It’s been a full-on sort of day and I feel tired at the end of it – but importantly ‘we got the job done’. The rudder is good.
At midday Truce was lifted out the water and half an hour later I had the rudder unshipped and hung off. The bottom bushing was worn and causing the play in the rudder. Thankfully everything was intact and no damage or wear on the metal parts at all. I decided to have a new bush machined up and installed. By four thirty in the afternoon the new bushing had arrived from the machine shop and was fitted. Shortly after the rudder was back in place. The bushing is tight and the rudder hard to turn – I expect as the miles go by it will free up a bit.
By five in the afternoon I was back in the water and tied up alongside the dock. I really admire the can-do attitude of the American guys when it comes to engineering solutions. I had the same experience in Wrangell last year when the shaft strut was cracked. Within a few hours, a great engineered solution found and executed. Thank you, Toledo boatyard, especially Asia and Ted for a great job.
In the early evening I took a walk into town. Toledo is quite a small place, it looks like everybody knows everybody. Tuesday evening and not much going on. The main street is an attractive historic place that would be good to visit in warmer weather.
This evening I will have a good feed on board and get some rest ready for tomorrow. In the morning I will take the tide down the Yaquina River to Newport and hopefully be able to head out over the Bar towards San Francisco. I have a special date in San Francisco so need to get moving south.
At eight this morning I had called the Toledo boatyard and spoke to a helpful lady called Asia – (she seems to run everything in the yard). She could not give me a haul out time but said come on up and we will take you when we can. The idea is to lay alongside at the yard until they have a space for me.
After lunch I let go from the Newport Marina and turned right up the Yaquina River towards the town of Toledo, some ten miles distant. The departure was timed to carry the flood tide up the river and arrive an hour before high water. The river is shallow in places and I wanted to be able to float free on a rising tide if I went aground. Luckily, we found the channel all the way up and arrived at three in the afternoon.
Motoring up the Yaquina River was a different experience. There are a few housed dotted along the shore but mostly the banks are wooded with some pasture. There was a lot of birdlife and seals swimming about everywhere. The river must be very productive to keep all the seals fed and happy.
The shipyard is a pretty small place catering mainly to the local commercial fishing fleet. They seem to have all the right skills available on site to fix most common boat problems. Definitely not a flash place. Ted, the haul out guy, is going to try and lift Truce out at noon tomorrow.
I am informed Toledo Town is about two miles away and there is a bowling alley quite close to the shipyard that serves good burgers. I will have a wander up the road later to scout around.
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.