Journey Home Day 11

by Jessica Miller

August 21, 2006

The following posting is from Captain Bob…

Aug 15
It’s 7 am and the weather has come upon us. We have an average of about 8 foot seas and 35 kt winds. While we are rolling quite a lot it’s not as bad as it could be. The swell and wind are coming from directly behind us so it’s trying to push our stern to one side or the other. Our auto pilot has to work overtime and is doing great. At least we don’t have to deal with it from the side. That would be dangerous. I would have to change course if that were the case. Also the sun is in a mostly clear sky and that’s nice. This weather forecast said that this will last through tonight. Bummer!

It is often said that timing is everything and most people can relate to that. I went down into the galley, fixed a bowl of cereal (healthy type), came back up to the wheelhouse, did a quick scan of the area ahead of us and about 100 yards off the starboard bow I see a whale spout. After my double take it did it again. With so many “white caps” due to the high winds, it was amazing that I was able to see it. I saw two more spouts and then it retreated to the calm under the stormy surface. If you were 20 feet under water you wouldn’t know there was a storm above.

We just left the “traffic control” area that started when we entered Canadian waters. We had to check in by radio every so often at check points that they assigned to us. Also, every so often they would call to update us about other ship traffic in our course. It’s a nice service especially in congested ship traffic but I’m glad we are finished with the reporting. Now all we have is one waypoint left and that’s the one at the entrance to Newport. By this time tomorrow…we’ll be another day closer.

I sure hope Willie is able to get some sleep. He didn’t sleep well before he relieved me at 3 am so I hope its better this time. Just saw another albatross. I love watching them. He did sleep better and gave me a chance for a little nap. Willie saw some humpbacks while I was sleeping.

It’s 11:45 pm now and the sea/wind conditions are still the same, as expected. We are currently about 85 miles off shore and 80 miles north of the Colombia River. Hope things settle down soon ‘because this is getting old.,br> By this time tomorrow we should be pretty close to tying up in Newport, OR our home port. I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again but after 8 weeks at sea I expect it will take a little getting used to being on solid ground again. I’ll tough that part out though with no complaints.

– Captain Bob

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