Friday, June 25, 2010

Boyer Park Marina to Lyons Ferry

17 June 2010 Thursday
Depart Boyer Marina Sm 105: The morning is over casted lightly and we all say it seems as though it is clearing down river. Our hearts are in the right place, but it never clears down river. We depart the very protected marina and hit the spillway runoff as we are only one mile from the dam, our speed picks up to over 8 k.The Almota shoals have numerous channel markers to guide us and we come across many white  pelicans.
High winds seas: The head winds begin and the new ships bells rings once on a few larger waves. This will be a nice reminder; one bell waves, I call them. As we move down river, there is no way to predict the wind and wave pattern. At one point the wind is about 7mph, and the water flat, but with long rolling gentle waves. They almost feel like gentle pacific swells, but how are they being generated?  In a few bends we see major sets of white caps. 2,3,4 bell waves roll down upon us. We only take one wave over the bow, which means about 5 foot waves. All morning long we throttle down, then throttle up, turning here and there to escape the logs and debris, the bell clangs, the one blade window wiper goes on and then off poorly wiping the spray off and Pashmina on the cabin top goes thump, thump and she is listening to some strange drumbeat, the steady rumble of the engine brings stability to the cabin. We are standing stooped at the helm and our quadriceps are in long isometrics contractions. Ann and I swap one hour on and off at the helm. I help Ann, barking orders, " throttle down, throttle up, turn right, turn left, log approaching dead ahead. Too Tall is astern following suit, but having more difficulty steering. Skol, a 16 foot Arima, hangs in like a trooper on D-Day. This is an impressive little boat. The wind gust have pulled my flag staff from a vertical position to a horizontal position. We later take all the flags off.

Port Garfield: sm83..After 3 hours of wind and waves pounding we arrive at Port Garfield It is a tug and barge dock and grainery, but has a launching ramp and dock. It welcomes us with open arms with flat water and very little wind. Ann gets the water on, and we have a good dose of caffeinated coffee.

Little Goose Dam with the tuboat Umatilla; a fish hatchery transport barge. We arrive at the dam at 1240 and lock through by 1310.  The lockmaster assigns us to a port tie-up which means Ann has to move fender and lines to port side. It is a fast ride down and the "rec-boats", as they call us depart first.

At 1400 we are coming under the Tucannon Bridge and the winds are much lighter.We see the Palouse river to starboard and enter the breakwater to Lyons Ferry to port. The Koa runs the marina, RV park, cafe and the grocery store.

They have been working on rebuilding the marina and we get covered slips with power. We are exhausted while we get settled in the slips and re-adjust some fenders/lines and tie Pashmina better on the cabin top. I make make up an extra set of lines for both sides, taking time to whip the ends with dental floss and burn them. Now, we are set and we can lock on both sides. We have dinner in the cafe and fall asleep by 9pm when it is still light.

Day's run 40.5nm
Total: 82.7nm