Crescent City

Left Newport on Thursday, Aug. 10. Wanted to get an early start so that we could make Crescent City before dark on Friday. However, the slack current (safer to leave the mouth of the river) wasn’t until almost 9. As we were waiting, again we watched the depth of the marina drop to 8 feet, 7 feet….oh no, not again! OK, it’s 8:20…..let’s get out of here before we can’t. We motored out slowly and under the Newport bridge. The bar was pretty mellow and we motored out into the foggy Pacific. We again dodged crab pots by straining our eyes and used our radar and AIS to avoid any collisions in the soupy fog. The wind was really light and again, on our nose. All weather forecasts were for 10-15 knots from the Northwest. This was 3-5k from the South. We pulled the main sail for stability, but not much sailing, so we motor-sailed through the day. The swells were 3-4 feet and from the Northwest. We took 4 hour shifts, which worked better than both of us staying up all day and night. The fog lifted and it was a cloudy day. When night came, so did the fog. We noted a few ships on our AIS, but they were pretty far away. Including the “China Express”…..seriously, it’s name! But there was a light up ahead and no blip on the radar….what’s up with that? As we got closer, Dale noticed that it was coming straight toward us! It was a fishing boat. She corrected course a few degrees to see what happened. They must have seen us and turned around to go the other way. Whew! These fishing boats appear out of nowhere! On Ken’s shift in the early morning, he was surprised by a whale spout. He also had a couple of sea otters and a bird. This bird was not a sea bird. It circled around for several minutes, then landed on one of our shrouds to take a rest we were 10 miles from where this bird should be….shore! Well…..Ken was not to be outdone! On Dale’s watch, an entire POD of whales erupted right in front of Slow Dancer! It was a little scary, but so surreal! They were spouting and their backs and tails surfacing all around us! Then they turned and swam past us, waving their tails ( or so it appeared!). We stayed out 10-15 miles to avoid crab pots and (wishful thinking) fishing boats. It was a pretty peaceful night and day….although a little cold. As we approached Crescent City, we realized that we would make it before dark….yaay! It is not safe to go into a strange harbor after dark. There are too many obstacles that can be hit. This particular harbor has lots of giant rocks that have to be maneuvered around. The Crescent City harbor was destroyed by a tsunami in 2011 and has been rebuilt. There are some remnants of the prior harbor that also have to be maneuvered around. We did make it in and Ken pulled us right up to the guest dock with no problems, just as the winds picked up. Hmmmm…..not much wind for sailing, but lots for docking, that’s not helpful! We were met at the dock by two Harbor Seals taking a nap. They barely lifted their heads as we came in. We will stay in Crescent City for about a week. There are high winds between here and San Francisco for most of this week, we wanted wind, but not 30-40k! We will leave Slow Dancer for a few days and go to Grants Pass to visit Dale’s mom again.


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