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