Grounded and Grinding it out

We are approximately 85 nautical miles off the coast of Oregon, heading southeast around a weak, unpredicted low pressure system.

The past few days have been eventful. We are a bit tired and wet but spirits are high. It takes a lot to keep a sailboat running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We sail nonstop. To do that, we keep watch shifts. There are tons of ways to do this, we selected a rotating watch shift. We have to two teams, A and B. Each team has two members, Willy and I are in A and Beau and Chris are in B. Willy and I relieve each other and Beau and Chris relieve each other. We stagger the relief times so that there are always two on deck to sail and there are no gaps in turnover data. It’s working well, but with this system and the number of crew members we only get four hours of time between shifts to sleep, hygiene, eat and write blog posts. It can get tiring.

I didn’t mention this in my last blog post, but it’s a good story to keep a guy humble and prove how it’s important to work together as a team.

As we were coming into Seiku for fuel and brews we had to pass to the right of a breakwater. At the end of the breakwater was a couple of orange buoys (not official navigational aides) on the right and then on the left were docks with boats.

I cut the corner around the breakwater too tight and ended up soft grounding on a sand bar. As soon as I felt the boats motion change I knew we had grounded (done it a few times before!) and called out to the crew who was on deck that we grounded.

I immediately put on a hard rudder to turn the boat toward open water and the crew got on the rail to heel the boat. With the hard rudder and heeling we were able to get her off the sand bar and back out to the bay. I called the marina again and apparently they watched us ground and then get the boat off the sand bar. What’s frustrating about this is that we had JUST called to confirm they had fuel – it would have been nice to get some local knowledge before we popped ourselves up on a sandbar. Also, I should have checked the charts better before heading in.

It was great to see the team hop to and get the boat back on her feet. Teamwork at its finest.

Time for a nap…until then, stay gold.

Captain Brian and Crew

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