My time in Oregon was quite nice. I got to explore the dunes, eat my weight in local oysters (some of the best I had ever had!), and catch up with a friend who happened to be visiting that area.
Some pretty serious south winds blew through while I was at the dock and I went out to see what the bar looked like while Poseidon was all riled up. Not super friendly.
I left Oregon early the next morning (so I could cross the bar at slack tide) and the storminess had just passed. I was greeted by a glorious sunrise peeking through the gloom and I was torn between taking pictures and getting Rascal navigated through the channel. I split the difference and managed to avoid capsizing on the way out.
There was a serious swell from the storm and the bar was still pretty spicy. Once I got out into the Pacific, I found the swell was mixed, with two different wave trains coming from two slightly different directions. It made for some really short, steep seas and, though Rascal handled it well enough, it made for uncomfortable going throughout the first day. The wind was still in the process of shifting around to the north, so I spent most of the day cutting along the coastline, which was awfully picturesque. I’d love to spend some more time in southern Oregon.
That night, I was greeted by one of the most glorious sunsets I’ve ever beheld. There I was, sitting all alone in my little boat out in the middle of the Pacific, watching the sun fall and the clouds drift slowly across the horizon. It slowly grew more complex over time and I was blown away by how breathtakingly beautiful it was. I remember having the conscious thought, “This is what it’s all about. This is why I’m out here.”
Once that north wind piped up, Rascal started scooting along with a purpose. She must’ve learned a thing or two from that Coast Guard tow, because she averaged 6 knots for about 18 hours and managed to get all the way up to 7.8 knots at one point under sail alone. Remarkable! It was a hell of a ride and around 10pm that following night Wendy, my windvane, decided she had enough abuse and blew out her hip (which is a couple of bronze sprockets that transmit the force from the vane to the pendulum rudder). In big, splashy seas and some pretty serious winds (30 gusting to 35kts), I was in no position to diagnose and fix it that night, so I decided to heave-to and wait for first light.
When I finally got a look at it in the morning it wasn’t immediately clear what had happened or how to fix it, so I decided to hand steer the final sixty miles into Eureka. That took a solid 12 hours. On the upside, it was sunny out, I got a hell of a bicep workout and I made it to the marina last night unscathed. I even had some dolphins show up to divert my attention for a half hour or so. They were gorgeous – totally different from the ones I saw up in Bellingham. White bellies and very playful!
This world is a beautiful place sometimes.
Grabbing life by the horns and tickling it behind the ear.