Monday, August 24, 2009

Gull and Eureka Islands

White Eagle is getting ready to depart very early in the morning. I get up and put the coffee on, it is 0600. It cold, foggy and grey with lots of condensation on the outside of the windows. Its funny, I thought it was summer. Their engine starts and I venture over to help with their lines. We have a nice chat and they are headed for Scappoose. He tells me that my anchor light should be vertical on my slanted mast. I said, yes I knew that. A friend had put it on that way and I complained that it should be vertical. Well, that was 9 years ago. This seems to be taking care of 9 year old conditions, so I get the drill, screwdriver and within in minutes the light is correctly affixed to the mast. Wasn't that easy.

I look everywhere for my buckets that are usually tied to aft cabin rail. They are gone this morning, so they must have fallen overboard with all the wind and waves and they would not have been tied. Lesson number 1 for the day is always make certain loose items are secured to the boat. Lesson number 2 comes about 30 minutes later. I turn the heater on to warm up the cabins and have my computer charging and decide it is time to run the engine as I have been using the house batteries a lot. Whenever I start the engine I always check to see the water coming out of the exhaust, meaning the water pump is working and the intake seacock is open. Because it was cold I did not check to see the status of the pump/intake. Mistake: the alarm goes off, indicating the temp is too hot. I've never had an alarm go off. I shut everything down and see the temp is high. I quickly go through things I have been doing and realize yesterday I cleaned the water intake strainer and had forgotten to re-open the valve. I open it and let the engine cool off and later the engine starts up and runs fine the rest of the day.
At 1100 hrs the sun breaks through and it is gorgeous blue skies everywhere. I've been waiting for this moment. I'm ready to head out. I'm in the channel and can't find our bouyed dead head.
It must have floated away like my buckets did.

I cruise down to my favorite Gull Island and see my new Bayliner friends. We each see each other and pull along side and catch up on our activities. I'm in need of some coffee for the next 2 days.They graciously offer a cup full. I discover the name of their boat, while not displayed, is
Delta Dan. They head backup river and I anchor. The tide is running out and the current is strong so this will be a test for my oars.By the time I extend my oars I'm already about 100 yards down river. Getting back up and circling Shatoosh for some photos is a piece of cake. I row over to shore and walk around back to look at the entrance to the back waters. Delta Dan tried to get in with his shallow draft, but turned out because it was just too shallow.

I get back to Shatoosh and decide to tow Pashmina over to Eureka Island. I swing by Mill creek entrance and several men are fishing inside the mouth. There is a big tractor tire suspended off the bridge that one could tie to, but that is not something I wish to do. There is a hint of wind coming up the river as I am anchoring. This time I have selected a spot slightly up river of the sandy beach, but turns out the wind decides to cut through this spot placing the waves and wind on my beam. I'm hoping that at the tide turn perhaps things will settle down. At 1800hrs the situation is no better, so I re-anchor farther down past the
beach. This turns out to be fine. It is a lot calmer, minimal wind but still rocky and rolly. My solar shower has heated my water perfectly, so I have another glorious shower on the aft cabin. The sun begins to set after my dinner and 2 large ships pass each other, one headed up river and one headed for the pacific ocean. The waters stay lumpy until midnight and then it is totally calm and no wind. Now I can really get some deep sleep.
Another wondrous day has been presented to me: for all the lessons learned, all the experiences, all the joys of being on the water and having the sun touch my soul and running into new friends again. I love all of it.