Woke Up: Off the coast of Dunes City, OR (Siltcoos River)
Went to Sleep: Anchored in Coos Bay, OR
It’s midnight. “Wake up, sweetheart, it’s time to wake up and take your shift at the helm.” I gently coax Peter from a sound sleep. As agreed, my watch is from 8 pm to midnight and Peter’s watch is from midnight to 4 am. I’m ready for some sleep.
Standing watch over the conditions of the boat and the ocean is so many different things. It’s a big responsibility. Both our lives are on the line. If I miss an oncoming vessel or one of the systems fails and I don’t respond properly, it could be bad.
It’s time to myself. I’m the only one awake for miles in every direction.
It’s boring as hell. It reminds me of the hours between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm back in the cubicle when the clock on the wall could barely crawl.
Before dusk, Peter put a reef in the main as the winds were predicted to increase through the night. While I’ve been at the helm, the winds have held steady 5-10 nautical miles per hour (knots) from the southwest. We’ve slowly made our way down the Oregon coast at approximately 4 knots.
A full moon emerged from behind the town of Seaside.
And, now this spectacular moon is keeping me company and lighting our way through what otherwise would be pitch blackness. I haven’t seen another sign of life for hours. Even the birds have taken refuge for the night.
I’ve never been a fan of isometric exercise. That’s the type of exercise without movement; simply a tensioning and release of the muscle fibers. It appears sailing on the ocean is full-time isometrics.
The boat shifts right, I engage all the muscles on my left side to keep from toppling over. The boat shifts left and my right side engages. Left. Right. Left. Right.
Trying to walk the length of the boat to get to the head is a combination Fox Trot/Tango. The bow lifts out of the water, four steps forward. The bow skids forward down the face of the wave, four steps back. The bow lifts out of the water, repeat. Then I do a kind of waltz with the bathroom door. I tease it to stay open long enough to get myself and my rear end to the other side.
While Peter was “on deck” the wind and the waves became extreme. Small craft advisories at every port. We’re not a small craft but, just the same, I think we’ll duck in at Coos Bay and wait at anchor for calmer conditions.