Hang The Big Louie

How many summers have we gone out the straits and hung a right to visit Barkley Sound and the west coast of Vancouver Island? Ten times? Maybe more, Finally a left turn. Dad, Donna, Lucy and I headed out of the Neah Bay marina at 4:00 AM with the idea of crossing the Newport Bar in daylight Sunday afternoon on a flood tide and hopefully before happy hour ended at the Rogue brewery. We saw our new Gig Harbor friends Dave and Becky on Tranquility slipping their lines at the same time, they’re doing the Ha Ha on their Catalina 36 as well.
The swell from strong off shore winds was rolling in pretty good as we made our way out to Tatoosh Island (the western most spot of continental US) in the pitch black. We decided to save several miles and take the route between the mainland and Tatoosh. I think my dad thought I’d lost it (he exclaimed exactly that) when breakers appeared a hundred yards directly ahead–pacific swell crashing onto rocks–as we approached the narrow channel. Things always look worse in the dark of night. We actually slipped through fine and took a left turn, headin for Mexico.
It turned pretty calm wind-wise all morning, just ocean swell on the beam, We motored until late afternoon following the “crab pot free” lane which kept us about 10-20 miles off shore. The crab fishermen and the tow operators have agreed to a series of one mile wide lanes down the coast that are free of crab pots. the crab pot lines can really mess up a boat’s prop, even on ocean going tugs it seems. It could be really really bad for us to get entangled in one at night. So we did the navigational gymnastics to stay in the lane when ever motoring. It was pretty hard in the fog but we strayed only a few times. We ended up hitting only one of the three crab floats we saw, luckily no prop wrap–phew. Sailing through the night we had winds in the low to mid 20s with a  steep and confused wave pattern. Off the Columbia River bar it was kind of wild at about midnight. The waves were really steep. Thank god for AIS, we could see the ships coming out on our chart plotter and had one less unknown to worry about.
When we finally arrived at Newport on Sunday about 4:00 PM, it was so foggy that we could barely see the bow of the boat. We had hoped to get a picture of the bridge on our way in, it was featured on the front of our wedding invitations way, way back when. Alas no joy on that front. But we joined Dave & Becky at the Rogue Brewery Pub for some Koby beef and beer the second we got in. Everyone looked zombie like from lack of sleep. Tranquillity’s auto pilot broke down so they had to hand steer the whole way. Ouch.
We spent a couple days in Newport. Ev drove down on monday so we had wheels to buy parts for more boat projects (of course). All systems are working pretty well though. Ev brought things we forgot and took home things we really don’t need. The umbilical cord is still semi-attached.
Dad visited the Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium with Ev and her friend Havard. Running on the beach was one of our highlights, especially Lucy.
Big low coming through this week end with strong south winds so we decided to get south while we can. Left on Wednesday for Brookings (on the OR/CA border), another overnighter. And, another opportunity for Lucy to use the little grass mat. She just held it for the 38 hours down the Wash. coast. Stubborn girl.

"The Skipper" on watch. The three of us rotated every two hours except at night we had two on at a time which added greatly to the safety factor.

Dad, “The Skipper”, on watch and lovin the hard dodger. The three of us rotated every two hours except at night we had two on at a time which added greatly to the safety factor.

It was a washing machine off the Columbia bar but pretty cozy down below while off watch.

It was a washing machine off the Columbia bar but pretty cozy down below while off watch.

Our new insert for repelling some of the following seas. Worked great, especially psychologically.

Our new insert for repelling some of the following seas. Worked great off the Columbia, especially psychologically.

It was a washing machine off the Columbia bar but pretty cozy down below while off watch.

It was a washing machine off the Columbia bar but pretty cozy down below while off watch.

Not the picture we were hoping for coming into Newport after a 37 hour passage

Not the picture we were hoping for coming into Newport after a 37 hour passage

The crews of Carmanah and Tranquility (Dave & Becky) at the Rogue Brewery bar for some Kobi beef and great brews. 5 zombies after little/no sleep for 40 hours (Lucy was fine)

Five zombies.  The crews of Carmanah and Tranquility (Dave & Becky) at the Rogue Brewery bar for some Kobi beef and great brews before passing out.

See the silver boat on G dock, that's Carmanah as viewed from the Hyw 101 bridge. The bayfront is on the left.

See the silver boat on G dock, that’s Carmanah as viewed from the Hyw 101 bridge. The bayfront is on the left.

Newport's beaches are heaven for dogs & humans alike.

Newport’s beaches are heaven for dogs & humans alike.  We had a great run.

Things were much clearer as we left Newport, and much smoother than the previous passage.

Things were much clearer as we left Newport, and much smoother than the previous passage.

One last trip to the brewery with our old Newport friends Mac & Jackie. Ev was there with her friend Haver

One last trip to the brewery with our old Newport friends Mac & Jackie. Ev was there with her good friend Havard

2 thoughts on “Hang The Big Louie

  1. Teri

    J and D. ken and I were in Newport that Monday. Asked the marina what dock you were on, J was the word. We ran down to see you and could not find Carmanah. So we thought you had left early. Next time! Xxoo

    Teri

    Like

    Reply
  2. Jenny Smolen

    You guys!! Greg and I were in Montana while you were in PT – so sorry we missed you. What an adventure! Hugs, JennyBear

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s