Lady Washington-Part Four (Wednesday)

Wednesday Morning March 15th, Crossing the Bar at Eureka into Humboldt Bay

Read Part Three HERE.

Eureka Harbor

I awoke just as I was skidding out of my berth and into space. I grabbed the edge of the trim above me before I crashed to the floor. We were rolling in twenty foot swells. Shauna cursed as a dozen eggs leapt out of their bowl splattering all over the galley. Because of the storm’s strong southerly winds we had arrived off the coast at Eureka full day ahead of schedule. Just ahead of us was the shelter of Humboldt Bay. But first we had to cross over the bar of sand that guarded the harbor entrance, the graveyard of many ships.

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Lady Washington-Part Three (Tuesday)

Tuesday Morning, March 15th, Sailing on the open sea.

Read Part Two HERE.

Crew on deck in choppy sea

I was jolted awake by the chief engineer, flying shards of his coffee mug and a wave of seawater all crashing down the galley ladder in a jumble. It was raining hard and the ship was rocking in ten to fifteen foot swells. All was wet and slippery. Shauna, the cook, had made breakfast in between bouts of seasickness. The good news was that theses gusty winds and giant waves from the south meant we were sailing fast! At this rate we’d reach Eureka well ahead of schedule.

There had been no cell phone reception because we were so far from land, but in the middle of the night I had received a burst of text messages and emails. One spam message, "Morning Psalm 34" said, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” I paused. It was easy to understand why sailors of old were either superstitious, religious or both; you need somebody by your side in the stormy sea. Suddenly, our fog-horn bellowed. I saved the email and climbed the ladder to the deck.

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Sailing on the Lady Washington- Part Two (Monday)

Monday Morning, March 14th, The Golden Gate

Read Part One HERE.

Lady Washington passes through the Golden Gate

Though Shawna, the new cook, had served breakfast early, we cast off later than Captain JB had planned. The crew had lashed the aluminum walkway to the side of the ship and made fast all the other gear, but we waited. The captain spent time radioing the Coast Guard and timing our departure with the tide change. He wanted a slack tide for the moment when the Lady Washington would cross from the San Francisco Bay into the open ocean. There was no sense fighting stronger tidal currents than we had to.

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Sailing on the Lady Washington part one

By Bret Wirta

Sunday afternoon, March 13th 2011, San Francisco Bay

Lady Washington Sails

I have always been fascinated by the Tall Ship Lady Washington. Our official State Ship, she provides education and entertainment as she sails up and down the West Coast. She regularly calls on ports on the Olympic Peninsula. My family and I watched Seattle’s Fourth of July fireworks aboard her last summer. Millions recognize her as the HMS Endeavor from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean". So when I heard about the chance to sail on her as a passenger for four days from San Francisco to Eureka on the open sea, I bought myself a ticket. What I really purchased was one of the most adventure-packed few days I’ve experienced in quite a while.

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