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.