Tag Archives: Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race

The peaks & valleys of adventure aboard Yahtzee on the Oregon Offshore Race

Yahtzee finding her stride on the North Pacific Ocean
Yahtzee finding her stride on the North Pacific Ocean

Two hundred and eighty nautical miles. Three days and two nights. Seven crew. Nothing but sailing. The 2016 Oregon Offshore Race aboard Yahtzee was an absolute blast!

But just like many things in life and sailing, the race had its distinct ups and downs, swings in emotion, and peaks and valleys. The winds and seas changed as we tacked north and then sailed downwind towards the finish. Boatspeed was key, and it took a competent and alert crew to make the boat go fast in all conditions.

Aboard for the race we had my dad, Russ, our buddy Mark (who raced Swiftsure with us last year) and our friend Cliff. None of us had done the Oregon Offshore before, and we were all in for a grand adventure — peaks, valleys and all. Here they are.

Yahtzee's track from Astoria, OR to Victoria, BC
Yahtzee’s track from Astoria, OR to Victoria, BC

THE VALLEYS 

I’ll start with a couple valleys, because after sailing and racing on the ocean, every sailor coming off a boat immediately has their own tale to tell of calamity — many of which get told for the rest of their lives. Also, there were far more peaks than valleys.

A current affair: With a 7 a.m. start time set on the Columbia River Bar, we were up early at 3:30 a.m. and off the dock at 4 for the long motor out of the river. We were greeted with a little bit of a northwesterly breeze as boats jockeyed for position along the start line between red buoy #2 and the committee boat. Due to the ebbing current and decreasing wind I wanted to have us right on the line for the gun and we were on port tack sailing well as the race began. It was a good start. Continue reading The peaks & valleys of adventure aboard Yahtzee on the Oregon Offshore Race

Off we go down the coast to the mighty Columbia

I’ve recently come to realize that I’m not great about sharing Yahtzee’s future plans on the blog. It’s not purposeful. I guess I just enjoy living it first and writing about it later, rather than sharing what I think might happen months or even years down the way — that seems like a lot of pressure.

But I’ll break ever so slightly from that largely unintended tradition and offer a glimpse into what we’re doing at the moment and what we’ve got “planned” for the next month or so.

We’ve long been intrigued by the cruising offered in the Columbia River and have wanted to participate in the Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race, which takes place every May from Astoria, Oregon to Victoria, British Columbia. So back in the latter days of fall, we decided that we’d start looking for a weather window in late March to get us out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and down the coast to the Columbia River. We had a family trip to Florida scheduled for February and the weather is not notoriously great for a hop down the coast then anyway, so we figured the end of March would allow for a better chance at getting south. Also, our insurance company decided that being out on the coast on or after April 1 was a good date, too:)

Sailing under beautiful sunshine in the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Sailing under beautiful sunshine in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Continue reading Off we go down the coast to the mighty Columbia