August 26, 2005

Brookings to Eureka California

We left Brookings Oregon at 0615 over a fairly calm bar.  The winds and seas were not bad but we had fog again.  So, what's new???

The trip of about 88 miles was uneventful.  We dodged a few crab pots and arrived in Eureka at 1730.  We had called ahead and had a slip assigned to us so we knew where to go.

The group of four apparently left a while after we did as they started to arrive in Eureka about an hour after we did.  They were kind of scattered about with three of them on our dock and the big one a couple docks over.  Number 1 was still glaring and frowning. I think his face had a permanent set to it.

We had been monitoring the weather forecasts and had planned to leave for Fort Bragg the following morning to round Cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda before the weather picked up the next day and for several days after.  We got underway at 0610 and crossed the bar over mild conditions and set a course for a point about 10 miles off the cape, about 5 miles from the outer buoy.  We figured this would keep us out of the cape effect.  WRONG!!!

About 5 miles before we reached our waypoint 10 miles off the cape, we ran into some rough seas, 10' to 12', very steep on our beam with no backsides to slide down.  After falling off a rather large 12'er, I altered course and found the most comfortable course was straight out to sea.  No good at all!

We quickly decided to go back to Eureka and try another day as it looked as if the seas might get even worse as we proceeded to round the cape.  So back to Eureka we went, tails tucked between our legs for our failure to round the cape.  :(

As it turned out, turning back was probably a good thing.  We learned that a boat was selling tuna so I found it, bought some tuna fillet for $4.10/lb and talked with the fisherman about the best course to round the cape.  He informed us that Fort Bragg was filled beyond capacity with commercial fishing boats awaiting the September 1 salmon opening so we wouldn't have been able to stay there even had we kept going.  He suggested the close in route.

We had some tuna that day and it was very good!  So, we had some the next couple of days and went looking for a whole tuna.  We found a boat that had whole tuna for $1.75/lb and bought one about 10 lb.  We partially thawed it overnight in a towel and I filleted it.  We had some that day and froze the rest for later enjoyment.  We do love seafood and this has been a real treat!

With the NWS forecasting nasty weather for the next few days or so, we ended up spending six days in Eureka and rented a car for four days as the marina was on an island across the river from town.  We resupplied at a Costco and a Safeway.  We had planned to refuel in Fort Bragg, but decided to refuel here in Eureka since we were going to be here a while.

We drove over and checked out the fuel dock and found we would have to fend off and tie up to pilings.  So we bought some 2 X 4s and made up some fender boards which worked well.  We refueled at high tide without a problem.  Diesel was about $2.95 per gallon.  OUCH!!!  But we were refueled and ready to leave once the weather settled down out there.

Everyone there seemed to be waiting out the weather, including the group of four.  Number 1 is his same ole grouchy frowning glaring self.   More like Number 2 if you ask me.  :-)