By 26th July, 2017 Maritime, Sailing No Comments

The Lost Coast; Pacific Northwest sailing Part II

Return to Noyo River Harbor:

Noyo River in Fort Bragg is charming for many reasons including but not limited to majesty of the ocean.  It is also the capital of the so called “Lost Coast”.  Although the trip from Montreal was long and convoluted, the drive is stunning, and perhaps it is purposely kept remote.  But as strange as it sounds, the place felt familiar and welcoming when I rolled into the harbour.  Despite the draw, the pull of the ocean won my impulse.

The harbour astern, the sun and the calm sea, made me feel nostalgic yet excited.   I can honestly say that Kim,Billy and Darryl, have been wholeheartedly supportive to the lone sailor. I will be forever grateful of their genuine interest in my safety at sea.

Cape Mendocino’s mercy

I headed to Point Delgada, a safe anchorage for the night fourty miles NNW where I joined Mike on Cruz Del Sur.  The sun still under the eastern horizon and well rested, Mike and I lifted anchor to Eureka.  Cape Mendocino is notorious as the local nicknamed it “the place where the wind is born”.  Fortunately that day, the forecast was accurate and the small weather window freed Mike and I from the typical Northwesterly tempest.  Although the weather pattern was improving, Cape Blanco was also the source of strong opposing winds. The 2.5kn average shortened the distance made good and decided to find shelter in Gold Beach.  California was not ready to let me go just quite yet.

At the next opportunity, the high tide gave the necessary dept to avoid the sandbar inside the jetty and off we went at sunset a full-moon and a clear sky as our companions.  The weather got better and so was the distance between the various ports and anchorages.  The open ocean is a place of contrast, extremes and paradox.  Memories of natural wonders are everywhere to be found. The forces of nature has made a defined statement along the rugged coast.

The Gateway: Straight of Juan de Fuca.

On July 13th at 1200, Cape Flattery to my starboard, I rounded the last marker to the Straight Juan de Fuca. For the first time in the entire journey the wind and the current was following. I felt like Neil Armstrong parading Time Square, mother Nature cheering me in the final stretch of an epic afternoon.  The next day I cleared Customs and continued in the warm southerly breeze through the Gulf Islands. I can’t think of a better way to crown such voyage.

Windswept is now secure in Vancouver and being prepared for the next adventure: Desolation Sound.  Don’t miss it and book your trip now.

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