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Sailing to San Francisco – Day 4

Dear Cape Blanco,

First off, you are a beautiful coastline (when you’re not covered in dense fog that is). Your water is clear blue, your skies often sunny and warm. So why do you so despise small sailboats sailing past you? You send wind howling down onto your waters, kicking up waves that are steep and treacherous. You laugh at weather forecasters. They say to expect 15 knots from you and you instead throw up 30 or 40. Especially when it gets dark you love to kick it up yet another notch. When small boats want to reach a safe harbor onshore your steep close waves prevent them from safely traveling eastward. You must really get a kick out of that.

We’ve truly have enjoyed our sail down the west coast. Up until now it hasn’t been too windy, it’s been sunny and we’ve been steadily making our way to California. The Cape Blanco forecast was for 10-15 knots and we thought that we might get another sweet spinnaker run in today. But alas it was not to be. In your classic Blanco fashion when we were but 20 miles north of your Cape you switched your wind on from 0 to 20 then when we were committed to rounding, you kicked it up to 30. We spent the morning hand steering, surfing down your ridiculous waves and making our way painstakingly eastward to safe harbor.

You didn’t get us this time though and we get the last laugh. We were anchored down in the safety of Port Orford just to the south of you by early afternoon and enjoying the gorgeous scenery of southern Oregon and clear turquoise Pacific waters. And cold beer and zucchini pancakes.

Not your fans,
The Wondertime Crew

Total miles at noon: 405

7 Comments

  1. Trevor says:

    Sara –
    You are especially good at making a mundane trip an interesting and hilarious read! Congrats for getting back to the continent, despite Neptune’s best wishes.
    Keep on keepin’ on!
    Trevor

  2. Well, you’re not alone on that one. We went taround on the 5th with that same 15kt forecast. You must have been fairly close to us… Nicole heard you on the VHF and tried to hail you. We were only 10 miles off and getting gusts over 30kt. I came up for my watch at about 0200 and saw huge, steep walls of water illuminated by the stern light as I was suiting up.
    We continued on to Crescent City and anchored in the harbour for the night, then left for Eureka the next morning. Fog, fog, and more fog. Couldn’t even see the breakwater on either side of us as we were crossing the bar. It thinned slightly as we moved up the river and we saw lots and lots of pelicans! So we know we’re heading in the right general direction 🙂

    1. Sara says:

      We were just south of you! Tried to hail the boat we had been heading down with the few days before. Sorry we missed your call! Thankfully they were in Coos Bay (they have a smaller 30 foot boat and we were glad to find out they were safe in port). The night of the 4-5th we were anchored in Port Orford, just south of Blanco. It was howling in the anchorage all night (from over the hill we were tucked behind). So sorry you were out in that, it was just nasty out there. Glad to hear you made it to Eureka, it’s all downhill from there. 🙂 For real. Can’t wait to see you guys when you get in! P.S. After spending a few months on Vancouver Island you won’t believe how cheap everything is in Sausalito!

  3. Curious, how far offshore were you at the time… we’re in Coos Bay getting a new fuel tank 🙁 but on our way down the coast…

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Patrick~ We were only about 10 miles offshore, it was howling right on the beach when we finally made it to the anchorage. I think the waves may have actually been better had we been farther off as it was pretty shallow that close in, not far from the reef. They were crazy steep and about a boat length apart, just nasty. I have no idea how to get through that area, our forecast was for 10-15 knots but it was at least 30 and gusting. The nice thing about sticking close was that we were only in it for a few hours. Good luck as you make your way south again. Looking forward to meeting you!

  4. Good to know.. we’ve been at least 30 miles off almost all of the time, probably going to further around Mendecino, seems to be the prudent thing.

    Look forward to meeting you as well!
    -p

  5. […] forecast was for 15-20 with gusts of 25 around the Cape so we stayed well off the coast fearing a Blanco-like situation. I was so nervous I got seasick – incapacitatingly seasick — for the very first […]