Wednesday, August 26, we finally left Coos Bay at 1:30. The weather was beautiful and the forecast even better, so Earl set his sights on Fort Bragg, close to 300 miles south. Ambitious considering the meager crew and the 6 knot speed of the boat. As forecasted, the weather got better and better, but very foggy. Earl and I alternated watches overnight, but there was not much to see. Only three boats on the radar. Lot of birds. Our light picks up any white on the birds and they look quite dramatic at night. Morning found us about as far south as Trinidad, and still in pea soup fog, but glassy seas. Earl left for a long nap and shower and Mouse and I watched. The only excitement was a boat that was apparently determined to find us in the fog. We tried changing course and blowing the horn, and finally just slowed way down. The radar continued to show a boat headed right for us – actually it was hidden by the image of our boat on the radar- when about 75 yards in front it broke out of the fog and crossed our bow, waving. I wanted to give the skipper a special wave. What a jerk!
The day continued very foggy and very flat. We found a little night hawk on the back deck. Earl finally put him on the swim step and he finally flew off. Then my favorites, pacific whiteside porpoises, came by for a short visit. Even with zero weather, the waters off Cape Mendocino were mixed up – currents going every which way. I was happy we had calm seas and can easily believe some of the scare stories that I had heard. The fog finally lifted south of Cape Mendocino at Punta Gorda and we realized that it would be wise to anchor for the night rather than trying to get to Fort Bragg. We headed for Shelter Cove where we anchored at 10 pm and were rocked to sleep. When dawn arrived we pulled anchor and headed for Fort Bragg. Mouse thought it was going to be an army camp and could not imagine why we thought it would be nice for a multi night stop. She was delighted to find a charming northwest village built around a river harbor. There are tons of sea lions about. A nice Canadian family on a 34 foot sail boat helped us tie up. They have an 11 year old son and plan on spending a year on their boat. The Vancouver School District has loaded a year’s worth of school on their laptop and there is a teacher to whom the boy will report periodically by phone. They are also headed for the Sea of Cortez.
We celebrated Mousie's birthday with spareribs, asparagus, raspberry pie, ice cream and lots of wine.
As you can tell, I have not yet quite figured out how to put photos in. They are there, but not very logically placed.