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The Trip

So, I've actually put together a proposed schedule for the Tacoma to Coyote Point trip.

The plan is to leave April 30th with a crew of Gary Nelson, hopefully Rob Gibbs, and possibly Charles. I've been convinced -and it wasn't all that hard due to the amazing amount of crap I've run into in the Puget Sound - by Gary and Rob to run the Puget Sound, Admiralty Inlet, and Strait of Juan de Fuca in daylight. We're going to stop for fuel in Port Angeles, but aim to be at Neah Bay and tied up as the sun sets on the 30th. From there we plan an early rise to head offshore and down to Grays Harbor as we expect to arrive around 11AM May 1 there.

From there, I'm going to rent a car and take Gary and Rob back to one of their cars. Then it's off to SeaTac airport to pick up the rest of the crew - Charles, Spencer, Elrod, and likely Al - around 3PM as thats when I'm going to aim to land their flights. We will load up the rental and head back to Grays Harbor. We'll likely drop a few guys at the boat and take a smaller crew over to a grocery store for beer and food provisions. We plan to depart around 7PM for the correct tide timing in both Grays and Coos Bay.

Our plan is to arrive in Coos Bay around Noon on May 2. The plan is intentionally night centric as the best power cruising is when the winds are low and that is after dark. The only drawback is that the weekend in question is a new moon and that will make the crab pots a bit harder to spot. We plan to tie up at Charleston Marina Fuel Dock and then find a place to lay over until about 7PM that night. This is subject to change as I'm currently estimating our average cruise speed off shore as this is my best GPH cruise and has proven to be a good ride in rough water. Our actual average cruise may end up better. The reason for the layover in Coos Bay is that we will need to refuel in Humboldt Bay and the fuel dock is likely only to be open 8AM to 5PM. Also, to be on the safe side, I'm scheduling us to always cross bars on a flooding tide.

We should pull into Humboldt Bay around 10AM, but the nearest fuel dock to the harbor bar is about 4 nm north in the bay at Woodley Island Marina. I hope to be exiting the bar by 12:45PM on May 3 with a full load of fuel. If things hold to the plan, we should cross under the Golden Gate Bridge around 8AM Sunday May 4, 2003. I plan to hit the fuel dock one last time at Coyote Point and then stern her into her new slip.

All of this is of course pending a decent weather window. I think the most extreme conditions we are willing to be out in are a 9' swell with wind waves to 2' and 25 or less knots of wind. I'm also really hoping for non southerly winds and we should be able to get them. I've got a pro doing our forecasting, and I'm watching weatherfax, the bouys, and the NOAA coastal forecasts.

Slip to slip, I've calculated a distance of 908 nm. That translates to 67 hours and 50 minutes of on the water time and doesn't count layovers or time fueling. I'm going to pass on calculating the cost in diesel, but I can tell you that we should get just over 1nm to the gallon so you can do the math...

I will post updates up to and during the trip here. We should have GPRS internet access in the various harbors.


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