Neah Bay to Port Angeles
We really enjoyed Neah Bay: Beautiful little spot. Convenient grocery shop right next to the marina, and some good food to be enjoyed outdoors (we still don't do indoors restaurants). With 50 Amp electrical service and decent WiFi, plus a lot of wild life to watch, Neah Bay Marina is a great place to unwind, so we decided to extend our stay by a few days.
I kept an eye on Windy.com for the best weather window for our next leg to Port Angeles, and it seemed to coincide with our wishes to stay in Neah Bay a little longer. Fine with us.
Days went by fast, with long walks along the waterfront and beaches, a few meals of fresh seafood and just resting from the previous leg from Astoria. It's amazing how doing "nothing" easily takes days!
Eventually we got ourselves in gear. Di went grocery shopping, mostly to replenish fresh items, and we set off for Port Angeles.
I picked beautiful weather for the passage to Port Angeles, and after very slow goings against the current, eventually it switched around, helping us in the second half of the trip. With tides changing about every 5 and a half hours, a 10 hour passage will pretty much always have a portion fighting the current, and another with it. We still averaged our good old 6 knot speed, so no real worries.
The excitement of the day was a repeated PAN PAN message from the US Coast Guards. They had only partial info about a boat overheard on VHF 16 calling for help but no other details: No position, boat name, description or anything. We listened to all calls, and eventually the call went out with an estimated position of the possible distress. It wasn't all that far from us -about 10 miles-, so we kept alert, but we could see a big Celebrity cruise ship was right on the search position. For us 10 miles against the current would be about 2 hours, so while we were ready to go, they were plenty of better options for fast rescue out there.
Within a few minutes the cruise ship answered the call, and within 30 minutes we saw all sorts of assets around us. USCG cutters, fast boats, a helicopter, a plane. There was no lack of man power and searching abilities, especially considering the beautiful weather and visibility. In the end no distressed boat was found, and I'm not sure there ever was a distress to begin with.
Arriving in Port Angeles just before 18:00 we got a wonderful view of the mountains in the background. It'd been quite a while since I'd spent time in Port Angeles: Back in 2015 my team arranged the dry transportation of one of our drilling ships from the deep port of Port Angeles to Singapore.
We had planned on going to the public docks next to the ferry terminal, but on arrival found the docks were nowhere to be seen. We were later told they'd been destroyed in a late Easterly gale. We had to reassess our options, and made way for Port Angeles Boat Haven marina. It is further away from downtown than the public dock would have been, but is a full service marina with electricity, water and WiFi, so we were fine with the switch.
We spent 2 nights in Port Angeles, walking the long waterfront and some beautiful neighborhoods.
We didn't have to wait long for the next weather window to finally get to the San Juan islands.