Monday, June 13, 2011

Thar She Blows...Westport to La Push

12 June 2011
0530 hrs rolls around and we are pulling away from the marina. The eastern sky is blue with a sun rise, the southern and western skies are dark and stormy looking. The seas are flat, the tide is flooding and there is a gentle north swell. Joyce blesses the Chahalis River with sacred water that I carry on Shatoosh to bless all the rivers that I have been on. The Chehalis river is home to the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. Joyce's repair job on the burgee is good and the flag hangs limp in the windless sea. Astern there are some commerical fisherman in trollers coming out.

0605 hrs: We approach an outer buoy and dead ahead of us I think I see a dark object. We focus in on the area and within minutes a humpback whale surfaces and in a few more minutes another whale comes up and blows a spout. They are moving across the channel to shallower waters near the R2 buoy. They are not in a hurray, just spending time on the surface and just below it. Yesterday we thought we have found a pot of gold with the rainbow , but having 2 humpbacks greet us, as we depart, is like winning the lottery.

All the fishing boats exit in all different directions and we are left all alone on our simple little trek north. I decide that we will follow the 3 mile curve today, as yesterday we were about 7nm offshore, near the 60 fathom line. The sun is heating up our starboard side of the boat and the port side is cold and foreboding. Shatoosh looks like the duality of light and dark. Joyce and I fight to seek out the sunny side of the helm station.

We have a very pleasant journey north, little to no wind, but by 1000hrs, there is cloud cover in all directions. Shatoosh is moving very nicely at over 7 k and at 1100 we are At Sea Lion Rock. The light wind has shifted to southerlies, along with the seas. The motion of Shatoosh is most comfortable and we speak about this fact to each other. This is becoming our smoothest run.

Last evening while I was blogging, Joyce was fixing a tuna preparation for our lunch today. Tuna, Mayo, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds, and celery seeds. Today, I made sandwiches and we opened a jar of pickles. This hit the spot.

We ran across a few crab pots, but nothing like yesterday. AT 1300 hrs we are 2 nm south of Destruction Island. There is a large lighthouse, which we could see for miles. We run in close enough to get some pictures and then scurry past the outer western edge, which has a 30 foot ledge which extends a long way out. At 1400 we are 8.6 nm south of James Island, which is the outer elements of La Push and the Quilluyate River and our speed has picked back up to 7 k. There is a slight and short lived drizzle, which I am happy about. I definitely do not want to enter this harbor with it raining and poor visibility. At 3 miles south, I call the marina and get a slip next to the fuel dock. He states there are no bar restrictions.

Sunrise Westport

Blessing the River

Thar she blows

Troller heading south

Crab Pots

Heading north

She has her sight on something

Don't want to hit this offshore rock

Entrance to La Push

La Push Marina

Destruction Island

Course to La Push

Back in the 60's I remember driving to La Push and thinking this is the scariest looking harbor. I would never want to come in here. So today, as we approach, I don't have any fear at all, I am confident about entering this tiny, rock and island infested nook, on the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula. At 1545 hrs we find our narrow opening between the rock jetty and the rock and wind torn James Island. We are entering on an ebbing tide and the charts show 1 1/2 fathom, but with the high state of the rivers we have 2 fathoms. We take on 8 gallons of fuel and swing over to our slip. They print out a weather report for me.

My cell phone and internet is barely hanging on and I can get a couple of text messages out but nothing else. Joyce has nothing on her ATT. Later she found an unsecured wi-fi spot and sat on a rock to send something out. We had good coverage on the water, perhaps we should have stayed out!

We walk down to the Coast Guard Station and I meet a nice young female enlisted person. She says that it will be good to go, even though there will be rain and southerlies( wind and seas) and wind up to 15mph. We will see what the morning brings, but if we don't get out in the morning, then the forecast will keep us here for several more days. This has been such a low key, sweet day and we feel very grateful for being able to make this trip and be under the watchful eye of the Divine.

Day's run: 70nm
Total 234 nm