Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warrenton Boat Yard Advertisement

Shatoosh and Pashmina make the October Issue of The Freshwater News, a publication about boating on the Columbia River since 1984.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shatoosh and Pashmina's Santa Letter

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.

Dear Santa,

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.
1. Voltmeter
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 and purchase a gift card in whatever amount you can afford. We will enjoy whatever you send.

With love,
Shatoosh and Pashmina
Santa, don't tell Hira that we have done this!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Christmas Newletter

4 December 2009: Saturday
These were my 2 favorite photos taken of me this cruising season. The tree hugging picture was taken on Martin Island, near Kalama, Wa. and the supine picture was taken on a wing dam structure near channel marker "72". Both were unusual "finds" along the river. I have never been hugged by a tree before and it was an unique experience. Also, as unique, was lying on old timbers that the river had attacked year after year. It was a great way to stretch my spine, as the angle of the timbers were quite extreme.
This cruising season has been a great one. I had lots of hours docked working on Shatoosh on many projects; redoing inside and outside wood, painting the cabins/head, installing LED lights in the cabins, going mobile with my Verizon packed mini netbook, and creating the chart plotter. I hauled out at the Warrenton Boatyard in Warrenton, OR and had the bottom painted and new zincs put on. This trip extended my cruising grounds toward the Graveyard of the Pacific(the Columbia River Bar) and gave me a taste of the ocean's pull at the mouth of the Columbia River. I met so many new, wonderful people and even had new folks join my fleet of crew. Speaking of the ocean's pull, the fall highlight cruise was on board the Lady Washington, Washington's State Official Tallship. Ann and I helped take the Lady from Port Townsend to Aberdeen to her home port. Getting to sail aboard a tallship was truly memorable and rounding Cape Flattery in the dark of night, heading down the coast with a galaxy of stars overhead was spectacular.
Blogging took on several new aspects:
1. With my mini HP I could slog and blog in real time which made each day joyous. Every evening I would curl up in my bunk or on the bench seat and blog to my heart's content.
2. More and more people were exposed to the blog through the Albineers and the Albin Yahoo Group websites. In addition to these linkages, the Lady Washington linked this site to their blog and gave me an incredible endorsement for my blog on the Lady Washington Sail from Port Townsend to Aberdeen, WA. People have run into me on the river, asking me if I was the person who writes the blog. People email me from all over the country now and to top it all off, I have readers in Sweden, and even India. Who would have thought? With so many encouraging comments by readers, I wouldn't think of not blogging now.
I am so grateful for being able to have such a wonderful Albin, lots of incredible friends, and lots of wonderful adventures. Thank you all for being in my life and making it such a joyous one. Even if we have only spent a few hours together on some remote dock, or shared an experience by email, or have crewed for me for years, please know that you all are very important people in my life. We are all brothers and sisters to each other, helping each other along the way, as we journey with our boats along the coastal river/ocean systems. The year 2009 has been a most joyous ride. I can't wait to see what adventures will take place in 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Hawaiian Island Cafe

3 December 2009: Friday
I awoke to icy windows and docks with the cockpit temp at 32. I got up, started the heater, but feel warm in my fleece pants and pullover and cap, which I slept in. The sun was coming up and the sturgeon fishermen had been making loud talk for 30 minutes.

The Hawaiian Island Cafe waitress greeted me with,"Aloha", the Christmas decorations were up and "Mele Kalikimaka" was painted on the windows. IZ was playing on the cd changer. Gosh, I already feel warm and cozy. I'm off to a great start with hot coffee and bacon and eggs. While I'm immersed in Hawaiiana, I can never find myself eating a local favorite of spam and eggs with 2 scoops of rice. Just like the dinner menu had multiple choices of dishes, the breakfast menu was filled with goodies. All the prices are very reasonable and the Aloha spirit is dripping off the walls. If you have never eaten at the Hawaiian Island Cafe, it is well worth the cruise or car ride. Help keep our family resturants alive.
I depart St. Helens at 1040 hrs and pass several tugs loading up with barges at the entrance to the multnomah channel. I am able to hold 6knots against the current and ebbing tide which suits me fine. I see only one eagle, but many flocks of geese and cranes.

I stop at Coon Island to make me some coffee and enjoy the sun starting to emerge from the clouds.

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.
I went 20.6 nm
Total for 2009: 677.8 nm
Total nm on the Columbia/Willamette Rivers from 2003-2009: 2811nm.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chart Plotter Up And Running

3 December 2009: Thursday

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.