I arrive at Scappoose Moorage(# 41 on the map above.) 2 September 2008 late in the afternoon and am busy with the usual tasks: washing Shatoosh, buying groceries, drinking water and filling the inboard water tank. Finding block ice lately is a problem and delays my departure until the 3rd. After about 5 stores and 2 towns I finally find block ice. Hurray, the hauling, hauling part is over and the fun begins.
I proceed with my engine checklist and find a surprise: my air filter which is foam has disintegrateded and is lying in the engine compartment. This foam element just keeps the dirt from being taken into the engine, but the air needs to flow. How important is this filter? Could I put a sock over the end? I call the Volvo parts store in Portland and they would have to order one and it would take another day and the cost is $ 43.00. I put a call in to my diesel mechanic and will wait until I can speak with him.
In the meantime I visit with Paul at the end of the dock as he is very knowledgeable about many boating problems. He builds his own boats out of steel and has begun a 30ft. design off Shatoosh's lines for a future boat for he and his wife. Currently they own a 60ft steel cutter that he built and cruised in Alaska, British Columbia. Paul tells me that I could go ahead and run the engine without the foam filter as my engine compartment is clean. His mind is calculating and later he returns telling me to go to Fred Myers and look over the vacuum cleaner filters and I might find something I could use. He says a sock would inhibit the air flow, so I ask what about a nylon stocking? Yes, that would work. So, off I go back into Scappoose and find a cylinder shaped filter that is just the right size. I spend more time in the stocking section deciding on shear, thin, or support hose...knee length or anklets.. which color black or tan. I buy Hanes for my Volvo and put my project together. The cost is $10( that includes 2 pair of stockings). Paul is happy I found a workable and inexpensive solution and I am pleased that I just might get "Out of Dodge" today.
I untie my docks lines at 1510. I might make Saint Helens in time for me to fuel up before they close for the day. My mechanic returns my call when I am 6 miles down river. He thinks I could go with the nylon hose over the spring, to make certain I have adequate air flow. I tell him I'll check it out tonight and see how it seems to be working. I arrive at St. Helens at 1640 and take on 6 gal of fuel and then proceed down river with an ebbing tide and head winds to my favorite Martin Slough, arriving at 1810hrs. On the way I pass 2 ships from Hong Kong coming up river to Portland.
Days run: 18.2 nm
I lay over another day in Martin Slough, the 4th of September, to work on simple maintenance. I go ahead and remove the foam cylinder and just leave the nylon stocking over the spring and have it hose clamped. Now, there will not be any question about it getting enough air flow and the stocking will keep debris out of the engine.
Other items done :
Caulking the leak on my cabin grab bar, cleaning the windows, oiling the teak, cleaning the carpets, bildges, scrubbing the waterlines and planning my trip.The tides look cooperative; I have most of the day with ebbing tides going down and flood tides returning. How convenient is that?
Coordinating plans with my crew people, Linda and Ann, who will join me separately in Cathlamet. Linda will come in her RV and bring her new cat Tux and Ann will come for 4 days of cruising. This will be Linda's second trip with me and I have lost count with Ann. It is about 10 times, mostly while I was in the Delta.
I spend lots of fun time learning about my new cell phone. Just for fun I start the navigator program and ask it to locate me. In seconds they say I am in Martin Slough. I'm surprised and then punch the map button and even to my greater surprise is a map of the Columbia River , Martin Slough, Martin Lagoon and a blinking circle in a location of where I am at the dock. What a Surprise. Amazing, I am going to like this. I call Jean in Hawaii and let her know as she has also bought this phone. I take a picture with my cell phone and send it to Jean and show her my repair on the air filter. Instant communication. How great is this?
I go ashore and have been waiting since June for the blackberries to ripen and the crop looks good. I gather me a good supply to take down river. With the water levels down this time of year getting back to the dock is a meandering process. First there are the cows, then the upper level of docks, the lower level of docks, then the gang plank and finally the main dock. Oh, yes, I forgot there are a lot of cow pies everywhere.
I haven't seen Bucky Beaver, my charming friend for several years. He used to hang out on the east side of the lagoon in the afternoon sunning himself on shore. Although he is no longer around I still scan the shore with my binoculars, hoping I'll see him again. There is remaining evidence that he once lived here with all the young cottonwood saplings chewed down.
My neighbor Kitty has sent me off on this cruise with home-made brownies. No one has ever done that for me. What a delightful treat. I splurge on brownies and blackberries for days. Thanks Kitty for the goodies and for tending to my condo while I am gone.