It is just beginning to sink in that we made it to the Pacific Northwest by boat!!! After leaving Dana Point CA on June 18, we took one day to make Marina Del Rey then another day to make Santa Barbara. After enjoying 4 days in the harbor there, including a family wedding and festivities, we left Santa Barbara at 6 PM on June 24, rounded Point Concepcion and headed north, with excitement and a good deal of anxiety. We had a professional captain on board to help. The "Hapgood" is a stout and seaworthy vessel and we had great confidence that she would take us safely north. We were not wrong. As a matter of fact, she proved more seaworthy that first night than the three of us. We traveled through the night through rough seas but began ticking off the miles, albeit slowly, by an average of 6-7 knots. We rounded Point Sur at 2AM and finally dropped anchor at San Simeon (Hearst Castle) about 1pm the next day for 4-5 hours rest. We needed it. We worked our way past Monterey and San Francisco, not stopping because the weather was so favorable; the sea was like glass. But after Point Reyes we ran into heavy seas and gale force winds. Luckily they were pushing us from behind so once again we traveled through the night. The waves that were chasing us were as tall as the boat! We took watches of three hours on and 6 off. Those three hours are very long! Watching the radar and the GPS and keeping track of our location on a paper chart (just in case our electronics failed us) made the time pass. It is very eerie to be in pitch darkness, with only an occasional fishing boat on the radar screen. Sleeping on a boat that is pitching and rolling is no easy matter either, so when we finally made it to Eureka after 56 hours under way, once again we took to our bunks and slept. At Coos Bay our guest captain declared that we were seaworthy enough to travel by ourselves. He disembarked and we were left to our own devices. We decided to try for Newport, OR, "The Dungeness Crab Capital of the World". We made it by about 9 pm but we were too late for the restaurants. The town was virtually closed and not a crab in sight. The next day we went to Tillamook Bay at Garibaldi, OR where we finally got our crab from an open air crab cookery. Spent two nights there waiting for the weather to blow more in our favor. We skipped the Columbia River - very foggy, lots of commercial traffic and a very rough bar. Gray's Harbor, WA was the next stop. We crossed the bar in dense fog using radar and my super plotter. We were in contact with the Coast Guard and almost asked for an escort but decided we could see the channel well enough. We spent two days in Westport, once again waiting for better weather. We celebrated the 4th of July with a parade which included the Coast Guard color guard, the local Shriners, the VFW and auxiliaries for each group. The weather was so cold we had to break out the fleece and windbreakers. Summer had deserted us halfway up the Oregon coast!
We decided to try a night transit to get us to Cape Flattery in daylight. We left with the tide at about 3pm and rounded the Cape at 7 AM the next morning, after a long but relatively good night. We anchored in Neah Bay and napped for about 4 hours, then went on to Port Angeles, where we had to tie up at the gas dock because the marina was so crowded. Today we had an easy motor to Anacortes and tomorrow we will be at our destination, Point Roberts, WA. We will have covered more than 1200 nautical miles and we are suddenly amazed at what we have accomplished. We have already learned a good deal about "Hapgood" and ourselves. We have become accustomed to high seas and large rollers. We have become sensitive to the wind and currents. We have learned to hang on when the boat is rocking and rolling. We have learned to use radar, GPS, plotter and VHF. Richard loves his Lugger diesel - it never stopped humming. We can anchor, sort of - and dock, quite well. I'm getting better with my knots. For the rest of the summer we plan to be in the San Juan Islands, the Canadian Gulf Islands and maybe go as far north as Desolation Sound and the southern part of the Inside Passage. I have a feeling it might seem very tame compared to coming north on the vast and lonely Pacific.