Our First Really Solo Offshore Passage

September 23, 2012: Bodega Bay, California – Spud Point Marina

We did it!  Left Anacortes, stopped overnight in Port Angeles, fueled, walked into town to the Next Door Gastro Pub for the best burgers we’ve had in years (Black & Bleu Burger with Blue Cheese Fries), good mojitos and great beer.  Early on Tuesday September 18th, we left Port Angeles headed out the straits of Juan de Fuca (fortunately for us, not “the straits of Juan de Puca”), then turned left!

We headed about 80 miles offshore put the mainsail up and… left the motor on.   We had beautiful sun, many visits from dolphins and porpoises.  Just after we entered Oregon waters we were visited by a Hermit Warbler (Green, Yellow and black – true Oregon colors).  A tiny and probably exhausted little bird, he tweeted around and finally found a quiet place to rest somewhere in the boat – we’re not sure where.  He flitted around the boat the next day as well, though on the third day we found him on the bed – gone.  He had spent his last few days with us was given a burial at sea with full honors.

Hermit Warbler
Our Little Oregon Visitor

By the second and third day we were getting the rhythm of watches and sleeping down at last, neither of us had slept much early on.  Watches weren’t rigidly kept and we really enjoy the solitude and beauty of it all.  Eventually we determined we’d have to come in for fuel as we weren’t getting any sailing wind, so we set a course for Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco.

As we headed in, the wind and seas picked up – by midnight it was blowing over 30 knots with gusts to 40, then the seas built to 8′, or that’s what we estimated as it was impossible to see in the dark.  But the stars!  The big dipper, Orion’s belt, the Milky Way and on and on – beautiful, friendly companions through the night.

By sunrise the wind was decreasing and the seas followed.  RED had preformed like a champ, the autopilot (George, not to be confused with George the Cat (GTC)), and engine were tireless.  As we neared Bodega Bay we passed through some fog then “Land Ho”, we saw the hills of Sonoma County.  A beautiful sight after a long night.  By 5, that’s 1700 in boat time, we were tied up here in Bodega Bay.

A LONG shower, a night of good sleep, an afternoon nap, and tomorrow to clean the boat, re-stow, fuel and prepare to head to San Diego.

Oh – and lunch today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and) at Spud Point Crab Company for the world’s best crab sandwich (1/4# of crab on a soft roll, with special sauce), mmmmm.