September 3, 2005
Eureka to Fort Bragg California
With the weather forecast favorable, we departed Eureka at 0615, crossing a mild bar into mild seas, although the swells were a bit larger.
We had already decided to take the close in route and found it much calmer. We rounded Cape Mendocino in easy winds and seas to our surprise. Next came Punta Gorda, which was not as nice! The seas built up and the winds picked up to 40 knots! Definitely not comfortable although with the stabilizers, not too uncomfortable either. I had to take over and manually steer as the following seas had built up and was pushing the stern around too much for my taste. After a while, the wind dropped down to under 20 knots and the seas settled down a bit and we finished the day's trip with the autopilot steering and arrived at the docks in Fort Bragg just before dark. It felt good to tie up and have a couple glasses of wine.
Fort Bragg or actually, Noyo on the Noyo River is primarily a commercial fishing port. We are staying there and are quite comfortable, though the electrical is only 30 amps of 120 VAC which means we have to run the genset to wash and dry clothes. Everyone is friendly here. A boat several slips over sent down a fresh caught silver salmon, about 8 pounds, which we really appreciated! I filleted it and we went for a walk to find some alder to impart a bit of a smoky flavor. We didn't find any alder but did find some Tanner Oak, identified by a passing stranger who also said it was good for smoking and similar to alder. I cut some off and after peeling the bark off, burned it on the stove a bit to smell the smoke. It smelled just like alder!
So Kath and I went back up and cut off a nice branch and prepared the wood for the BBQ. I made a little tray from aluminum foil to fit the BBQ which just fit one of the fillets. made some butter, onion and wine sauce to baste the fillet and put it on the BBQ with several small sticks of wood below for smoke. I made some mustard sauce which we like on BBQ salmon and after about 20 minutes, it was done and about the best I have ever had or done! Kath made one of her great salads and we dined!
That one fillet with small salads was good for 3 very tasty meals. Then we did the other fillet the same way and had 3 more great meals! What a treat!
The weather forecast for the next few days was not good so we knew we would be here in Fort Bragg a while. The forecasts began stretching out a bit so it looks like this will be our longest layover so far, about a week assuming we leave on Monday the 12th.
We resupplied at a nice market here and caught a Dial-A-Ride shuttle back to the port. Today as I write this, it is Saturday the 10th. We want to find out about a train ride through the redwoods and maybe take it for an outing. More about that later. Right now, I'm gonna go shave and shower. Looks like it will be a nice sunny day.