Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Position: 43°01'N 124°29' W
Underway from Port Orford, Oregon to Coos Bay, Oregon.
Wind forecast is for NW 10-20 knots. In reality we've seen a minimum of 16 knots and a max of 25 knots with strongest winds off Cabo Blanco. Rounding Cabo Blanco seas were a little bumpy, but posed not problem other than slowing us down to around 5 knots. Overall sea conditions are more moderate than expected so we're happy sailors and we are now making 6 knots against head seas, wind and current.
All morning we've been listening to USCG bar reports for Coos Bay and so far the only bar restrictions have been for vessels 16 feet in length and less. Hopefully, conditions hold and we'll be in Coos bay around 2:30PM.
Water temperature is currently a chilly 45.5 F.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Anchored in Port Orford, Oregon
Waiting for weather to round Cabo Blanco.
LightSpeed anchored in the lee of the Port Orford bay.LightSpeed anchored along the striking coastline.Kathy checks out some wild flowers.
Since we are stuck here in Port Orford, Oregon for a few days due to weather we decided to buy a shellfish license so we can harvest some Dungeness crabs.
This morning when we pulled the crab trap it was pretty full. Sorting through the crabs we selected three males with shell dimensions of 6-3/8", 6-1/2" and 6-3/4" all well above the minimum size here in Oregon of 5-3/4". A nice haul and clear indication that we'll be rewarded with a quick payback on our investment.
Here's a break down of capital costs:
Annual Shellfish License for a non-resident: $22.50
Folding rectangular crab trap for easy storage: $24.95
Bait holder: $4.00
Crab measuring device : $1.25
Other items you need are rope, preferably lead core sinking line and a float to mark the trap. Since we are crabbing off the boat we just tie the crab trap line to the boat and thus don't need a float. Our friends on s/v Sealevel were kind enough to give us a 50' piece of crabbing line so we are set.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Fuel pier and Ice house near the inner harbor entrance in thick fog. Crescent City.
Heading out of Crescent city at about 7 AM in thick fog. Visibility is less than 1/4 mile and demanded serious attention to navigation and radar to avoid the many fishing boats.
Outside of outer breakwater at Crescent City, California.
Heading into Crescent City, California.
Number seven bouy near the inside end of the Humboldt bar at Eureka, California.
NOAA weather for making coastal and offshore passages along Washington, Oregon and California.
NOAA West Coast Overview http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/
NOAA Seattle http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/
NOAA Portland http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/
NOAA Medford http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mfr/
NOAA Eureka http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/
NOAA Sacremento http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sto/
NOAA San Francisco / Montrey http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/
NOAA Los Angeles / Oxnard http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/lox/
NOAA San Diego http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/
Port Orford, Oregon USA
Miles sailed this year: 5725nm
Miles since day 1: 32,258nm
Anchored in Port Orford waiting for improved weather to continue North. Winds in the anchorage have been pretty solid in the mid 20 knot range all day with gusts to 35 knots! Looks like the weather will have us pinned down for a few more days.
Staying productive, I changed the oil in one of the engines and checked fuel filters. Kathy worked on our winter plan(s) to obtain our Yacht Master licenses and is looking at schools in both Florida and South Africa. The South Africa school is less expensive even considering airfare so we are leaning heavily toward South Africa for the adventure factor. While on the African continent we'd be sure to take the opportunity to go on Safari.
The other major achievement for the day besides surfing the net, enjoying some great meals and watching a few movies was obtaining our Oregon Shellfish fishing license. Now we can put our new crab trap to work and catch some nice Dungeness crabs ourselves. The daily limit is 12 crabs and the minimum size in Oregon is only 5-3/4" so we should load up.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Port Orford, Oregon
Today we motored from Crescent City, California to Port Orford, Oregon a distance of about 67 nautical miles. About half of the trip was reasonably pleasant if you discount the 8 to 10 feet seas. The second half of the trip was pretty miserable with winds building to 30 knots and 3-5 foot wind waves stacking on top of of the 8-10 foot swell. At times we would drop off the top of a swell and you would get that feeling in your stomach that comes with a sudden drop. Combined with feeling a little sea sick this is not a good combination. Although, it was a pretty short trip Kathy and I were taking shifts so the other person could lie down and close their eyes... the best relief for feeling sea sick short of being on land.
About one hour out of of Port Orford the brand new port side engine shut down. We were running pretty close to shore to find a tiny bit of relief from the strong winds at the time. I went out to check on the engine while Kathy battled the seas and stong winds fighting to maintian steerage and keep us moving towards our destinaton. Unfortunatley, the old starboard side Yanmar 2GM20 just doesn't have enough power to battle these sorts of winds and seas so Kathy more or less just fought to control our position. We could have raised sail and run off to a harbor of refuge if worse came to worse, but we were close to where we wanted to be so we fought on.
In the very warm engine room, I found a fouled fuel filter a classic problem when the going gets rough under power. Basically, the rough seas agitate the fuel and any contaminants in the bottom of the tank get suspended in the fuel and make their way to the Raycor filter. Eventually, this primary fuel filter gets sufficiently plugged up as to starve the engine of fuel and the engine dies. Typically, this only occurs in the roughest of conditions making a filter change out a bit of a test of wills. Hot engine, spilled fuel in a confiend space making toxic fumes, rough seas then 10 minutes of trying to get the engine fuel system reprimed all while crashing around in big seas. This is the perfect combination to make almost anyone puke. I certainly came close and by the time I climbed out of the engine room sweating, nauseous and with a splitting headache there were several minutes of uncertainty of outcome.
The good news was the engine fired right up and we were in a safe anchorage in short order and ready for a hot shower and cocktail hour.
Not much you can do to protect against fouled fuel filters short of periodically cleaning out the fuel tanks which is impractical on most boats. Best, just to keep filters on hand and be ready to swap in a new filter if the need arises. Or set up a hot switchable dual filter system where you can route fuel to another filter if one becomes fouled. This is a nice set up and highly recommended for all boats with just one engine. For us redundancy comes with two engines and thus a plugged filter on one engine is only an annoyance to change underway. Either way, it's a sailboat so we could have easily and safely gained some sea room (distance from shore) to sort out problems had both engines conked out at once.
Happy to be anchored here in Port Orford, Oregon where I can proactively change the fuel filter on the Starboard engine before we head back out to round Cabo Banco.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Jimmy and our sailor friend Nick (from Victoria, British Columbia).
Kathy and Phoenix (Jimmy's son) skip some rocks on the Smith River.
The 'Chart Room' on the harbor the best fish and chips in Crescent City.
A bull elk grazing near HWY 101.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Anchored in Crescent City, California
Today we motored about 70 nautical miles North from Eureka, California to Crescent City, California. Winds were mostly less than 10-15 knots from the North, but the seas were a bit bumpy and confused, especially near Trinidad Head. We choose a course that closely followed the coast, running about 2 miles off the beach to avoid the much stronger winds offshore. A thick blanket of fog limited visibility to less than 1 mile most of the day. As we approached Crescent City the fog lifted to reveal the a beautiful if rugged shoreline studded with rock outcrops whom valiantly battled the relentlessly crashing seas.
Running close to the shore requires constant vigilante navigation and a sharp lookout for crab trap floats that could foul our propellers. However, the trade off is a counter current can often be found near shore to give North bound vessels a add boost as they battle the prevailing Northwest seas and wind.
Once anchored safely in Crescent City Kathy's family friend Jimmy and friend Amy stopped by the boat for happy hour. Jimmy brought along some smoked Albacore tuna which was a real treat.
Search and Rescue line: 503-861-2242
General inquiries: 503-861-6211
Station Cape Disappointment (Columbia River Entrance)
Bar update: 360-642-3565
Station Tillamook Bay (Garibaldi)
Bar update: 503-322-3234
Group North Bend
Search and Rescue: 541-756-9210 (rolls over)
General inquiries: 541-756-9210
Station Depoe Bay (Depoe Bay)
Bar update: 541-765-2122
Station Yaquina Bay (Newport)
Bar update: 541-265-5511
Station Siuslaw River (Florence)
Bar update: 541-997-2486
Station Umpqua River (Winchester Bay)
Bar update: 541-271-2138
Station Coos Bay (Charleston)
Bar update: 541-888-3102
Station Chetco River (Brookings)
Bar update: 541-469-3885
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Lorenzo Biemann one of our kind blog readers emailed us this impressionist rendition of LightSpeed under sail.My niece Jane drew this likeness to LightSpeed on her school blackboard in colored chalk. Cool!
Thanks for thinking of us and sharing your art!
Tied to the dock here at Woodley Island Marina in Eureka, California. We purchased these fresh, live Dungeness Crabs from a crab boat that just pulled into the dock.
We hand selected these two crabs right out of the fishermens crab pot. Decent size Dungeness crabs, still alive and ready to be cleaned.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Position: 40°03' N 124°08' W
Underway around Cape Mendocino.
We raised anchor at Shelter Cove around 8AM this morning after a fitful night of sleep. Around 2AM the wind built to around 15 knots out of the South East and thus our sheltering cove became a lee shore. No issues other than a few anchor checks in the wee hours of the morning and fitful sleep. Underway and heading North we are now enjoying very calm conditions with winds less than 5 knots and fog restricting visibility to maybe one mile.
Today, we plan to round Cape Mendocino, one of the major milestones along the California coast. We liken Cape Mendocino to a really mean Giant, that when awakened by strong winds, lashes out at the small boats that dare to round his gnarly bluffs. Fortunately, the weather gurus at NOAA forecast light North to Northwest winds so we should find the Giant sleeping today as we tiptoe around the Cape and into Humboldt bay, about 62nm distant from Shelter Cove.
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Thursday, July 08, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Fort Bragg, California
Noyo Boat Basin
Miles sailed this year: 5476nm
Miles since day 1: 32,009nm
Today we sailed from Bodega Bay, California to Fort Bragg, California. Sea and wind conditions were exceptionally benign and extremely favorable for the trip North with some light southerly component winds and a small push from the current. We covered 89 nautical miles in about 12 hours and were tied to the dock in Fort Bragg about 10 minutes after sunset.
The Noyo river is an authentic working commercial fishing port and seems a semi-modern vision of the classic John Stienbeck 'Cannery Row'.
Kathy' s father 'Dick Harkey' joined us for the journey and will continue on with us tomorrow to Shelter Cove about 30 some miles to the North. Dick has a California fishing license and brought along some fishing gear, but it was all fishing and no catching today... likely due to the low water temperatures that ranged from 48.2F to 52.8F on our trip today. We tried heading further offshore to the continental shelf to find warmer waters, but an adverse current in the 2 knot range scuttled that idea and we returned close to shore to utilixe the favorable counter current that kept the boat speed in the 8 knot range.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Position: 38°20' N 123°03' W
Bodega Bay, California
Miles sailed this year: 5387nm
Miles since day 1: 31,920nm
Our new engine is running perfect and remarkably smooth compared to the old engine. Our journey from Santa Cruz, CA to Bodega, CA has been sublime with moderate seas and light winds out of the South and West. It's nice to catch a break from the weather for a change. Visibility has been pretty limited due to fog so we've kept a sharp lookout to avoid crab trap floats and used the radar and AIS extensively to avoid other maritime traffic. California has an 8 day commercial salmon fishing season this year and so we've seen lots of trollers working the near shore waters for King Salmon.
The new engine break-in instructions suggest we should run the engine at 60-70% of load for the first 10 hours and combined with a little boost from some beneficial current and moderate seas we've averaged around 8 knots the entire trip from Santa Cruz. Mostly motoring or motor sailing as the sea state is a little too rough to keep from thrashing our sails in the light wind. A classic situation where the deep ocean swell is combined with local wind chop so the sea state is confused and out of proportion with the local winds. A combination that makes the boat motion a little brisk at times and has the tendency to back the sails and cause them to slam when they reset. Better (cheaper) in my opinion to motor or motor sail instead of trashing the sails.
In Bodega Bay we're meeting up with Kathy's family whom lives nearby in Santa Rosa. We also plan a trip to our storage unit to pick up a few things and drop off a few others.
Only 500nm to Astoria, our next major milestone where we will haul the boat.
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Sunday, July 04, 2010
IF we are out sailing then we should show up on this website. It's not 100% nor does it show our location when we are anchored and have turned off our AIS transponder. And it doesn't really work out side the USA. Anyway give it a try to see if we might be underway sailing.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
LightSpeed flying flags from some of the countries we've sailed. Santa Cruz harbor, California.
Galley located in the aft end of the Starboard side. This photo is taken from the main salon looking down into the galley.
Another shot of the galley taken from the main salon looking more to the aft to pick up the 4 burner galley stove.
Galley looking aft with emphasis on the outboard side.Galley looking aft again with emphasis on the inboard side. Front opening refigerator is in the top right side side of the photo.Galley looking forward with emphasis on the outboard side.Galley looking forward with emphasis on the inboard side.
Galley looking aft from the Starboard side Queen 'Guest' cabin.Starboard side 'Guest' head (bathroom). Featuring top of the line vacu-flush head (toilet), medicine cabinet and polished chrome sink.
Forward single 'Guest' cabin located in the Starboard bow looking forward.Forward single 'Guest' cabin located in the Starboard bow looking aft.
Halogen reading light(s) and two speed fan(s) located in each cabin.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
New Yanmar 3YM30 engine warming up for the first time. Engine hours reading 0.0 on July 1, 2010.