Woke Up: Astoria, Oregon Went to Sleep: Garibaldi, Oregon
At last we have set out to sea. We are rested and ready to get this show on the road. When we left Portland we were tired and wanted to take it easy. So we did. We took a week. Taking a week to get to the ocean is unheard of! A quarter of my annual vacation allotment would be spent.
In the “old days” when we wanted to sail in the ocean with only a week’s vacation, it required a different approach. We had to get to Astoria in 2 days and cross the bar on Monday, regardless of the bar conditions. We had to sail the ocean between Monday and Thursday and get back to Astoria by Friday, regardless of the wind and the weather. We had to push up river 95 miles to get home by late Sunday afternoon. Then there would still be laundry to wash and groceries to fetch plus put the boat back in order and prepare for work on Monday. Vacation was exhausting. I still can’t believe we took a week to get out of Astoria and still have vacation.
The Weather Guessers
Blew it again. Every weather model available indicated a persistent high pressure zone hunkered down over the entire west coast. Winds were predicted at 10 to 15 knots out of the north for as far as the eye could see. Now they show south westerlies at 5 knots! South westerlies at 5 knots could have us bobbing around the Columbia River entrance buoy indefinitely. And a gray overcast sky to boot.
Crossing the Bar
People are afraid of the Columbia River bar and they should be. Nicknamed, The Graveyard of the Pacific, the hydraulics associated with the Columbia River roaring head on into the Pacific Ocean can create an extremely dangerous sea state. People often ask me, “Aren’t you afraid to cross the bar?” My answer is always, “No.” I won’t be on the bar unless the conditions are favorable for my survival. Simple. Don’t go there when it’s rough and there is nothing to be afraid of.
This morning along with a change in wind direction, the strength was diminished. I was able to chop mushrooms and green pepper, saute them in generous portions of butter and garlic and scramble up eggs while we crossed the bar. Extremely benign conditions.
As Clean as Siggi’s
My mother-in-law, Siggi Gierga, keeps an immaculate house. The windows sparkle crystal clear without a single streak. A person could run a white glove along the baseboards and come out without a smudge. Now that my time is my own, I merrily choose to spend it cleaning the boat. I’m serious! I love a clean house and I aspire to my home being as clean as Siggi’s.
Sailing Down the Coast
It’s official! All three sails are out and Auto is at the helm. I’m working on our blog and Peter is trying to catch a salmon.
We have 9 knots of apparent wind from the . We’re cruising at 4.8 knots speed over ground (sog). Our heading is 204 degrees. It feels very comfortable our first day on the ocean. A sublime introduction to our life on the water. Only one small glitch: we are not heading in the right direction. A sad fact of sailing; you can only go where the wind blows and right now we are headed to Hawaii.