Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Underway Washington coast

October 29, 2014
Underway off the Washington coast near La Push

Asked for permission to cross La Push bar... denied.  CLOSED TO ALL RECREATIONAL VESSELS.  But, open to commercial vessels and fishing vessels which gave us hope that the coast guard would give us special dispensation based on our vessel, coast guard licenses and experience.   Plus high slack tide was coming up so, seas were moderating, conditions were clear and the wind was less than 10 knots.

 So, we bobbed off the bar for 80 minutes while the Coast Guard evaluated conditions and raced in and out of the pass unfettered in their cool 47 footer.  In the end the coasties were worried about liability and could not let us enter as the bar was CLOSED TO ALL RECREATIONAL VESSELS and we are a recreational vessel.  I asked if it said fishing vessel on the side of LightSpeed could we pass?  Yep.  But, it didn't say that so we had to go by the book.

So, now it was almost 4:30 pm and the sun would be setting within an hour or so.  It was turn around run in the dark to Neah Bay or continue southvernight towards Westport 70 miles distant.  I sure hope the bar is open at Westport as to catch the tide we need to cross at 7AM in the dark.   I'm not happy about running at night based on all the logs we've had to dodge today nor crossing any bar in the dark.  Maybe we'll stand on for Astoria if the weather gives us a break as it's only 40 more miles to the Columbia river bar.

The deciding factor was the wind direction.  Since it's forecast for south or south east, both give us the option to run off or hove to if conditions get really bad. If the wind forecast for anytime in the next 24 hours was for onshore, we would have high tailed it back to Neah Bay.

That's it for now.