Tuesday, August 12, 2014

San Francisco Trip: Tillamook to Newport, OR

Day Four - Tillamook / Garibaldi to Newport in the mist - 68 Miles

Some days you just need to be flexible... That is what cruising is all about.  We had planned to move down the beach to Florence, Oregon today.  Last night we reviewed the port entrances and tide information for all the possible stops. Getting across the bar at Tillamook was going to be difficult with the flood not starting until after 8am.  Tillamook is a bar you want to cross late in a flood cycle, and today we have a large tide.

Port of Garibaldi Marina guest dock

7:15 AM - We woke up and listened to the Coast Guard give the bar report, the bar was "closed" due to dangerous conditions.  Guess we can go back to sleep!   The USCG offers the bar report every 3-hours as conditions change so we would not be allowed to depart until at least 10 AM.   We looked at our notes and decided that Newport, OR with its all-weather entrance just 65-miles south would be the best we could do today.  Tillamook Bay was foggy and the wind had shifted to a south westerly, conditions that would make the run lumpy.

The steam train at Garabaldi Station

I wandered around Garabaldi and found the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway steam train had just left its garage and was getting ready for the days run.  This looks like it would be a great experience and the kind of thing that makes the coast run interesting.  If we were cruising with a  little more time in the schedule the train and the Tillamook Creamery tour would be fun.

10:30 AM - The Coast Guard opened the bar and we are free to depart.  Game on!

Former CG Lifeboat Station in Tillamook Bay, cool railways down into the water

11:10 AM - Smooth crossing of the Tillamook Bar.  The conditions remain foggy with quarter-mile visibility and a 10-knot south westerly.  Long rollers.  We headed out towards the "T" Buoy and just kept going on that same course until we were 5-miles offshore. 

2:00 PM - Continue working down the coast keeping between 5-8 miles offshore.  The wind has clocked around to the south and there is a wind driven wave pattern we are bucking into. Kicked the engine up to 1800-rpm and the ride is very stable.

Grey Whale spouting just at the tip of the bow rail.  200-yards out.

5:30 PM - Spotted Grey Whales spouting.  I really tried to get a good photo but that is tough.  The one picture I managed just as the polished stainless bow rail swept past the horizon, see if you can see the spouting.  When we arrived in port I read about the 200 local resident Grey Whales that make the Oregon Coast home.

6:45 PM - Crossed the "Tips" of the north and south jetties entering Newport, OR.  Bucking a 2.7 knot ebb tide. This is an excellent all weather port.  

7:05 PM - Tied up at South Beach Marina, Port of Newport.  Nice moorage. We walked to the Rogue Brewery and had dinner; a fun place and I highly recommend it.  

Tomorrow we are hoping to make up for today's lost time.  The weather report on the Coast is calling for NW winds to 10-knots.  That should give us good conditions for a run to Port Orford. No limitations on leaving Newport. There are plenty of bail out ports along the way if we need to remain flexible.  We will get an early start.

Thanks for reading!   Steve