Going Coastal (and catch-ups)
21 September 2011 | Newport OR
photo courtesy Wade Biggs
Our 0000 19 Sep departure from Port Angeles was under a clear sky, and partial moon. Against approximately 2' chop in Juan de Fuca Strait, 9+ knots for the first couple hours (being carried by ebbing tide). Rounding Cape Flattery 0730hrs, in the fog - no vis of the cape or Tatoosh Island, beam swell, little wind, initially against flood tide (I assume) dragging the speed down to high 5 low 6. By mid-morning we had blue sky and sunshine, light to no wind, multi-direction swells, very confused, one fish in the water for a couple of hours to smooth out our ride a bit.
2300 hrs a rising half-moon over the coast is pumpkin orange. Even though we've moved to 25 miles offshore to attempt to avoid crabpot floats in the dark, I have five fishing boats working around me, visible with their high pressure sodium vapor lights.
20 Sep swells moderated overnight; 0830 we are 60 miles north of Newport OR; got a message out to Dorothy via SSB radio to meet us in Newport this afternoon. NOAA weather indicating more weather coming into OR coast - 30k winds tonight and big seas/swells. At the moment it's quite benign, 1-2m swell, a little wind ripple on the surface.
By afternoon, as we approach Newport, we can see the leading edge of the front coming in from offshore, high "marestail" clouds, darker clouds behind.
Tied up at the transient float in Newport yacht basin, just inside the bridge and to the right. Right in front of us a couple on a N40 (retired tanker captain) with two beautiful malemutes aboard. Dorothy and I, Wade and John (my crew) had dinner with Richard and Olive at the Rogue brewery (a great place). Interesting conversation - about boats of course.
This morning 21 Sep (Wednesday) bright and sunny. Passagemaker.com shows we are in a bubble of high pressure, which if we keep on down the coast, we should continue to avoid all the really ugly stuff happening north of us... and I vote for that. Laundry, boat chores and a little sight-seeing today; underway again later this afternoon / evening. Dorothy will continue to drive down the coast with Rusty and Rascal.
Here's a catch up back before the mad dash away from Port Angeles, down the coast:
15 September: underway from Tofino BC, 1215 in a spot of sunshine amongst big rain clouds. Tried a surprise man-overboard (MOB) drill on the crew and they did reasonably well. SE out from Tofino, down the Esowista Peninsula, then off Long Beach, then Ucluth Peninsula staying approximately 3 miles offshore. Wind out of the NW, 1-2 meter swell out of the W, one (para-vane) fish in the water.
Eventually we entered Barkley Sound, and into the Broken Group of Islands, anchoring in Effingham Bay. Stiff NW winds continued into the evening, but we had a good anchor set, so no problem.
16 September: We've decided to take a day off; been looking to do so for awhile. Dorothy did her knitting and such; Wade and I fiddled with the electrical system; we played cards and watched episodes of the 2nd season of Dexter ( a harmless addiction, I hope ).
Running the dogs this morning, we realized we were on the beach Dorothy and I, my brother John and his wife Bird and our friends Jim and Marcia camped on for a week 25 years ago: We all drove up to Washington, took the ferry across to Sydney on Vancouver Island, drove through Port Alberni to Toquart Bay. From there we paddled into the Broken Group and set up camp on this same beach. We paddled out to other beaches open to swell and brought back mounds of driftwood for the fire; buckets of white sand up from the beach to cover the campfire charcoal-blackened camp area and tied a tarp high up in the trees for a protected cooking area. I think we camped there for a week, paddling out on day trips to explore or fish from the kayaks with "buzz bombs". Unfortunately this beach is looking a little worse for wear these days: a couple big trees came down and broke apart on the beach blocking it and maybe discouraging users; the camp area has a thick layer of moss indicating it has not been used in some time.
17 Sep departure from Barkley Sound, 15hr run to Port Angeles across the Juan de Fuca Strait.