Before leaving Eureka we were able to arrange a visit with my cousin Reddi who lives nearby. We last visited five years ago when we attended my Aunt Ginny’s (her mom) memorial service. Prior to that we had nor seen each other in 25 years (she found me on Facebook). It was great to reconnect – hopefully our next meeting won’t be years from now.
While tied to the dock in Eureka, we became a feature on the daily harbor tour by the Madaket. The Madaket is the oldest continuously licensed passenger vehicle on the west coast. Launched in 1910, this wooden beauty is maintained by an energetic crew who will ” marry you, bury you or ferry you”. Don’t ask what setting the camera was on for this shot, but I like it!
We left Eureka on Tuesday, September 29 for the trip around Cape Mendocino. The forecasts so far have been spot on, as was this one. Southwest winds of 5-15 knots (mostly 15) but still better than 35 knots from the north! It made for a wet ride until we rounded the cape with spray on the dodger and the decks awash.
While underway in the ocean we all wear a harness and tether – that includes Kitt the cruising cat who prefers to be in the cockpit with her peeps.
Arrived at the entrance to Noyo River the next morning(Fort Bragg is the town on the bluff above the river). The entrance is very narrow and shallow and can only be safely negotiated during settled weather. The photo below shows optimum conditions for entry – yesterday there were 8-10 ft rollers kicked up by a passing gale (34 to 40 kts). Once inside the banks are lined with docks associated with a working fishing harbor. Noyo River boasts the most well-cared for fishing fleet we have ever seen – this is a happy, friendly place, and one of our favorite stops so far.
We tied up next to the Princess. The Princess fishes the west coast from Alaska to California for salmon, tuna, and black cod. Captain Heather is the owner/operator who fishes with an all-girl crew and two schipperkes. Check out her website where the motto is “girls gone wild for wild caught seafood” (fvprincess.com). She welcomed us to “C” dock with some of her fish and the keys to her truck.
We also met some local cruisers. Jeff, a local musician on D dock is refitting his boat for a 2016 departure. We asked him where we could buy a watchband, and the next day there was one in the cockpit along with several of his CDs and a the listings for the local theater. We also met Greg, a real character from New Orleans who flew out and purchased a 48-ft Hans Christian which he is working on for a January 2016 departure. He had us over for Cuban coffee (and sent us home with a 2-lb can of it), drank a bunch of wine with us, and took us with him to visit the Italian sculptor who lives in the nearby woods and is carving a figurehead for his boat. The woods around his studio are filled with fantastic marble carvings of angels, and apparently he carved one for Anne Bancroft’s tomb. You can’t make this stuff up!
Tomorrow we will depart for Halfmoon Bay which is about 20 miles south of San Francisco. This blog brought to you today by the free wifi at the local McDonald’s….