April 2nd, 2010


Newport to Garibaldi


   So we were in Newport Friday evening (or at least I was) through yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. From my already-getting-foggy recollection I believe we sailed about on both Saturday and twice on Sunday, Monday just did maintenance, and just had dockside education programmes on Tuesday.

   Monday evening we got a vip tour of the Rogue Brewey, and our first round of drinks at their very nice restaurant were bought by the GM. The food at the restaurant was highly delicious, much like Stone Brewery, Rogue appears to carry on their dedication to only the finest products to all the food in their restaurant. They also have their own creamery (making Rogue Cheese!) and distillery (try their "pink gin" if you get a chance! It was aged in pinot noir barrels, it is excellent! Also I just plain like the design of their rum bottles).

   Otherwise have ended up at the Rogue Pub every evening. The Brewery is across the river from us but the pub is just across the way. Got to know Reuben (the manager of the pub), Danny (the manager of the hop farm (did I mention Rogue has its own hop farm?)), Paul (one of the brewers), and Tyson (one of the distillers). The latter two were quite eager to have us fire off a cannon for them but alas it was the last evening and we were due to leave in the morning. They tried to bribe us with promises of copious amounts of booze and beer. We resisted, but the captain (who it turns out is himself quite a fan of high quality beer, was a local chairman of some Committee to Save Real Ale or something back in jolly olde England) had to excuse himself to bed in order to resist their tempting bribery. We did give them a tour of the boat though, which they were excited about (which I thought was funny because to me what THEY do is so exciting).
   And being as they already have a creamery and hop farm, and they do use honey in some of their beers, I did ask if they had their own apiary or were interested in starting one ;) (turns out all anyone I asked knew was a local town it comes from).

Everything a Tourist Needs To Know About Newport:
Where to Stay: the Rogue Inn! Above the Rogue Pub! Comes with complimentary BEEEEER.
Where to Eat: (1) There's this quaint little coffee shop called "THE COFFEE SHOP" just at the end of the marina. All their food looked delicious. I got a pasty there, which is a delicious pastry I haven't seen anywhere since Ireland. (2) Rogue Brewery! Their food also all looks, smells, and tastes delicious!
Where to Drink: do I really have to answer this? Rogue Pub!! or the brewery itself! Also the distillery apparently gives tours with free samples!
Where to get free Wifi: Rogue Pub! ("Emo-snal now sponsored by Rogue?")
What to Do: During the day? I don't know they don't let me off the boat during the day! I'm sure there's stuff.

Transit to Garibaldi
   We were scheduled to leave Newport at 09:30 Wednesday (yesterday) ... but the Coast Guard said the bar* conditions did not permit us to exit yet and to check back with them at 12:00. *bar in this case means the shoal or sandbar or just plain hazardous conditions formed where a river meets the sea and creates extremely dangerous conditions. So we all trotted over to the coffee shop across from us. There I got to talk to an old shipmate of mine from the Lady, Jesse, who happened to be in town visiting his dad. At noon we were postponed again and finally by 13:00ish the Coast Guard gave us a "it's as good as it's going to get."

   Heading out between the breakwaters out to sea, watching the waves crash over them, everyone was a bit tense, and hardly anyone talked. When we finally got out there there were certainly big swells, but it wasn't really that bad.

   I didn't even feel close to sea sick when we went spent a day in a gale on the Spirit of Dana Point, and crossing the Colombia and Gray's Harbour bars on the Lady Washington I was positively buoyant and jolly throughout. However, I've oft heard it said that the Hawaiian Chieftain moves about in a particularly squirrely (they always say squirrely) manner, probably due to her very low draft (she only sits 5.5 ft deep in the water). I was fine until I had my second turkey pot pie for dinner, and then bam it immediately came back up again. I was able to hurredly finish washing my dish in the galley and scurry over to the lee scupper and calmy kneel down and puke on deck right beside it, exactly as we'd been advised to do on both the Spirit and the Lady (right by the scupper the waves will wash it off the deck in moments, and you don't risk your life by leaning over the rail, which also risks splatting it on the side of the boat somewhere the waves won't wash it off before it damages something). However the First Mate scowled at me and told me to lean over the rail next time. :X
   After that first puke it was all over though. I mean I didn't feel sick for any sustained period of time but after that if I was upright belowdecks for any period of time I'd be liable to have to suddenly run for a trashcan. ): Once I even had to spring out of bed, which I felt was a particularly cruel turn of events because I've always felt totally safe of sea sickness while lying down.

   Anywhom, had my watch 20:00-24:00. There were about four people per watch. One mans the helm and the other three mostly keep them company, but the person manning the wheel switches every so often, and every hour on the half hour someone does boat check and on the hour someone (usually the watch leader) goes down to update our position on the chart. Our watch leader was Pony, a large blonde fellow who reminds me of Captain Aubrey from the Patrick O'brian books if that means anything to anyone. He's the ship's bosun and I envied his chart updating due to my enjoyment of such in my recent coastal navigation class. During Boat Check someone (being as there's four of us and it has to be done once an hour for the four hours usually a different person each time) has to take down what several gauges on the con say, several gauges in the engine room (as well as inspect that the engines are running smoothly), and the bilges in several places, among other things. Engine room is where one usually gets sick because it's extremely warm in there and stuffy and smells of diesel and definitely has no windows to the outside world. I actually only got sick in the engine room once, and successfully made it to the nearest trashcan (by quickly finishing my note taking there, pulling open the watertight door to the focsle, stumbling to the laddy, up the ladder, and finding the galley trashcan just in time).
   Got to sleep 24:00-07:30, which really makes my shift the best there is, normal sleeping patterns ftw. Ate some breakfast purely for the sake of having something to puke out again and avoiding unpleasant dry heaving, but actually rather enjoyed the breakfast (I thought it was cornbread but others referred to it as "square pancakes?"). 08:00-12:00 shift was actually rather pleasant. Was a gray morning with intermittent rainshowers, and occasionally even spots of sunlight. For awhile I was at the wheel with the sun illuminating a valley gloriously to my right and a large rainbow to my left and I regarded it as a particularly delightful moment in time.
   We could have been at Garibaldi early in the morning but the Coast Guard wouldn't allow anyone across the bar until around 13:30 so we steamed on right past it for a few hours and then turned around. More intermittent showers and even some pea sized hail for awhile. One whale sighted.
   Finally we approached the bar around 13:30, and the Coastguard had two arranged two of their little wave darting "lifeboats" to meet us out there. Word from the Coast Guard wasn't even exactly "it is now safe to cross the bar" so much as "well we still don't really recommend it but if you're GOING to it's now or never and we'll be standing by to rescue you." We were all told to stand by on deck in lifejackets as we approached. Massive swells, actually breaking on the approach to the harbour entrance. I've never seen so big a wave towering OVER our deck and looking like it's about to break. We literally surfed a wave or two. Coast guard lifeboat scooted about behind us trying to take wave breaks and we managed to get into the harbour without incident.

   Garibaldi is a town of about 276 I'm told. It is not named after a fish as I had hypothesized with wild abandon but is actually specifically named after the uniter of Italy. Now you know.
   It looked like the whole town was on the base of the jetty to watch us come in (/ get dashed against the rocks). As soon as we were tied to the dock people were lining up to come up for tours, and I counted 103 people come aboard (with ye trusty clicky thing o counting), which needless to say is a significant portion of the town.
   Then we were all invited to dinner with (some sort of local civic society? members of the museum?) some local town elders of some sort at the local museum. They even drove us to/from the museum! For a tiny town they had quite a nice little museum. They had quite a bit about the original Lady Washington</i> (the first boat to enter this harbour)!
   Later on I proceeded on foot from the ship to find bountiful wifi. First person I came across was a gas station attendant, who said "oh you can probably get the wifi from my house right here! It's unsecured!" there was nowhere comfortable to sit and compute there though nor power sockets, but I thought it was a particularly friendly gesture, indicative of how friendly this town seems to be. He pointed me down the road to a hotel, where I am now sitting on a (probably fake) leather couch by the (fake) fire in the fireplace (well the fire is real but the lobby girl explained apologetically that it's not actually burning the (fake) logs in it, it is gas).

   Tomorrow (Friday) we have "all the school children of Garibaldi" on the schedule for to come down to the boat for an education programme.

   No new pictures because my camera batteries died as we were leaving Newport, and I don't appear to have the batteries I'd bought in NYC. ):



   This was meant to go up yesterday but I ended up being without internet access nearly the entire day.
   Anyway, whirled and I have created a community (zomgwedding) to answer all the epic questions about getting married in the best way conceived thus far by man kind -- polling a lot of people who are not directly effected by the situation! Hooray!

   Here is the first question:

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