Underway and Headed South – Newport, OR

09/14/2010 – 1155 – Columbia River sea buoy is abeam to port. We have been underway since 0630 this morning.

We arrived Grays Harbor 1930 last night. The fog stayed with us all day, yesterday, until about 1600 when we broke through to bright sunshine. Much of the day there was bright blue skies directly above us, but less than a mile of visibility ahead. We didn’t see another boat on our radar until we got close to Grays Harbor. Thankfully, the sea was mostly free of crab trap buoys, except for some left-behind-orphans. Until – that is – we got within a few miles of the entrance to Grays Harbor and Westport. Fortunately it was still daylight and we could see them – hundreds of them all to the north – well enough to dodge.

We made the turn into Grays Harbor just as the sun set into the fog which dropped to sea level again and chased us into port. The fog never made it into Westport Mooring Basin. It did lurk just outside and was waiting for us when we left this morning. We have been in fog  today and visibility remains at less than a  mile. Thank goodness for radar!

We got out the cross word puzzles yesterday. Not much to do, but sit back and ride and watch the horizon for hazards. We take turns watching and resting. We eat often, as the isometrics of staying upright burn a lot of calories and keep us craving stuff. Most important cruising food – Cheetos and Cheez-Its and Chocolate! Do not leave the dock without them.

It will be a long day. Unless we give in and do an overnight, it will be our longest run.  We still have about 96 miles to go. Right now our speed is 8.8 knots at 1760 RPM. We have been as high as nine knots, and hopefully, as we get out of the influence of the Columbia River, we hope to get back up to the nine-plus knots. Yesterday we had a horrible northerly current that kept us down at seven knots most of the day – at the same RPM! Arrrghhh, that gets old. The trip took two hours longer, yesterday, than in any of our other voyages on this leg.  Yesterday was pretty animated until mid-afternoon when the seas settled down to something manageable.  Today the seas are much more civilized and we are more relaxed.  At times there is a ripple meaning light and variable winds, and sometimes satin smooth.

Estimated arrival time is 2330 tonight. If we catch a faster current it will be earlier which suits me, but the opposite could happen as well. Arrival in Newport will signify one-third of the distance to San Francisco Bay completed.

Weather forecasts shut down our Wednesday cruise. Unless the weather guru’s change their mind, we will be in Newport for several days – all of course – weather dependent!

Meanwhile – once again – it’s just us, the birds (note their satin sea surface), and a few die-hard commercial and sport fishermen out here – as we continue Underway and Headed South!


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