I have to thank 3 guys, Larry of the Starship, Dan on the Whiskyjack and Mike of Schooner Creek Boat Yard. Mike delivers boats and told me that he harbor hops up and stays 5nm out. His confidence in getting in and out of La Push calmed my reluctance to go.
Larry wrote me detailed emails about how to cross the infamous Columbia River Bar, describing the magical window: BE AT BUOY 10, 2 HOURS AFTER THE EBB TIDE.
Dan convinced me to install the free SeaClear program and the NOAA Raster charts, which turned my netbook into a chartplotter and has been a Godsend every since I got it up and running. With all their help, encouragement and wisdom, I felt very prepared for this trip. Making several practice runs across the bar, helped me gain confidence and experience. I remained patient and waited for the window of weather to reveal itself.
Having Joyce as crew was the icing on the cake. She is an excellent ocean sailor and we are very compatible in how we deal with issues/challenges. I could let her take the helm with confidence and, in fact, she was at the helm for the bar crossing, and the rounding of Cape Flattery. I could go below and take a quick rest, knowing that all was in good hands. She departed today with a pocketful of memories and fulfilled her own dream of being back on the ocean. Shatoosh and I already miss her.
The total mileage was 470nm and we used 49 gallons of fuel. Our best speed was 10.4k and our worst was 3.5k, bucking a short lived ebbing tide in Admiralty Inlet. We are currently just about the same longitude as my starting point of Scappoose Oregon, and a gain of a little more than 2 degrees of latitude. Yes, it would have been cheaper to truck her up I-5 interstate, but we would have missed our great adventure. It was such a wonderful trip and Shatoosh out performed herself on the ocean. She is a real trooper, a river runner, a lock loper, an ocean going vessel and a Salish Sea cruiser. Who could ask for more? In 1999, when I started looking for a boat, I wanted an older, fiberglass boat with a diesel engine, small enough that I could run and jump on and go anywhere. I am, thoroughly convinced, that I found the perfect boat.
|Joyce and Hira on The Perfect Boat.|