Why We Go – Newport, OR
May 17, 2008
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am very happy to not be writing about sea state and voyaging conditions. In fact, many of you probably wonder why we DO this kind of life. I think I mentioned earlier, that Coastal Cruising is a means to an end, not our general mode of operation. It gets us from one major cruising area to another.
It is the life we live in the cruising areas that is rewarding. Even along this last cruise we did a lot of interesting things and met some great people. I saved some of these stories, as the cruising logs ran long enough to put you to sleep as was. But, really, what we love about our life is that each port is different. Each port has something special to offer. We have traveled the west coast enough that we have found favorite restaurants, marine stores, and cute shops in every port. And, now that we have cruised for awhile, we have friends at many of the ports, and are making more along the way.
You know you are getting to the northern regions when Halibut and Chips, Clam Chowder, and etc., are the biggest hits on the menu. The other nice thing is that you don’t have to look hard for a Brewery/Restaurant not far from the docks. We had some of the best Halibut and Chips, and one of their very nice brews at The Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, CA. Don’t pass up a chance to stop in and try their brews and food. It is all great.
Newport, OR is one of our favorite places to “get stuck” – and this time, even more fun than ever. On day of arrival, we tied up the boat, secured it, washed it, and walked over to the Rogue Ale Brewery, having – you guessed it – Halibut and Chips and one of their fine brews. Though their halibut was great the chips are awesome. You can’t get enough of them. Right about now, I am thinking we are in trouble. No one should be partaking of the fish and chips and brews that we are and expect to get skinny or even hold our weight. But we convince ourselves that it isn’t “that bad”. After all, we have to walk the gangway at low tide, right??? Well, anyway, we are working on other excuses and more walking.
On walking. We don’t have a car and so we have learned to check out public transportation, taxis, and how far a walk will be to get important boat parts and provision. The time in Newport, OR, was quite unique to our experience. We not only had one offer of a vehicle, we had THREE! Imagine the generosity of so many good people. We also called Dial-A-Ride public bus. They came out to the marina and picked us up, dropped us off where we asked, and picked us up when and where we requested. The round trip cost a total of $4! Life is good.
We pulled over to the fuel pier, day after arrival. A wonderful fellow, Leroy, helped us refuel and chatted with us. He offered his car if we needed groceries or whatever. It had been 8 days since a grocery store, and it was a very welcome offer. So, we took him up on the offer, planning on borrowing the car after we put the boat back in its spot at the transient dock. So, off we went in Leroy’s car. It turns out Leroy’s car is a 1960’s vintage VW Bug! Thanks, Leroy. You are our hero!! Boy did that bring back a few memories! I asked Capt if he remembered how to drive it – silly me! But the gear shift knob (with the gear diagram) had been replaced with some kind of antler/horn. The gas pedal was a huge silver foot, with a quite large big toe. So, when Capt would put his foot on the break, he would also catch the big toe of the gas pedal – well only a couple times…and we got all stocked up and got back to the boat safe and sound.
As we brought the boat back after refueling, a fellow we had spoken to briefly the day before was waiting for us. He had been walking his Westies, and we stopped to pet the dogs and chat. He asked if “that” was our boat on the transient dock and we said, that yes it was. He then turned and pointed to the Newport Belle B&B and said, “That is MY boat.”
Needless to say we were quite impressed. We have seen the Newport Belle B&B on several occasions while in Newport. She is a beautiful sternwheeler. So, Michael was waiting for us to invite us to cocktails the following evening. Oh, wow, a social event!
Meanwhile, Capt had invited some sailboat folks forward of us on the transient dock for cocktails on D/V that same day. We met Tim and Cheri on S/V MISCHIEF MAKER. They were taking their boat to Maui, HI, to live aboard. We had a very nice chat with them.
The next afternoon we went over to the Newport Belle B&B. It is a beautiful boat/home/B&B. We were given a tour of the boat. In fact, we got invited to breakfast one morning when they had guests. Michael and Nancy do a great job making their guests feel welcome. As we were leaving after cocktails, Michael asked if we had a car. I told him, no. We plan to get one for the weekend. Rental car companies have great deals on weekends, so we generally take advantage of the deals. Michael said, “Oh no you are not. I will fix that right now.” He reached into his pocket for a key ring, and in a snap gave us a key to their “third” car that no one drives because there are only two of them. SO, we had a car while we were in Newport, OR. We are very grateful for their friendship and very warm hospitality and generosity. Thanks, guys!! And, there is breakfast in another day!
Now don’t go thinking that all we do is party. No. We are busy living a normal life, always at home, maintenance on the boat, housekeeping, cooking and etc. The beauty of our life is that, regardless of where we are, we are always home. It makes going so much more comfortable. No suitcases, no packing and unpacking, always having your favorite pillow and blanket. No changing addresses, no calling the phone company, no nothing. We just call the harbormaster and ask for moorage. And the harbormaster is the only one we call when we leave. It is pretty simple.
And so, Newport, OR, is a really good example for – Why We Go.
Funny, I was in Newport for the Brewer’s Memorial Ale Fest and I saw your boat. I even pointed it out to my wife and said that’s our new place baby…like it? (she’s not quite up to the challenge of living on a boat yet)
I love Newport and Rogue Ales as well. Great town and great people.