Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014 - Newport OR

This has been a GREAT stop.  Newport is a very nice little town.  It is on the Yaquina River and is very much a seaport town.  NOAA has a large facility here and manages all of their Pacific Ocean ships from here.  There are two aquarium/research centers here.  There are scores of commercial boats as well as hundreds of charter fish boats, whale watching boats, not to mention just plain old recreational boats, like us.  Charter fishing dominates the marina we are staying in, and commercial fishing seems to be king across the river at the other marina.  The Coast Guard has a station here with several 47' motorlifeboats  Newport has white sandy beaches with dunes, a picturesque bridge crossing the river, and it's even the home of the well established Rogue Brewery  There are several small shopping districts with unique small shops, much like our hometown of La Conner.  There are several large RV parks too.  This is a town that can keep a visitor busy for a week, easily!

Adagio on the long guest dock at Newport Or.  Yaquina river bridge (hiway 101)

Cindy and Kevin play in the water

A tiger shark at the Aquarium

Both kids thought this was one of the best playgrounds ever.  They said it had
some challenging items.  The slide was very fast and long too.

View of the bar entrance from the bridge.

The Rogue brewery dominates our marina's waterfront.
We have very much enjoyed this stop.  We used the town bus (free to marina and RV guests) to get out to a historic lighthouse, a nice beach, hitting Fred Meyer to re-provision, and just seeing the town.  It was a great little perk.  We have ridden our bikes numerous times to beaches, to the aquariums, the NOAA facility, and simply riding the very nice bike trails that Newport has to offer.  This is a very enticing stop for a boater, or an RV'er.

Walking our bikes through the sand on the jetty.  Newport OR.

The large sand beach makes for good mountain biking.

Riding one of the many great bike trails in Newport.  Improvised boogie board &
skimboard backback.  It works, but not very well.

47' Coast Guard motor lifeboat refueling at 1:30AM.  The fuel dock is right
across from us.

So far marina costs on the coast are not eating us alive, as they would back in the San Juan's.  If we tell the marina we are a 48' boat (a true statement) the cost is a mere $20/night.  If they ask our overall length (54') we jump to a still extremely affordable $32/night.  Heck, that's cheaper than any hotel in any town, for a family of four.  So far marina expenses have been considerably cheaper than we planned.  Fuel consumption is about what we expected, at 1.5 - 1.75 nmpg (nautical miles per gallon).  We have consumed quite a few fuel filters (at $6.00 each) so far, but the two tanks we are using are now completely cleaned out and are no longer clogging filters every few hours.  In fact the current set of filters have 20+ hours on them and are still doing fine, according to the vacuum gauges I installed a few years ago.  We have two other fuel tanks that have not been "polished" yet, so I expect to burn through another case of filters before the crud has been removed from those tanks.   The boat has performed flawlessly so far.  The stabilizers are working hard to keep our ride smooth.  The engines are purring away under our salon hour after hour, ticking off the miles.  All of the other systems are performing their duties without hiccup.  I (Steve) continue to work on projects that I didn't have time to complete back home, but all of the critical stuff is already up and running.  Now we are adding niceties, like our cell and wifi amplifiers/routers, and our wireless printer so any device can print from anywhere.  These things make life better, but we could certainly live without them.

Home school is a new experience for all of us.  It is certainly different for Cindy and Kevin to be in this environment compared to a classroom.  But Kathy and I are also experiencing radical changes as we become teachers for the first time in our lives.  Steve is tackling science and sometimes math.  Kathy is handling social studies, language arts, history, art, and more.  We have decided that the kids need to be separated to effectively home school.  So, one child is at the pilothouse settee while the other is at the salon settee.  This layout on the boat is proving to be invaluable for us!  Homeschool is now taking about 4 hours per day.  A routine is starting to develop, and I think with more time, it will become very "natural" for all of us.  Right now though, we are all stumbling through it at times trying to figure what needs to be done.  I can say that the time spent with our kids during homeschool is great.  Most kids are gone for school all day and don't see their parents.  This cruising lifestyle is going to allow us all to spend a great deal of time together, far more than your average parent/child.  We will be very close to our children as a result of this adventure.

The historic Yaquina Head lighthouse

Kevin boogie boarding

Kevin sizing up the waves

A large grey whale near shore, Yaquina lighthouse.

The weather is giving us some anxiety.  We are consulting several weather sources in order to try to determine when to motor.  But, sometimes we are getting conflicting information.  On a boat, weather is everything and rules your life.  A bad decision to leave port could result in a dangerous situation for all of us.  Playing it safe us our motto.  If there is doubt we will just stay put until we can eliminate the doubt.  We are not in a hurry to get down the coast, so spending another day or two, or three, somewhere is not really a bad thing.  It gives us more time to explore the town we are visiting.  Still I lose sleep every night thinking about what can go awry out there on the ocean.  We are doing everything we can to minimize the risks.

We were going to leave Newport this morning and motor 6-7 hours to Florence, OR.  Conditions look great this morning, but strong winds are coming this afternoon and will last through Friday.  If the winds develop earlier than forecast we could end up out on the ocean, with a closed river bar and no-place to go.  We don't want to get stuck on the ocean for the next 2-3 days riding out 25-30 knot winds until things subside and the river bars open up again.  There are gale warnings further south in Oregon which means motoring further down the coast rather than riding it out around Florence is not an option.  So, despite the great conditions this morning, we are staying put.

 Our next stop is Florence OR.  Not many cruiser's stop there.  Those that do rave about it as a stop.  There is a bridge that needs to be opened for boats over 17' tall (we are more like 35').  I have talked to the bridge tender a few times now and he has told me that they only have to open the bridge (hiway 101) a handful of times per year.  When it's opened, highway 101 will be closed until we get through!  We can't wait to explore Florence!


  1. I love your motto. I want you guys to be as safe as possible the whole trip. I also love all the pictures. Looks like you guys are having a great trip already!!!

  2. You're right that Newport is a pretty place! Also, it was a nice call to clean out those fuel tanks. Fuel filters last longer if there's little amount of sediment they have to filter. This could've saved you some money that you can use on something else, or put away for future repairs. Anyway, it seems like your boat is in great shape, which means a more efficient ride for you. Take care!

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company