Boat trip south...
Eric, reading the story of your trip North encouraged me to post the log from a 6 day offshore trip made down the west coast from Port Angeles WA to San Francisco CA. We were a crew of four and the vessel was a 40' Willard fitted with paravanes. Here are my notes:
Monday, 8/29 Depart Port Angeles @ 0730. Winds from the S, moderate westerly swell. Late afternoon wind picked up to 20+ knots coming at us from the south. After two hours of pounding into head seas, and feeling sick, RP decides to turn us around and return to Neah Bay. We arrive in the dark and anchor in the bay @ 2230.
Tuesday morning we move to Makah marina, where we stay for 3 days, waiting and watching for a favorable weather report.
Friday morning we resume the trip, departing @ 0830. Depth sounder not working. We are moving along comfortably-- better when we deploy the paravanes. My first watch is 1000 to 1300...seas still lumpy but SE wind below 10 knots. It's now 2200 hours and I'm 1 hour into my first night watch on this trip. Seas have calmed down, wind @ 5 knots from the NW. Nice! Everyone is asleep and with engine noise quieted by headphones, it's actually peaceful here on the ocean. 2300: We must be running with a current because our speed is now 7 knots (5.4 this afternoon). 0030: Passed a group of crab pot floats @ 210 feet. Moving in closer to shore at the 22 fathom line. 0100: We're now 10 NM offshore with Grays Harbor off the port side. Watch over. Start Tom.
Saturday 9/3/1000: light wind but still lumpy seas with 1-2' swells. Blue skys with heavy clouds onshore. We have passed the Columbia River entrance and now nearing Cape Falcon, north of Tillamook Bay, OR. I'm repositioning the boat from 15 NM offshore to 5 NM. It's 1330 and we are at 275' line about 5.5 NM offshore from Tillamook Bay. I'm off watch. So far only a single sport fisher crossed our path all day.
2200 hrs: Back on for another 3-hour watch. We have a sliver of moon light, otherwise very dark. I'm moving in to 5 miles from shore. Course 165
2315: Erratic movement from FV. I call on radio and was told it's a research vessel with anchor down. I told skipper we would turn 20 degrees west so we can pass port to port. Returning back on course, 6 NM offshore.
0045: Near the end of my watch with no targets on the radar (AIS is down?). Running 167 degrees, 7.1 knots, seas calm.
Sunday noon, off Brookings Harbor OR. 1900, wind NNW below 20 kts, seas 7 ft with white caps and big swell. Decision is to continue on through the night.
2215, 5 NM off Saint George, near Crescent City. Wind N 17 knots, seas 6-8 feet. Did my 3-hr watch. Seas big and ugly! I did have a confusing encounter with a large vessel that kept changing course toward us. Finally called captain on the radio. He was a research vessel "sitting on his anchor".
Monday 9/4: 1300 hrs. Completed 3-hr watch. Rounded Cape Mendocino at noon. Still big rollers but no drama :-)) At the start of my watch I spotted a large object on the horizon. As we get closer I can see it's a NOAA weather buoy. The crew I took over from had set screen on the chart plotter to "wide" and so the buoy did not appear on the vector screen chart. I zoomed in and reset the plotter to a "closer in" view. Later in my shift I encounter 2 large ships but we pass port to port. Wind 17 kts with 8' swells behind us.
2200: With wind on our tail, we are still surfing down these big rollers! Point Cabrillo light 4 nm to my port side.
2220: Waypoint change course but need to cheat westerly to make ride a little more comfortable, S 155 degrees.
2250: light fog appears.
Tuesday, 9/5: Still big following seas off starboard aft quarter. Later in the afternoon we are taking them square off the stern. Waves appear to be 8-10 footers...just a little scary. Boat handles all this with ease. But after 5 days and nights of this I'm ready to get off the boat, so we're pushing to reach SF this afternoon. RP wants to anchor at Point Reyes then enter S.F. Bay following morning. We arrive at Drakes Bay and anchor in 25' along with 2 fish boats. Very windy but good holding. Nice evening with chit chat and dinner then to bed by 9:30.
Wednesday, 9/7: Started day with coffee and french toast for breakfast. When RP went to hoist anchor, the whole length of chain was wrapped in sea weed! 20 minutes later we are underway. Estimate is 3 hours to entrance buoys to guide us under the Golden Gate.
In the company of a huge freighter and right on schedule, we glide under the Golden Gate Bridge into the Bay. 90 minutes later we enter the Richmond Yacht Club marina and side tie on the guest dock. Everyone is excited and happy to be back on shore.
MV Kika, Selene 47 Ocean Trawler