Bigger than life! This trip was that and more. Lucky for you, not enough time to document the tales, just to let you know we made it thus far!
We successfully and frightfully traversed 337 nautical miles from Seattle to Astoria with just the two of us on our first ocean passage. And a huge one it was with many stories yet to be documented – let us say that fog, wind, current and choppy waters (and Judy running us aground at Protection Island as we entered the big waters and heavy currents of the Straits of Juan de Fuca) were just some of the experiences that were our fate. We traveled 19.5 hrs to our first resting point at Neah Bay. We crashed for 3 hours, grabbed lunch at the only restaurant in the Native American village and met a couple who were coming up from Mexico so we swapped a few quick stories. But we had to move on, so exchanged calling cards.
Off to Astoria on a 28 hour journey that brought us into a foggy and choppy Astoria bar crossing an hour earlier than was preferred for the best bar crossing (tide and current). Can we just say that there are no rest stops along the way, so you go for what you’ve got ahead of you. It was a treacherous passing into the fog with Judy creating real time waypoints for us to pass between the buoys and Mike skillfully at the helm navigating unseen. An occasional huge freighter would appear from the fog just to keep us on our toes.
We gleefully entered the harbor and stayed for 3 glorious days at the Port of Astoria, celebrating Judy’s birthday and sharing time with visiting family and friends! We enjoyed a bit of relaxation then cleaning and prepping the boat for our next big journey to Newport. In Astoria, we picked up Linda, crew member #1 and headed for 27 hours to Newport (132 nm) with 3 of us sharing the helm, so that was a nice treat: 3 hours on and 6 off (when just Mike and I, it’s 4 hours at the helm, 4 off).
Nicole, crew member #2 (she and Linda are experienced NW sailing / racers) joined us in Newport. We spent the night with 5 on board, then said good bye to Mark, Nicole’s driver, and headed to San Francisco! Those next 4.5 days were big. 3 hours on, 9 hours off, so great to have 4 of us sharing the “driving”. This trip was bigger than we could have anticipated, and yet, we had it better than those who followed (hearing stories of weather, storms, etc.).
Many tales of sloshing and bravery to Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco for much needed showers, a journey to a restaurant (in a borrowed pick up with 4 of us), and a good but short night’s rest: up at 4:30 for 5AM departure for SFO. The journey from Newport to SFO crossed 240 nm to CA border then 468 into San Francisco Bay to Alameda. Roughly 710 miles, but who’s counting.
All of this is why I haven’t written previously, just trying to process the huge journey that brought us to the totally fab experience of going under the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon sunshine! Mike at the helm, the crew anxious, smiling and taking photos.
We have been in SFO Bay area from Fri night, 16 Sept, across from Coast Guard Island (Alameda) - very cool for so many reasons. Not the least of which, Mike was a “coastie” so he jumps when they do revelry at sunrise, and the views of USCG ships just across the harbor are incredible – at sunrise, sunset and during the glorious fall days that we have been blessed with in San Fran.
We are getting our fuel polished (who knew?) and tank cleaned on Wed AM then start the next part of our journey to places further south!