The NOAA Marine Forecast early this morning called for Small Craft Warnings. Most of the wind and wind waves will occur from noon to midnight tonight south of Point Arena. So we have delayed our 4:30AM departure from Eureka and now plan to cruise direct to Bodega Bay, a 21-hour motor, avoiding the worst forecast below Point Arena. By leaving mid-morning today, we can expect Bodega by tomorrow's early morning daylight.
The forecast is:
CAPE MENDOCINO TO PT ARENA OUT 10 NM-830 AM PDT FRI OCT 21 2016
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH
TODAY...NW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES NW 3 FT AT 5 SECONDS...AND
NW 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT...N WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES NW 10 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
POINT ARENA TO POINT REYES TO 10 NM-902 AM PDT FRI OCT 21 2016
SAT...NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 TO
10 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
In both Dick's and Alex's opinion, this forecast doesn't call for a Small Craft Warning especially for boats southeast bound. Just maybe a Tiny Craft Warning is in order as the winds, swells and waves should be behind us.
Will update if cell communications available, but we don't expect any .......
Saturday, October 22, 2016 6:00AM: Arrived in Bodega Bay
The 15-20 knot NW winds, NW wind waves and NW swell all combined to shorten our cruise by an hour. So instead of arriving in early morning light, it was in the dark. Instead of a 21-hour run, it was just 20.
It started out with a few giant swells while exiting Eureka, aka Humbolt Bay. At first we thought the forecast 7-foot swell at 11 seconds was wrong, but once away from the Bay entrance, the swell reduced to 4-foot. The ebb current across the shallow bar temporarily increased the swell to about 12-foot.
From Eureka to Cape Mendocino, about 20 miles, the winds were NNW and less than 6 knots. 6-foot seas on the beam made for a bumpy ride. From Cape Mendo to Punta Gorda for about 15 miles, we had 15 knots NNW with 8-foot seas. At Punta Gorda we hit steep NW seas and an adverse 2-knot current. But once clear of the Point, the current slacked and we started doing 9's and 10 knot boat speed. From Gorda to Point Arena about 88 miles, we had from 12 to 20 knots of NW winds with NW 8 foot seas and BIG wind chop. With the RPM boosted to 1400, the boat Speed-Over-Ground showed solid 9's with peaks of 11+ knots! The boat did fine in the following seas but occasionally the roll stabilizers and the autopilot worked against each other, causing deep a roll, or two.
Dick and Alex ran on 2-hour watches, changing on the even hours. In became so routine that once in port neither of us could sleep without waking up after 2 hours.
Our plan is to leave at 7AM tomorrow for San Francisco and we hope to beat the next series of storms coming tomorrow night.
|USCG Barracuda watches as we Depart Humbolt Bay|
|Cape Mendocino, some call Cape Horn of the Pacific.|
|Sunset at Sea|
|Sunrise in Bodega Bay at Spud Point Marina|