Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Cruised Filled with Firsts: PDX to Martin Slough

23 September 2009: Wednesday: My new crew is flying in from Denver this morning. I'm up early and meander through the maze of overpasses to get to the airport. I pick up Constance at about 1000 hrs. Con is a sister of one of my best crew; Joyce. I hoping that the boating genes might be the same. Joyce was originally going to make the trip with her sister, but had to cancel. So here I am taking a non boater out cruising. A first for me.The timing is perfect and we return to Scappoose and do some last minute purchases at Fred Meyer.

I give Con a orientation tour, as she is new to cruising and to Shatoosh. We are off by noon and head upriver to pump out the head at McCuddys. The skies are free of clouds, the temps in the 80's and there is no wind. We have an ebbing tide to take us downriver. I let Con get a feel of the helm after we pass the Gilbert River. She does well as she drives Shatoosh to the Columbia river. The river is dead calm, no boats to speak of and I turn the helm back over to her to steer a course on a range marker for practice. She does quite well. We see 2 eagles and it is a first for Con to see a bald eagle. I'm certain she will log in many firsts on this trip.

My first for me today is running this trip just using my NOAA charts on my mini. My new template for holding the mini is working out fine. I have no trouble manipulating the charts, zooming in and out and advancing them. When the computer is hooked up to the GPS then it will be done automatically. I can see how nice all this will be when it is put together.

We arrive at Martin Slough and I am delighted to see we are the first to arrive. Later a large Carver comes in to anchor. In the meantime we gather the last of the blackberries and they should be wonderful at breakfast. I show Con around some of the interesting aspects of the lagoon area; beaver chewed logs, where the beaver lives(we did not see him/her this time, but we saw prints), and the famous hugging tree. I've heard of "tree huggers", but this is the ultimate cruising experience: being hugged by a living tree. How cool is this?

Late afternoon 2 men on a 30 ft Camino-Ode to Joy arrive and give us several home grown tomatoes. They are red and plump and should be delicious. We have a nice salmon dinner and Con has brought some wonderful chocolate which is a nice treat with our tea.

Con finds the water really relaxing and asks for an early to bed assignment. I agree and am asleep in seconds.
Total day's run: 19.3nm