Monday, June 13, 2011

Screaming Eagles--Go- No- Go-- La Push

13 June 11

We are up again at 0400 hrs to get started. Joyce is trying to get the the lines released and a huge bald eagle flies over her and lands on the shore and minutes later there are 2 more flying and they are screaming at each other. There is slight drizzle, calm wind in harbor at 0530, so we make our way out the channel. On the pilings there are 3 more. Wow..5 eagles around the boat is another blessing. We continue towards the entrance and, oh my gosh, there are rollers coming in and outside there are lots of white caps.

It does not look good to me, but we continue to proceed further to see what the general lay of the water might be. The wind/waves are from the SW which puts us on a southerly course to south of our entrance buoy"Q". the seas are 6-8 ft with 3ft. wind waves. Shatoosh is riding supremely well and these are the biggest seas we have been in together. After a run south we, being good sailors, decide we will gybe and see what our lay line will be. Finding a quiet turning point does not show up for quite a while and we hold a course that puts us out past the buoy.

Decision time: Do we stay or do we return? If we stay it means that the chances of the weather worsening with the day increases by the hour and if we wait too long to turn back the Coast Guard could close the bar. Joyce and I decide to turn back, as it is just too bad. Again it takes us a long time time to find our moment to make the turn and I throttle up and Shatoosh responds quickly and I can hold the course with the wind and seas on my stern. Joyce is looking aft and reporting on the status of the waves. We are in a pretty good position to head for the R "2" Buoy, but each chance I get, I take it to nudge Shatoosh's bow away from James Island and more to the buoy. We are in good position to slice through the entrance and Joyce says, "here comes a good one". I reply, " does good mean big"? She smiles and says, "yes". Big is not good, big means bad to me. At any rate, whether it was good or bad, it slipped under Shatoosh's hull quite nicely and we were again safe in the La Push harbor. We dock at 0639 hrs...relieved to be out of the terrible conditions. I learned that Joyce and I make a good team, Shatoosh can really handle the seas and I do a great job steering Shatoosh in heavy weather. Joyce makes pancakes and Polish sausage for breakfast and this is our second breakfast in 3 hours.

Its not long before the fishing fleet begins to come in and the captains all state that it was too bad for them. I watch them unload salmon by the bin full. One Captain reported that the halibut was so thick out there they were trying to steal the salmon off the lines. The humpback whales were everywhere yesterday and there are gray whales still in the area.

Joyce and I walk to find the convience store and find that it is on the way out of town. We each carry a bag of ice and return via the beaches where instead of logs on the beach there are huge trees with old root systems intact. A newly deceased sea lion has washed up and I find me a special little beach house.

The Coastees go out in the big rescue vessel. It is loaded with sailors and they return in 45 minutes. I'll have to talk with them about the weather. The fisherman check the weather and state that tomorrow will be good for us to go. They will also go back out, fishing.

Today's run: 5nm
Total: 239nm.

Joyce brings in electrical cord

James Island Entrance

Doesn't look good

Great Breakfast

You should see the tree trunk


My new beach house

A young sea lion dies

Salmon at its best

USCG La Push

Memorial to those who have died.