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Eureka to Fort Bragg

We pulled across the Eureka bar and it was rough. The bar itself was just rolly, but the seas were running 6 to 8' every 7 seconds with two to three foot wind waves. Let me mention here that square seas are no fun. Gary and I set up a 45 minute relief schedule and we started handing it back and forth. Gary handed the helm off to me as we were halfway between Cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda. As soon as we were abeam Punta Gorda, the sea started to settle down. I ended up flipping on the autopilot and we started to migrate up to the flybridge as the temperature climbed.

I had been warned off the Noyo River entrance by a boat owning doctor of my daughter's. I must say that because of how easy many of the other bar crossings had been, I was much less worried. We headed in toward the Noyo river and it was stunning. The pictures of the bridge and the river there are great.

As we pulled in, Gary had a fateful conversation with a local dock rat about transient docking at the Marina. It turns out there is no real transient dock there, but you just kinda slip into where there isn't a boat or isn't going to soon be a boat. Minutes after us, a salmon fisherman who we passed when crossing the bar pulled up next to us. He told us that the fish weren't biting that afternoon. That was a bit of a relief as I had nixed fishing on the way in in hopes of finding fuel and heading on to Bodega or SF. We bought two salmon caught the day before from him. We grilled up some salmon and brought out some beer. Gary's grilling skills were up there, but it is hard to do wild fresh salmon wrong.

As we are finishing up a beautiful sunset lit dinner, the dock rat comes over from the other side of the river. It turns out he is a charter fishing captain. We get to talking and he finds out we are here in need of fuel. He tells us that we should have told him that and that unlike Eureka, it was relatively easy to get the fuel dock open on a Sunday by making a phone call or two. Gary had convinced me that it wasn't worth stopping at the fuel dock on the way in and hadn't asked the dock rat like Rex the petro distributer had mentioned in Eureka. Our captain friend tried to roust them at 9PM as we coulda easily high tailed it in the very favorable sea conditions to at least Bodega Bay - which has a 24 hour fuel dock - or on into SF. He couldn't find anyone but did tell us that the fuel dock would be open around 7AM the next morning.

We watched a movie or two and went to bed.


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