August 5 – The Pacific!

Found out that the depth meter was correct….so we had to leave BEFORE low tide. Got up at 4 and were out of our slip at 4:40 a.m. as the meter read 6.9….four inches to spare! Time to go now! So we motored into the dark river filled with huge ships and fishing boats. Because it was ebb tide the water was moving quickly toward the ocean. The current was 7 knots and moving us right along. We couldn’t get to the Columbia River Bar to cross before 7:15 when the current was slack. At this rate, we would get there way too soon and be swept out too fast into the Pacific! So we had to wait. About half way to the Bar we turned around and motored into the current. Even motoring, we lost ground. Here we waited for over an hour, fishing boats roaring past us, I’m sure wondering what in the world we were doing! Finally it was time. The current had slowed down and we were off toward the great unknown! We transited through the Bar with no problems. Here we were in the great Pacific Ocean! The waves surprised us. We were in 6 foot swells with 3 foot waves. These were coming in different directions and left us not quite knowing which way to head into them. So we ventured on between many, many fishing boats, huge cargo ships and tugs with barges for two hours and 10-11 miles offshore. Finally we were out on our own and the swells had mellowed a bit. South we go! Our AIS system let us know where the big ships were and we avoided them. The wind was coming from the south, which left us motoring into them for most of the day. They did switch to SW, so we were able to pull the sails for 3 1/2 hours. This seemed to help us glide through the waves and was wonderful! Just before dark the winds died and left our sails flapping. We pulled them in and motored. Then the fog set in, so not only was it dark, it was foggy and Dale developed seasickness. Not a great combination. However, our instruments kept us on course. There was not much wind, but lots of swells. We watched amazing bio-luminescence coming from under our keel! This helped to bring light to the dark night. It was a long, cold, dark night, but the sun did come up! Hooray! And we were only an hour from Newport! As we looked around in the light, we noticed many, many crab pots! How did we miss these in the dark? Crab pots can ruin a propeller! We dodged them toward the entrance into Newport. The entrance was a little intimidating, but we were greeted by several happy sea lions barking from the buoys! We motored through the breakwater, under the bridge and into the marina to fuel up, tie up and get some rest! Sometimes you just have to push yourself to the limits of your endurance then take that extra step to find out what you are truly capable of!

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