We really enjoyed out stay in Charleston Bay. It had nice showers (only $0.50!), good crabbing, grocery and marine supplies within easy walking distance, and several good eateries and a local bar within walking distance. The transient dock is on the outside though, so tie up as far back from the entrance as you can because when it blows strongly from the north, waves come onto the dock at the outer end.
We left at dawn on Wednesday (the rest of the group left at 4 am), and were treated to a lovely sunrise and an easy bar crossing. After several days of strong winds where no one went out, the marina seemed to empty out.
We had 10 knots from the south until we rounded Cape Blanco, then the wind died and we motored along in oily seas. Off Cape Blanco we had several very close encounters with whales. On two occasions they went under the boat, which is a bit unnerving seeing an animal that is longer then your boat go down on one side and come up on the other side! We also had to throttle back and shift into neutral when they passed in front of the boat. We saw gray whales and humpbacks, and even a few sea otters.
After another spectacular sunset, we motored on through the night. Took turns doing 2 hour watches, listening to the Ipod to pass the time. I had the 2-4 am watch, and with the light fog that had formed it was difficult to see where the sky ended and the sea began – very surreal. All alone in our own little world while Anjuli rolled along through the night. We passed Crescent City at 4 am, and decided to keep going on to Eureka, CA.
Dan woke me at 9 am to help get fish no 2 aboard. Another nice salmon – talk about luck!
Arrived at the entrance to Eureka about 2 pm – the rest of the group continued on to get around Cape Mendicino before the next blow which is forecast for Saturday and Sunday. We wanted to stop in Eureka to do some provisioning and catch up with one of my cousins who lives nearby. Visited Costco with our backpacks and a hand cart.
And of course it is time for more repairs. We have been unable to broadcast on the VHF and AIS – which means a trip up the mast for Dan (cranked up by me – cruising ladies make sure you have a two-speed self-tailing winch on the mast so you too can do this!)
Yep, that’s Dan up there 55 ft in the air. Too bad he had to come down, then go back up after we purchased a new connector which we thought was the problem. Can you see the yellow extension cord? On the second trip up he got to practice soldering…
Too bad that didn’t fix the problem. Next we will try a new antenna – keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t have to pull new coax through the mast. Ahhh, such is cruising! But Eureka is a nice place to be, besides there is a gale off the cape so we aren’t going anywhere for a few days!