Wednesday, September 10, 2008

passage to Oregon

After a layover day in Port Angeles, got underway at 0630 on Saturday, with Jon and Caroline from Victoria as crew. Thick fog, with viz sometimes down to 1/8 mile, kept us glued to the radar all the way out the Strait. We rounded Duntze Rock Buoy about 4 PM, and within a few hours we were in the clear. Conditions on the outside were very mild, and we had an uneventful night under the waxing moon and a starry sky.
Soon after sunrise on Sunday, we were able to kill the engine, and we sailed wing and wing most of the rest of the distance to the Columbia River Bar. The air was very clear, and the Olympics were clearly visible most of the way. The wind picked up as we neared Cape Disappointment, and especially after we rounded up to a port reach, but we kept sailing across the Bar on a gentle flood tide. Spent the night at Astoria. John on Fairanne was just a few hours behind us.
Monday we got underway about 0730, but unfortunately an offshore breeze kept the motor running all the way to Longview. At least we had a lot of shipping and scenery to occupy our attention. After turning the corner, we had the usual N wind and ran under the genoa to Martin Slough, where we anchored for the night. The depth sounder showed as little as 2 feet under the keel near the entrance to the basin. After watching the sun go down, we realized that we should check the tide for morning. Uh-oh! The tide program showed a 6ft drop by the next morning! I knew that couldn't be true, and occasional glances at the sounder confirmed there was little fluctuation. All the same, we decided to get underway at first light. The depth hadn't dropped even a foot since the night before, and we made it back out without touching bottom. Sailed to St Helens, where we filled the fuel tank, then tied up to the Sand Island dock and made breakfast. The last few hours to Portland were a mix of sailing and motoring. The railroad bridge obligingly opened before we had a chance to sound the horn, and we tied up in Tomahawk by 3 PM.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Port Angeles

Took the picture of Adventuress at the dock in Friday Harbor after yesterday's post was already finished. Got underway from Friday Harbor this morning at about 0745, motoring south through Cattle Pass. About an hour across the Strait, the wind had risen enough to kill the engine and sail on a close reach toward Green Pt, east of Port Angeles. The fog soon settled in around me -- thank God for radar. As I neared the inbound/outbound shipping lanes, I checked in with Seattle VTS. Later I hailed the tug Elisa Ann to make sure they had me on radar. Once I closed the coast, the fog lifted and I motored the last 6 miles to Port Angeles. Layover day here, new crew tomorrow, outbound for Portland Saturday morning.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One more time around the block

Took Amtrak to Anacortes on Saturday, leaving poor Vicki to face the start of another school year. Spent Sunday getting the boat ready, and headed out on Monday with high school buddy Greg. We had fair winds to blow us all the way to Sucia, where we picked up a mooring in Fox Cove and enjoyed a lovely late summer afternoon. Where are all the people?
On Tuesday, we motored over to Patos, and then let the ebb carry us down Boundary Passage toward Stuart, hoping for orcas. Nope, but another nice day. We rounded Turn Pt, cranked up the engine and motored the last bit to Reid Harbour. Instead of doing the usual walk to the lighthouse, I hiked the trail to the "Tiptop" of Stuart, with a fine view SW over Haro, and of course no camera to prove it. The best reward was seeing a large pod (~40) of orcas coming south from Turn Pt. Their breathing was clearly audible, and several of them were spyhopping and jumping out of the water.
Today, we floated down San Juan Channel with up to 2 kts of current and about the same amount of wind! No rush, not too far to go. We picked up a mooring at Turn Island, and dinghied over to Friday Harbor for lunch, email, etc.
Tomorrow Greg will take the ferry home to Anacortes, and I'll singlehand across the Strait to Port Angeles, awaiting new crew Jon and Caroline for the passage back to Portland.