Sunday, September 29, 2019


Our original list of scheduled stops heading south became some what modified. It was apparent at times, it just made more sense to keep going making for a longer day, and taking advantage of the weather window available at the time.  In turn, some days were shorter than planned. We knew we wanted to see the Redwoods in Northern California so that was a short cruise. Patches and I like shorter than longer cruises! Especially in thick fog!

Good thing we trust our navigation equipment!

We've arrived, finding our hide out!

Wednesday, July 24th Brookings, OR to Crescent City, CA, day 20 23.8nm 3hrs avg 8knots 
     We said goodbye to our friends from Medford after a wonderful dinner out last night. The weather window was open, but it turned out to be very snotty. Glad it was a short run! Our average speed was 8 knots (following seas). I did not make many notes, so it must have been uninteresting and more about arriving safely.  Our friends did manage to get some cool pictures and video of m/v Pairadice from the coastline as we headed out. 

Pairadice with another US Coast Guard Station in the background.
Thursday, July 25th, day 21  Crescent City, CA
     It was a chill day. Managed to walk out to the light house with Patches. Put a plan in place to rent a car and travel to Northern California Redwood Forest. We invited another cruising couple from Victoria, B.C., Ian and Mary aboard AEgis, a Nordhavn 40, a couple who we had met in Bandon, OR.

Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, Northern California Coast
First constructed 1856, automated 1953
listed on the National Resister of Historic Places.

Friday, July 26th, day 22   Crescent City,  Redwoods National Park
     Rented a car in the morning from Hertz at the very small airport, for a tour of the Northern California Redwood Forest.  We started out by driving north to the on the 101, picking up the 199 on the north side of the park to visit Stout Grove in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. After stopping for a couple of walking trails there and getting a good look at the very tall Redwoods, we traveled the scenic drive west on Howland Hill Road, which was unpaved, through the width of the park / forest, back to Crescent City for lunch. There we found a cute little Mexican Restaurant that had great food and off we went south driving on the 101. 

Big trees in Redwoods National Park.

Mary and Ian onboard m/v AEgis. 

Patches is exploring a huge fallen tree stump.

More tall trees all over the place!
Saturday July 27, day 24. 

Downtown "Old Town" and waterfront, Eureka, California

Historic Waterfront Cafe is on the National Register, built in the Victorian era, circa 1850!
Enjoyed a great lunch in Old Town on the waterfront. Magnificent area!  

These Redwood Parks were more south and even more spectacular! 

What a great weekend!

After lunch we made our way back through the Redwoods Forest.

This section was even more awe inspiring than yesterday. 

We found an interesting radar installation from WWII, built on the California Coast in 1942
after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was hidden, made to look like farm houses!
The West Coast was on high alert after three Japanese shelling attacks occurred on the Pacific Coast.

View of the radar station from the road in the park.
(The windows are false!)

There were three buildings on the compound,
staffed by Army Air Corp troops who were living in Klamath. 

While in use for the war efforts, the cinderblock wall was covered by wooden planks,
to help escape detection. It was the northern most station built in 1942
to help protect the coastline from Mexico to Canada. 
Enjoyed another fascinating day exploring!

Sunday, July 28, day 24 (back to reality)
      Returned the rental car this morning, so will be working on getting the boat cleaned up inside and out while we wait for the weather window to head farther south. Yesterday while driving south to Eureka we check out marina choices. Not quite as enjoyable as visiting the  Redwoods Parks! We found the marina we will use (really only one choice, the others were, no way!)
John, working on something in his garage...
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While waiting for the weather to improve, I broke out the "ditch bags"
(which were gifts, compliments of Dr Dan Ripplinger, DDS)
It had been 5 years, since they were set up. Thought it might be a good idea 

to refresh our minds on what is actually in there! John's has all the mechanical
devices, mine have all the medical stuff. Both are equipped with food and water
rations to sustain us for 1 week. See   

So this recipe is for cast iron Carmel Apple Blondie Pie.
It is full of plenty of sugar, butter & some bourbon.

The pie, almost more like a cake, came out great! It was so rich...
I elected not to dredge it with the Apple Cider Carmel Sauce the recipe called for!
That night, the F/V Linda Jean returned from a favorable fishing trip.
I had recently befriended it's sister ship moored next to us, which the Captains kids run.
What a delightful group they all are!  It seemed only fitting to share half our pie with them!

The next morning, the Captain of Linda Jean awarded us with
this amazing King Salmon right off the boat! It doesn't get any
fresher than that! It certainly pays to make friends on the docks!

Mary had a great recipe for Gravlax, cold smoke salmon. 
Pulled together the ingredients and got it started. 
First the flesh sides are moistened with vodka, then seasoned.
The two half's of the tail section are then packed with lots of fresh dill,
 It's wrapped very tightly, several times in saran wrap.

It is then placed in a glass dish, weighted down, ready for refrigeration. 

It is refrigerated for three days and the mass is flipped every 24 hours.

Because we had fresh king salmon... making a cold smoke cured salmon made sense!

Mary and Ian onboard AEgris.

Wednesday, July 31st, day 27  Crescent City to Eureka, CA  65.6nm  9.5hrs
 Our average speed was 7knots. Grilled up some dinner and hit the rack. The plan was to head into Fort Bragg at first light. Going to run while the weather is favorable. 

After three days time, the dill is discarded and the salmon is readied for the freezer.
I did have a taste with bagel, cream cheese and capers first! This method and recipe is amazing!

Thursday, August 1st, day 28  Eureka to Fort Bragg, CA  100.9nm 13.5hrs 
     Avg speed this day was 7.6knots. Our steering failed! Apparently blew a seal in the hydraulic ram mechanism (which had recently been replaced) on the stern in the lazzarate. That made for a challenging trip into the marina.

We had called in advance to get our slip assignment at Noyo River Marina, knowing we would arrive after the office was closed. The morning portion of the cruise was great!  The dolphins were running with us which was very exciting, until early afternoon when John noticed that the auto pilot was going crazy, over correcting more than 20 degrees each way. 

Upon switching to hand steering, he learned, there was no steering, no resistance with the wheel at the helm! I began running the throttle, slowing down, while he went to the stern to check the hydraulic fluid and equipment. All the hydrolic fluid covered everything in the stern locker. He added more fluid to no avail. We radioed over to our friends on AEgris to let them know of the distress. He had to almost empty all the storage in that locker, in order to retrieve the emergency tiller. He had it hooked up in no time, and we were steering. 

     My next task was to get and extension cord hooked up to power the battery for the Navionics charts on the IPad Pro from the cockpit! We have a small refrigerator back there for beverages, that became his desk. I was eyes, ears and throttle in the pilot house, as he had no visibility, radar or AIS back there. It was a long afternoon! The thing about serious boat problems... I would be tossed overboard, had I tried to sneak in a few pictures. I learned that lesson the hard way!

This is the emergency tiller, after it was used.
Heading into the Noyo River Marina was hair raising!
There were a couple of fishing boats trolling in front of the
breakwater entrance, back and forth, they had no radio and had no idea
we could not steer! It's very tight snaking through there. John had to leave
the tiller and steer us back to our slip with the thrusters. Ian and Mary
met us on the dock, knowing our stress level was pretty high.
The next day, after it was cleaned up.
Steering ram rebuild kit and hydraulic fluid are ordered.
We will be in Fort Bragg longer than planned.

Once the new seals were received, John took the mechanism to
a guy, who everyone in the neighborhood knows, who has a machine
shop in his garage. Special tools were necessary to rebuilt the thing.
Then were had to wait for the amazon shipment of the hydraulic fluid.
Once that arrived all the air had to be bled from the system.
It was a trying week, but it was eventually completed.
Friday August 9th day 36. Up and ready about before dawn.

Ft. Bragg to Bodego Bay, Spud Point Marina 85nm.

We were underway!

The fog was heavy off the coast.