D E M E N T E D P E N G U I N . N E T

June 18, 2018

Boat trip – day 15

Filed under: boat trip — admin @ 12:10 am

Two weeks have gone so far on this adventure and so little progress. At least we are now on a roll with the weather and should finish a few more legs of the trip over the next few days.

We left the dock at 7:10 and the water was perfect. I told Bobb that this was exactly what I had imagined the water was going to be like for the whole trip when I was planning it – how naive was I. Things were going great – a tail wind, cruising at 11.5 knots, and the swells were smooth. After about 2.5hrs we suddenly slowed down by 2 knots, it was almost immediate. I noticed that the smaller waves had reversed direction and were heading west with whitecaps, but no wind. How odd. After checking the tide tables the mystery was solved, we found out that we were just coming off max low tide and starting in on the start of high tide.

10 miles before Point Arena it started getting a little rougher but it wasn’t too bad. The autopilot had a hard time keeping us straight – as much as a 50 degree (total) sway side to side – so I’ll need to work on fine tuning it to turn more agressively. At about 5 miles from the point the whitecaps picked up, much like it had at Point Reves the day before. No problem, the swells and waves had died down about two miles past Point Reves during yesterday’s run, just had to be patient. Unlike yesterday, after Point Arena it didnt calm down like expected so we headed in towards shore in search of calmer water, and it was a bit better – for about 10 minutes. The combination of a 15 knot tail wind, swells off the port bow, and waves from the aft starboard made for an uncomfortable ride. I had to disengage the autopilot because it couldn’t keep up. Looking at Windy I could see that the wind died down further out so I tried to head for that. The waves in our path to the calmer water were beating us up pretty bad so I decided to give up and head back north and just stick it out. It was stressful and frustrating. After about another hour it finally calmed down enough to set the autopilot again and I could relax a bit.

We made it to Fort Bragg/Noyo River by 3:15 and headed up the river. If you’ve ever watched Overboard there were several scenes filmed here and I recognized it right away from the movie. I have no idea how they got that boat into the harbor since the entrance is narrow and the channel isn’t deep. When we came in it was high tide and it was as low as 15′ in some areas. We needed to fuel up to be ready for the morning departure so we headed up the river to the only fuel dock at Dolphin Isle. The river got as low as 3.5′ in some places, and there were sunken boats and fallen trees in the water. When we got to the marina the entrance was only about 20′ wide and was tricky to get through with our 14.5′ beam, but we did it without hitting anything. The lady who works there was super nice (I didn’t catch her name). We asked about getting a slip but after realizing it was high tide and the river had been just 3.5′ in some places we decided to head back down river to the Noyo Marina for the night. The water here is so calm and the boat is completely still, it’s a vast difference to the turbulent marina we stayed at in San Francisco. If you visit here by boat, be sure to bring food as there’s not much that’s easily accessible. There’s a Subway, three pizza places, and a grocery store all in the same complex about a half mile away, a McDonalds about 5 blocks past that, but other than that its about a 30-40 minute walk to a restaurant.

In honor of the town we watched Overboard tonight, and saw several things in the movie that we had passed on our way up the river. It looks like the marina were staying in wasn’t built yet when the movie was filmed.

We leave in the morning for Humbolt Bay (Eureka). So far we’ve gone about 520 miles out of the 1300. We’ll almost be halfway after tomorrow’s trip….almost…and only a week left of my vacation. Tomorrow is the last stop in California for us.

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