When we last left Captain Willett and his crew they had limped into Coos Bay after hitting a deadhead off the Coast of Oregon. Here are the Captain's Logs (no pun intended) on the damage to the boat and the continued trip down the coast.
May 9th, 2019 - 2-day layover in Charleston Marina
After a 2-day layover in Charleston Marina awaiting haul out, Swift Trawler 47 was lifted out of the water and Captain and crew got their first look below the waterline. Upon visual inspection there was evident damage to three of the four blades on the port prop but no apparent damage to strut, shaft rudder or transmission. The decision was made to order both a port and starboard propeller and to block the Swift Trawler 47 out of the water to wait for the arrival of the replacement propellers from overseas. The starboard propeller arrived on Friday May 10th however the Port prop, the side with the damage, was still en-route.
After a more detailed assessment by owner Ray Cox at Gidding’s Boat Works, it was confirmed the damage sustained was limited to the port prop. With a new prop enroute from France, we left Coos Bay for with an anticipated return on Tuesday May 14th.
May 15th, 2019 - The ST 47 is Returned Back to the Water
Upon the return of the Captain and arrival of new crew member Jim Tull from the Beneteau sales team at Passage Nautical Enterprises in San Francisco and installation of the new prop from Beneteau, ST47 launched with smiles all around. With a grateful farewell to the mechanics and operators at Charleston Shipyard and Giddings Boat Works ST47 return to the transient dock in Coos Bay to provision and refuel in preparation for the long leg to San Francisco.
The Swift Trawler 47 is returned back to the water, refueled, provisioned and prepared for a May 16th departure for a straight shot run to San Francisco. We have to give a warm thank you to Ray Cox at Giddings Boat Works for bumping us to the front of the line to get us operational in time to beat a weather front closing in on the West Coast. The weather reports were not favorable with Gale wind forecast and a large storm front to pass. This weather will certainly test the capabilities of the Swift Trawler 47. Departure is planned for slack tide around 12:00.
May 16th, 2019 - Approaching Cape Mendocino
As dawn broke there was ominous news of a significant low pressure system sitting off of Cape Mendocino with NOAA reporting hazardous and chaotic seas. With the help of weather routing service, Commander’s Weather, ST47 found a small window of opportunity to chase the low pressure system south as it moved inland and before another system filled in from the north.
With a rising tide and barometer ST47 crossed the Coos Bay Bar at 1145 and headed due West to gain a favorable angle on the NW swell once turning South. At 1400, approximately 15 miles offshore, ST47 turned her bow south and settled in at 10kts for the long haul. With a burn rate of 5 gallons per hour on each engine this leg of the adventure was going to be about rage and timing. Based on the weather systems both ahead and behind ST47 would motor an average of 10kts for 200 miles in order to round Cape Mendocino between the two low pressure systems.
With mixed swell of 2-4 feet and deceptively sunny skies overhead the captain and crew could see dark clouds to the South but as the forecast predicted moving SSE and inshore.
With a 42 hour transit time into San Francisco the boat settled into normal watch routine and over light supper enjoyed another beautiful offshore sunset.
0015 LAT 41 43’.7 N LON 12 44’.2 W BRG 180T SPD 10.5kts
ST47 crossed the border into California and passed 22miles offshore from Crescent City. With 6-8’ following seas, clear skies and relatively benign 15-20 kt winds ST47 continued her measured pace south as a large low pressure system ahead continued to move inland and opening a brief weather window for a early morning Saturday arrival in San Francisco.
0611 LAT 40 45’.6N LON 124 40’6 W BRG 175T SPD 10.2kts
With the sun rising ST47 crossed 40 degrees of latitude and began to feel the rising wind and swell as she approached Cape Mendocino. With a 6-8’ southwesterly swell and 15-20kts of wind from the west ST47 handily managed the moderate conditions and made ready to round Cape Mendocino at 0800
1800 LAT 38 56’.5N LON 124 00’.6 W BRG155T SPD 10kts
Passing 6 miles offshore of Point Arena ST47 enjoyed mild conditions running inside the 10nm mark. As darkness fell she moved offshore to avoid crab pots and other commercial hazards to navigation.
2046 LAT 38 40’.2 N LON 123 41’.0 W BRG 166T SPD 9.5kts
Under a full moon ST47 lined up on her final waypoints around Point Arena and Point Reyes for a early morning arrival into San Francisco Bay.
May 17th, 2019 - Sailing Under the Iconic Golden Gate Bridge
0650 LAT 37 48’.9 N LON 122 28’.8 N BRG 075T SPD 10.5kts
On a rising tide and moderate conditions, the Swift Trawler 47 sailed under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and with a smart blast of the horn Team BENETEAU arrived in high spirits to early onlookers overhead.
After demonstrating her speed in Puget Sound and the straits of Juan de Fuca, the Coos Bay to San Francisco leg showcased ST47’s range and seaworthiness on this 400+ mile, 42 hour transit and arriving with 25% reserve in the tanks. After refueling at Gashouse Cove marina, the Swift Trawler 47 made her way to the BENETEAU dealership dock at Passage Nautical Enterprise in Brickyard Cove and after tying up to the dock and securing the vessel, Captain and crew departed with memories for a lifetime!