16 to 29 APRIL - (2017 POST # 10) - FLORENCE !!!!

It has been a long time (33 days to be exact) since a posting here (and for many good reasons), here is the very long catch-up story. The last So...fea post was "before" dry docking in Winchester Bay at Reedsport Marine, and much (MUCH) has transpired since to get us out of port..

There are two halves to the Windy cove Campground, each has one stand-alone cabin, in a remote wooded area (very private) a single room 14 X 14 wooden structure with an add-on covered porch sitting 4 foot above ground level, they are a year or so old, and beyond sterile clean !!

A microwave, a propane heater, a 2 burner stove top, 2 well sink, a decent sized reefer and freezer, a dinette/desk, lots of windows,  a huge hot water heater, and a 90 pound water pressure shower !!!!!!!!!!!, city toilet and sink, a queen bed and a queen futon (vinyl wrapped)-bring your own sheets blankets pillows, towels, and food.

For Veterans 35.00 bucks a day. we were the only occupants in both campgrounds.

We stayed five days while So...fea was in dry dock.  (all of us !)  5 kitties, Bonnie, and us two), warm, clean, and with more hot water than you could run out of  . . . in a 90 pound shower !

an'ya and I took So...fea the 1/2 mile over to the ship yard, and returned her back to G dock.

Over at the shipyard So...fea offered up zero surprises,  in four looong days, I removed and blanked off three sea chests, re-zinced, and cleaned, inspected, and painted the bottom myself,

Even took a R & R extra day at the cabin... sat in the shower. best $175.00 I ever spent.


On Easter Sunday morning (April 16) , at 12 noon sharp we finally threw off the lines and departed from G dock in Windy Cove - Salmon Harbor, Winchester Bay, Umpqua and got underway for Florence/Siuslaw Harbor and our new permanent reserved dock space A-10 in Port of Siuslaw (Florence).

This was our third attempt (in the past 10 days) to depart . . . and, perhaps our 50th attempt to leave in the past six months. It was never our intent to stay at G-10 as long as we did, it was either weather, sea conditions, or repair status-preparedness that acted as a canceller.

This time, after dry docking, we fueled up, and the winter gales subsided, and, we had delayed long enough !

On our first attempt, the notorious Umpqua bar conditions were NOT as the Coast Guard said they were.. not even close ! so we learned not to trust the USCG reports (even though they were located only 2 miles from the bar, and have view-cameras) . . . our second attempt was thwarted when our old-tired Starboard engine began rattling 1/2 way to the entry, so we returned to fix four bent push rods, but, today all looked great !

-2 foot wind waves, 55 degrees, clear skies, 5 MPH winds, 4 foot swells, and a perfect-in-every-way day. We sat at the entry to the evil bar and watched, then decided to go for it . . . as this is a 3/4 mile long shoot-once you commit there is no reversing, you "must" go for it, about 1/2 way out the wind shifted and the waves began to move sideways in the channel, we took on a violent broaching side roll that was ugly, So...fea has 660 Horsepower, so it was full throttle to overcome the sea action . . . eventually after a 15 minute pucker factor 12, we broke free into open ocean, but, as we turned to head the 25 miles to Florence the Starboard engine was sooo noisy and blubbering, I had to shut it down.

Then, the weather changed to grey overcast, light rain, and ashore blowing winds of 10-15 knots, the swells and wind waves followed, and it was a slow rolly-polly crawl on one engine to the Siuslaw jetty, in a unfamiliar boat, in moderate seas. Remember, we have five cats aboard and a dog... Bonnie simply slept, but the cats (locked in the V berth) all got sea-sick-and terrified, and noisy, simply stated, they made quite a huge horrendous/smelly mess. The siuslaw jetty has almost as bad a reputation as the Umpqua, and with one engine, and unfamiliarity, and a new unknown handling boat, the closer we got, the more fearsome the event loomed in my mind.

Then,,I heard a 16 radio call to Coast Guard Siuslaw come in from Captain Thomas, the Sea/ocean tower, he was coming back from a near Newport tow, and rendezvousing with his truck/trailer crew in Florence harbor... he was about as far North as we were South, and he was familiar with the Siuslaw bar entry, so, we tied onto his tail and he followed a Coast guard lead boat into the river !!

From there, it was 6 slow miles up river to a slow-single engine docking at A-10... and a free ride to Winchester from the Captain, on his way back to his Coos home port.... We tied up to A-10 Florence at 1700 hours high, I got the ride back to pick up the van, then drove back to Florence while any'ya shoveled out and detoxed the V bunk area, we had the dock power and electric lines on, and were watching TV by 2100 eating a celebratory "take-out" dinner from ICM. (although not for long . . . as reality, and exhaustion took us all over).................................


Moments ago,  (now on the 19th of April) we concluded the last of the formalities here at the Siuslaw Port/Harbor Office (our onboard inspection,  and one-year moorage agreement -including 12 months pre-payment-, got the shower, and WiFi codes and the Parking Permit) . . . so, we are finally done ! Paid for ! and secure for a year, this 9 1/2 month endeavor began last July 4th (2016) iand s now completed, we have our first Port Commissioners meeting to visit this evening, and will meet the rest of the Port staff .

Monday the 24th,  the rest and recuperation is over, and it is back to the never-ending repair list, and modernization schedule . . . plus shopping, laundry, and now doing "everything" here in Florence (which was the original intent and plan), so, we now must realign and reschedule everything.

I will report back on "how" these last 30 +days of  jam packed/ever changing events evolved later, and, once again reduce the postings that have come August to now into a more concise tale,....

Saturday the 29th; Been here almost two weeks, and have finally settled in, learned the routine/rituals and gotten back to a "normal-daily" routine . . . and are now ready to re-continue on the restoration/renovation.

Less wildlife here, but a LOT more water animation and wind ! (than in Windy Cove-Winchester Bay), we are still facing due East, and on a river the same distance from the Ocean shoreline, and only 20 miles North of Winchester, but, things are quite different (we even have cell phone service, lots of electric and WiFi here !).

At A-10, we have been rammed three times by logs coming down river in the outflow tide, Thursdays was 24" in diameter 8 feet long, hit us bow-on at 0300 hours (we sleep forward), the outflow goes at 10 knots, so, it was quite a wallop, I am thinking barrier deflector of some type.