Julie has two young friends, Noah and Lauren, who wanted to send something of theirs along for the trip. We now carry Super Homer with us. This is a picture of Super Homer admiring the Oregon coast on our first day out. Sorry that I didn't get a picture posted sooner but this is the first reliable internet connection that I've had so far.
Don't worry Lauren, Sir Glory is safe and sound. He's picked a safe place in the galley where he can watch me make all of our meals.
08/04/2012, Newport, OR
We've had a lot of wind for a couple of days so the swell is up to 6-7 feet. The swell is expected to go down to 3' in a few days and the wind is expected to shift out of the northwest instead of the south so we are going to just stay put in Newport for a while.
We are currently resting on the bottom of the marina. There is a small minus tide this morning and I can feel that the keel is sinking into the sand. The boat is making some movements that aren't natural. We should only be on the bottom for about an hour. This marina is very shallow. It would be okay in 0 tides for a 6' draft boat like ours but minus tides gets too shallow.
A sailboat pulled in yesterday. They are on their way to Mexico too. We compared a few notes yesterday but they still had 'swimmy brains' (the feeling you get after getting off the tilt-a-whirl at a carnival) so we plan to visit again in a day or two.
We had our first visitors yesterday! Julie's Mom, Dad and Niece Gillian drove down for a visit. It was nice to see everyone. We spent the day eating pizza, going to Nye Beach, visiting and spending time going down an amazing tube slide at a local park. Smiles all around!
08/02/2012, Newport, OR
We left Neah Bay on Tuesday for an anticipated 48 hour sail down the coast to Newport, Or. In calculating the transit time, I didn't know that we would have a 2 knot current pushing us along the whole way. Because of this we arrived in Newport at 3:30 am instead of 8:30!
Along the way we saw whale spouts, flying fish (I didn't realize they came up this far), seals, and otters. On thing that I never thought we'd see is a sunfish! I saw what I thought was a box in the water so I stood up to take a closer look thinking it might be tsunami debris. Nope it was a gigantic Sunfish! Wow! That was a cool fish to spot. I'm glad that we didn't hit it. They've been know to cause damage to boats when they get hit.
While on night watch, I had a whale surface right next to the boat. I never saw it but the blow was so loud that it had to have been close.
We took the Express Route as detailed in the Pacific Coast planning map (fineedge.com). This route takes you 3-12 miles off tho coast in what's known as the 'crab pot free lane' We only saw 4 pots in the zone and I'm sure these were just blown off and floating free.
When we approached the entrance to the Columbia River the rips were huge! Even as far out as we were at the time (about 10 miles) we had crazy, mixed up waves that we had a hard time steering through. They lasted the whole width of the river opening and then some.
We sailed for 16 hours straight but then the wind died and we had to motor.
The entrance to Yaquina Bay (Newport, OR) has a bar to cross. I called the coast guard on the VHF to get a bar report and he told me that there was no restrictions. Yay!
The approach to Yaquina Bay seems very straight forward (on paper, anyway) Entering an unfamiliar anchorage, bay or marina at night is always a challenge but it must have taken and hour to figure this one out! It seems that the whole town is decorated in red and green lights. Since boaters navigate by green and red lights any extras in those colors hanging from businesses, as decorations off balconies, or just seemingly randomly placed confuses and frustrates a boater to no end!
Since we hadn't made reservations at the marina, we just tied to the fuel dock until they opened at 7:00 when we fueled up and headed over to the guest dock. When we were about 3 feet from the dock I looked at Ken and he said 'we're stuck" Yup, firmly stuck in the mud. He managed to back us off and we called the office asking for a deeper place to tie up. She gave us a slip assignment that was back at the head of the marina but when we were heading there, we got stuck again! This to the amusement of several fisherman who were headed out! Ken backed us off again, got stuck again and then got us unstuck for a third time. We went back to the fuel dock where we stayed until the tiide came back in. We moved over to a slip and expect to be stuck in the mud at 7:48 tomorrow morning. Luckily we will only be 6" short on water so we'll just sink in with the rest of the sailboats and wait for the tide to come back in.
New sighting! A pelican just flew over. I didn't know that we were far enough south to see a pelican!
I almost forgot! We have two cats aboard. One of them (Elliot) had evidently had enough sailing and when we coming up the channel into the bay he started to get excited. We normally lock them below when we are docking but because we were tired we forgot to do it. Bad choice. We tied up and Elliot jumped on to the dock and started running up the dock. He was running away from home! He stopped when he got to the locked gate at the top of the dock. We then felt an obligation to take them for a walk so we got their leased and off we went for a 3 am cat walk.
We are planning on staying in Newport until Sunday. My parents and niece are coming to visit us tomorrow.
For those of you who are planning a trip down the coast. I recommend using the FineEdge planning map. It made navigation easy even when I was feeling a little seasick. Also, plan a daylight entrance into Newport if you plan to visit here. I don't recommend coming in if there is a minus tide though. They have no plans to dredge so the marina is just going to continue to fill up with silt. We draw 6'. Several sailboats were obviously stuck firmly in their slips at this mornings minus tide.
07/31/2012, Pacific Ocean off the Washington Coast
We left Neah Bay this morning and are sailing in just 7 knots of wind but are doing about 5 knots over ground. We've got a long way to go yet.
We've got 3' swells every 17 second but hardly any wind waves so we're reasonably comfortable.
There is a sailboat about 2 miles behind us but he's only got his main up so he must still have the engine running.
07/30/2012, Neah Bay
We left Port Townsend on Sunday morning and motored all the way out the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Neah Bay. Most of the way was fairly smooth but we had 22 knot winds and 4' ocean swells every 6 seconds for a few hours. 4' doesn't sound like much but when you are heading almost directly into them it gets tiring. We dropped the anchor in Neah Bay at 2:30 this morning and we are trying to catch up on some sleep before heading down to Newport, OR.
We made our way to Port Townsend, tied up at the marina and almost immediately noticed a problem with our house water system not maintaining pressure. We found the problem (a break in the line) and luckily there is a well stocked hardware store right across the highway from the marina. About $10 and an hour or two worth or work and we are back in business. Not a bad place to have something break!
We've had a few inquiries as to where we are headed. Mexico! We are going to take our sweet time bouncing down the coast in seach of some sun. As the rest of the country is roasting, we've only seen a high of around 78 a couple of times this year. It's ususally in the 60's with lots of cloud cover. Todays prediction is for 71 degrees. At least it isn't raining!