DINGHY SAILING AROUND LA PAZ BAY
FROM BERKELEY CALIFORNIA TO LA PAZ, BAHA CALIFORNIA SUD, MEXICO
But before the above close encounter:
PORTLAND OREGON TO BERKELEY CALIFORNIA
October 2016, Berkeley California
Omily sailed around northern Puget Sound including the San Juan Islands until returning to Port Townsend on September 11 and anchored off the boatyard at Boat Haven Marina. I picked up an InReach device which was waiting for me at West Marine and items for the voyage south at Admiral Chandlery in the boat yard. On September 13th, a Tuesday Omily raised anchor and motored against a light west wind out the Straight of Juan de Fuca into the north Pacific Ocean. Omily made a single handed non-stop voyage to the San Francisco Bay. Currently at the Berkeley Marina and planing to head south to Mexico after the new year. I should have good internet for a few months and will try to bring this blog up to date. It has been very fun, at times exciting, and quite an adventure so far.
August 2nd 2016,
Omily sailed from Port Townsend WA south on Port Townsend Bay to Port Hadlock with the intention to anchor overnight and visit the North West Wooden Boat School before transiting the Port Townsend Canal into Oak Bay on route to Edmonds WA on the east side of Puget Sound. The wind was increasing out of the northwest which made Port Hadlock a lee shore with winds forecast to reach 25 knots. When I started the engine to assist in controlling the boat against the wind while I anchored there was no cooling water coming out the exhaust so I shut the motor off and sailed with one reef in the main back to Port Townsend and anchored under sail temporarily to diagnose the problem with the raw water cooling. The impeller was like new, water was coming out the heat exchanger when I loosened the hose. Scratch my head, started the engine again and lot of water was flowing out the exhaust. I guess gremlins placed a bit of plastic over the raw water intake screen. I raised the anchor again and motored a 1/4 mile to the same spot I had been anchored at for the last few weeks.
July 27, 2016
SVOmily is at anchor off the downtown waterfront of Port Townsend, Washington. I’ve very limited internet access but am preparing an extensive update since early April 2016 to include crossing the Columbia River Bar and sailing north up the west coast of Washington.
More coming July 6-26
July 5th, Neah Bay, Indigenous Native Territory
Up at 0830 and cooked beer pancakes (ships private recipes) with maple syrup and ships very strong coffee. Tidied ship inside and out. Weighed anchor at 1015 bound for Port Townsend. We departed Neah Bay on a flood tide proceeding out into the Straights to the south edge of the inbound shipping channel Traffic Separation Scheme.
July 4th, Today was a continuation of yesterday. The engine purred along with Omily making 4.5 knots SOG (speed over ground). We maintained 20-23 miles offshore. Last night we saw several ships lights but only a few within 5 miles, also two tugs with tows of what appeared to be multiple barges spread out behind them. The Standard Horizon AIS, GPS, VHS combination provided excellent and needed info on course, speed and other ship locations. Omily has the remote handset with all three functions in the cockpit which is very handy for crew on watch. We spotted 2 logs today both of which had heavy marine growth and bird passengers. Occasionally a whale would spout in nearby waters and we would give them a wide berth. We have seen many whales yesterday and today, the few who sounded appear to be Humpbacks. Omily passed Cape Flattery at 6 knots with a single reef in the main and the #3 working jib flying while maintaining a northerly course 12 miles offshore. Rounding to an easterly course we entered the Straight of Juan de Fuca at 7.2 knots SOG under sail alone on 3-4′ swell and 2-3′ wind waves. The ride finally was comfortable. We sailed on for another 1/2 hour as the wind continued to build to 20+ knots and a NOAH forecast of Gale force winds ahead so we pulled into Neah Bay and anchored off the beach while the residents launched bombs bursting in air, rockets red glare fireworks to accompany our dinner and beers in the cockpit. Steven cooked a very good meal of chicken sausages, hamburger patties with melted cheese, sourdough bread and baked beans.
July 3rd, Departed Astoria at 0415 hours with 1′ under the keel. Headed downstream with the ebb current pushing the river’s current making 7+ knots until off Hammond OR where we headed upstream and balanced the up stream progress with the current while we waited for the ebb to end @ 0632 hours measured at the North Jetty Tide Station. At 0640 we made a slow turn toward the north side of the channel outbound and had a near miss with a green buoy as the ebb pushed us too far north. After clearing the buoy we watched many whale spouts and a few tail slaps near the Illwako Channel. The Columbia River Bar Report on Channel 22 reported the Bar is closed to vessels 20′ and under, and has a 4′-6′ ebb chop with 4′ wind waves on top. We passed Jetty A outbound on the north side of the channel hand steering to avoid the breaking waves to the north and south. We encountered ebb chop of approx. 4′ with 4′ wind waves, no breaking water and little current. Omily crossed the Columbia River Bar without mishap or drama. We headed NW just inside Buoy G3 and worked our way off-coast to 20+ miles dodging crabpots to 16 nm off the coast. We motored against a 15 knot headwind from the NW and 4′ swell from the W with 4-6′ wind waves from the NW. It was a confused and choppy seas as we slogged north. We saw a large shark 30′ off the port beam which was turning in circles with its fin extending 1 1/2′ above the surface, we estimated its girth to be 30-36″ and length perhaps 20′, most likely a great white. None of us had our cameras out but probably wouldn’t of gotten very good pictures in the dark gray gloom. The engine purred along perfectly at 1600 RPM, 190 degrees coolant temperature and making 4.5 knots over ground.
July 2nd, We all slept until 0330 hours, awakened with ships coffee, warmed the engine, cast off the lines and found Omily stuck in the mud near the bottom of the falling tide. We choose to stay over and catch the slack following a minus tide tomorrow morning.
July 1st, Checked fluids, tidied ship and departed for Astoria at 1115 hours against a light head wind. Pleasant day early but wind increased to 25knots on the noise by the time we reached Rice Island, and the wind chop to 5+’ with spray over the boat. The strong wind against the river’s current can kick up pretty quickly in this lower stretch of the river especially with an ebb tide. Very good to be on Omily after so many years of building and preparation. We motored through to the West Basin Port of Astoria Marina to fill both diesel tanks (80 gallons aboard when both tanks are full). We stayed at the transient berth ($25) overnight awaiting crew. Our second crew member Chris arrived about 10pm.
July 30th, Departed St. Helens at 1315 hours. All fluids full, motored against light winds downstream on the nose all afternoon until a few miles above the Cathlamet Channel where the wind quickly increased to 25 knots gusting to 35 on the noise with wind chop to 4-5′ and spray over the dodger. We stayed in the main channel and the wind lightened as we turned upstream into the channel and spent the night at the Cathlamet Marina guest dock for $15.
On the 29th Steven came aboard as crew to Port Townsend, WA. Departed at 1500 hours, motoring, 76 degrees with a 5-10 knot breeze on the noise. 1-2′ wind waves and minor spray over the bow. About 5 miles upstream of Saint Helens OR the engine overheated and we shut it off, raised the main and #3 jib, tacked to clear the shipping channel and anchored near shore. Found the fresh water cooling system to be low on coolant so topped it off and motored to the Town Dock at the Old Town Saint Helens downtown (free moorage for up to 3 days as the city likes traveling boats who frequent local businesses). The engine stayed cool for the hour of running to St. Helens and the coolant was full (I think the Heat Exchanger must have had an air pocket which caused the over-heating earlier).
June 26th, 27th, 28th stayed over at the Hayden Island Marina transient dock, just upstream of the Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River connecting Washington and Oregon.
25th June 2016 Saturday, 76 degrees F and a sunny day.
Departed McCuddy’s Marina 33rd and Marine Dr. Portland Oregon at 1215pm, only 2 1/2 hours after planned departure. Cheryl pushed the bow sprit out and clear of the trawler next door in this tight berth and Omily headed out with me as crew. We headed to the fuel dock upstream and took on 10 gallons diesel in each tank port and starboard which brought them to less than half full. The plan was to allow lots of sloshing room for the diesel in the tanks to loosen any old deposits so they would be filtered out leaving clean tanks to be filled before crossing the Columbia River Bar.