SeaKnots

Apologies for not keeping up this blog. The video we posted yesterday is from our first attempt to sail down the coast from the straight. After that weather broke we high tailed it into Neah Bay...

To bring everyone up to date: We departed Neah Bay, along with six other southbound sail boats when the weather turned, and resumed our original course offshore where we sailed a reach in brisk winds and fairly large seas. All went well until Laura suffered a severe asthma attack. We were eighty miles offshore, one hundred fourteen miles from the nearest port of refuge at Crescent City with the wind dying and turning southerly. We started the engine and motored for thirty two hours, arriving at Crescent City at 2200 (10:00PM) at the outer buoy.

Ordinarily, I will not attempt to enter a strange harbor in the dark but these were not ordinary circumstances. Laura's inhaler was not helping her much and she had been virtually incapacitated for two days. Since we had a good large scale chart of the harbor and GPS I decided to enter the port immediately rather than wait for sunrise. Fortunately, there was no fog, although there was no moon at all. I picked up the red light on the outer buoy five miles out and shortly after saw the second light. I put the tiller pilot on standby and took the helm to guide us in. Laura insisted on coming on deck to lend a second pair of eyes - a big help in avoiding the rocks and finding the entrance to the inner harbor. The inner harbor was well lit and we found a berth with not too much trouble.

In the morning I called a cab and took Laura to the clinic for treatment and a prescription then asked the cabbie to take us to a motel across the street from the harbor where we checked in before I walked to the harbor office and made the necessary arrangements. After making sure Laura was comfortable I went back to the boat and removed the carpets and bedding. We had determined that the probable cause of her attack had been an old wool blanket that we pulled out after other bedding had gotten wet so that blanket was disposed of and everything else washed. I scrubbed down the inside of the boat and all the lockers with Clorox and water and left the boat to dry. After five days in the motel, Laura was comfortable enough to return to the boat.

We remained at Crescent City, taking advantage of the hospitality of a fellow member of the American Vega Association who lived there, until Laura felt up to continuing. Unfortunately, the weather on the coast has been less than optimal but the Harbor at Crescent City is rather primitive so we waited for a break and motored the sixty miles to Eureka where the marina facilities are better.

We have now been in the public marina in Eureka, CA for eighteen days waiting for favorable weather so we can continue. We have decided that if the weather breaks before spring we will sail directly to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii rather than continue down the coast - Plan - "B"

More details on our website.


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Comment by Alan on November 23, 2010 at 7:03pm
I had to laugh and also admire your abilities to deal with what mother nature has thrown at you. I came across your post titled "Plan B" quite by accident. You see, I recently named my own boat -a new 43 Beneteau on her maiden voyage from Portland to Seattle, "Plan B" as a result of a series of mishaps that culminated in losing my steering and engine (at the same time) in 20-30 knot winds, 10-15 swells, approximately 60 nautical miles offshore from Cape Flaherty (approximately the same place you were hove to in heavy winds!) Needless to say, reading about your days at sea brought back some memorable and scary moments for me and the crew. We finally got the engine started (dead starting battery) and using the emergency tiller along with the auto-pilot managed to motor into Seattle but with some change in plans....Plan B was appropriate and born from this voyage. Thanks for video and sharing.

A.E Canale
s/v Plan B
Comment by LOLA on November 7, 2010 at 8:30pm
Bless your hearts...glad you are both safe.

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