Monday, June 28, 2010

Philippi Park John Day River to Hood River: 2 Dam Day & 2 Grounding Day

23 June 2010 Wednesday
One last trip to the restroom reveals a sweet morning picture: We cast our lines off at 0730 hrs and gently move through the 6 ft shoaling at the entrance and true to V-8 Hot dog the river gets deep again and we see more wind generators atop the grassy hills.

We pass a trio of early morning fisher people who had camped on the point next to the marina last night.
They were in a confluence of a small creek and the shallow water was boiling with fish rolling. About 40 white pelicans were there as well. Later, on the return trip we stopped to talk with them. The fish were carp spawning and the catfish and the pelicans like to eat the fish. They were catfish fisherman.

We venture further up river going slow and I am watching the depth sounder like an eagle watches a salmon.
I need to look at the insert on this river as it is not in my computer. I leaning over to see what this island is ahead of us and where it is on the mileage markers. Just then I feel us come to a slow halt and then bump as the deepest part of the boat hits a mud bank. I am in reverse in a nano second, but it takes some power to get off. I try to turn over to starboard and see grass and hit again. I'm gunning it until I am clear of the whole mess and turn to port and high tail it down river. I check the water filter and there is a little grass and I have clean water going into the engine. We are at the 10 mile mark at the island.

I engage in a conversation with Ann about what we would do if I couldn't get off with the engine. I'd put Pashmina in the water and float back down to the fishermen and have them give me a pull off with their big engine. With that said, they had weighed anchor and was heading up our way to fish higher up the river. They said they hit a rock the day before farther up.

We have explored enough for one morning and we need to get to the John Day Dam by 0930 for the lockage.

We are standing by at 0918 and Mt Hood is glorious. Ann used to work at Timberline lodge and skied there for many years. For some reason we have to wait for the lock to be ready and don't enter until about 1000hrs.

We are secure at 1010 hrs.
The John Day Dam is the deepest lockage at 105 feet.

The lock door opens high enough for us to exit at 1043 hrs.

We pass Miller Island at 1135 and view the hundreds of gulls and pelicans. The shores are very rocky so I stay off.
These basalt columns have have a wavy pattern in them. 

Several more interesting basalt cliffs.

We begin to see some evergreens in the cliffs as we get closer to the gorge.

We pass our first upriver cruising yacht which is about a 45 footer at 1251 hrs. He would have gone through The Dalles Lock at the 1200 lockage. We are settling in and making good time down river but will have to lay over somewhere to wait for the 1530 lockage. I can't find anything on the chart.We poke our nose into a tiny crevice just above the dam but I'm not in the mood to anchor in such close quarters, plus there are Indian fishing buoys that I don't care to get tangled up in. We get closer to the Dalles dam and with the binocs I can see a nice dock that we can tie up to just next to the lock staging area. Another boon for us. I call the lock master at 1315 hrs and notify him of our intention to tie up and wait for the 1530 lockage. We tie up and notice a toilet on shore which we will use and rest up a bit. In 10 minutes the lock master calls us and says there is a downriver tug and barge wanting to lock up and since he has to dump the water for him we might as well ride the dumping water down. Another boon. What luck we are having--grace in always flowing with the river. We miss our toilet trip and rest but it is well worth the chance for an early lockage. We untie and enter the lock at 1340 and are secure in 5 minutes. At 1405 we are out of the lock zooming along at 10.2 k where we pass the upriver Tug-The Outlaw.

We decide to bypass the Dalles marina and head for Hood river marina. We adjust our ETA to Hood River at 1630hrs. The wind is picking up and it is beginning to get bumpy. We are in the Columbia River gorge from here on down. The river narrows, the winds pick up and make it difficult for everyone but the wind surfers and the sail boarders. This is the location for all the international championships. We arrive at the Hood River marina at 1624hrs and can see hundreds of wind surfers off in the distance. I'm told they don't arrive until they have 13 mph winds. We have made 7 k against the wind and waves and with the current on our stern we have had a long but exciting day. 2 dams and 2 groundings and Shatoosh is just chugging along.
We tieup at the fuel dock and call the local station to come, but the attendent had to go home sick. There won't be another opportunity until 0945 in the morning. Wow, that alters our plans, as I wanted to get a dawn jump-start on the gorge. We pump out the head. and find a place on the guest dock. the marina is filled with sailboats and we get to see the evening races take place. Ann and I cross the road and have dinner at McDonalds and splurge on a chocolate dipped ice cream for dessert. We go into theShell station and speak with the manager who we had talked to on the phone. She tells us the Chevron station across the street also covers the fuel dock. We go there and find that his fuel man will be there at 0800 hrs. This is better for us.
days run 50nm
total: 295nm