Sea Story

I had an extreme ocean adventure about 10 years ago. I was a delivery crew members for the expedition trawler Chasina Bay. We set out in late October 2010, with others, from Noyo Harbor on the newly completed 75’ steel fishing boat. October is a notoriously stormy month in the North Pacific and we were hit pretty hard off of Cape Mendocino. We lost our engine, and went dark, periodically for about 12 hours. As with most marine emergencies, our’s happened in the dark of night. The seas were breaking at 30′ and the windspeed was at gale force. Were thrashed about at the mercy of the sea. After determining that we had water in our fuel, the crew siphoned off as much as we could. After a scary couple of hours we called the US Coast Guard for assistance. With them monitoring our safety every 15 minutes on the radio, we limped to the entrance buoy at Grey’s Harbor, Oregon. There we were met by two 47′ USCG cutters. They advised us that the Grey’s Harbor Bar was closed because the tide was too low and the river ebb was running high. These are big wave conditions which create a very good chance of bottoming out in the entrance. This would be dangerous and disastrous. The USCG Captain radioed us and said that we must follow his lead through the entrance with no deviations. The second cutter would follow us and “break waves” for us. We made it through, as we surfed 40′ breaking waves. I lived to see another day!

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