Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shatoosh Rounds Tatoosh Island Cape Flattery

Before I get into our day, I want to thank all the special commercial fishermen at La Push. They spent alot of time discussing our weather, our plan north, Albin boats and all were very supportive of our adventure and reconfirmed that our morning departure would be good and safe. They all were going out again, but had to wait for the flood tide, as they all have 6 foot drafts. While I did not get their names, their vessels are: Katy J, Pacific Son, Pamela Ann, a Farallon 25, and a Uniflite 28. The Captain of the Pacific Son offered to cook us breakfast this morning, but we were leaving early. Thank you all and it was wonderful to meet you guys.

We took some extra time at daybreak to walk to the entrance of the harbor to look at the ocean. It seemed to have calmed down quite a bit, so we decide to go after listening to the unchanged weather report. west wind 15 kts 11 seconds, 7 ft seas. The tide was out and the fishing boat that was tied to the fuel dock was aground as was the dock. The depth at Shatoosh was 4ft. After cleaning the breakfast things, the last bit of tank water spitted forth. How could we have used a whole tank of water? We refill the tank quickly, stow the electrical cord and off we start at 0600 hrs. The depth increases and we are in 10 feet just a few feet from the dock.

It is drizzling, as we leave the channel, and set our course for the Q buoy. Our plan is to head out for one hour and see how the seas are and how we are riding. This will put us at the 3 mile curvature and then we will be able to change our course and see how we ride with the west wind on our beam. During this phase of the morning, we hear a updated weather report from the Coast Guard in the Puget Sound Sector which states there will be gale warnings in late afternoon/evenings in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. This complicates our picture and plan.

Hour 2, Joyce takes the helm, and we continue our course and are riding nicely with the 7-8 foot pacific rollers. The storm which was ahead of us has moved onshore with rain. I take the time to send a distant Reiki treatment to our section of the ocean. I feel balanced energy and have confidence that we can continue on our course.

At the beginning of hour 3, I call Jean and discuss the new conditions and she feels we will be fine. The seas are very comfortable and I am loving that pacific swell. We compute ETA for Umatilla Reef and Tatoosh Island. With our speed 6.5 and 7 k we will be at Tatoosh at 1130hrs. This will put us ahead of any storms in the Straits. I spot whales on our port beam and there are several spouting, but too far away to see bodies. While I would love to alter course and get closer, we must stay focused on our plan. Don't get side tracked, I tell myself. We continue to monitor the broadcasts, while we make our way north. We decide to commit to continue; armed with energetic facts, weather facts, projected ETA's, sea conditions, no wind for 3 hours, and Shatoosh's amazing ability to gently glide over the seas.

About 0900 we begin to hear radio reports of Naval firing operations and Contact with Sea Planes. We are at the edge of a naval op zone. I go online to the Columbia River Bar Pilots site and pick up their AIS system of identifying ship traffic. It shows 2 south bound freighters about 60 miles offshore, but no US Naval vessels. It is such a wonderful aid to have. Thank you Verizon broadband in my net book, to be able to access the internet off shore. We never hear anything else, never see ships or planes or bombs dropping on us. We just stay focused on beating this storm that is headed for the Straits.

We settle down with a beautiful cruise and as we approach Cape Flattery, the seas build and we are getting large reflected waves from the Cape back to us. The seas are building from the ocean, the tide is flooding and at 1127hrs we round the R 2 buoy and head down the Straits with nice seas on our stern.

1225 we are in Neah Bay at the Makah Marina. We are told, the pumpout doesn't work, the fuel dock is closed because it doesn't work, the hand dryers in the restrooms don't work, but the showers are great and are $.25. The gales have never appeared and our wind is light at maybe 5 knots. Joyce and I go to a near by cafe and have a hamburger. We take a nap which turns into 2 hours of deep sleep.

The highlight for Joyce was rounding Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island. My highlight was multi-faceted: I loved how I could interface the energetic patterns of the ocean with Reiki and the hard facts of oceanic data and listen to my intuition to see and feel the whole picture to make a decision about the course of action. Another was, of course, to see Shatoosh on the open ocean and how well she performed in all kinds of weather/sea conditions. She has out performed any expectations that I might have had about her abilities on her maiden northern Pacific Ocean leg of our great adventure.
Day's run: 34nm
Total: 285nm

Leaving La Push

An Opening in Weather

Hira Keeping Watch

Rising Swell Near Cape Flattery

Cape Flattery

Buoy R"2" Cape Flattery

All Cleaned Up

Sunset in Neah Bay

Eagles Neah Bay