38 deg 56’N, 124 deg. 20′ W.

August 31, 2000. Position at 2:40 PM: 38 deg 56’N, 124 deg. 20′ W.

Today the sky and the sea melt together in shades of gray. There is no wind and the ocean looks like it is made of lead. It drizzles on and off. Fortunately, the dodger and bimini keep us relatively dry in the cockpit. We are motoring non-stop since yesterday afternoon.

SF0409Yesterday, Jay made spaghetti for diner and it tasted wonderful. Funny how simple meals taste great offshore. Linda had the best lasagna in her life after recovering from sea-sickness during the passage from Neah Bay to Coos Bay. It was a frozen lasagna from the supermarket, but her first real warm meal in a while.

Today, I made my first real attempt at identifying birds which fly past the boat. It is not easy. There are like the ocean, shades of grey, black and white. Identification is based on size, flight pattern and color of the beak. I am pretty sure we saw the least storm-petrel and the fork-tailed storm-petrel but there are several larger birds I have not conclusively identified.

We still expect to arrive in San Francisco tomorrow.

40 deg.58′ N, 124 deg 48′ W.

August 30, 2000. Position at 3:30 PM : 40 deg.58′ N, 124 deg 48′ W.

This is our second day at sea since leaving Coos Bay. I had not entirely lost my sea legs as I did not need to throw up again! Winds are relatively light. We are motoring half the time. We expect to arrive in San Francisco on September 1, 2000, if all goes well.

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Yesterday, we sailed through pea soup fog all day and were so happy to have a radar. The humidity was penetrating and we were wearing all the fleece we owned. Today is partly cloudy and warmer. We saw a large pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins swimming and jumping around the boat. It was a great display. We are reading books, listening to books on tape, napping and munching on snack food. Navigation is made easy by leaving the computer and GPS on all the time. It tracks our course and shows were we are on electronic charts. Watches for boat traffic are easy too. The radar beeps if another vessel comes within a given distance of our location.

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Sometimes, especially at night in the fog, it seems like we are playing a game with remote control. There is nothing to be seen outside our little boat. However, the constant motion of the floors reminds us that we really on the ocean. This motion and the night watch keep me tired enough so that I have no ambition to study spanish. Maybe in San Francisco?

Hope all is well with you.

Coos Bay, Oregon

August 28, 2000. Coos Bay, Oregon.

Hello,

We stayed in Coos Bay one more day to recover sleep and to wait for the wind to decrease a little. Clark fixed the windvane, and bought more hydraulic fluid for the electric autopilot. We are ready to leave tomorrow morning with a forecast of 15 to 25 knots of wind from the northwest.

The little fishing town where the marina is located is actually called Charleston. All the businesses are fish or boat related. We did find some ice cream for dessert though. We feel like a big fish in a small pond here, as there are very few sailboats in the marina. The people trying to catch crabs on the docks often stop to admire Temptress because she looks like a serious cruiser. Hopefully our next stop is San Francico.

Coos Bay

August 28, 2000. Coos Bay, Oregon.

Hello,

We stayed in Coos Bay one more day to recover sleep and to wait for the wind to decrease a little. Clark fixed the windvane, and bought more hydraulic fluid for the electric autopilot. We are ready to leave tomorrow morning with a forecast of 15 to 25 knots of wind from the northwest.

The little fishing town where the marina is located is actually called Charleston. All the businesses are fish or boat related. We did find some ice cream for dessert though. We feel like a big fish in a small pond here, as there are very few sailboats in the marina. The people trying to catch crabs on the docks often stop to admire Temptress because she looks like a serious cruiser. Hopefully our next stop is San Francico.

Coos Bay, Oregon

August 27, 2000. Coos Bay, Oregon. Position: 48 deg. 21’N, 124 deg. 19′.

We had to slow the boat down overnight so we would not arrive in Coos Bay too early. The Coos Bay entrance has a bar which is a lot easier to pass when the tide is flooding. This was our first night without heavy fishing boat traffic to watch, and also our first clear night. The stars were beautiful.

The entry into Coos Bay turned out very easy as the wind had not yet picked up (12 knots only). But after we tied to the dock, the wind did pick up quite a bit, 20 knots in the marina, maybe the forecasted 30 knots offshore. 30 knots can be handled easily with smaller sails but it does increase waves size making the ride likely less confortable.

This stop will allow us to repair the windvane, and to rest, although I am afraid to loose the sea legs I was starting to acquire. The electrical autopilot has functionned well but since it is leaking hydraulic fluid, we were nervous to rely on it alone for the rest of the trip. It also consumes a fair amount of power and is quite loud, making it more difficult to sleep at night. It is perfect to use when motoring because the engine drowns the sound of the pilot with a constant noise. Yesterday we saw dolphins, probably pacific white sided dolphins. Today, in Coos bay, we saw many brown pelicans fishing. They are a sign we are really moving south.

So far, wind and waves have been about as good as can be expected off the Washington and Oregon coasts (which have bad reputation). The wind has stayed in the 5 to 20 knots range and the combined swell and waves have been around 6 feet. We did have to beat into the wind (using sails then engine) the first couple of days but then got the northerly wind which had been forecasted. Those nice sea conditions still made Linda an I very sick for the first couple of days. The waves are coming from a different directions than the swells making for a confused sea (typical around here). I don’t know if I will ever enjoy the ocean. I really dislike having my home roll and pitch 24 hours a day. Our departure from Coos Bay depends on how quickly Clark can fix the windvane (he is still sleeping at this time, recovering from poor nights)and on the weather forecast. Fortunately nobody is on a tight schedule.