Friday, October 16, 2015

October 5th, 2016 (Monday) Arrived in Charleston Marina near Coos Bay, OR

Entering the Coos Bay bar.


Boy were we happy to see a dock again!  We toiled over 10 hrs trying to stabilize our boat from swells and resultant bow lurches.  Leaving Grays Harbor, WA we knew that we’d be dealing with 5-10knots of southerlies.  The night started out clear with surfacing of a bright crescent moon around 9pm.  In a moment, I looked down into the cabin and then looked up to find no moon, no stars, but sudden darkness – an ominous feeling set in my gut. According to our chart plotter, I didn’t make any progress south during my 3hr shift at the helm.  As we approached dawn, more light was available and the winds and the swells calmed down, probably out of pity for us.  Our 60hP Perkins engine sped up to our top speed at 3000 rpm (about 6 knots) to head toward our nearest refuge, entrance to Coos Bay.  After Grays Harbor, we felt a lot more comfortable entering another bar entrance despite numerous entrance markers and sharp right turn toward the marina.

A moment's rest after the engine shutoff. Certainly reached a milestone.

The girls waste no time checking out the catch.  Note the observation stance.
One now is able to tell what kind of marina you enter by that familiar waft of fish remnants that have preserved its atmosphere.  We are now used to this scent and is ever so welcoming after a bad night at sea.  One thing I am learning is that boaters are macho.  They don’t like to confess that they had difficulty with the sea in any sort of way.  As we talked to some who have ducked into this marina as we have, they all start out saying that their trip was not a problem. While we talk further about the weather and the swells in transit, the truth of the same “minor” roughness is revealed. To be fair these guys are on 60ft+ motoring vessels probably equipped with fancy stabilizing technologies (i.e. built in gyroscopes for stabilization) and their master control stations in the comforts of a pilot house, out of the elements.  This sort of attitude reminds me of the competitive air in the field of engineering.  We never want to admit we don’t know something. 

Kindness and the camaraderie are present in the area.  A skiff with 3 crabbers stopped behind us once we tied off to offer us 4 crabs.  One of the guys on the boat asked if we were heading to Mexico and saw that we had young kids.  They were awfully generous.  I have never seen so many crazy about crabbing off the dock as we do here.  Everyday there is a new group of people that show up near our docks to drop their crab pots.  Apparently, these docks are known for having good crab harvests.  Many seem disappointed by the less than legal size, though.

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