Monday, October 9, 2017

End of West Coast Cruise

October 4

David took us out of San Francisco Bay and it was a little bumpy but nothing to worry about. We headed south going with the swells and enjoying the view.
Cruised in to Monterey after an almost leisurely 6 hour run.  I just love low winds and following seas.

Warning: Some readers may find some of the following images disturbing (Jessica Eder).

Stinging Nettles.  Only invade the Bay with cooler water temperatures.
 Stopped up the intake for the Monterey Aquarium.

They yelp all...... night ......long!

Glad she can sleep

One day before full.

October 5

We headed for our next stop, Morro Bay, another 100 NM run.  We again had following seas and low winds however the current was against us and the run was a little sportier than yesterday.
Morro Bay has one fuel dock and it was, by far, the worst one we have used on our trip.  It is a fixed dock and we arrived at low, low tide (full moon), which meant nasty, barnacle covered pilings.  David quickly rigged up fenders to protect the boat and, as (bad) luck would have it, the winds picked up to about 25 knots.  We were able to fuel up without damaging the boat and then traveled the .5 NM to the Morro Bay Yacht Club, complete with floating dock, and tied up for the night. Very nice facility.

Setting Morro Bay Harvest Moon

October 6

Next stop Santa Barbara, another 109 NM.

Whales & Oil Platforms

October 7

Santa Barbara to Marina del Rey, a quick run to end  the Anacortes to Los Angeles leg of our journey.

Along the way Songways,  Aspen C90-18,  owned by Nelson Schulman left port in Ventura to meet us out at sea.

Very recognizable hull coming our way.

Songways   Aspen C90-18

Upon our arrival in Marina del Rey we were contacted by Alita and Curt Rethmeyer, owners of Aspen C90 Catalita, went to dinner and had great conversations about Aspens, weather and other boating topics.
Alita has been a great help getting us situated in Marina del Rey and the Rethmeyers are keeping the tradition of "only great people own Aspen Power Catamarans" alive and well.


Summary of west coast cruise-

We departed Anacortes September 22 and arrived Marina del Rey 16 days later, with a one day layover in Crescent City and a 4 day weather delay in Sausalito and San Francisco.

The Knot Wafflen' added 1,250 NM to the 10,000 Mile tour.

David and I will be leaving the boat here and returning home for a bit. David is excited to meet his new granddaughter Lilly. The Aspen crew will be flying down to take over the Knot Wafflen' for some cruising and promotions and will leave the boat in San Diego where David and I will be joined by our nephew Ian Jenkins for our long trip to La Paz Mexico.

The plan is to leave November 1- we will be resuming the blog at that time.
I hope you are enjoying it and please feel free to share with friends and family.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Heading South- When the seas allow

September 27

We left Crescent City and made the short run to Eureka where we fueled up, tied up and got ready for the next run to Bodega Bay, approximately 190 NM .

September 28

We knew it was going to be a long day and left at 0630 in fairly thick fog.  Thank goodness for the Garmin Radar.  We made it over the bar and out to sea and by 0830 the fog was lifting and the seas were comfortable.

As we started around Cape Mendocino we started to notice Whale blows in the distance and occasionnaly sighted a tail, again at a distance.
There were more and more sightings until I quit counting at over 50!
None were as spectacular as the one in the picture, taken by David.

I estimate she was 20 yds from the boat.
A humbling experience.

We made it to Bodega Bay with a little daylight to spare and left the next morning @ 0815 headed for the Golden Gate.

September 29

We took a slip in Clipper Yacht Harbor in Sausalito after 60 NM and reaching 502 hours on the Volvo Penta.

The winds offshore (and in) kicked up just as forecast and we have been here waiting for the opportunity to safely continue our journey.

October 2

In the mean time, we were guests for a wonderful dinner at the Saint Francis Yacht Club, hosted by Russ and Kaersten Cooper, the owners of Bosa, Aspen C120 Hull #7 (I believe). The Coopers were also generous enough to hook us up with a slip at the Yacht Club for a couple of nights so we moved over to San Francisco.  After meeting the crew of the Bosa and the crew of the Zia, John and Terry, we are starting to believe that Aspen only sells boats to extremely wonderful people.

 As I write this the conditions  appear to be favorable to be able to get out of town tomorrow morning, with calming winds and waves.

A few shots from the neighborhood.

Two moons 

Its a bird, man, of Alcatraz.

Till next time........

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

California here we come

September 25

We anticipated a short run today to Coos Bay and so did not leave until 8:00, but when we were approaching our destination at 1:30 the conditions were so nice we did some calculations and decided that we would have enough fuel to make it to Crescent City, CA and that we would be arriving at sunset so there would be enough daylight to make it into port safely.  I would rather not enter an unfamiliar port in the dark if I don't have to.  The weather check indicated NNW winds at 15 - 20 knots and waves 4' with 7 second intervals south of Cape Blanco so we were anticipating a little bumpier ride for the last 4 or 5 hours, but nothing we could not handle.

Guess what?  The wind prediction was close but the wave predictions were way off.  It was a hell of a ride with waves at 8' - 9' stacked up on one another.  The fact that they were on the stern is the only thing that enabled us to run these seas.  One wave actually broke on the stern filling the dinghy and cockpit and another hit us head on and we took water over the bow that covered the windows.

We finally rounded the corner and pulled into Crescent City, CA at 7:13, right at sunset with about 30 gallons of fuel left in the tanks.  11 3/4 hours and 190 NM.  What a day. David and I may have had a cocktail (or 3) after securing the boat and when David went below he discovered that the two hatches above his king size bunk were no match for tons of saltwater crashing down on them.  We had to strip the bed - luckily the mattress was protected by the sheets, blanket, etc.  and was dry so he could get some sleep.

September 26

After a day like yesterday we have decided to lay low in Crescent City for a day and wait for improving conditions offshore.  Besides, David has laundry to do.

A few pictures from the last couple of days.

Next year she will be 100 years old.  2 owner boat.  Beautiful!

Till next time........

Sunday, September 24, 2017


September 22, 2017

We started our run to LA today leaving Anacortes at 0830 after taking on fuel.  The forecast was for almost nonexistent winds and swells from the west at 4' with 9 second intervals.  This turned out to be accurate until the last 10 NM at the mouth of the Strait of Juan De Fuca when the swells grew to 8'-10' with about 6 seconds between .  Not bad at all and we pulled in to Neah Bay around 1400, topped off fuel tanks and took a slip at Makah Marina. There are water restrictions in place here so we could not rinse the boat

Tomorrows plan is to leave before sunrise and make it to Astoria and cross the famous Columbia River Bar at a favorable tide.  The Columbia River Bar is world famous for rough conditions. It is where the Coast Guard trains their rough water rescue units.  It will be a long run but the weather is looking really good w/little to no winds and manageable seas.

Strait of Juan de Fuca

New life raft for the open waters

Neah Bay

Neah Bay neighbors

September 23

We made the run to Astoria and crossed the bar without an issue.  We had the right conditions and it was more like a bumpy lake than the notorious Columbia River Bar.  We got to the fuel dock at 4:20 -  they closed at 5:00. Whew!  We had the advantage of a friend of a friend who lives in Astoria (Retired Coast Guard) who was waiting on the dock to meet us and helping to persuade the attendant to remain open until we got there.  David and Dick went to dinner while I did boat chores and I turned in pretty early with thoughts of my 1972 Jordan High classmates having our  45th reunion back in Durham.  Are we really that old?

September 24

Checked the weather, checked the bar condition, and pulled the lines in at 6:30 and headed out of the Columbia River.  Guess what?  No lake like conditions this time.  We had 30 minutes of 2', 4' and 6' waves at about 4 seconds apart.  Definitely the worst conditions we have faced on the trip. The Knot Wafflen' handled it like a champ and soon we out of the bar and on our way south. 
We pulled in to Newport, Oregon, took on fuel and headed to the small brewery located here near the marina for a burger and a brew.
David went for a walk and sent this from the bridge we crossed under a couple of hours ago.

Knot Wafflen' looks small compared to the beast tied up in front of us

It appears our good weather luck may be running out soon.  Right now the plan for tomorrow is a 75 NM run to Coos Bay and see how the conditions look from there.

Till next time.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Back up and running South


It has been a while, I know, and when I logged on I discovered my last entry had disappeared from the  thread.  Probably user error but I prefer to blame Obama or Trump, depending on the direction you lean.

I will try to sum up the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia & Alaska adventure and prepare you for the next leg.

David, Sue Ellen and I left the boat on July 17 in the capable hands of Larry Graf and the Aspen team.
In about 3 months we had logged almost 3000 miles through some of the most beautiful and wild waterways available in North America.

We have met some fabulous people and enjoyed some very tasty seafood.  We have had some rough rides and some smooth sailing. We have seen more waterfalls than we could count.  We have dodged countless floating logs, cruise ships and crab pots. We have seen moose, bears, otters, porcupines, humpbacks, orcas and whited sided dolphins. We kayaked through bergy bits and took hikes (one of which we wish we would have skipped). We spent almost 3 months doing this and we barely scratched the surface.

For me (an east coast sailor) it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to express my gratitude to David and Sue Ellen for including me in their adventure and to Larry Graf and the Aspen team for building a boat that instills confidence and makes cruising a pleasure.

On to the next adventure!

The life raft is being installed, the EPIRB will be mounted, the Rainman water maker is on board, the transmission fluid and engine oil has been changed. The plan is to leave Anacortes (for the last time) Friday and start our South bound trip with the final destination being La Paz, Mexico.

The Aspen team added about 1300 NM on the boat while we were home, so we are starting this next leg with a total of 4390 NM and 442 Engine hours.  It appears we may have to modify the 10,000 part of the 10,000 Mile Tour.

I hope you stay tuned and follow us down the West coast and on to the Sea of Cortez.

Till next time....