Sunday, September 23, 2012

Becalmed then Strong Winds and Heavy Swells

19-21 September 2012
Off the Coast of Central Oregon
44° 07’ N, 124° 17’ W

Sunrise over the central Oregon coast.
Today we left Newport, Oregon at 09:00 and motored our way under the Newport Bridge and out the channel into the open ocean off the central coast of Oregon.  While there was a little fog, visibility was actually quite good.  Sunrise over the central Oregon coast was peaceful and stunning; reminding me of why I enjoy both the dawn and dusk watches while on overnight passages.

Lone gull on the calm Pacific.
The swells we had experienced a few days ago had subsided and were much more manageable today.  In fact, the ocean was pretty flat.  And flat water typically comes with no wind.  Such was our fate as we made our way out of Newport and down the coast of Oregon.  The little wind we did have was out of the South-South East so we ended up motoring the entire way.  

We decided to turn into Eureka, California as we were concerned about the lack of wind and the consumption of diesel.  At the rate we were going, it was likely that we might not have enough diesel to make it to Bodega Bay unless the wind picked up.  Richard checked the weather forecast and it looked like we were going to be stuck in calm winds for a while with much stronger winds coming our way later in the week.  The decision to turn into Eureka meant that we might end up staying in Eureka until Tuesday as the forecast indicated that strong winds and big swells out of the northwest were heading our way.  

The passage into Eureka involved passing through a long channel bordered by man-made breakwaters.  As we approached, we noticed that the Coast Guard was positioned at the entrance monitoring conditions to determine if safe passage could be made or if vessels should wait it out until calmer conditions develop.  After passing through the breakwater channel, the course continues through a winding channel to the city of Eureka and the marinas.

Osprey tied up at the Eureka Public Marina.
We pulled up to the Eureka Public Marina and secured a slip, telling the harbormaster that we might be here a night...or longer.  The weather forecast is predicting very strong winds for the next few days with big swells subsiding by late Monday or Tuesday.  I guess that means we'll be here until around Tuesday, weather permitting.

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