Monday, June 14, 2010

Haulout and Launch on the Snake River

0630hrs 14 June 2010 Monday
Tim Kirkpatrick of Norgard-Kirkpatrick Boat Hauling is on time and efficiently retreives Shatoosh from the bay within minutes of showing up.

We are on our way to the Snake River. Hurray! More later on as the day progresses. We departed and Shatoosh was out of sight the whole day. We pressed on without much stopping to cover the 325 mile trip. Departing at 0700 and arriving Clarkston, Wa at 1430. Tim, the driver was amazing and beat us by 30 minutes. He was ready to launch in minutes and off he went back to Oregon. Shatoosh was an oily mess from the road and slight morning road wetness.

The wind was up and my docking was terrible, as the wind spun me around several times as I tried to dock bow into the slip, but finally got in stern first which would have seemed impossible. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but for now it will be ok. We will be in Clarkston for 2 more days.

Ann got right on the job of washing Shatoosh off again and did a great job of getting her clean. The marina owner was really very helpful and after dinner we relaxed in the hot tub, which he kept open for us. That was just what we all needed.

Skol's trailer upright was damaged upon launching and Too Tall took the trailer to a welder who is repairing it. His boat and his truck rode really well and Ann and I were very comfy.

We are all exhausted and there are so many things about the day I'd like to write about, but it will have to wait. Tomorrow Ann and I will go on the Snake River Hell's Canyon Jet boat ride. It should be exciting.

I'm awake at 0530 with the rising sun, so thought I'd add a few notes from yesterday. Driving up the Columbia we get to see our future course. There are considerable winds and seas at Hood River area, but the thing I wanted to say was how impressive and ominous it was looking at all the dam's spillways were. Enormous amounts of water coming over the dams creating tremendous currents, eddies and waves that we will  have to navigate as we exit the locks. The marina owner said that they have lost over 5 feet of water in the last 2 days. this noted as I pulled away from the launching ramp and discovered my depth sounder reading 3 feet, which translates I have have a foot and a half of water under the keel. I did find some deeper water as I maneuvered Shatoosh around the marina.

The other impressive item was the shear beauty of the rolling hills that were covered in newly planted wheat and other items. The winds blowing the wheat fields was spectacular. While other non planted areas revealed itself as rugged waves of brownish-colored hill scape covered in beautiful wild flowers of a deep purple. Really breath taking!