was our first time alone on Halcyon, so it was time to get to know the
boat (and ourselves). We had a great excuse to explore Coos Bay, since the engines
needed their break-in period and 20-hour servicing. For the rest of October, we
had great cruises in Coos Bay and out to the Pacific across the bar. There are
times, however, when one doesn't venture out of harbor.
-----We found one of those times. There was a Pacific storm, with lashing rain and wind. Also, with the new moon, there was a strong ebbing tide. It was rather nasty, but we decided to just peek out into South Slough to see how things looked. Immediately, a 45' Coast Guard patrol boat blocked the way. A few crew members were on the deck. "They're waving at us," El said as she gave them a friendly wave in return. Just then, the VHF blared: "What are your intentions, green pleasure craft in Charleston Harbor?"
-----"Oh, nothing much," I answered, trying to sound nonchalant. "Just trying out the radar and wanted a peek out into the slough," I answered, with a hastily added, "Sir."
-----Back came the military voice, "The river is ripping out there on the ebb tide; the swells are breaking over the breakwater; and the river is full of debris bigger than your boat. If you collided with a tree, and lost power, you'd be pulled out the breachway by the ebb and go over the bar."
-----"Well," we responded as we turned a 180, "Guess we'll just head into the marina and tie up for the night," we meekly responded.
-----"Good choice, skipper," crackled Ch 16. "Coast Guard, out."
-----So we did just that, except that it took two passes at the slip. Fortunately, a guy came over to catch our line before we were secure in the G dock. Strong wind might have been a good excuse, but inexperience handling the engines was the real reason. Ah, well, we all have to start the learning process sometime. We settled down, with shaking hands, to our evening sundowner.
Cruising the Coast ---------- A Rugged Coast
A Happy Threesome ----- Handsome Boat
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