Big Left Turn: Bumpy Ride and Ducking into Gold Beach

We stressed over the weather map for a day and a half and made the call that we had a small window to get to Crescent City. That is if we left early and got around Cape Blanco before the heavy weather set in. The engine was fired up at 5 am and we were off. I’d put up a picture but it would be just a completely black image.

The Coos Bay bar was nice and calm, and we were hopeful. That id not last long as the waves started picking up. the problem with today versus the last few was the wind is out of the south and therefore we are going against the wind waves. If it was out of the north, the trip would have been smooth.

The model said after Cape Blanco the wind would calm down and be manageable at least until we could get to Crescent City. As we approached the Cape, it didn’t let up and the updated model showed a change for the worse. We had a decision. 3 hours forward or 5 hours back. We opted for the forward even though the back trip would be smooth. The decision took us to Gold Beach, Oregon. It’s on the Rogue River and unfortunately has a bar that isn’t monitored after Labor Day. The good part is the approach was to the north and thus it was mostly with the waves. Once we turned to go in the ride smoothed out as expected.

The bar was not optimal as it had visibly breaking waves between the jetties. As we came in Steve sped up to stay between the waves. It was a bit tense but we made it thru. The river has bunch of shoaling and shallow spots and luckily, we were coming in at high tide. The local charter captain that was on the dock and helped us was surprised we made it thru without going aground. Guess we got lucky. He said he’d show us the best path to navigate out tomorrow. You can see the nice sand bar across the bar in the satellite image below.

After a nap, we headed up check out the Port Hole Cafe. The dinner was delicious and it’s a pretty nice place. In the same parking lot is Jerry’s Rouge River Museum and Gift Shop that has a lot of history and pictures of how the area developed.

And you can see that the marina is a popular place in the offseason.

Voyage Information:

Coos Bay to Gold Beach
Time: 9 h 25 m ( 04:55 to 14:20 )
Distance: 71.65 nm

Big Left Turn: Down to Coos Bay

September 24-25, 2021

The next leg of the trip was from Astoria to Coos Bay. A 20+ hour scheduled journey. Our second overnight test.

We made good time throughout the night, mostly due to Steve deciding to burn a bit more fuel to raise the bow and smooth out the ride. Therefore, we got to the Coos Bay Bar around 7:30 am. A few hours before slack tide. The good news was the bar conditions were very good with only 1-3 foot ebb chop and no restrictions. The cruise in was uneventful and other the all the fishing boats zooming out was a pleasant ride.

After settling in I took a jog around the area and ended up at the Coos Bay Harbor Entrance Viewpoint. Close to the view point was a little trail that went down to the shore. I followed the trail and was happy to find a cave that went through to a second beach. I traversed over and took a few pictures. It was a nice little side trip and fun to climb around.

The crew headed out for dinner. There were 3 choices within walking distance and basically within the parking lot of the marina complex. We opted for the Portside Charleston. The restaurant reminded me of places I used to go with my Grandparents back in the day. The staff was friendly and the food was delicious. I’m getting spoiled with all the Oregon shirmp!

Voyage Information:

Astoria to Coos Bay
Time: 22 h 55 m ( 09:00 to 07:56 )
Distance: 193.44 nm