Monday, August 25, 2008

PJ Helps deliver Totem to SF

Leaving Neah Bay!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


My “squishiness” seems to have passed so here I am 9 miles off of Oregon, ready to do a little typing about our trip down the coast on Jamie and Behan Gifford’s s/v Totem. The skies are pretty clear with some thin high clouds and the ocean swell is way down. But let me start at the beginning which is really about an hour into my good friends’ dream of “go cruising”. It is so exciting to get to be here at the beginning. Anyway, the Giffords and their other crew member, Curtis Edwards, left the home port of Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island about noon on Thursday, August 21st. They stopped into Shilshole to get gas and me about an hour later. As with all great adventures, there are bumps along the way. Their big bump was that the auto pilot and all of its backup parts Buoy off Neah Bay decided not to work the day before. I had hastily picked up a new Raymarine autopilot and handed it off to Behan for Jamie to install. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite functional by pick up time at Shilshole. However, about 5 hours later it was and off we went at about 6:00pm. Looking at the weather and tides, we had pretty much decided to do a red-eye run to Neah Bay. With Dall’s porpoises beside us, we headed for the Straits of Juan de Fuca and hoped for the best. We were also toying with the idea of waiting out a small weather system in Newport, Oregon. Yesterday, the sun dawned to some low clouds and fog and about an hour to go to Neah Bay. By the time we hit the gas dock there, it was about 8:00am and the sun was starting to burn off the remaining clouds. Rounding Cape Flattery, the ocean swell was small to medium but was almost straight westerly which put it right on our beam. And so the squishiness began, but my Gravol did its work and I was just a little sleepy which, since we were not racing was not a problem. We have seen lots of birds – many brown pelicans which Jamie says are not supposed to be here. I spotted a sunfish and then Behan thought she saw another one a couple hours later. The sun kept a few clouds at bay, but it did get a little cool when the sun would go behind a cloud. Sunset was a non event and I hit the rack for a few hours around 8:30. I awoke (was not woken up because again we are not racing) around 12:30 and joined Curtis for some night watch. Towards the end of our watch around 4:00am, we spotted what we think was a NOAA buoy. It had both a red and a green light down near the water, long white lights along the sides leading up to the “not blinking” yellow light on top. Anyway, it was either a NOAA buoy or a UFO. I couldn’t keep my eyes open for another minute, so I hit the hay. Sleeping has not been a problem on this trip which is most excellent especially for my crew mates. I awoke to the smells of sausage (and it actually smelled GOOD) around 9:30 but no one was interested in food (except me) because they had just seen some humpback whales. They got to see them breech even. I got to see two more whales about an hour later and yes, I did get breakfast (Behan made those sausages into egg wraps). We are still steaming (not enough wind to really sail and make it into shelter before the low goes over us) towards Newport with hopes of a grocery store for a few forgotten things and wi-fi for . . . . . . you know, all that computer stuff! Until then, the skies have some high thin clouds that are allowing it to be toasty warm, a light breeze off our starboard quarter and only small swell – what more could we want.

Sunset off Oregon Coast


1 comment:

Nosualcy said...

Well, it was about three weeks later and we left Neah Bay after Totem and Don Quixote. We made our final stop in our home port of Winchester Bay, Oregon. Wish we could have gone on further south - like to Mexico :)