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Old 09-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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Run Down the Coast

We launched in Port Angeles WA on Fri (9/21) and did a 36 hour (360 miles) run to Newport OR. We ran about 10 miles off the coast. Very interesting being offshore at night (it's been quite a while). Smooth conditions with flat seas and light winds for the whole run.

We are currently in Coos Bay, OR. It's blowing 30-40mph so we've been stuck here for a couple of days. We are going to try to get out tomorrow (Thursday) and get around Cape Blanco if the weather settles down. We planned on running straight to Humbolt Bay and then to Half Moon Bay, but the weather and sea conditions may dictate shorter runs. The swells are pretty big right now 10-15ft outside the bar. If it's too wild we can duck into a little harbor that's only two hours from here (Bandon). I think we lost our good weather window for a while though, as it looks like another system coming in this weekend. I think we hung out too long in Seattle waiting for the new props to come in.
We're not in a great hurry to get to our final destination (Los Angeles) so we don't have to risk going out if conditions are really dangerous.

BTW We passed the Columbia River bar at night and around 4am there was a call to the CG that the captain of a fishing vessel had sustained a severe head injury and was having seizures. The CG was sending a chopper out to get him.

We've seen quite a few whales (grays and humpbacks) and porpoises. I got a really cool video of some porpoises playing in our bow wave.
Saw a Trident sub (boomer) coming into Juan De Fuca. It was massive.

The folks that we've met along the way have been very friendly (the tuna guys are pretty tight lipped about where they are catching fish though). I'll try to update at the next stop with WiFi. KJ
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Thanks Ken for the updates! Been getting some email from Korbey. Glad you guys are being safe.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Great trip report, El Capitan. We will be sure to follow along. Glad to see that you are not taking any undue chances. However, 15' swells sound pretty substantial. Take care.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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KJ: Sounds like you've had a great trip so far. We got stuck in Coos Bay in 2008 for a few weeks on the same trip south. We watched the weather and saw we had a few days plus of lousy weather. Left Charleston Harbor to the town docks in downtown Coos Bay. Waiting was fun downtown. Remember as you head south; flood is fine, ebb is evil. Have a good trip south.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:10 PM   #5
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If it's too wild we can duck into a little harbor that's only two hours from here (Bandon).
KJ, to get into Bandon you need to cross the Coquille River bar which can be nasty like any of the Oregon river bars: Coast Guard reminds boaters of rough river bar dangers

Sail safe,

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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While you are in Coos Bay you might stop by the USCG station there. They might show you around their motor lifeboat.

My son served on the 47' MLB during his time as a non rated sailor.

One day he called me very upset, and told me he carried a dead boater that day, and that it reminded him of me.

Another day he called very happy. He said he saved someones life that day.

It goes without saying to be very careful. The Oregon Coast can be most unforgiving.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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While you are in Coos Bay you might stop by the USCG station there. They might show you around their motor lifeboat.

My son served on the 47' MLB during his time as a non rated sailor.

One day he called me very upset, and told me he carried a dead boater that day, and that it reminded him of me.

Another day he called very happy. He said he saved someones life that day.

It goes without saying to be very careful. The Oregon Coast can be most unforgiving.

Great post Sanders. Sounds like you did a good job raising your boy.

KJ, keep posting pics of your trip. I really enjoy reading these journey threads. A little jealous of the amount of time you have.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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Just a quick update on our progress.

We left Coos Bay on Thursday (9/27) at 0700. The NOAA report was calling for hazardous sea conditions with 15-25 mph winds, 5-6ft wind waves, and 7-9ft swells at 10 sec. We talked to some of the local crabbers that were just coming in from outside the bar and most of them said it really wasn’t too bad. The forecast was for conditions to get worse over the weekend, so we decided to stick our nose outside and give it a try. If was really gnarly we would turn around and head back in.

We wanted to get some sea room to clear Cape Blanco as there are a bunch of big rocks that stick out a pretty good distance. When we cleared the Coos Bay jetty the seas were pretty steep and frequent, but manageable. It was a pretty wild ride but when we felt that we had cleared C Blanco safely, we turned south and everything calmed down nicely, with following seas and light wind. After a couple of miles the water flattened out completely and the wind died down to almost nothing. The NOAA forecast was calling for the swells to build to 9-11ft later that afternoon. It never happened.

Around Brookings we started to pick up some fog and by the time we got to Crescent City we had zero visibility. Thank God for radar.
We had planned on stopping at Humboldt Bay for the night, but decided to take advantage of the calm seas and continued on to Bodega Bay. It would be a two night run, but getting farther south would be worth it.
The run down was totally uneventful, again with calm seas and no wind.
The fog was an issue only in the sense that for your entire watch you had to stay glued to the radar screen.

Actually, the conditions were so favorable that we decided to bypass Bodega Bay (we heard they were having a problem with some birds), and press on to Half Moon Bay, which is where we are now, making our run from Coos Bay roughly 380 nm.

It seems we arrived just in time for the Oktoberfest dinner at the HMB Yacht Club.

We will probably stay here for a few days and then press on to Port San Luis.
We hope to get a good weather window to get around Pts. Arguello and Conception. KJ
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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You are a better man than I Gunga Din. I would have holed up. Glad it worked out for you.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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KJ,
Thank's for the great pics and nice to go along kinda sorta. Sounds like you make way about the same as I do. "stick my nose out ... ". A good friend of mine had a line drawn in the water that said w a forecast of over 20 knots he just didn't go. Well I stuck my nose out several times and went and found it entirely acceptable. Been doing it since. Once I got in over my head doing that and wound up in seas as big as big houses. I make a big effort in not sticking my nose out that far again. I was very young at the time and lacked (basically) any big water experience so I'm quite sure I wouldn't do that again but there's no black and white regarding weather and seas. Keep posting. Perhaps some fall I may take Willy down to the bay area.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:35 PM   #11
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KJ,
Thank's for the great pics and nice to go along kinda sorta. Sounds like you make way about the same as I do. "stick my nose out ... ".
Perhaps some fall I may take Willy down to the bay area.

So far the weather has been very kind. A couple of windy days at Coos Bay and a day/night of fog, but otherwise “smooth sailing” (trawling?). When we do go out, we make sure we know the location of every port along the way just in case things get crazy and we have to duck in for refuge.

We plan on leaving Pillar Pt. Harbor (Half Moon Bay) tomorrow and making the run to Port San Luis. If conditions are favorable to get around Pt. Arguello, we will probably just continue on and tie up at Ventura or Oxnard. Then on to Marina del Rey, LA. That’s where I get off. We might spend a couple of “recreation” days in the Channel Islands.

If you bring Willy down to the Bay area, there are lots of really nice TF folks here that I’m sure would love to show you around.
You could even go up to the Delta to “warm your bones”. KJ
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:52 PM   #12
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My observations from cruise ships traveling to/from Alaska in the May-through-September season that seas are smooth when there is fog and moderate to wild when the sky is clear. One is fortunate to have a period of smooth and clear.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #13
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update

Once again the sea gods smiled on us and gave us favorable conditions to pass California's notorious points. Very calm going around Pt.'s Sur, Arguello, and most notably Pt. Conception (Cape Horn of the Pacific). Made the overnight run with a bright moon from Pillar Point Harbor. Spent the next night anchored in Cojo. Lots of roll, (should have brought my surfboard). Very interesting dodging the oil platforms coming down the channel.
We are currently tied up as guests of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, home of the rich and famous. I feel totally out of place.
We will head over to the Channel Islands for a couple of days, and then on to Newport Beach Marina (not Marina del Rey). After a couple days there I will head back to Sacramento. KJ
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
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I have been wanting to know how a run would be from WA to southern Cal. I plan to base out of the Columbia River and go south for some winters. Any and all information is welcome.

Thanks for posting
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #15
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Once again the sea gods smiled on us and gave us favorable conditions to pass California's notorious points. Very calm going around Pt.'s Sur, Arguello, and most notably Pt. Conception (Cape Horn of the Pacific).
Can get rather nasty around there, for sure!

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #16
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Update

We left Santa Barbara Marina and headed over to Santa Cruz Island, and for once we definitely got our butts kicked. Very pleasant, calm conditions for the first ten miles or so, but as we got closer to the island, the wind began to increase and the waves were building significantly. By the time we got to the island the wind was blowing 30+ kts and the seas we really nasty. We could see surf breaking in several of the anchorages that we had planned on staying, so we turned tail and headed back to the mainland. Fortunately, it was only a two hour run back and by the time we tied up at the Ventura Harbor (very nice facility), the seas had calmed down again. My guess is that there is a venturi effect between the islands and the mainland. Perhaps some of our TF folks from that area know what’s up.
The local CG and NOAA reports gave no mention of these conditions.

Speaking of the marine weather reports, we found that for most of the trip, they did not reflect the actual real time conditions. Even the reports from the wave rider buoys seemed off. Quite often they would say there were 15-20 kt winds,7-9ft swells with 5ft wind waves. We would be passing right through that exact area and the conditions would be very calm, as you can see from many of the photos. Anyway, I’m just glad it wasn’t the other way around.

We left Ventura and headed down the coast to Marina del Rey. It was my first time there and I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed. I don’t mean to spark a political debate here, but you sure couldn’t tell there is a recession going on by these folks. Mucho dinero.

After a day of rest I hopped on a plane home.

It was a very interesting, pleasant, voyage, roughly 1100nm. However, under different (winter) conditions, I can see how it could be a very treacherous endeavor.

It’s good to be home again. KJ
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:37 PM   #17
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Capitan,

Great cruise. Glad you are safe. Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ
We left Santa Barbara Marina and headed over to Santa Cruz Island, and for once we definitely got our butts kicked. Very pleasant, calm conditions for the first ten miles or so, but as we got closer to the island, the wind began to increase and the waves were building significantly. By the time we got to the island the wind was blowing 30+ kts and the seas we really nasty. We could see surf breaking in several of the anchorages that we had planned on staying, so we turned tail and headed back to the mainland. Fortunately, it was only a two hour run back and by the time we tied up at the Ventura Harbor (very nice facility), the seas had calmed down again. My guess is that there is a venturi effect between the islands and the mainland. Perhaps some of our TF folks from that area know what’s up.... KJ
That area is locally known as "Windy Lane", an area of post-frontal northwesterlies. More common in the winter and spring but can get ya' anytime!
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:56 PM   #19
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Can get rather nasty around there, for sure!

On the morning of 8 September 1923, thirteen destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 11 departed San Francisco for a two-day cruise to San Diego. They were returning home after a escorting Battle Division 4 from Puget Sound to San Francisco. The DesRon comprised the five ships of Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 33, with Delphy (DD-261) out front, followed by S.P. Lee (DD-310), Young (DD-312), Woodbury (DD-309) and Nicholas (DD-311); six ships from DesDiv 31, with Farragut (DD-300) followed by Fuller (DD-297), Percival (DD-298), Somers (DD-301), Chauncey (DD-296) and Kennedy (DD-306); and three ships from DesDiv 32, Paul Hamilton (DD-307), Stoddert (DD-302) and Thompson (DD-305). The warships conducted tactical and gunnery exercises en route, including a competitive speed run of 20 knots. Later in the day, as weather worsened, the ships formed column on the squadron leader Delphy.

That evening, around 2000 hours (8 p.m.), the flagship broadcast an erroneous report--based on an improperly interpreted radio compass bearing--showing the squadrons position about nine miles off Point Arguello. An hour later, the destroyers turned east to enter what was thought to be the Santa Barbara Channel, though it could not be seen owing to thick fog. Unfortunately, a combination of abnormally strong currents (caused by the extremely severe earthquake in Japan on 2 September which destroyed much of Tokyo and Yokohama) and navigational complacency led the squadron onto the rocks off Pedernales Point, near Honda, just north of Point Arguello.

Just after turning, Delphy struck the rocks at 2105, plowing ashore at 20 knots. She was followed by S.P. Lee, which hit and swung broadside against the bluffs. Young piled up adjacent to Delphy and capsized, trapping many of her fire and engine room crew below. While Woodbury, Nicholas and Fuller struck reefs and ran aground offshore, Chauncey ran in close aboard Young. Alarm sirens slowed Somers and Farragut enough so they just touched ground before backing off while the five other destroyers steered completely clear.

Although seven destroyers were eventually wrecked by the pounding surf, the slow, cumulative damage gave the crewmen time to escape. Rescue parties were organized, small boats and local fishing boats picked up swimmers, and life lines strung to shore allowed the rest to wade to safety. Despite delays--the last sailors were not rescued until the afternoon of 9 September--only 23 men were lost, 20 in Young and 3 in Delphy.

Acknowledgement: The Ships History Branch of the Naval Historical Center prepared the above introductory essay on the Honda Point disaster.

FROM Honda (Pedernales) Point, California, Disaster, 8 September 1923
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:57 PM   #20
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KJ how long to you plan to leave your boat down there? Sorry if I missed that in one of your posts.
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