Saturday, October 6, 2007


This is a long one folks, it's been awhile since I've been in touch with the outside world and there is a lot to report.

When I last left you we were having a day off in Portland. That was good times, saw some family, saw some friends, general merriment all around. Soon though, it was time for us to leave Portland. In order to do this we had to go under I-5. In order for our 96 feet to fit under I-5 they have to raise the bridge. That's right folks I have officially stopped traffic on Interstate 5, twice (coming and going). If that's not something to tick off the list of things to do in my life I don't know what is.

On our way back out the rolling Columbia we docked at a dock that is literally in the middle of nowhere. Some yacht club built this dock on the Columbia for their members, but others can use it if no one is there. Pretty funny to dock on a dock completely unconnected with land.

We passed the Please Please Me. You read it right.

Then there was our transit. This transit, from Ilwaco, WA to San Francisco, CA is the longest we will be taking this season. We left Monday midday and arrived Thursday night. What a great transit. First we waited out some weather in Ilwaco then made our way across the bar. The Columbia River Bar is one of the most infamous bar crossings in the world so of course all kinds of precautions were taken. I gotta say though that the hype far outshone the actual thing. It was a little rocky but not too bad and we made it out without any incident.

The first couple days of our transit were wet. We were still experiencing the seas left behind by the weather we waited out. There was some rain but mostly there was just a lot of spray. This boat has the wettest foredeck of any boat I've been on so far. The bow cuts through the waves like a knife through hot butter, unfortunately this means a lot of spray and splash come up over the deck. This boat also has the leakiest fo'c'sle of any boat I've been on so far. Take five wet sailors, add wet foul weather gear, steep for two days in leaky fo'c'sle dousing with more water as needed. Luckily the last couple days were fabulous. The sun came out, the seas calmed down and my foulies actually dried. I even managed to sit on deck in the sunshine on my offwatch and knit for awhile.
While transiting we break into a watch system, this means that someone is driving the boat 24 hours a day and we all take it in turns. I was on the 12-4 watch which means I stood watch in the middle of the day and the middle of the night. This also means that I worked 8 out of every 24 hours. Needless to say I got a lot of sleep, did a lot of knitting and read a lot. I love transits.

The last day of the transit was the best by far. During my watch JP and went aloft to unfurl the square topsail, this is an easy job that makes for good skylarking. When we arrived at the crosstrees we were awarded the view of a veritable minefield of whale spouts. They were everywhere. As it happens the Lynx breaks for whales so we slowed down to have a look and were rewarded in spades. Whales spouting, whales breaching, whale flukes, saw so many whales it almost got old. Almost. Then the dolphins came. If there is any animal I would like to come back as it is a dolphin, they seem to just have fun all the time. Then there were the sea lions. We found ourselves in the middle of a fabulous party and everyone was having a blast.

Due to my fabulous photography skills all I really have are pictures of where whales used to be but take my word for it, there were lots and they were within 100 yards or so. So cool.

The last couple days we've been doing daysails in the San Francisco Bay. Good wind, good sailing and the Blue Angels are in town for Fleet Week so that is fun too. Nothing quite like a good sail with the Blue Angels and other interesting planes flying all around.

Oh, and I finished my Love Lace socks. I am wearing them right now in fact. I don't have all the details in front of me, but they are the latest installment of the Rockin Sock Club, the best club in the world. Here they are off the coast of California.

My energy wanes and my bunk is calling my name. Hopefully I'll be able to update sooner next time so my post won't be so epic, we'll have to wait and see.


Laura Neal said...

beautiful scenery! I bet it was awesome to be around such beautiful creatures!

Linda said...

Wow, how lucky you were to see all those whales and dolphins. I just got back from Maui, and I saw some dolphins, but the whales weren't there yet. Sounds like a wonderful trip!