Wednesday, August 13, 2014

San Francisco Trip: Newport, Or to Port Orford

Day Five - Newport to Port Orford - A good day at 128 Miles

Today was exactly what we wanted; smooth water and low seas, perfect for laying down miles. We set the alarm for an early departure and hoped the conditions would allow for getting all the way to the anchorage in Port Orford.  

As we approach Cape Mendocino we want to spend the night as close as possible for an early morning rounding and the subsequent run down to Fort Bragg.  Today's long run will allow us to get to Eureka in one or two-days depending on weather.  This will leave us the most options for the rounding.

Guest moorage in Newport, OR

4:00 AM - The alarm went off very early this morning.  Newport allows for arrivals and departures on all tide cycles.  We decided to get this day going before light as the channel is very well marked.

4:30 AM - Departed South Beach Marina, Port of Newport

4:50 AM - Cleared the "tips" of the north & south jetties, turned south and headed onto our course down the beach, staying 4-8 miles off shore.

Approaching fog shortly after sunrise

8:45 AM - Hit foggy conditions just south of Florence, OR.  Radar, chartplotter & AIS are working very well.

Perfect conditions for laying down miles toward Cape Mendocino

9:30 AM - Clear visibility, water glassy calm, no wind.  Course 176-degrees and running at 8.5 knots

Resident grey whales off the Cape Arago Lighthouse

1:30 PM - Whales!!  Grey whales off Coos Bay.  This time we were ready with cameras.

Rock formations offshore near Cape Blanco

5:50 PM - Rounded Cape Blanco & Orford Reef

7:00 PM - Anchored in Port Orford.  Mike made a great salad and pork tenderloin for dinner, followed by gelato for dessert.  A wonderful day on the water!

Cape Mendocino presents the largest obstacle along the Coast

Tomorrow we are again going to get an early start, leaving the opportunity to make it all the way to Humboldt Bay & the moorings of Eureka.  Eureka is the closest departure point (23-miles) to Cape Mendocino and is a long day at 135-miles from Port Orford; remember we are on a delivery and not a family cruise.  I normally would spend plenty of time exploring the history of all these anchorages and towns while cruising.  Conditions permitting we will spend tomorrow night in Eureka, otherwise Gold Beach, Brookings or Crescent City are alternative destinations.  We are trying to stage ourselves as close to Cape Mendocino so that when the weather and sea-conditions allow we are ready to go.

I love this stuff.  Navigating is fun.  Weather is interesting.  American Tugs are great boats!

Stay tuned,  Steve