August 17, 2005

Neah Bay to Gray's Harbor-Westport

We left Neah Bay this morning at 0545 after confirming the weather conditions on VHF radio, NWS on internet and on WxWorx (satellite radio weather).  Our destination is Gray's Harbor-Westport with an alternate port of La Push.  Bar conditions at Gray's Harbor should be a couple hours into the flood upon our arrival which should be favorable for crossing the bar.

Winds were 10 to 15 and swells were 4' to 6' and the run was comfortable.  Special thanks to our Trac stabilizers for smoothing out the ride substantially.  We had fog all the way except for a couple hours when it cleared and then it was blue skies and blue water.  Beautiful!  Nothing is quite so boring and monotonous as cruising for hours in pea soup fog with nothing but a bit of water and fog to look at.  The fog came back about an hour from the entrance buoy and stayed with us until we got into Westport where it was clear.

About an hour outside the bar channel entrance buoy, I contacted the Coast Guard there and inquired about the bar
conditions.  They reported that there were about 4' seas with an occasional 6 footer.  They asked if we were familiar with the bar and we told them no, that it was our first time across the bar.  They asked if we would like an escort and Kath excitedly nodded YES! so I said we would appreciate an escort.  They met us just past the entrance buoy and provided us with a nice escort over the bar.  We transited the bar without event in 2' to 4' seas.  It was a non-event and though we didn't need their escort, we appreciated their willingness to help.

We had planned to anchor in a bight just out of the current of the main river so when it was about time for us to go left, I radioed the cutter that we appreciated their help, and we were changing course to the area we planned to anchor.  They asked us to stand by and then came back on and requested that we follow them into the marina area and tie up at the transit dock so they could get our personal information.  I rogered that and followed them in.  I had told Kath earlier that they would probably want to inspect Dreamer once we got in and they did.  After we tied up, two of them come over and introduced themselves and began the inspection requesting our documents which we provided.  Both were very professional and nice.  They found no discrepancies and were very complimentary.  We took their photo standing next to Dreamer and thanked them again.

They said there was no charge to spend the night at the transit dock so we stayed the night.  We were both tired and just wanted to relax a bit before going to bed early to get some sleep before an early morning start the next day for Ilwaco just inside the mouth of the Columbia River.