very welcome after the long drive. James also shared some pictures from our going away lunch at Gig Harbor, WA way back on July 1st. So here are the belated pix:
James, me and Pete at Gig Harbor, WA

Me, Becky and Pete at Gig Harbor, WA

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Newport Oregon

Hi all.

The following is a rundown of the last five days.

Friday Sept. 4th

Our first day offshore after leaving Effingham Island in the Broken Island Group, was spent motoring as there was little to speak of for wind, and we needed to clear the commercial traffic moving in and out of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. We only had one close encounter with a freighter, but our newly installed AIS system that Dave's brother, Andy so thoughtfully provided, quickly picked up the signal from the vessel and gave us time to take evasive action. Thanks Andy!

That evening was my first time at having to do a watch while motoring. It was truly magical seeing a complete dome of a sky with no obstructions or lights to hinder a spectacular starry vista! Add to that the sparkle of millions of stars created by the phosphorescence in the water. Amazing! Near midnight, Dave came topside and we shut down the iron jenny and we watched the moon rise while we sat and revelled in the strange beauty. We decided to allow Cygnus to drift while we got a few hours of quiet rest, getting up regularly to ensure we weren't about to be swamped by another freighter.

During the night, the wind freshened from the north, and we made steady progress south. today we had tremendous sailing. Our wind switched to the south east, and we beat our way down the Washington coast. There we encountered many commercial fishing boats. In one instance, we had to avoid a whole flotilla of dozens of boats. By evening, Dave's stomach had got the best of him, and we had a simple dinner while the wind became gale force, and the seas were high and confused. It was my turn to take the first watch. I was very apprehensive, since I had never sailed at night, and the wind and seas were still a bit crazy. Strangely, once it was too dark to see the high and confused seas, my apprehension died away, and I had a wonderful sail until Dave relieved me about 2:00 am.

Saturday Sept. 5th

We have made great progress. We only had to run the engine for an hour to charge the batteries since shutting it down on our first day out. Our stomachs are doing better, and we put together normal meals. We expect to make Newport on Sunday if all goes well.

Sunday Sept 6th

. Ok..... All hasn't gone well. Yesterday we had some great sailing, but soon after dark, we encountered a strong southerly blow that wasn't in the forcast. Because of the great weather and light winds, we had all sails up, with only a single reef in the main. Once the winds started, it was too dangerous to go on deck in the dark to reduce sail area, so we hove to. This means we brought the boat to a stop by adjusting the sail and rudder pattern. Unfortunately, since we had all the sails up, we healed over about 30 degrees and the rail was in the water. This made it very uncomfortable and impossible to sleep. Early in the morning, we got underway while the wind blew at almost storm force, and the seas were very high and confused. Dave carried on for a few hours while I got some sleep, and then I took over from Dave, who was in desperate need of some rest. It was a harrowing experience for the land lubber. One that I don't wish to experience again any time soon.

Monday Sept. 7th

After a difficult morning of high seas and winds, we had another sleepless night because of high rolling seas. By this time we were both extremely tired. Dave woke up to the sound of the boat sailing itself south, and decided someone should keep an eye out in case we "bumped into anything". About 3:00 am, I relieved him on watch and spent a pleasant few hours sailing slowly south under reduced sail. In the morning, the sun rose and we spent a beautiful morning with our coffees and breakfast on deck and watched a family of Humpback whales right off our starbord side. What an incredible contrast from 24 hours ago!

Tuesday Sept. 8th

We have arrived in Newport Oregon, in yet another unforcast blow, we were both very sleep deprived, and happy to tie up at a dock. Customs clearance went without a hitch, and we treated ourselves to a delicious dinner and beers at a brew pub in the marina. It's good to feel solid ground under our feet.

Last night we both had the best sleep in five days! Today we spent a nice day enjoying Newport and catching our breath. We expect to be here a day or two more, and weather permitting, we will continue the voyage south.

Cheers! Pete and Dave

Dave soaking in the hot springs

The boardwalk to the hot springs

1000 nautical miles! 
A crab feast.

Lucky creek pools

Lucky creek

Newport Oregon

Sea cave at Effingham Island.