The rocky sea stack that rises from the waves just west of Cape Flattery looks something like an Easter Island moai---albeit missing its nose, and steroided up to three times its height. It’s impressive, and when I set out past it I sometimes like to think it’s wishing me good luck.
After recently slipping through the narrow pass between the Cape and Tatoosh Island in a 46’ sailboat bound for Los Angeles, it seemed for a while that fortune would indeed accompany us. The seas were moderate, the sun was out, and then, several miles down the coast, we found ourselves passing outside of two huge groups of whales---first, dozens of grays, and then an even greater population of humpbacks.
Anyone with an open mind is aware of the ongoing displacement of wild creatures by human activity. So it’s always heartening to find these magnificent animals apparently thriving out in the ocean, along with still abundant seabirds and fish, and know that all is not yet lost.
Good fortune does not last forever, and soon enough we were grumbling at the battalions of crab pots that forced a course move to far offshore, and, on the second night, seven near-miss entanglements as we wearily worked through the strings of floats to cross the bar into Newport. Then came the southerly gales that tied us up in Coos Bay for a week, followed by a northerly gale below Point Arena that flipped a crew into minor mutiny and desertion.
His replacement was much more reliable, the rest of the passage was easy enough, and we ultimately reached Marina del Rey and turned the boat over to its satisfied owner. On balance, a reasonably good trip. We’ll see what Mr. Moai has to offer us next time.