June 5, 2006

Enroute Report - Off Neah Bay in the Straights of Juan de Fuca

Hi Everyone!

Bob Hinden and Jerry Stadulis arrived yesterday and we had a lovely Bon Voyage dinner with Jerry's wife Cory and daughter Emily at Michaels restaurant in Port Angeles.

We all turned in early so we could get up at 4:00 AM and cast off just before 5. Twilight up at this latitude starts at 3:40 AM with sunrise at 5:18 AM - so we had plenty of light when we cast off. As we rounded the end of Ediz Hook, exiting Port Angeles harbor - we entered the Straights of Juan de Fuca.

Oh great, lumpy seas with a 15 knot plus head wind. Ho hum... here we go again. At least it's not as bad as we've seen off Monterey.

We had the wind opposing the current unit around 8 - with an ebb tide and a West wind. This always creates a lumpy situation. It slowed us down considerably. Our normal 7 knot cruise was reduced to 5.

Around 8, the tide went slack and we picked up speed - even without the current pushing us. The seas also flattened. Our speed didn't last though as a flood current on our nose and increasing winds slow us way down to a low of 4.5 knots at one point. Over the last hour (11:30 to 12:30) we've only progressed 4.7 nautical miles.

The sun came out around 10 (it was overcast this morning) and it's a beautiful day with relatively flat seas in spite of an 18 knot headwind and adverse current. So no problems... Even if we're only doing 4.6 knots as I look at the GPS.

We should be well out of the Straights by 5 and well offshore by sunset at 9:13 PM tonight. Twilight will last until 10:50 PM and the moon will be up until 2:19 PM so we'll have ample light for most of the night.

Around sunset we'll make the final turn to the south on our route - from there it's 458 miles to Cape Mendocino.

As of right now - 1:00 PM we have 637 miles to go to the Golden Gate.

More later along the way.

Regards,
Bill, Mary, Bob and Jerry

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