Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016-35: Crescent City to Eureka

Tuesday-Wednesday, October 18-19, 2016:  Road Trip

Crew Dick Squire drove from his Malibu home to San Luis Obispo this morning.  Alex joined him for the road trip back to Crescent City.  Last week when the big storms blew into the Pacific Northwest, it was clear the ocean would be nasty for at least 5 days.  So Alex rented a car and the crew drove home to southern California.  Tuesday and Wednesday we made our way back to the boat.

It's a 13 hour drive from LA to Crescent City.  We stopped in Healdsburg to recoup and then on to the boat on Wednesday.  The Wild Blue weathered the storms quite well.  There was dockline chaff and all the lines seemed about 10% longer!  We re-provisioned, paid the dock fees, returned the car to Hertz and dined aboard.  There were some rental car struggles, such as lost keys, a cracked windshield, unfilled fuel tank, towing requirement, etc, but these were easily overcome by paying more money.

On the docks we met the crew from a large ketch that had laid out gear to dry all across the floats.  Sails, clothes, mattresses, lines, bedding, etc were all soaking wet. The boat looked somewhat weathered so we asked the crew about the storm.  Unfortunately they were just one day behind us but got caught at sea in those 40-knot winds and 20-foot seas.  Their boat was knocked down on beam ends twice, dislodging the engine from its mounts.  With a dead engine they were towed into Crescent City by the Coast Guard.

Thursday, October 20, 2016: Crescent City to Eureka

This morning we exited City harbor at 6:30.  Outside we enjoyed bumpy seas in calm winds.  The 5-foot swell was westerly, directly on the beam, so the roll stabilizers got a good workout.  Didn't see one boat for the first 6 hours then a commercial fisher was just ahead of us as we entered Eureka.  The Eureka bar was just fine and we tied up at Woodley Island Marina about 2:45PM.

The plan is to depart Eureka at 4:30AM tomorrow for Little River anchorage just below the City of Mendocino, a 13-hour motor.  We arrive about an hour before sunset, and if the anchorage is calm, we will spend the night.  Otherwise we'll tough it out as long as we can stand it, then head for Bodega Bay, another 9 hours.  Plan to dine with Alex's college friend Willie Benedetti, the turkey farmer, in Bodega on Saturday.  The Wild Blue probably won't show up on as there is not much cell communications around Cape Mendocino.  If the Little River Inn's wifi is still open, or if cell service is available, we'll update the blog.

Here's the projected schedule:

Oct 21-Friday: Little River Anchorage 13 hours

Oct 22-Saturday: Bodega Bay 9 hours, Spud Point Marina

Oct 23-Sunday: San Francisco 9 hours

US Coast Guard off Eureka entrance
Edward Brusco and wood chip barge exiting Eureka bound for Wuona, OR.

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