North Before South 3

Today’s post is coming from the laundry room at the Newport Marina and RV Park. Sometimes you have to get creative. The marina wifi does not reach down to where we are moored, but it comes in nicely up here. We discovered the wifi when we were actually doing laundry last night. Today it’s cloudy and very windy with a nice strong, gusty south wind. Off and on rain.

Back to August and the islands.

One of the sights on Stuart Island as you head up to the lighthouse. These are American Yaks. There’s a sign that lets you know what these shaggy beasts are and a little bit of information about them. There were three of them in the pasture. Originally from the Himalayas, the breed numbers about 7-8,000. They are supposed to be good to eat and their hair good for spinning.

The main trail from the dock splits to go to the lighthouse or down to the school. We headed for the school in the morning. Because the population of the island is so small, the school has been closed for a couple of years now. The school library is open to the public and there’s a small museum of island history that was pretty amazing. One of the photos was of early teachers on the island. Louise Bryant taught there for a year before going on the cover the Bolshevik Revolution with John Reed. Other teachers stayed and married locals. Family portraits included info about which family members were killed in boating accidents. Another reminder about how hardy folks had to be to live in a challenging environment that to a summer visitor seems pretty bucolic.

One of the other cool things about Stuart Island are the Treasure Chests. These are the way to get t-shirts, caps and other island related stuff. You take what you want and mail in a check to the folks who put them together.

Our last stop for the trip before heading south was Garrison Bay, San Juan Island. Another cool and cloudy day. We rowed over to English Camp and walked around. It’s a beautiful setting with a number of old pear trees. We rowed back to Gypsy and took apart and stowed the dinghy on the forepeak, and hosted Drømen for dinner. We had a fabulous time traveling with Jerry and Joy. Thank you!

Drømen underway. Fair winds!

The plan was to head for Port Angeles in the morning, check the weather and then head out for the coast the following day. The Strait of Juan de Fuca takes about 10 hours to traverse. There’s usually a tide change in there somewhere and in the afternoons, the wind can really pick up. If it’s blowing against the tide, it can get really rough. We decided to keep our options open.

We set off for Port Angeles and ended up making better time than we thought we would. From the weather report, it sounded like winds would be switching from northwest to south in the next day or so, so we decided to keep going to make use of the NW winds. The sun came out and that always helps. Winds down the coast ended up being light so we motor sailed. More clouds. Off of Gray’s Harbor Bill checked the Columbia River Bar times. We’d either have to blast down the coast at 10 knots (not possible with our hull) to make the afternoon tide or shoot for the 10 pm tide. We slowed it all down. The engine was turned off and we tried sailing and let the monitor wind vane do the steering. The winds were very light and not quite getting us where we needed to go, but it did successfully kill some time. We got to the bar a little early, but skies were clear and we crossed slowly with the Milky Way visible overhead. The full moon rose over Young’s Bay, huge and orange. At 12:50 am we tied up at Astoria West Basin. It took us 42 hours from Garrison Bay.

A good night’s sleep and hot showers! We packed up the offshore gear: jacklines were stowed, the anchor reconnected, and all the salt was washed off the boat. Rode the flood to Cathlamet for an overnight. From Cathlamet, flew the spinnaker through Longview, and dropped anchor in Martins Slough. Next and last stop Rose City Yacht Club.

Spinnaker flying as we pass ships at anchor near Kalama.

2 thoughts on “North Before South 3”

  1. If Predict Winds is accurate it looks like you will get fair winds to take you down the coast tomorrow. Bon voyage Gypsy/Kramer.


  2. Hi there , We are Wayne and Monique from Queensland Australia. We are currently befitting a Cascade 36 boat number 17 out of the mould and hopefully in the water November 2019.
    Would you mind if we chat about you refit a little, We have seen your pictures and would like to know if you have any pics of your engine compartment layout. Regards Wayne


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