Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
8 December 2009: Tuesday
Hira told us goodbye the other day, as she was leaving for her Christmas holidays with her twin sister Jean in El Paso, Texas. This is the beach/desert where they were born 66 years ago. We are going to miss her, so Pash and I decided that instead of being lonely down here in Scappoose that we'd write a letter to Santa with hopes that we can have our own Christmas party.
Pashmina and I have been such great companions this year to Hira and her gang of friends that we thought we'd like to tell you what we would like for Christmas.
2. A book for our library: Bijaboji by Betty Loman Carey; used at Amazon
3. Donations for "cruising kitty" for diesel fuel/Alcohol fuel/spare parts for engine/LED aft cabin light and anchor light.
4. LED table lamp-Target
To make it easy for you, Santa, you could go online to http://www.westmarine.com/ and purchase a gift card in whatever amount you can afford. We will enjoy whatever you send.
Shatoosh and Pashmina
Santa, don't tell Hira that we have done this!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
4 December 2009: Saturday
Friday, December 4, 2009
I make a very nice docking into my slip at 1330 hrs. Check all the fluids, and bildge, as this will be my last trip this year.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I awoke this morning to a cold cabin. The temperature was 40, but outside it was 30. The docks were icy, but there was no rain, the skies clear, and the sun shinning. I've been waiting for this weather break for weeks. As I walked along the dock, I noticed a familiar friend, one that I thought lost, but my shadow was there, weaving in between those horrid remains of Fred, the resident Great Blue Heron. I always have to hopscotch down the docks.
Up on the top of the Dike, you could see clearly Mt. Hood to the east and north to St Helens and Mt. Adams. The skies were filled with migrating Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese.
Sauvie Island is a wildlife refuge which lies to the east of my moorage. I love hearing the cackling cranes and the honking geese. The trees are barren, and last years nests are beginning to fall by the wayside. The cormorants are busy fishing up and down the Multnomah Channel. I take my time with morning chores, drive into Scappoose for breakfast, read a few boating magazines and finally get off at noon. I have no food on board, except for some box soups, I have no plan except to run the boat and see how my newly configured chart plotter works.
This chart plotter thing has been months in the making, thanks to the prodding of Whiskyjack's owner, Dan. From the moment he met me he informed me that if I wasn't using SeaClear and NOAA charts for free that I would be really missing out on the latest free bees. At first, I didn't think I would like navigating with a computer, but then he told me about small computers or netbooks. I had seen Verizon's Netbooks and liked the idea of having broadband at your finger tips cruising the backwaters of the Columbia. So, why not take advantage of it all? I jumped in and as I cruised down river today, I watched with great anticipation of the red curser showing up on the chart noting my position. Hurray, it is working. I email Dan and let him know of my progress. He returns a note, sounding happy as a clam, that I'm out on the water and the chart plotter is working.
The day was so beautiful, that I made a quick decision to head all the way down the Multnomah Channel to the small town of St Helens about 9nm. It is on the Columbia river. They have a large free City Dock and then across the river is a small island with 2 large docks that are also free. I have to hand it to the Oregon Marine Board, as they have abundant numbers of free docks all over the state. It is so wonderful to pull in for free all the time. I've become quite spoiled.
The sun went down over the City Courthouse early and the chill started infiltrating the cockpit, so I turned on the diesel heater and got things warmed up. After looking through the barren pantry, I decided to walk up into town to see if any eating places were open. Lately, it has been slim pickings as the economy isn' t ithat great in these neck of the woods. The newly established Hawaiian Island Cafe was open and the food was onolicious. The owners are from the north shore of Oahu. They are open for breakfast. What a lucky break for me! I'll be first in line when the doors open.
What a joyful, spontaneous day. I just finished a wonderful guided meditation by Sally Kempton from my recent teleconference class with her. Time to wrap myself up in my down bedroll, so good night from St Helens, OR onboard Shatoosh.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
My make shift work bench.
I've gotten to do some non-boating things; have lunches with many wonderful friends, see some movies, work on winterizing my front door and meditation room, send distant Reiki treatments to many ill friends and take a computer course, The Transformational Journey, The Upward Shift, by Sally Kempton. It has been a wonderful month, filled with inner and outer adventures. that I cherish, even in the rain.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Before there was Shatoosh and Pashmina, I read, The River Horse, by William Least Heat Moon. His dream was to take a bottle of water from the Atlantic Ocean, cruise across the United States and deposit it in the Pacific Ocean, in one spring run off. His journey captured my attention. I remember standing on a dock in the bay eyeing a C-Dory tied below me. I meandered down and the owner stated the book was in the bookstore upstairs. He escorted me to the display section and I purchased the book. Moon had performed this feat in a C-dory and had always wondered, as a child, where did the water go when it went down a drain. He was champing at the bit to get into the partially frozen Hudson River and Erie Canal. He was driven each day, for fear that on the other end, he might run out of water, if he dallied too long in one place.
Soon after reading the book I bought Shatoosh in December 1999. My initial dream was to get a boat and get back into boating and go discover this famous Delta. My dream begins to take shape, as I cruise one river, after another. I'm taking my time, as I dally through the elaborate network of waterways, sloughs, rivers, and cuts. Maybe I could cruise all the Navigable River Systems on the West Coast? After all, many years earlier, I cruised hundreds of miles along the Intracoastal Waterway, from Mississippi to the east coast of Florida via Lake Okeechobee, and The Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis. I've cruised the Hawaiian Islands, sailed from Hawaii to Washington, cruised the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, some of the Gulf Islands, and the Dry Tortugas. How difficult could it be? I've got a black belt in cruising!
I had the great fortune to meet Conrad and Juanita who influenced and enriched my Delta life immensely. Conrad, is a Triston Jones type of guy. He built his boat, Cheryl Lee, in his Idaho backyard with his wife, Juanita, his first mate and number one supporter. They had cruised the Columbia River numerous times and had made the Snake-Columbia run twice. It is because of them I moved Shatoosh to the Columbia River. My good buddy, Too Tall Tom, owned an Albin 25 and berthed his boat near Shatoosh at Oxbow Marina. Between Conrad, Juanita, and Too Tall, we had a grand time messing with our boats, working on projects and joining together for some delicious striper dinners. One day I asked Too Tall, would he consider hauling Shatoosh to the Columbia River on his trailer? He agreed, and in 2003, we departed Oxbow Marina in the dark of morning, and headed north up I-5. The next afternoon, Shatoosh was floating in her new slip in Oregon.Someone asked me the other day, how many rivers are navigable on the west coast? I didn't know the number. So, I got all my chart books and started making my list of all of the ones I have cruised, thus far, in Shatoosh.
Navigable Rivers, Sloughs and Channels on the West Coast
San Rafael Creek
San Joaquin River
3 Mile Slough
7 Mile Slough
14 Mile Slough
South Fork of the Mokelumne River
North Mokelumne River
Little Potato Slough
Sacramento River to mouth of the American and Feather Rivers
Delta Cross Channel
Cosumnes River Frank's Tract
Washington and Oregon
Columbia River To Bonneville Dam
Willamette River to Ash Island
Grand Total: 65
As 2009 is winding down, I look optimistically at 2010, in which, I will have Shatoosh trailered/trucked over to Idaho and we will ride down the final leg of my dream: the Snake River and the upper Columbia River back to her home port of Scappoose. At which point the dream will be full filled. What an incredible ride it has been. It is said that there are over a 1,000 miles of waterways in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. When I bought Shatoosh, she had 50 hrs on a new engine and now I have 1522 hrs. That's a lot of cruising on lots of rivers. I wonder what the next decade will reveal to me and how the dreams will manifest. But one thing is certain, there are more Adventures of Shatoosh and Pashmina to come.
Thank you, Conrad, Juanita, Too Tall, and Mr. Moon for planting seeds that I have nurtured for a decade. My serenity tank is over flowing.
Monday, October 12, 2009
When I bought Shatoosh, her name was Rayanna, for her owners Ray and Anna, however there was lots of evidence on board that that she had other names, other owners and other places she docked. An old cushion said High Life, a brass plaque saying Stockton Yacht Club Opening Day Regatta and papers with names of haul out yards listing different names.
Years ago a man named Mickey called me. He used to own Albin boats of various vintages and was one of the first buyers of an Albin in the Bay area. He had an old membership list from one of the Albin clubs in the bay area. This is what he shared with me. The Albin25 was being sold by the dealers, Bauman Brothers and Dick Miller of Sausalito.In Feb, 1975, Hull Number 1124, built in 1972, was owned by Robert Vallerga of Los Gatos, CA and was named Sea Horse. In 1993, her name was High Life and she was owned by a fireman by the name of Hill who lived in Stockton. In 1993, she was bought by Ray Sarlin of Sausalito and he named her Rayanna and in Dec 1999, I bought HN 1124 and changed her name to Shatoosh. I berthed her at the Napa Valley Marina, then, Oxbow Marina on the Georgiana Slough, near Isleton,CA, and after trailering her to Oregon she started at McCuddy's Marina, Scappoose OR and is currently berthed at Scappoose Moorage in Scappoose, OR.
The names of Shatoosh and Pashmina are unusual and I am often asked the meanings of their names. Shatoosh and Pashmina are the finest wools in the world. The wool has been gathered for hundreds, if not thousands of years off the bushes in the Tibetan Highlands. In the late 90's the Chinese started killing all the goats and skinning the animals for their precious wool. The goats became endangered, so I wanted to honor the goats and their beautiful wool. I own many beautiful shawls and scarves made of these wools and they, along with my Albin are very precious to me. I love being wrapped in my Shatoosh shawl, just as I love being rocked by the gentle wave action of an Albin anchored in some protected cove or lagoon, as I lay in the v-berth reading a wonderful nautical novel. Both whisper soothing vibrations to my soul.
Do you know your Albin genealogy?
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I looked at the updated schedules of the Washington Tallships.
The Lady Washington is beginning to work her way up(Pasco) and down the Columbia River. You can join each daily leg, as little as $78.
The Hawaiian Chieftain departs soon heading south to the Bay Area and will return this spring.
If you are interested, check out their website listed below on this blog.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Similar lines. I like this.
From a distance I thought this was Baten, a Jay Benford design, which my friends Andy and Rae had built in the 70's. But it turned out to be a Devilan design which is very similar. Also a flush deck with a pilot house. This is about 18 feet long.
What fun! Just hanging around the docks.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
My recent crew, Constance or Con just wrote me a nice email which she has agreed to share with everyone. She states, "many thoughts and memories continue to emerge from my time spent on the river. It helped to be focused and one-pointed as required by the duty\ies and tasks of our boat experience. Each new learning/instruction helped to claim the insight I'd care to share:
As I opened myself to even taking the trip with Hira, I intellectually knew that I'd be leaving the confines of what I find comfortable and secure. Each day brought a continued event involving learning/teaching/expanding into unknown territory. As a result of going with the flow literally and figuratively, I experienced a "crack", an "opening" into the creative process that I had been blanketed by my career activities in the school district. I felt the possibility and yes, the urge, to paint again, to write again. It was at once, a healing of the spiritual and creative within. Thanks to the pull of so much nature's ebb and flow, I became one with our environment, our daily lives and the self within. What a fine-tuning Hira provided with the help of Shatoosh, Pashmina and several elements of nature all at once!!!"
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The morning is chilly, so we start up the heater to warm the cockpit and main cabin. Do some prep chores before we depart. Carol, while stating she does not do mornings, was standing by with her coffee at 0830 when we cast off the lines.
We make one more pump out stop and then back to the marina. We pull the boat together, check the engine, Con takes a shower and then we are off to Portland. We stop and have a very luxurious lunch at Saltys on the Columbia River near the Airport. It was the fitting end to a great cruise. Con is moved to tears when she speaks of what this trip has meant to her and how it has changed her. Carol, also states that with my encouragement she ventured out of her boating box to become a single hander cruiser. So, Shatoosh, Pashmina and Hira have impacted a couple of lives this week. It is so rewarding when I see this happen. Another of Carol's friends has decided to purchase a boat just since my making contact with her. I love seeing women becoming independent owners of boats and cruising the waters. This has been a wonderful cruise of firsts for everyone and it was delightful to have a budding crew member onboard Shatoosh. Con, come again and maybe next time Joyce can make it, as well.
day's run 3.7nm
Sunday: 17 September 2009
This will be the first time that Albineers will rendezvous in Oregon. As I have mentioned before, I belong to the Albineers of BC and also am an Albin yahoo group member. When the 2009 membership came out I noticed that there was a member in Portland. Last week in preparation of this trip I decided to email Carol and Ed. Within minutes she replied, "Yes, they own an Albin 27 sport fisher and they have it up in BC for fishing." These are the American made boats and are not the classic Swedish ones that I love. I personally think they should have their own clubs, as they are entirely different vessels. But at any rate, Carol tells me she has a 20 ft Shamrock docked near her condo in Portland. She been wanting to cruise it, but hasn't been out much in except for day adventures. I say, "well join us on Coon Island on Sunday." We email back and forth and several days later she decides on joining us. Hurray.
We untie the dock lines early 0740 hrs and with an extremely low tide we precede slowly out of the narrow and shallow inlet to the lagoon. There is 5 feet of water. The sun is shinning directly on the water and into our eyes making it difficult to see. I make my turn to port and I hit a deadhead off the lower side of Burke island. This is another first for me in this area. I never saw it and I hit on the starboard side and we glance off of it to port. I do not hit it on the deeper end of the boat. Con's phone is ringing, I see a coyote trotting down the mainland shore towards us. It is a very busy morning and we have just begun our day. Three otters are playing and fishing on the beach of Martin island. Mergansers take off in front of us at the entrance. I see lots of white caps, so tell Con that it is going to be a little rough but the seas will be on our stern.
It is always so good to see the terrain at a very low tide. The entrance sandbar is high and dry.
We enter the river and slowly move the boat across the river to the Oregon side to get out of the wind, current and tide. We begin to see lots of bird activity up ahead and I spot a bald eagle on a channel marker. Con has him in her sights with the binoculars and I steer close to the marker. He takes flight so she gets to see and appreciate the wing span of these magnificent creatures.
A bit farther on a piling is another eagle which doesn't fly off, so we get a very sustained and good look.
At St Helens we stop to fuel up and I am preparing Con that this will be a very rough docking with the wind and waves. She has to be quick and focused, and be safe. We make a successful docking and Tony greets us to help tie up. Tony works for Mayday Marine and is filling in this morning. Steve on Knot Enuf has seen us and motors over in the dink. He is spending the weekend at Sandy Island. His wife is Carol who we stopped by to see in Kalama the other day. We all have a nice chat, we fuel up and get some more coffee and shove off to make our Albineer's rendezvous.
The Multnomah Channel is flat and calm, the sun is coming out and we change out of our morning clothes. As we approach Coon Island I can see the docks look full on the east side. I see a few boats that I recognize. I'm called by Carol on the VHF and discover she is already here and docked on the west side. This is the beginning of our first meeting. Even though Shatoosh is the only Albin, for the first time I'm with another Albineer member. This is Carol's first big outing on her Shamrock, "Fish Dish" and her first overnighter. So we have a great time meeting, talking and getting to know one another. By late afternoon we are alone. We have nice pupus of Carol's smoked BC salmon and a nice meal. At 2030 hrs we get to hear the coyotes on the mainland make their kill. I love to hear that call of the wild.
Speaking of Albin Boat owners: A nice note from the Albin Yahoo Group just came in:
I read some parts of your blog and can't wait until I have a couple hours free to read it all.
PLEASE keep it up. It's all that keeps us working stiffs going through the New England winter as we admire our snow-bound Albins.
John Stewart"Driftless" (A25-737) Dighton, Massachusetts, USA
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Today, is another first. Constance didn't fall in or out or off of the boat. She is making progress with her boating and docking skills. Transforming those hiking legs to sea legs. Way to go girl!
We depart at 0930 hrs and head downriver to show Con the beautiful Chartreuse flora that grows on some of the granite cliffs. The coloring today is beautiful, with the dark green evergreens, the reds and the yellows. There is one particular place I like as it is 40-50 ft of water and is a partially separated piece of cliff with trees growing atop it.
Our next stop is to visit the signage about the Lewis and Clark Expedition on Lord Island. It is a lovely area with grass and deep water to shore. I have often thought about anchoring for lunch here or just to take an afternoon break. The sign states that Lewis and Clarke camped here and it is referred to it as Dibblee Island, but does not state the dates. I finger through several references on board, but can not pin point the date. I turn the helm back to Con and I go online to my blog. Don't you just love it. Thank you Verizon. I click on the Images of the Columbia River and hit Lord Island in the Image Index. Bingo...Lewis and Clark were on the island on their way back home on 26 March 1806.
The US Naval Ship T-AO- 202 Yukon is outbound and cuts a smart bow wake through the Flat Columbia River. She is 677 ft long, 97 ft beam, and 35 ft draft. Wikipedia states she is a fleet replenishment oiler. In early 2000 she had 2 collisions at sea; one of which she incurred severe damage above the waterline and had to make way to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Her crew is mixed civilian and naval personnel. We cross the river after taking her stern and follow upriver taking a look at the empty docks of Longview. Con continues to steer Shatoosh up river and learns to throttle down as we take several outbound tug wakes.
We enter Carroll's channel 1215 hrs and motor back to my old anchorage, but decide to anchor slightly downriver of my usual spot. We anchored today with my lunch anchor from the cockpit. The first time for me to use this small anchor and chain. It was perfect for a short time anchorage. I will certainly use it again in the future. Why I have never used it before is beyond me? I have thought about it often.
We depart our lunch anchorage at 1330 hrs and head upriver toward Martin's Slough where we spend the night again. I tell Con how nice the v-berth is for reading in the afternoon and a nap usually ensues. She awakes about an hour later and the wind has picked up which is usual for this area and the following seas are 4 ft. We are docked again at 1510. This means only one thing left to do to add to Con's first time list, which is now into double digits, and that is to take a solar heated shower on the aft cabin. A perfect shower on the aft cabin this afternoon in Martin Slough without a boat in sight. Saturday and we are alone in this huge anchorage. Amazing.
We have a wonderful evening and a small camper boat comes in to anchor and spends the night.
Today's run: 25.6nm
Total : 69nm
Friday, September 25, 2009
We depart about 0930 hrs and the sun is burning off the hazy sky. The Columbia is windy with 2 foot seas. We are headed for Kalama to pump out and to Goble to get ice and then to Walker island. The tide is ebbing and we make good time down river, slowing to count the 12 vultures on the wing dam upriver of Sandy island. I like to pump out at Kalama. It is easy in and out and there is good maneuvering room at the station. The water is always calm. We dump off 2 bags of trash, visit the port head and then go 2 docks over to visit with Carol on Knot Enuf. She is always a delight to visit with.
We are outbound and dock at Goble to make a short run to get ice. Con is on the bow line and I have the stern line. We are sandwiched between 2 tugs, the tide is ebbing and the wind is on our stern. Con is working her line aft and I give the command to hurray and get on board. She jumps in and in a flash she is falling back out of the boat right in front of me. I grab her and help her get back into the cockpit. The boat is now slipping away from the dock at the bow. I grab the bow line and pull her back into the dock. That was really close. I jump in and off we turn around heading out of Goble. Con states her foot slipped on the cushion. This is another close call. We will have to be very careful when docking in the future.
The Eternal Wind is docked filling her belly with grain and the Catherine Ostendorf is carrying wind turbine towers heading to Portland. She hails from Monrovia. Most all the wind generators are being brought into the docks at Longview and are registered from Bergen, Norway.
Con takes her stint at the helm, while I play around on the charts, and plotting an ETA for Walker Island 1330 hrs. I relieve her from the helm as we approach the Walker island dock. We are tied up at 1335 hrs. A huge boat is tied up also and they return in the dinghy and later the owner and his wife arrive in another dinghy One couple are guests from Seattle and the boat hails from Portland. It is 50 feet plus and a beam of 18 feet. The owner is familiar with Albins so we have to talk Albin story.
We get Pashmina ready and go up to the cove and across river with hopes of hiking some more. The tide is so low that we can't get over to the wing dams between Walker and Lord islands. We go ashore through some terrible mud and decide it is not worth the effort to continue. So back we go and spend considerable time cleaning our feet, Pashmina and our shoes. What a mess. Pashmina is stowed on top again. We have a lovely evening. It is the calmest day I have spent at Walker, but the wind comes up at night and by 0030 hrs we are rocking and rolling. I had set more fenders out at dark and readjusted the lines, so we were well set. Con sleeps through it with her ear bunnies in.
Days run: 19.8nm
Total : 43.4nm
I like exploring between some of the wing dams along the river, behind Martin Slough, Burke Island and various other places. We spend many hours walking in the sun and enjoying the beaches, the glorious plants, seeing many beaver signs and racoons prints. The tide is out which always is so revealing. After trekking for a while Con names me, HIRAWATHA, which seems to fit my basic nature and love of exploring.