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Old 04-30-2023, 03:21 AM   #181
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I wound up bypassing Bodega in the dark, continued up past Fort Bragg after determining I had enough fuel to comfortably arrive in Eureka (into my reserve). The determining factor was that if I stopped for fuel I would miss the tide entering Humboldt Bay and there was no way I could make the time up enroute. My projection was to arrive near high slack on an incoming tide in the dark, which was accurate.

Having been in the Humboldt channel before I knew it was well marked and wide, at 05:00 AM I met no opposing traffic as I motored in through the heavy, wet, fog. It cleared off once inside the bay, and I successfully dodged the line of pot buoys on the approach to the channel as most were marked with reflectors and I was running my Rigid spot/flood light bar with no one to annoy with it.

It was an 80 hour run from Santa Barbara to Eureka, steady rpmís at 2650, engine running like a well tuned sowing machine! I was 50 hours over on my oil change, but currently have 140 gallons of fresh fuel and new oil and filter changed out and ready for the next leg North to Newport. I also changed out the carbon filter on my r/o water maker (six months) and verified my last transmission oil change was in limits for maintenance.

I am not cooking tonight! Just took my second 3 hour nap of the day, the first when I came in too early for the fuel dock and anchored behind a channel marker in 26í of water, the second in the Woodley Island Marina where I have an end tie. It looks like I am here until Tuesday, as there is a ten foot swell forecast for the bar until then, and good weather projected all the way North to Neah Bay.

Off to dinner, thatís the latest update!

Doug Nightingale
Melanie Rose
Willard PH 30
What a delightful thread to read. I wish I could have made myself available in Santa Barbara to offer help or support. Simply messing about in boats. PM me if you're ever in the area again. Sorry I missed your passage.

Tim Vail
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Old 04-30-2023, 08:41 AM   #182
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Doug, I've been following your trip from the beginning. What a huge accomplishment and lifetime event. What engine do you have in your Willard? How many hours on it will you have logged when you get home to AK?
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Old 04-30-2023, 06:13 PM   #183
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I have a Yanmar 4JH2 for power, somewhere around 50 hp. I left Seward July 3,2022 with 5527 hours on the engine, currently have 7154 hours, so 1627 hours so far on this trip. I have kept every fuel receipt and at some point will tally it all up and let you know what the total fuel consumption for the trip was.

The engine has run flawlessly, with just routine maintenance, since I purchased the boat with 46 hours on the Hobbs meter. I replaced the front seal (behind the pulley) before I started the trip, and replaced all of the engine hoses a couple of years after purchase, just because! Just because I run so far from the dock that there is no excuse not to do preventive maintenance. My batteries I limit to 6 years before replacement, likewise “just because”.

No idea how many hours before I get home, but probably another 300-400, including time spent idling to top off my batteries when away from a dock and unable to travel. I need to run the engine2-3 hours a day to top off the 430 amp hours of batteries daily at idle (1200 rpm’s) with the Balmar 100 amp alternator.

I run an Engel 40 quart freezer in addition to my refrigerator to keep my food, it’s an AC/DC freezer, draws 3 amps when running. Plus my electronics, Fusion stereo, electric toilet, minimal lighting…

That’s my system :-)

Doug Nightingale
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Old 04-30-2023, 06:20 PM   #184
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For those not familiar with the West Coast, from La Paz north, Doug is navigating the "Baja Bash," a dreaded stretch of water. Many sailors avoid the motor northwards by reaching to Hawaii, then tacking to Puget Sound area, adding about 3000 nms to the trek just to avoid the ~2300 nms of water you are working your way through!

Doug, you have my undying respect, though you are not the first. About 5-years ago, the current owner of my old 1972 W30 Searcher (#5), a school teacher, took her from Ventura to Olympia WA. And of course as chronicled in Passagemaker Magazine in the early 2000'sSteve D'Antonio took a direct sistership to your newer W30 from Cheseapeake Bay to Bermuda.

To say I'm impressed and jealous is an understatement. Hat's off to you and best wishes for continued fair seas.

Peter
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Old 04-30-2023, 06:37 PM   #185
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You are living the adventure.
Take care, be safe and stay healthy.
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Old 04-30-2023, 06:57 PM   #186
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Perhaps nobody but me is curious, or perhaps you have already explained it, but I would be interested in hearing how you handle an 80 hour watch?
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Old 04-30-2023, 07:08 PM   #187
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Bill, a gallon of coffee, a really great auto pilot, open water, cat naps and a really annoying timer, a loud guard alarm for the radar. Just guessing .
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Old 04-30-2023, 09:29 PM   #188
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Perhaps nobody but me is curious, or perhaps you have already explained it, but I would be interested in hearing how you handle an 80 hour watch?
I've been wondering about that as well.
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Old 05-01-2023, 09:41 AM   #189
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Bill, a gallon of coffee, a really great auto pilot, open water, cat naps and a really annoying timer, a loud guard alarm for the radar. Just guessing .
Good guess! I was a firefighter for 30 years as well so I am quite used to long days and short nights. I am a light sleeper so any change in the rhythm of the boat makes me instantly aware. I have spent a lot of hours chasing down sounds that donít belong, being aware of wind shifts at anchor, pumps running that shouldnít be.

Itís quite amazing how little sleep it takes to be fully recuperated when you finally stop, one night is all it takes for me. Usually 6-7 hours and I am wide awake again and ready to go. I also run well offshore, typically 15-20 miles and stay out of shipping lanes. Some places you canít follow this routine, like the Inside Passage where watching for debris is a constant vigil. The West Coast has very few rivers to dump debris, the PNW has lots, and debris floats back off the beaches on large tides.

There is an element of risk napping, just like there is risk in running in the dark no matter how good your lighting is. You just try to mitigate it by being aware of all of the risk factors and try to make good decisions around them.

So far, so good!

Doug
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Old 05-02-2023, 01:56 PM   #190
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QUestion Doug (came up on the "Interesting Boats" thread). How much fuel does your boat carry; and how much did you arrive in Eureka with? I recall you thought you needed to fuel in Bodega or Ft Bragg, but bypassed. Guessing you didn't have much.

Inquiring minds.....

Peter
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Old 05-02-2023, 02:45 PM   #191
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I knew I was dropping below my 20% normal reserve , but have a physical dipstick to check fuel level in the tank from inside the cabin. If I stopped in Fort Bragg I would lose three hours and miss the high slack at Eureka, and continuing on would move me very close to the 10% reserve level. With such a consistent fuel consumption of 1 gph at a consistent 6 nautical miles or better made over the bottom, I opted to go for it and go into my reserve.

I arrived in Eureka right around my 10% level. I have run the fuel low enough in recent travel to have pretty thoroughly scourged the tank of debris, and very recently changed both fuel filters. I actually replaced the Racor filter completely due to leakage from the primer pump on top of the filter body in Santa Barbara, it was almost 25 years old and I stressed the pump by not opening the bleeder far enough when priming the new filter previously.

It is by far the furthest I have ever drawn down my fuel supply, usually topping up at around the 40% reserve mark, which is normally 150 hours on my Hobbs and time for an oil and filter change so I am in the habit of doing both for my service log. My fuel tank is 150 gallons, fighting a one knot headwind my range is 900 miles, with no headwind over 1000.

Needless to say, I don’t recommend dropping below your reserve, but that’s what having a reserve is about after all. I do not anticipate it will ever happen again! When I left Santa Barbara my projected weather included multiple stops on the way to Eureka, but the weather window opened as I traveled and typically closed behind me.

My travel plans are to arrive in Prince William Sound in early to mid June, so I travel when I can and sit when I must. The windows of travel able weather have grown longer as summer nears, mid May to mid June is prime for transiting the Gulf of Alaska from the Inside Passage to PWS.

Doug
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Old 05-11-2023, 09:31 AM   #192
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Clearing out of Eureka the bar was restricted, so I spent the night anchored off the Coast Guard station just inside the bay. By morning. It was calm, the night before you could seae the swells thrown well above the breakwater in the channel.

Seas were about 7’ with a seven to nine second period, not uncomfortable and the period lengthened over the trip North and seas diminished to 4-6’ on the beam. There was literally no wind, so all I had to contend with was swell. It was so different from Mexico and even previous legs, there were so many commercial boats working the waters even 20 miles offshore.

I try to satay in cellular range, which starts being “iffy” at 20 miles out but is usually good at 10-15. I constantly check Windy looking well ahead to see if I am going to be able to continue to travel or if I am going to need to duck into cover. My weather window stayed open for the four days it took me to travel to Neah Bay. I arrived there mid day, checked my mechanical, and grabbed four hours of sleep before tossing a ribeye on the grill. My first hot meal in three days! Ict was too lumpy to make coffee either, my fear of scalding myself pouring boiling water into the french press kept me from attempting it.

In the morning I awoke to fresh coffee and to find Alaska Sea Duction anchored in close proximity. It was 3:30 AM anda I was gone by 04:00 on my way to Anacortes, w1hich is familiar and has all the stores close by to provision for my Canada transit. I got a slip reservation by phone for three nights, arriving after office hours. Next morning I took on 101 gallons of fuel, did laundry, and restocked my beer supply.

I met with Bob Coffer, who is a fellow Willard owner and the organizer for the Willard Rendezvous this year, which sadly I will be unable to attend. I was going to meet with Clyde Ford, who bought a sister ship to mine recently and wrote an article in Passage Maker about his trip South from Ketchikan to Bellingham, but he fell ill and I wasn’t interested in doing the same…

I departed Anacortes 04:00 Wednesday and clear Customs in Bedwell Harbor with a phone call, continuing North to the South tip of Texada Island to find anchorage for the night in Deep Harbor. Currently between there and Campbell River where I hope to catch a favorable current into Johnstone Strait today. I am enjoying sleeping every night and running in protected waters, the forecast is favorable for me all the way through Canada to Ketchikan.

That’s the update for now :-)

Doug Nightingale
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Old 05-11-2023, 10:29 AM   #193
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Nice to see you moving steadily. You have proven to be a master at making the stars align. Yes indeed the weather looks good for three days plus in front of you. So no difficulty with the Customs phone call to clear Bedwell?
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Old 05-11-2023, 10:54 AM   #194
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Nice job. The author of Voyaging under Power should include your travels and experiences in their next edition.
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Old 05-11-2023, 11:02 AM   #195
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Customs was a piece of cake, except the cord on the phone was like 2’ long…. It needs to be like 15’ long so you can pace while you’re on hold waiting for the next available agent :-) No inspection, routine questions, just like 10 years ago bringing the boat up.

As for “making the stars align, I just wish! Having them align is pretty awesome though!


Doug
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Old 05-11-2023, 12:30 PM   #196
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Doug, think about Nexus and next time you can drive by and call on your cell phone.
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Old 05-12-2023, 01:17 PM   #197
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..... I was going to meet with Clyde Ford, who bought a sister ship to mine recently and wrote an article in Passage Maker about his trip South from Ketchikan to Bellingham, but he fell ill and I wasnít interested in doing the sameÖ
Wow. Small world. We met Clyde in 2014 at Trawler Fest where he was hanging out with a group of us interested in Diesel Ducks. He gave us a couple of his books. He is an interesting guy and we hope he is doing well.

Later,
Dan
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Old 05-16-2023, 02:48 PM   #198
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Well, I am through Canada and back in Alaska! I should arrive in Ketchikan around 7:00 PM tonight to clear Customs and spend a couple of days restocking my provisions for the run home to Seward. Canada was six days traveling and one sitting, fastest trip through I ever made!

No surprises in my transit except that the weather was good five days in a row AND I hit the current perfectly for Campbell River. I ran pretty much 14-16 hours a day, averaging around 100 miles each day, and lost just one day (yesterday) to weather between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan (blowing 20-30 knots). It’s beautiful today!

I had the Coast Guard sneak up behind me and check my boat name, presumably with Customs to be sure I entered legally. Their wake was the only annoying thing about it :-). Not a lingering passage, but a man on a mission to get to Seward by June 1st, my siblings and children are anxious to see me again after a year away.

The weather pattern for crossing the Gulf isn’t terrific for about a week, so I will linger a couple of days in Ketchikan before moving to Hoonah to stage for the Gulf crossing to Yakutat. My plan is to take on 50 gallons of fuel there so I don’t need to stop in Cordova and can travel straight to Seward.

That’s the latest update, I will post my numbers when the trip is over. Hours on the Hobbs, total gallons of fuel consumed, for those interested in knowing.
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Old 06-02-2023, 02:50 PM   #199
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Into Seward Alaska on May 31st, trip hours total 1964.8, fuel total is 1614.27 gallons. Over 10,000 miles under the keel, no mechanical problems and just routine maintenance performed including an oil change every 150 hours (more but never less), replacement of the fuel filter body due to a leaking primer pump on a 24 year old unit, and one alternator belt.

The trip into Ketchikan was uneventful, it was so warm there were little naked bodies swimming in the channel as I came in. The trip up to Hoonah was uneventful as well, calm seas and a great cellular signal all of the way except for very short stretches. I weathered into Hoonah for a few days, and when it broke had a leisurely cruise to Yakutat except the swells picked up the last 4-5 hours with very little wind present.

Yakutat was almost a week sitting while the wind blew, and I departed in the best window likely to appear for the next week in 10' seas with an 8 second period. It was a little rugged but lay down to 5-6' with the same period, once I cleared Kayak Island and headed into Prince William Sound between Montague and Hinchinbrook Islands it dropped to less than 3'. I anchored for the night in Gibbons Anchorage on Green Island and motored into Seward the next day arriving in the to fill at the fuel dock and close out my trip numbers.

I did lose my Webasto heater in Yakutat, so the run in from there was wearing two jackets, gloves and a hat. I shipped the heater off this morning for a new glow plug and service, it's been three years since it was done last. It was shocking how much snow there still is in the Sound, I saw a black bear wandering looking for something green to eat to no avail.

Now I can check off the box "I want to take my boat to Mexico someday" and plan another adventure, closer to home probably :-) The West Coast is long and the weather is the controlling factor, if there were more harbors closer together and places to anchor it might be a different story and I am sure many others would make the adventure happen.

Thank you to those who followed, commented, and supported me on my adventure. A huge shout out to Jim Johnson in San Diego, and many others who offered their assistance along the way. The Forum is a truly amazing place with many truly generous members!
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Old 06-02-2023, 03:05 PM   #200
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Amazing!!

I am assuming the way back was much tougher than the way down.
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