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Old 10-01-2014, 05:14 PM   #41
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Been up here on the Sonoma Coast the last few days. Dream conditions, especially today, not a whitecap in sight and almost infinite visibility. Reminds me of that Bayliner trip I recounted. Sigh....
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:40 PM   #42
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I visited Richard Rodriguez (of the bitter end blog) when he stopped here in santa cruz on a delivery. If you read his blog, it seems on most of his deliveries up or down the coast there is some sort of mechanical problem at some point during the trip. One thing that caught my eye on the boat he was delivering was a full case of fuel filters. Made sense to me.
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Old 10-03-2014, 05:15 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by bligh View Post
I visited Richard Rodriguez (of the bitter end blog) when he stopped here in santa cruz on a delivery. If you read his blog, it seems on most of his deliveries up or down the coast there is some sort of mechanical problem at some point during the trip. One thing that caught my eye on the boat he was delivering was a full case of fuel filters. Made sense to me.
Fuel issues are the most likely to interrupt a trip of this nature. Filters, filters, and more filters. And know what is in your tanks. If it's water or sludge or other things other than fuel it will become problematic.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:31 PM   #44
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So, I made it back to Alameda, and learned a bit along the way. Here's a brief run down on the experience.

As some of you might know, we bought the boat nearly a month before we had time to go up to Olympia to pick her up. This was a costly delay, since the weather between closing date and departure was about as good as it gets on the PNW coast. We arrived in Olympia on October 13th- just in time for the onset of winter.
After a busy day of little errands and stowing our stuff away, we headed out and made it to Seattle Shilshole Marina just before dark. Boat worked great with no hiccups what so ever, and the weather, though not ideal, had yet to be a factor. The next day we cruised up to Anacortes under bright blue skies. The channel that goes through La Conner was totally cool, and again the boat worked great. I even got some docking practice in La Conner where we stopped for lunch. I believe the curent was about 17 knots at the time.
Anacortes is a beautiful town and he marina is great, but he entrance was a bit of a challenge in the developing breeze. My crew was a girlfriend and her siblings who are not sailors, so line handling and boat handling skills were a challenge. We did, however, make it to the dock without killing anyone. The rain and wind set in pretty well for the next couple f days, so we just chilled out on the boat, are a lot and explored the town. We actually had just one night out in the San Juan's, which was beautiful. We took a circuitous route through and around islands and dropped anchor in Parks Bay on the west side of Orcas Island. The return trip we went wide around Orcas and came back to Anacortes in what was to prove to be the Windiest conditions allowable, with gusts up to about 26-28 knots. The wind chop was bad, but the wind was the real factor. I'm glad we saw this before we headed out. Now I know how much wind is too much.
The crew headed home in the car the next day, and a couple of sailing friends joined me for the trip south, but the wind and rain had us pinned in Anacortes for a few days, so we spent most of our time looking at weather on the computer and talking to fishermen. It was three days before we had a good window shaping up outside the straights, so we headed to Port Angeles so we could be ready when the weather broke. Eventually we settled on a late night/early morning departure from Neah Bay, and motored up there to buy fuel for the first time this trip. Much to
My surprise, the half full "250 gallon tanks" took almost 240 gallons! This meant that our range was going to be much better than originally forcast. It also meant that we were burning something like 5.2 gallons per hour.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:38 PM   #45
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Thanks for the update. How was the ride down? How many stops did you make, if any?
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #46
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Hummmmm........so your surprise was that you took on 240 gallons of fuel into a tank that you thought was 250 Gal capacity? Or that you had a fuel gauge that indicated 1/2 full on a 250 gal. tank and took 240 gals? Oh well..... you said you made it to Alameda.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #47
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After fueling up in Neah and making some dinner and some prepared food for the next leg, we settled on a 6:00 am departure to either Greys harbor if we made good time, or Newport if we made Great time. Then we learned another lesson. We tried to sleep around 9:00 pm but nobody could sleep, so we decided we would leave early, at around midnight. The plan was supposed to get us closer to Newport, and hopefully avoid the bad weather we were anticipating at the end of this leg. Unfortunately, the swell was pounding the entrance of the Strait, and the wind was steady at about 20-22 kts. We went into it for about an hour and decided that we would do better in the light so we tucked back in at Neah, and headed out again at 7:00 am with a light grey sky. We knew this would be the worst part of the trip, but nobody really knew what to expect as far as boat performance, comfort, or even safety. Needless to say, the first 8-10 hours were pretty tense and uncomfortable. We found every leak the boat could show us, and confirmed the fact that an 8 knot cruising speed equals a 4 knot cruising speed in waves. The wind and waves eventually subsided and we had a decent trip down to Greys where we arrived about 11:00 pm with a dying ebb and swells at around 9-11 feet in the channel. Nice! I've sailed really big boats in really bad weather, but I had no idea what to expect from this fish tailing, side rolling pig in waves like this. Luckily, I had two good crew guys with me to help spot the channel and line me up on the ranges. It could have been much worse, and at least the really nasty part was over. We fueled up the next day and adjusted our range for longer trips. The next window was looking good for 72 hours, especially if we went out a bit. The next day we took off SWans went about 50 miles off shore before aiming for Creaxent City. We figured if the weather was good, we could keep going from there to Eureka or even Ft Bragg. Outside, the weather was perfect. We were listening to weather reports of small craft advisory and bar closings as we passed, but where we were was perfect light wind and smooth swell at about 9-10 seconds. Not bad at all. Did I mention the whales, dolphins, sunfish, dall porpoise, etc? Yea, we had rainbows too. No fog. Not one drop of rain.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #48
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[QUOTE=Billyfeet;282169]Hummmmm........so your surprise was that you took on 240 gallons of fuel into a tank that you thought was 250 Gal capacity? Or that you had a fuel gauge that indicated 1/2 full on a 250 gal. tank and took 240 gals? Oh well..... you said you made it to Alameda.[/QUOTE


Actually the sight glass showed 1/2 before we took on 240. That's the nice surprise. We have much bigger tanks than I expected.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:55 PM   #49
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A nice surprise!
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:03 PM   #50
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[QUOTE=Billyfeet;282169]Hummmmm........so your surprise was that you took on 240 gallons of fuel into a tank that you thought was 250 Gal capacity? Or that you had a fuel gauge that indicated 1/2 full on a 250 gal. tank and took 240 gals? Oh well..... you said you made it to Alameda.[/QUOTE


Actually the sight glass showed 1/2 before we took on 240. That's the nice surprise. We have much bigger tanks than I expected.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:17 PM   #51
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Wow. Sounds like a wild ride at times.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:44 PM   #52
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[QUOTE=We arrived in Olympia on October 13th- just in time for the onset of winter. ng.[/QUOTE]

That's funny...
you thought that was winter!

Winter in the PNW has not come yet.. that was our fall!

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Old 11-07-2014, 10:51 PM   #53
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Was under the impression we are only half way between summer and winter. But then, mother nature doesn't respect humankind's artificial differentiations.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:07 PM   #54
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So to wrap it up, we ended up rolling straight through to Eureka and arrived around 4:00 am in perfect weather. My crew had to get back to Seattle, so I rented a car and drove them to Oakland where I picked up my new crew. We hauled ass back to the boat and headed out before sunset. This time there was no weather anywhere. I mean if we were saing, we would have waited. Made it to the golden gate in under 28 hours. Parked in my new slip in Alameda and eating a burrito on Int Blvd by midnight. Way to go boat.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:48 AM   #55
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Sounds like that was a nice shakedown! I gather the first day was the worst and it just got better from there. Welcome to the bay area.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:04 AM   #56
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Some fine seamanship there going out to where you weren't dealing with the near-shore break, but man, I'd have been ultra-paranoid being that far out and in the dark no less, on a new-to-me boat.

Great job!
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:53 PM   #57
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Some fine seamanship there going out to where you weren't dealing with the near-shore break, but man, I'd have been ultra-paranoid being that far out and in the dark no less, on a new-to-me boat.

Great job!
Thanks for the props. I'm actually used to travelling much further offshore - like 100s of miles. Generally speaking, the farther from the continent you are, the less likely you are to hit it. That said, the idea of bobbing for hundreds of miles in a power boat with no motor/full of water/engulfed in flames did have me feeling a bit edgy at first.
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