August 21, 2005

Newport Harbor to Bandon Oregon

This morning, we left Newport for Bandon Oregon at 0615 over a fairly calm bar.  The seas were comfortable with 1' to 2' wind waves and low swells, both from the NW on our stern.  NO FOG!!!  We finally got a day on the water with no fog and enjoyed it immensely.  There was scenery! 

The trip was uneventful except for a pod of Dall dolphins that decided to play with us in our bow wave for about 20 minutes.  That was fun, watching them play.

We arrived at Bandon entrance at about 1730 and called the USCG there for a bar condition report.  They reported swells inside the jetties of 4' to 6' with an occasional breaker.  Not too bad so we decided to go on in.  As we approached the entrance we eyed the waters ahead for signs of swell size and any breaking seas.  We saw nothing until we were in them!  We had some 6' swells that rose fast on the stern and tried to push Dreamer into a broach.  I was able to correct with a three-quarter turn of the wheel, only half the rudder I had to work with.  And then, just as suddenly as it started, it was over.  A very short bar but we could see that it could be a dangerous one in bigger sea conditions.

We got into the port area in Bandon after hours and could find no slip large enough for Dreamer that we could be sure didn't belong to someone that would be coming back for the night.  So we tied up at the pump-out/fuel dock for the evening.

Next morning, we called the port office and were assigned a slip right inside the entrance.  I walked over to check it out and found it open to the 25 knot winds that were blowing straight in from the entrance in the breakwater.  We ran Dreamer over to our new slip and I tried to back in to have the wind off our bow, but the wind didn't cooperate and kept blowing the bow over towards the other boat in the slip.  I could control the bow with the bow thruster, but then the whole boat was blown over.

So we moved out, changed lines and fenders and pulled in with little problem.  There was a guy waiting to help with lines for which we were grateful.  The biggest problem was fighting the wind to get Dreamer safely tied up.  We actually had to use the engines to back her into the winds to get the lines secured the way I wanted them.

Kath and I both strained our backs again which have not been the same since we were moving out of our condo and getting Dreamer ready and provisioned.  We will heal.

The aft deck area on Dreamer got all salted up that day and night as the waves broke on our transom and swimstep and sprayed the boat.  The next day, the winds calmed down a bit and we turned Dreamer easily and gave her a much needed rinse.

The weather outside was still a little nasty so we explored Bandon a bit which was fun since it is a tourist town right up from the port.  We were directed by the tourist center, where we got a map and directions to the market, to a sweets store a couple blocks away that had many many different kinds of sweets and samples of each to try.  I'm afraid we spent too much time browsing there and sampling. :)

We spent a pleasant few days in Bandon waiting out some weather before departing for Brookings Oregon.