Thursday, May 12, 2016

Brookings to Coos Bay

May 12, 2016 @ 6AM
Underway Brookings to Coos Bay
42 03 N 124 21W

Arrived Brookings around 2PM yesterday and crossed the Chetco river bar on the tail end of the flood tide.  Tied up at the fuel dock to wait my turn for fuel.

Then, just as my buddy Paddy warned 'you will be boarded by the coast guard in Brookings' it was all of 15 minutes before the coasties pulled up behind me at the fuel dock and came aboard for an inspection.  Life jackets, fire extinguishers, flotation throw device, documentation, drivers license and verification that holding tank overboard valve was closed.  As a USCG documented vessel, we can be inspected at anytime for any reason, this one seemed to be for USCG training purposes.

Back to waiting in the fuel dock line, I went up the dock to chat with the fishing boat that was taking forever to fill up.  It was a long chat as they took 2000 gallons and it was nearly 4PM before it was my turn to take on the 40 gallons I needed to top up the tanks.  I called the harbor master about 7 times trying to get a slip assignment, but the guy was not too good with time management as despite saying he would be down in 20 minutes, he never showed.  After fueling I just picked a spot of my choosing, tied up and had a much needed nap.

After the nap, I walked from the harbor to the actual town of Brookings, it a few miles, but was nice to stretch the legs.  The mission was to find a crab trap, I have a few more stops in Oregon and it should be pretty easy to pick up a few crab dinners.  Found the trap at a place called Bi-Mart and it was only $20 and also picked up some new fishing lures for salmon and cod fishing.  An out of state fishing license is only $20, so a pretty sweet deal.

Back on the boat, checked weather and got to bed.  Alarm rang at 5:15 this AM, indicating I need to get moving to cross the Chetco river bar while the tide was still flooding.

FOG again, so looks like we'll be running the bar on radar.  Squeegeed the windows, just in case I might be able to see something and then cast of the dock lines.  Didn't have time to make coffee as only a few minutes before slack tide turns to ebb.  Noticed the USCG was getting ready to head out and check bar conditions, but I beat them out of the harbor.

Used the NAV function on my autopilot to drive the pre-planned route as I needed to watch the radar and try to look for crab gear in the dark and fog.  Mostly wishful thinking to expect to see any crab gear in these conditions.  Wondering if I could add a high power LED flood light such as the fishing boats use?  Seems that with the efficiency of LED I might be able to run some powerful lights when motoring.  Sure would be nice to have some light to help see and avoid crab gear.  Also would be helpful in being seen by other boats from time to time the lights could be switched on.

Brookings seems like a nice little town of 6000 situated in what is humorously called the Banana belt of Oregon.  Average high temp in June is 67F.

Today it's about 95nm to Coos bay, once out in to 60-70 fathoms of water I can relax a bit as should be out of crab gear.  A fathom is 6 feet.  Winds are light and forecast to be SW 5, so should be another motorboat ride.  Can't complain as this forecast gets us moving up the coast quickly.  Hopeful that fog will abate as vis is about 1/2 mile now that the sun is up.


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