La Paz, Baja California Sud, Mexico to Portland, Oregon USA
SV Omily left La Paz on the morning of May 22nd, 2018 and set sail single-handed and non-stop to Astoria, Oregon USA. The voyage took 41 days and 13 hours to Astoria and was approximately 3000 nautical miles over all, most of which were close hauled.
5/22 9:45am MT (Mountain Time). Departed Marina de La Paz Slip 135 under power. 2:30 pm #3 Genoa and Main sail fully deployed. Motor-sailing at 6.8 knots at the northern end of the Cerralvo Channel. No wind and sails down 2 hours later, motoring at 6-7 knots.
Day 1 (will be completed @ 9:45am MT, 3:45pm UTC) 5/23.7am MT (2pm UTC), 10 nautical miles South of San Jose del Cabo, no wind, motoring at 7 knots. Beginning to feel the open ocean swells. Sun up at 6:30, hot already. Had to tighten standing rigging after relaxed sailing in Sea of Cortez , too much stretch. 9am SE off Cabo Falso about 2 NM (nautical miles). Strong ocean swell, wind WNW 18 knots. Engine oil pressure low. Shut off engine, raised Main w/ 1 reef in, let out #3 Genoa. Set course for as much Westerly as possible. Checked engine oil level, was low by 3 quarts. Added oil and started engine looking for a leak, could not find a leak, Engine off. Wind varies from 17-26 knots from the WNW. I’ll find the oil leak later. Sucked oil from the engine sump to prevent it splashing over into the bilge. La Paz to Cabo Falso in 23+ hours. Engine on all the way, with a small amount of motor-sailing in the Cerralvo Channel. 119 NM averaging 5+ knots.
Day 2, 5/24 9:45am 46.5 NM made good sailing to weather in 15-22 knots. Confused seas make for slow going. We are well into the North American West Coast North-South shipping lanes. Usually 8-10 ships on the AIS 30 mile screen at a time. After a long night in the cockpit before sunrise I had called 3 ships to make sure they were aware of SV Omily. No engine today, still have an undiscovered oil leak.
Day 3, 5/25 9:45am 51 NM made good last 24 hours. Cleared the shipping lanes by 6 pm, only a few ships since then. The wind has lost a little of its Westerly component, but still only making a a couple knots. COG (Course Over Ground) 240 degrees T (True as opposed to magnetic, ie a compass reading). 8 pm MT: parking Omily for a while (Heaving To, a set of sail which stops the boat and stops most the boats rocking and rolling) to make dinner and look for the oil leak, get some sleep and adjust myself to the voyage.
Day 4, 5/26, 6:45am up with the sun. Seas and wind have lightened a little, still 10-12 foot swells at 4 seconds w/ some cross chop. Will get to sailing after breakfast. Feeling well rested. 9:45 am MT 44 NM last 24 hours, hope the wind becomes more favorable soon, this bashing sucks! 8pm hove to for cooking and rest. Seas very large and uncomfortable. Winds 25-34 gusting to 37. COG 225 T, moving at 1.5-3 knots.
Day 5, 5/27, 7:30am MT, #3 Genoa unfurled 65%, #31 (#31 is what I call my 31 sq. ft. storm jib, a handkerchief of a sail) storm jib and Storm Trysail are deployed. Making 4 knots, then we are slammed by a wave, knocked off course 10-30 degrees, slowed to 1-2 knots, then wind vane steers to correct as we pick up speed and return to course, then repeated 20 seconds later, life at close hauled! 9am #3 reefed further, #31 and Trysail deployed, waves and wind testing the ship and rig. Got pooped just as I was about to go below (Getting pooped is when somehow a wave next to the boat rises up high and separates from the surface and lands in the cockpit area, much to the surprise of the sailor who is inevitably soaked). The companion way hatch was open with me in it. The foot well was 2/3rds filled with seawater which drained quickly thru the two 3″ drains. 2 gallons went down my bibs and past me into the galley. 60 NM in the last 24 hours. Difficult to write with the boat’s motion ever since Cabo Falso.
Day 6, 5/28, More of the same throughout the night. At dawn the sky is completely overcast, colder all night. 9:45am 56 NM to the good last 24 hours. 20deg 55.330’N 113deg 56.403’W 10am wind stopped for 5 minutes, then returned from true North, now finally making some North Westerly at 310deg T.
Day 7, 5/29, 7:20am Sunrise shows lots of sea life. Dolphins & seabirds, hundreds of both. Seas are rough as they have been since Cabo Falso. Still close hauled on starboard tack, however there was a subtle change yesterday which allowed slightly better sailing, now sealife! Hoping we will get some SE Trades to take us north (like the winds here about 3 weeks ago when I was planning the trip). 9:50am 72 NM/24hours 20deg 56.507’N 113deg 57.310’W
Day 8, 5/30, 9:56am, 66NM/24hours 21deg 14.272’N 116deg 18.774’W Half & half sun/fog at sunrise, 71degrees F. 10pm Been a good sailing day 46NM so far compared to the last entire week. Some birds today, that was all for sea life. Wind has been from NNE 10-17 knots.
Day 9, 5/31, 9:46am, 69NM/24 hours 21deg 35.529’N 117deg 37.932’W, Overcast, water 68deg F, Air 71deg F Making 4.2 knots WNW 280deg T
Day 10, 6/1, 6:30am MT dawn, overcast with fog, Air 69deg F, Water 67.6 deg F. Morning of the 10th day, 9 days close hauled. The constant motion is tiring, the inability to gain and maintain speed is frustrating, the lack of abundant and healthy sea life is disappointing. 9:45 61NM/24 hours 21deg 58.053’N 118deg 37.810’W, COG (Course over Ground) 285deg T, 4.4 knots. 1:30pm making better time, avg. 4.5 knots, sunny, wind NW 7-26 knots up & down every 8-12 seconds. Seas 12foot N swell @ 8 seconds along with 8 foot NW swell @ 5 seconds, 5 ft wind waves NW @ 5 seconds. Confused lumpy, washing machine seas!
Day 11, 6/2, 6:45am, Overcast-high fog about 200′ up. Air 67deg F, Water 65.4deg F. This makes 11 days close hauled on starboard tack. Wind 6-12 knots, #3 deployed 75% for comfort, making 1.5 to 5 knots between the ‘stopper waves’ 9:45am 69.5NM/24 hours 22deg 25.052’N 119deg 48.526’W
Day 12, 6/3, 6:30am, Patchy overcast. Air 66deg F, Water 64deg F. 12th day close hauled on starboard tack. Wind 6-12 knots. #3 35% deployed, making 2.5-4.5 knots. 9:45am 69NM/24 hours 22deg 41.882’N 120deg 28.290’W
Day 13, 6/4, 6am Wind has moved westerly to WNW, best course we can maintain is COG 235 deg T. Wind direction has been wondering around all night. 6:45am Mostly overcast, Air 66 deg F, Water 65.8 deg F. 9:38am North Wind has settled down some, COG 285deg True. 56NM/24 hours 22deg 52.053’N 121deg 54.452’W
Day 14, 6/5, 6:45am, total overcast, Air 65deg F, Water 65.8deg F, N wind 6-10 knots throughout the night. Made good 2.5-4 knots to the WNW. 9:57am 66NM/24 hours 23deg 10.61’N 123deg 03.64’W, 974 NM from La Paz in 14 days= 69.6Nm/24hour=2.9 knots average speed. Close hauled since Cabo Falso.
Day 15, 6/6, 7:07am, Overcast, Air 66degF, Water 65.8degF. Wind shifted a little to the East overnight. COG 310degT, SOG (Speed Over Ground) 3.8 knots. 9:41am (1541 UTC), 66NM/24hours, 23deg 47.088’N 123deg 59.889’W
Day 16, 6/7, 7:30am (1:30pm UTC), Overcast, Air 64degF, Water 65degF Wind dropped to 2 knots overnight, we bobbled along until 7am when the wind increased to 10 knots. COG 315degT, speed 4.5 knots. 9:45am (3:45pm UTC) 74NM/24hours, 24deg 29.464’N 125deg 05.520’W 4pm NNE wind @ 20 knots. The wind vane followed the wind perfectly. Present COG 335degT, making 4-5.5 knots. Sky is mostly clear with puffy white clouds like in the trades, great for the racers heading to Hawaii but for Omily we are still close hauled on a 25deg heel, but making better time. 5:30pm Wind has dropped to 10-15 knots, sky is overcast. SOG 3-4.5 knots. Fresh hot bread just out of the oven, Yum! 7:45pm Hove-to in order to ease the motionfor dinner and to get a good rest. 9pm wind has shifted to NNW and increased to 20-30 knots.
Day 17, 6/8, Stayed hove-to until daylight. Cooked french toast for breakfast then set sail. COG 239degT, Wind NNW @ 15-25 knots. 9:38am (3:38pm UTC) 45NM/24hours 24deg 58.102’N 125deg 42.123’W Hope to get more favorable winds soon, this motion has gotten old! Air 67degF, Water 65.2degF. 11am COG 320degT, winds more favorable. 4pm a passing NW bound ship notified me of a hurricane approx. 750 NM SE or our location which is moving NE and may go as far as 25degN. Been trying to receive a good weather forecast on the SSB with no luck. The inReach weather is of little help for tracking hurricanes. The AM & FM commercial stations have poor or no weather forecasts. No VHF this far out.
Day 18, 6/9, 7:30am (1:30pm UTC) Overcast w/ small patches of blue sky, Air 65degF, Water 64.4 degF. Large disorganized swells running from the NNE with NE and NW swells mixed in. Reduced #3 during the night to calm down the boats violent motion. Made good 305degT @ 2.5 knots. 9:44am (1544 UTC) 67NM/24hours 25deg 30.931’N 124deg 45.983’W
Day 19, 6/10, 9:45am (3:45pm UTC) 65NM/24hours 26deg11.947’N 127deg 41.758’W Heavy overcast, Air 65degF, Water 64.4degF. Wind 15 gusting to 23 knots. Large swells @ 6 seconds from NE w/ some sloppiness from the NNW mixed in. French toast for breakfast again, the last of the store bought bread. 2:15pm (2015 UTC) Skies mostly cleared.
Been watching a Storm Petrel for the third day in a row. Fast, flighty, small, spends most of the time down low between waves. 8:50pm (2:50am UTC) Furled #3 in all the way, wind gusting 30+ knots seas make very rough going.
Day 20, 6/11, 4am Hove-to. Swells running from NE, NNW & W 12 to 14′ stacking up crazy! 8:30am Clear w/ a few puffy clouds. Wind 16-26 knots from NE. Seas still large but calmer. #3 70% deployed, making 3+ knots close hauled to the NW. 9:57am (3:57pm UTC) 49NNM/24hours, 26deg 44.83’N 128deg 24.425’W
Day 21, 6/12, Tuesday, 8:15am Cloudy w/ small blue patches. Misty/rain at times. Seas down to 6′ @ 5 seconds. Air 64degF, Water 62.8degF, Wind 13-18 knots from NNE. 9:45am MT (3:54 UTC) 65NM/24hours, 27deg 23.286’N 129deg 19.161’W One more day of the same, close hauled to NNE. Wind 15-25 knots, an hour later wind is NW 10-15 knots. 2 hours later changes again. Meanwhile the sea state is always changing as swells arrive and leave from all directions north of the E-W parallel. At one point we had 12′ swells@ 3 seconds from the NE w/ 6′-8′ swells @ 7 seconds from the WNW! 10:15pm winds 25-35 knots from the N. Very loud with waves slamming the hull and wind in the rigging. Noticed a back stay appeared loose so reduced sail to the 31 sq. ft. storm jib and hove-to which was rough in these seas. Making 1-2 knots to the SW.
Day 22, 6/13, 7:30am sunrise. Time to inspect rigging and get underway. Tightened both backstays a half turn on the turnbuckle. All looks good. 9:46am (3:46pm UTC) 57NM/24hours 27deg 34.932’N 130deg 18.592’W #31 and #3 at 50% deployed making 3.8 knots, COG 308degT
Day 23, 6/14, 9:50am (3:50pm UTC) 74NM/24hours 28deg 12.374’N 131deg 28.621’W Cloudy, rain in distance to the East, sun breaks. Air 64degF, Water 62.6degF, Wind 5-12 knots from NE. #31 & #3 @ 50% making 3.8 knots. 2:24pm (2024 UTC) Squall line from NE. Sailed thru 4 squalls so far, winds between squalls have been 4-10 knots, in squalls 18-31 knots. Boat speed over ground has ranged from 1.5 to 7.2 knots. We may be entering the North Pacific High eastern end. If the NP High has NOT established it’s summer location (late June) then it is favorable for us. The squall line maybe associated with the high pressure ridge. The barometer is up slightly. If so then we can expect NE winds for a while, changing to NW to W quickly in 3-5 days. 8:45pm more light rain. 20+ knots wind then 4+ knots. The sky looks like the rain will continue into the night. 2 ships on the AIS, one North bound the other South bound. Both CPA’s (Closest Point of Approach) are over 15 NM. Might indicate approaching a shipping lane.
Day 24, 6/15, 7:30am MT Overcast, 62degF, Water 62degF. 6′ swell from the NE @ 6 seconds. Sloppy seas. 9:45am MT (3;45 UTC) 65NM/24hours 28deg 50.76’N 132deg 24.5’W More squalls, a few sun breaks to charge the batteries. Need to find the engine oil leak, looks like we will need it to keep the batteries up.
Day 25, 6/16, 9:47am (3:47pm UTC) 29deg 35.685’N 133deg 19.065’W Air 65degF, Water 61degF. Overcast, squall line to the E streaching out from N to S, light mist. No wind, ghosting along @ 1-2 knots. #31 & #3 genoa fully deployed. 12:30pm (7:30pm UTC) Wind from the NE @ 10-15 knots. We are making 3-4.5 knots to the NNW.
Day 26, 6/17, 9:45am MT (3:45pm UTC) 61NM/24hours 30deg 31.465’N 133deg 44.667’W Overcast with light NE wind 7-12 knots. Air 64degF, Water 61degF. #31, #3 & Trysail fully deployed making 3 knots, COG 338degT. 12:11 UTC For the last several hours the wind has been from the ENE, we’ve been making 4 knots to the NNE in smooth seas w/ 6′ swells @ 6 seconds from the NE. Wind waves of 1’+. Taking advantage of this beautiful day to troubleshoot the engine oil leak. Appears to be the valve cover gasket. The existing gasket is old cork which has compressed and is no longer sealing well, it is also firmly glued to the valve cover so I cleaned it and formed a new sealing face w/ red RTV silicon. I hope that solves the problem, find out tomorrow if the seas are calm enough to dismantle the companion way stairs to get to the engine. Had a port in the forward cabin and another in the head open for 6 hours, good to get the increased ventilation. For dinner(s) the pressure cooker is loaded w/ 4 potatoes, 1 can of tomato chunks w/ their juice, 2 cans of V8 juice, my last 2 Johnsonville sausages, 1 can of chicken breast w/ it’s juice, small macaroni pasta, & salt & pepper. Its on the stove right now. 2:13am UTC The wind has strengthened some and we are @ 5 knots SOG and occasionally making 5-10deg COG. It’s early in the voyage to be heading much to the East, will decide tomorrow if it is time to finally get off the close hauled starboard tack.
Day 27, 6/18, 2:25pm UTC We are on a close reach starboard tack! Wind has clocked to the ESE. After letting ‘Shipley’ (Omily’s Hydrovane wind vane) follow the wind for a while not believing it would last, I’ve reset the vane and sails to bring us back to 0deg COG (due North). Wish we had the mainsail to raise. I’ll try again to free the halyard. 3:45pm UTC 68NM/24hours 31deg 39.312’N 133deg 37.297’W Wind E @ 4-8 knots, Air 65degF, Water 61.2degF.
5:10pm UTC The main halyard is free and the mainsail is up just in time for the doldrums! 9:45pm UTC ghosting along to the north with #3 and Mainsail fully deployed.
Making 1-4 knots to the good, must be a favorable current. Barometer is 1021.6 hPa. Sails are slatting. Genoa is furled, mainsail down. Will test engine oil leak fix next. Found another engine oil leak. The oil pressure gage has a hard plastic line filled w/ engine oil from the engine oil pressure sending port to the gauge. A very small leak developed where the hose contacted an engine part wearing a hole through @ 65 psi. A very small stream squirted directly into the engine sump instead of onto something that would have been obvious. I plugged the sending port and will replace the hose ASAP. 1:30am UTC, No wind. Engine running @ 1500 RPM making 5-8 knots, COG 8degT. Plan to continue to motor until we find wind.
Day 28, 6/19, 3:45pm UTC (9:45am MT) 95NM/24 hours, 33deg 12.45’N 133deg 18.48’W, Clear/Patchy clouds, Air 66degF, Water 59.4 degF, Wind N 2.5 knots, Barometer 1021.6 hPa.
Sails down, motoring at 1500 RPM making 5.8 knots, COG 8degT. Plan to continue this until we find usable wind. 5:15pm UTC deployed #3 and changed course to 355degT to take advantage of 3 kt wind from the NE. We’re at 33deg 31.012’N 133deg 19.080’W a few miles into the PLASTIC TRASH!
The air is moving @ 1-2 knots putting small ripples on the smooth sea everywhere, however running east to west to the horizon in both directions through the ripples are rivers of glassy, oily smooth waters and these these glassy smooth bands are loaded with chips about the size of a quarter and smaller to invisible of plastic.
Some larger pieces up to a couple of feet across are scattered about, some are what remains of plastic buckets, fishing floats and ropes of differing lengths. A small number are large, wheelbarrow size up to one piece which appeared from 1200 feet away to be a upside down vehicle with 2 tires and a small amount of chassis showing above the surface.
I choose not to go further into the mess to investigate to avoid the likely problem of running into something. These bands of trash continue east to west, horizon to horizon, some hundreds of feet across, some miles, one over 50 miles.
Takes little imagination to foresee the mayhem such trash could cause a boat with engine running and the propeller turning! Not to mention the destruction to sea life and their habitat!
Saw two turtles a few miles apart among the trash!
Please visit this site below for more info on the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and to see a project trying to cleanup this mess: https://www.theoceancleanup.com/technology/
Day 29, 6/20, 3;47pm UTC, 133NM/24hours, 35deg 23.43’N 133deg 26.087’W, Air 68degF, Water 59.4degF, Wind zero with a tease from the East. Overcast with fog to the West, barometer 1021.1 hPa. COG 0degT, SOG 5.9 knots motoring. 4:12pm UTC fog has closed in from the West, light rain. 5:21pm out of the fog/rain, back into patchy sunshine.
Day 30, 6/21, 3:43pm UTC, 132NM/24hours, 37deg 33.497’N 133deg 17.087’W, Air 66degF, Water 57.8degF, Wind 3 knots from the North, Clear w/ scattered clouds, barometer 1024.1 hPa, COG 4degT, SOG 5.1 knots motoring. 7:15pm UTC barometer 1025.6 hPa, new COG 28degT heading NNE to find some wind outside the NPhigh. 1:35am UTC set #3 and Main, ghosting along @ 2 knots, COG 65degT. 5am UTC Wind is wandering NW-NE, trying to keep up with it. Might be another night snoozing in the cockpit. I think we are on the North edge of the North Pacific High.
Day 31, 6/22, 11:35am UTC, no wind, sails are slatting w/ the rolling of the boat. A ship is passing 1.5 miles off our bow travelling @ 18 knots. I saw them on AIS 40 minutes ago and called them on Ch 16, they could see us from 6+ NM on their radar. 1:37pm UTC no wind, drifted all night. Air 58degF, Water 57.8degF, Wind zero, sky clear, barometer 1026hPa. 3:40pm UTC 60NM/24hours, 38deg 30.562’N 132deg 51.69’W, still moving along @ 2.4 knots, COG 15degT, 4 knot NW wind. 8:11pm UTC 4.2 knots, COG 6degT, 9.8 knots of NW wind, overcast. 3:10am UTC, barometer 1024.5 hPa, wind NW 16 knots, rain. Put 2 reefs in main, reduced #3 to 50%, hoisted #31. All prepared for the night. I’m very tired and shouldn’t have to do deck work in the dark. 41NM @ half way through the 24hr period. 4:29am UTC, SOG 3.1 knots, COG 20degT, this heading if we can keep it will put us offshore of the Columbia River Bar.
Day 32, 6/23, 4:06pm UTC, 67 NM/24hours, 39deg 26.8’N 132deg 07.8’W, Foggy w/ mist, wet, 57degF, Water 56.3degF, Wind N 11 knots, barometer 1024.5 hPa. #3, #31 and reefed Main, making 4 knots. COG 52degT, crazy wind this morning, tacked 7 times following the wind to make northern progress. Currently COG 65degT, SOG 4 knots, wind 9kts from wherever the F… it feels like coming from. Barometer at 24.7 hPa. 9:58 UTC, 39deg 33.14’N 131deg 52.53’W, barometer 1024.4, COG 48degT, SOG 3.6 kts. 1:31am UTC, barometer 1023.3 hPa, 3:44am barometer 1022. Double reef in main, #3 full deploy, COG49degT, SOG 3.6 knots.
Day33, 6/24, 1:29pm UTC, Air 56degF, Water 55.6degF, wind N 12 knots, barometer 1019.7 hPa, Overcast/fog. 2nd reef in Main w/ #3 full. SOG 4.5 kts, COG 58degT. 3:42pm UTC 77NM/24hours, 40deg 05.88’N 130deg 41.41’W. Shook out Main reefs, wind N 12kts, COG 38degT, SOG 4+ kts. 4:30pm UTC, 1st reef in Main, wind N 18kts gusting 24kts. #3 @ 75%, COG 35degT, SOG 5.5kts.
5pm 2nd reef in Main, wind N 22-29kts, #3 @ 50%. 7:15pm Dropped Main, #3 @ 25%, wind 30-40+kts. Seas all breaking/spume/white surface. COG 70degT, SOG 2kts, making a little northerly, ride is more calm. Mizzen aft starboard turnbuckle pin released the stay. I captured the wild stay and secured it temporarily.
Day 34, 6/25, 12:45am UTC. Hove-to, wind 25-35+, waves North 10’/4 seconds, cross swell 6’/6 seconds from NW. Sun is out now, hope this is winding down, this gale has been moving to the south very fast. 2;30AM hoisted storm Trysail, #3 to 30%. COG 65degT, SOG 4 kts, wind N 20-26kts, barometer 1022hPa. Rode thru rest of the night without changing sails, made 56degT at + or – 3kts. 3:45pm UTC, 54NM/24hours, 40deg 28.70’N 129deg 35.22’W. Overcast, thinning clouds, air 51degF, water 53.5degF, barometer 1024 hPa, wind NNW 12-20, seas 8-10 at 4 seconds, COG 58degT, SOG 3.1kts. Tri-sail and #3 @ 100%. 4:35pm Trysail down, 2nd reef in Main up, #3 @ 100%, COG 37degT. SOG 5.5kts, barometer 1024.7 hPa. 3:58am UTC, Dropped the Main, Trysail up, #3 @ 80%. Barometer 1024.4, winds 25-32kts. COG 38 degT, SOG 3.8kts.
Day 35, 6/26, 3:33pm UTC (9:33am MT) Storm trysail & #3 @ 80%, winds 18-25 kts, seas large 10ft/5seconds. Barometer 1024 hPa, Air 53degF, Water 54.3degF. Clear to W, clouds to E, same conditions as yesterday continue, we’re still taking a beating from breaking waves every several minutes. 3:43pm UTC, 80 NM/24hours, 41deg 09.42’N 128deg 07.925′ W. 2:56am UTC the weather continues with wind N20-32 knots, Barometer 1021.3 hPa, clear sky with a few puffy clouds. Continuing to make at very best 75degT. #3 at 75% & Trysail are up. We’re 150NM off Crescent City CA. I’ll decide soon whether to head into Crescent City for fuel and motor north, or tack to the West until we can make the Columbia River Bar under sail alone.
Day 36, 6/27, 3:45pm UTC (9:45amMT) 79 NM/24hours, 41deg 40.37’N 126deg 34.67’W, Clear w/scattered clouds, 54degF, Water 54.3degF, Barometer 1019.9 hPa. Seas 10′-12′, some breaking, steep. Came about to starboard tack, windvane broke off, able to recover the vane top. 4:50pm UTC, Able to adapt recovered vane and it is again steering on new course. COG 280degT, SOG 3.5 knots, seas are a washing machine. Trysail and #3/75%. 8:30pm UTC , Sails trimmed w/vane. Fu….. waves knock the bow off course, then the vane corrects and we get back on COG 280degT, North wind 18-26 knots. SOG 4 knots, Barometer 1020.3hPa. 1:15am UTC back onto Port tack, same sails. Wind has clocked around to NNW, forecast says for the next few days the same.
Day 37, 6/28, 2pmUTC, Sky 1/2 and 1/2 sun/clouds, Barometer 1021.3 hPa, Water 54.1 degF, Air 52 degF, COG 55 degT, SOG 3.8 kts. 3:45pm UTC 84 NM/24hours, 42 deg 14.72’N 126 deg 18.84″W, 4:40pm UTC, Main w/ 1 reef, #3 full, #31 deployed. Wind W of N 15-20 kts, seas 6′. Tacked to use smooth seas to gain some progress west before wind the forecast from NW arrives later today. Longer term forecast is for increasing N winds to 28 gusting 31 in 3 days. 7:00pm UTC shook out the reefed Main, tacked to a port tack. Full Main, #3 100%, #31 up. NW wind 12-14, COG 20 DEGT, SOG 4.3 kts. Smiley Face! 9:28pm UTC COG 34 T, SOG 5 kts, Barometer 1021.8hPa. 3:30am UTC changed to starboard tack. Winds N 3-5 kts. 70 NM off Cape Blanco. If the forecast N 17-18 knt winds come then we’ll get some distance to the west to better approach the Bar in these prevailing winds. 4amUTC NW wind 1 kt.
Day 38, 6/29, 2pm UTC, NW wind at 10 kts just started. Been drifting about for 10 hours. Foggy, Air 59 degF, Water 56.3 degF, Barometer 1020.3 hPa, COG 280 degT, SOG 2.6 kts. 3:05pm UTC came about onto Port tack, NW wind 12kts, COG 30 degT, SOG 4.6 kts. 3:45pm UTC 68 NM/24 hours, 42deg 43.30’N 126 deg 30.7’W, Wind NNW 12 kts, SOG 5.1 kts, Barometer 1020.4 hPa, Sky clear with some clouds, COG 43 degT. 1:10am UTC (6:10 MT) Shook the 2nd reef out of the Main. COG 29 degT, SOG 5.3 kts, Baro 1021.4 hPa, wind N @ 13 kts. 2:45am UTC changed onto starboard tack. Need more offing to make the Bar unless we get wind behind the beam. So far this voyage we have not had a wind behind or on either beam, its been close hauled all the way! COG 283 degT, SOG 5.2 kts, wind N 18-22 kts, Barometer 1022.1 hPa. 7:00am UTC Reefed #3 to 75%. The boat speed was 6.5 to 7.4 knots @ 320 degT and pounding hard into 6′-8′ seas. New COG 310 degT, SOG 4.6 kts, wind 22 kts, seas 6′-8′ @ 3 seconds, steep!
Day 39, 6/30, 2:50pm UTC Overcast, Air 54 F, Water 53.6 F Wind N 15 knots, COG 310 T, SOG 3.4 knots, Barometer 1023.1 hPa. 1st reef in Main, #31 & #3 @ 75%. 3:44pm UTC 98 NM/24 hours, 43 deg 38.02’N 127 deg 06.53’W. 4:10pm #3 full. Barometer 1026hPa, wind N 14 kts, COG 295 T, SOG 3.8 kts. Estimate 3 hours until we set course for the Bar, or sooner if the wind clocks around to NNW. 7:20pm UTC came about to port tack and raised the Main full. COG 48 degT, SOG 4.9 kts, Barometer 1026.1 hPa, wind N 13 kts. Sky has mostly cleared.
Day 40, 7/1, 2:17pm UTC Overcast, wind MMW 17 kts, Barometer 1025.4hPa. 1st reef in Main w/ #31 & #3 full. COG 47 degT, SOG 5.1 kts, Air 56 F, Water 53 F. 3:58pm UTC (9:58 MT) 96 NM/24 hours, 44 deg 50.2’N 126 deg 7.2’W. 8:52pm UTC, COG 44 T, SOG 4.5 kts, Baro 1026.3 hPa. 90 NM to the CR Buoy at Bar entrance. If wind holds we will cross the Bar tomorrow AM on slack before a flood tide! 3:46am UTC (9:46pm MT + 8:48pm PDT) PDT is 7 hours behind UTC. 6:34am UTC. AIS target “Fixed Gear” @ 45 deg 34.769’N 125 deg 12.97’W. Four AIS targets located here, the AIS label for each is “Fixed Gear” apparently something anchored to the sea floor, NOT on the charts! They are near an unnamed shoal of 344 fathoms. I suspect they are fishing related. Night time and NO lights on them!
Day 41, 7/2/18, 7:00am UTC (12am PDT, 1am MT), Still sailing by the “Fixed Gear”, when we are clear in approximately 1 hour we will set course directly for the “CR” Buoy which marks the entrance to the Bar Channel. Still 52 NM to the CR Buoy. 7:50am UTC set course directly for the CR Buoy. Full Main and #3, COG 46 degT, COG 4.9 kts, Air 54 degF, Water 53 degF. Barometer 1024.6 hPa. 11:30pm UTC, 4:30 PDT several ships queuing up around the Bar entrance waiting for pilots and instruction for transiting the Bar. We sailed between some and behind others while discussing our course with each ship we would sail near. 1:45am UTC (6:45 PDT) past the ships and near Buoy G1 started the engine to find no cooling water flowing through the heat exchanger. Hove to while I sorted it out. Took the raw water pump off to inspect it (I had this pump rebuilt shortly before this voyage). The pump seemed OK so I troubleshot the rest of the raw water system. All seemed OK. Restarted the engine, still no water coming out the wet exhaust, therefore not going through the heat exchanger. Off with the pump again and dismantled it. The new impeller was not correct for the model pump so I replaced it with the correct one. Pump back on and started the engine once more. Water was flowing and we made for the Bar at 7.1 knots under power with the Main up trying to make it to Astoria before dark. Crossed the Bar without drama only to be immediately stopped and boarded by the US Coast Guard. They completely inspected Omily bow to stern and found no violations. They did however pull too close and ran into the port side solar panels which bent one of them to the point I thought it would shatter. The panel survived but the adjusting struts were bent and will need fixing. The Coast Guard delay was over 2 hours and blew our chances of reaching the Astoria West Basin Fuel Dock before dark. The waters inside the Bar are full of shoals and the channel is narrow in places. We slowly made our way against the river current to Astoria and found our way to the West Basin and tied up at the fuel dock to await US Customs in the morning as we had been instructed to do. The time was 9:55pm PDT (10:55 MT, 4:55am UTC), 41days, 13 hours and 10 minutes after departing La Paz.
Day 42, 7/3/2018, 10am PDT (5pm UTC) After clearing Customs and topping off the fuel tanks we moved to the Transient Dock for another nights stay. During the day I tidied up Omily and explored Astoria buying a few food items and beer for the trip up the river to Portland. Portland is close to a hundred NM upriver from Astoria and I planned 2 days for the trip.
Day 43, 7/4, (10:40 am PDT, 5:40pm UTC), Leaving Astoria for Portland. Motored up steam with the Main and #3 fully out whenever the W wind was helpful. Lots of shoaling along the channel and the dredges were busy along the lower river. Several ships were heading upstream and down, but the channel is wide enough to pass safely. AIS was quite helpful as ship locations and directions were easy to see when they were miles away around the bends of the river. 9:20pm PDT, Anchored in 14′ at the south end of Carrolls Channel which is just downriver from the town of Kalama, Washington. There is a high bluff to the East of the channel perhaps 350′ above the water with several large houses on it and today being the 4th of July (US Independence Day) most of them were shooting off fireworks, lot of exploding rockets, very nice display. I barbecued dinner and enjoyed it with a beer.
Day 44, 7/5, 2018, (11:00am PDT), up anchor and off to Portland. 6:10pm PDT followed a tugboat pushing a barge under the Interstate 5 Bridge, its prop wash was causing a great amount of turbulence in the water and making steering difficult so I steered to the south side of the channel for calmer waters. We ran aground in what the chart showed as 20′ depth as upstream dredging has caused shoaling and the charts had not been updated. Omily carries towing insurance and a tow boat was pulling another boat off about a 1000 feet away, after freeing that sailboat they asked if we would like a tow. After we were free, we stayed in the middle of the channel and we arrived at McCuddy’s Marina on Hayden Island in Portland, Oregon and tied up at our prearranged slip at 9:10pm PDT (10:10pm MT, 4:10am UTC). 44 days, 12 hours and 25 minutes after leaving La Paz.