"God looks out for fools and babies."
- Meshell Ndegeocello
Above photo shows me in Cathlamet, Washington, after successfully bringing S/V Ubiquity down the Washington coast. Ubiquity lies now in Portland, safely tucked into her slip that she left two years ago to sail to Mexico.
We motored out the Strait of Juan de Fuca in mild conditions, and started motoring south down the Washington coast before getting a good sailing wind that blew us to the Columbia River Bar and to Astoria. It was great to be sailing, "back in the saddle", again after the health interruptions of this past summer.
My usual offshore crew member, Leslie, was not able to sail with me on this trip because she had broken her arm falling off of a bicycle, so she had to settle for driving us to Port Angeles and seeing us off. Instead, I had my girlfriend Lisa and her daughter (grown-up) Sierra as crew. This was brave for Lisa, because in the past she had gotten terribly seasick sailing offshore, although she does fine in more protected waters like the San Juans. History repeated itself and Lisa suffered from Mal de Mer all the way down the Washington coast, confined to a berth below. Luckily, Sierra was able to share with me the watch-keeping duties.
To be honest with my readers, I should confess an error I made when on watch at night approaching the Columbia River Bar. I was tired, and was using the method of setting an alarm for twenty minutes, catching a nap in the quarter berth, then getting up with the alarm to scan visually for traffic and to check for AIS targets. Well, I forgot to push the button on the timer when getting into the quarter berth at about two hours before sunrise. I woke up to sunlight and quickly scampered top-side to see the Columbia River Bar entrance buoy in sight. We had almost sailed past where we needed to turn. We were almost like that airplane in which both pilots went to sleep and woke up to see that they had over-flown their destination airport by one hundred miles.
The pilots of that airliner got fired. As the captain of S/V Ubiquity no one could fire me, although I certainly deserved it. But we survived nonetheless sailing at hull speed for two hours headed for the Columbia River Bar entrance with no one in control. Luckily, the Ndegeocello quote above proved true.
So safely back in her Portland berth after two years in Mexico, S/V Ubiquity awaits her next big adventure. That may be another circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, a great trip that Ubiquity and I have done twice. In 2019 I may do that trip with my friend Gary Lindstrom, who will be sailing his Pacific Seacraft Dana, S/V Kestrel