Last night I plugged on in poor sailing conditions, by midnight the mainsail came down and Truce was reduced to staysail only. Wind was gusting thirty five knots from the South with rain squalls. The midnight forecast predicted another two days of southerly winds – I was quite disheartened by this news.
Not being able to get south I decided to have a rest and ran north east under staysail at six knots – faster than I wanted in the wrong direction but the staysail is the smallest sail I have and the ride was very comfortable – I had a good rest.
This morning I called the Coastguard at Yaquina Bay and asked if it would be possible for me to cross the bar into Newport. They advised the bar conditions were deteriorating but currently open for Truce sized boat. So, at seven this morning I headed towards Yaquina entrance, some 52 miles distant. We had a sparkling sail with the wind about 60 degrees on the starboard bow. The wind held steady at around 25 to 30 knots and under triple reefed main, staysail and one quarter jib Truce romped along happily with Micky (wind vane) steering.
The coastguard were helpful as we approached the bar, an ebb tide running and conditions interesting on the bar – considering the small engine on Truce. We arrived in calmer waters inside the bar at four and thirty minutes laterTruce was tied up alongside the Newport Marina.
As I write this, wind is howling through the marina and we have had two hailstorms. I feel happy to be tucked up here and not trying to flog south into the wind. A wise decision to head into Newport.
Well, as I predicted some ground has been lost towards San Francisco. But on a positive note this is the first protracted heavy weather sailing I have done on Truce. This has given me the opportunity to try out several different sail combinations – a good learning experience. I have also tested the gybe preventer I rigged up, it worked well and I will write about in more detail in the future. I also now know I need to rig a downhaul on the staysail so I can drop the sail from the cockpit without having to go on the foredeck.
Next immediate goal is a hot shower, a change into some clean dry clothes and then to find a local hostelry willing to cater to a weary traveller.