Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life Is Tuff

21 July 2010 Wednesday

Hira departs in a few minutes for the Big Island, ie, Hawaii and headed, not to cruise, but to take a retreat and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of her twin, Jean's initiation to Reiki Master. The volcano, Kilauea has reopened some new lava flow vents into the town of Kalapana. This is the site where the town was overcome by lava 20 years ago. We will be staying high in the volcano area at 4000 ft at Kilauea Military Camp which is in the volcano national park. The night time viewing should be wonderful. I was there 40 years ago when Halemaumau erupted and it was spectacular.

Upon return, I look foreward to being back on Shatoosh for a downriver cruise.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dragging My Keel Upriver

I reluctantly depart about 1030 hrs after a lovely morning of bird watching, coffee and for some reason I didn't eat breakfast. Jean, my twin, calls me about the time I arrive on the Columbia river which, by the way, is dead calm. This is just the way I like it. The sun shines, but the clouds have their own agenda, blocking it from time to time. I loose my river focus to answer questions about IPOD Speakers, then I'm back on track.
The river side of Goat Island is across from Martin and Burke Islands. I've often wanted to anchor along this stretch of the river. So, do so, about 1100 hrs. I have run along close to shore and the water is deep 20-30 feet, and farther upriver I find some 10-13 ft of water and anchor, but after paying out some line I find myself in 6-8 ft of water. I watch a while and decide all is well and shut off the engine.

An old osprey watches everything from a tree above. There are numerous logs washed up on the shore.  At noon I cook me up a scrambled egg sandwich to finish out the supply I have brought and also have a handful of home grown snap peas from Linda's garden. They are so cold and crisp and do "snap".

Its lovely here, the robins are singing, an eagle soars by, a pair of goldfinches hop down to the waters edge. The goldfinches over in Martin Slough have the best arrangement: the cattle wade out into the lagoon, and when the tide ebbs, it leaves all these deep hoof holes which are filled with water, giving the finches their own special bath tubs. Not here, though, the finches have to make do with little splashes of water for their baths.

I see numerous sturgeon rolling along the 8 foot line. After lunch, a tug and barge come by, so I am interested in how I weather their wake. First comes the bow wake of the barge, then the bow wake of the tug, then the stern wake of the tug and finally the reflected waves from shore. It  pails in comparison of what we went through with that British Ship yesterday. Her name, by the way, was Morning Midas. This was nothing but 1-2 footers. A piece of cake for this salty crew or should I say, brackish bunch of three.

At 1400hrs I decide it is time to get out of dodge, weighing anchor and not a moment to spare as the wind kicks up at 1410 hrs. In no time it, is blustery, but all on my stern and we ride it well to St Helens. I stop at the fuel dock and get some Fritos and run into Toni, who used to work with Mike of Mayday Marine. She is still working on boats in the area, so I get her card for future reference.

After slipping my lines I head upriver to the Multnomah Channel where it is nice and smooth. Several logs drifting downriver get my attention and so does a Bald Eagle high in a tree.

The sun is shinning and it feels good to get out of the wind. I pull into my slip easily and tie up at 1730 hrs.This has been such a wonderful trip getting to see so much wildlife, being in Pashmina exploring, getting the hull cleaned and experiencing nature at her best. And learning to use the Sea Clear program more effectively. Dan of Whiskyjack has emailed that he is sending me a new assignment. I can't wait to see how complicated it will be.
Today's run:17.1nm
Total miles: 52.5nm
PS.. 2 items of note: During this trip, I have seen lots of diving terns and in looking at the bird book, I deduced they were Caspian terns, however they were not noted in this area, so had to select a smaller tern, the least tern. They just didn't match up as the birds I was watching had definite red beaks and solid tail, while the least tern had a solid tail, it was much too small. I picked up a copy of the Freshwater News and in it they had an article on the Caspian Tern colony on East Sand island near the mouth of the Columbia River.

It is the world's largest I was correct in identifying them and they are around in abundant numbers. And, of course, they are a problem as they eat too many of the salmon fry. The fish-people want to move the colony somewhere else and the bird-people want them here.

The other item is identifying an immature eagle the other day. It was unusual in that its coloring was more reddish, golden color with a lot more white feathering than that of bald eagle immatures, so I thought it could/might be a golden eagle. I have never seen one in this vicinity, however when looking in my bird book, their immature golden did not look like the one I saw. Perhaps, some of you birders might shed some light on this. Are golden eagles in this area? After looking at many photos on line of immature goldens, I think the eagle I saw was that of an immature golden.What do you think?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hanging Out

12 July 2010 Monday
I'm glad I'm on Shatoosh, as normally I do laundry on Monday, so today while waiting on the morning cloudiness to disappear, I headed down river to Kalama and pumped out the head, instead. They have a new pump-out station which was nice. Cruised around the marina and noticed a really nice, new cruiser that I had seen last week on Coon Island. I had taken a picture of it, but forgot to save it on my cell phone. Today, I caught it on my digital but will have to down load it later.

After my lunch I motored over to Goble to get a block of ice. I learned the owner had died and his funeral will be this week. The lady at the store/marina/rv park said he was in his 80's and had run the place 7 days a week for over 30 years.The place will continue to be run by his family.

I exit Goble and run back upriver behind Sandy Island, looking for a nice anchorage, but the wind was filling every nook and crannie. I aborted that idea and returned to my old favorite. I'll spend one more night on the river and then head back to my marina.

Up river from Sandy Island, a downriver ship hailing from London, passes me with a huge wake. Shatoosh has no trouble with it and my new computer tray stays put nicely. These are the biggest wakes so far and a first to see a British ship in these waters. Guess they don't have any speed guidleines.

My afternoon loop

I finally got the aft cabin pulled together, with clean sheets/towels, all ready for the next crew. Cleaned out the refrig and put everything in the ice chest. Emptied out the solar shower. All the chores you do at home seem to be there for you on the boat. Its just more fun to do on the boat, for some reason.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Anchoring Out

11 July 2010: Sunday

With the dock full from the Friday night arrivals, I elected to anchor out and go exploring in Pashmina. I was able to see quite alot of wildlife from Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Eagles and Ospreys. I took some nice photos of Shatoosh at anchor, but will have to wait to download them. They show off my clean topsides.

This morning I fixed my usual special breakfast of french toast and cleaned my plate I lingered with a second cup of coffee while I await the sun burning off the morning cloudiness. I added  more water to my solar sun shower, which I got for Xmas. I extended the length of hose to it which helps.

The other thing I have done recently is freezing my bottles of filtered water at home and using them in the refrigerator on Shatoosh. I have been on the boat for 5 days and while the ice is now melted, the water is really cold, keeping the food fresh and now I have 2 gallons of drinking water. Tomorrow I'll get another regular block of ice.

The other day I questioned the Albin Yahoo Group about the lack of blogs to look at. In no time a new blog appeared, by Dave who owns a 1970 Albin 25. He has completely restored his Ticaboo and she looks primo. Ticaboo lives in the Phoenix area and has a new Yanmar to power her along. More Albin blogs: and a look

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My New Booklet Arrives

This is my printing of my Snake River blog. It turned out really nice, however there were 2 formats to select from and I chose the default one which saves on the number of pages, which came to 40. After seeing it, I realize that this is not the format when there are lots of photos, as they ended up not being in synch with the text. Next time, I will choose the other format which will be better aligned with text and photo. I also noticed some typos. I want to get one done for my cruise on the Lady Washington last fall. This is a good idea to get a hard copy for special cruises.

As to Zeus, my Prius, my ride down to Oregon was really comfortable and easy to drive. While I am on my first tank of gas and still have over a half tank remaining I am averaging 57.5mpg. Ya hooo.

Had a nice run to Martin Slough, with some wind, waves and no bell ringing, with the current running high still I seemed to briskly drive through the flood tide making 7 + knots. The weather is beautiful, but supposed to be in the 90's.

Some big driftwood stuck in the wing dams caught my attention, so pulled off to take a photo.

Near Goat island on way to Martin Slough
Position of log jam"72". My course in blue

While entering the cut into Martin slough lagoon the cows were all lined up eating their veggies. I find it interesting that they wade out into the water and eat the algae by the tons. It must meet some nutritional need.

Off and on all day and into the evening coolness I have been scrubbing and polishing the topsides. Still have quite a bit to do. So will continue tomorrow. The cottonwood is blowing to beat the band, but I don't seem to be bothered by it today. 2 Sailboats came in this afternoon. It is the first time for them coming to Martin Slough. Since this is one of my favorite places, I'm sure they will be adding it to their list, as well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shatoosh and Pashmina Have A New Friend

Meet Zeus, my new-used 2010 Prius Hybrid.
She's getting loaded up for her first trip south to meet Shatoosh and Pashmina. I plan on taking the boats down river to Martin Slough where we are actually going to have summer, sunny weather. I'll be able to get in Pashmina and scrub Shatoosh's topsides. Which is really needed from the road trip and all the wear from the trip.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

River Overviews

Reluctantly, I am home and doing tons of wash, and re-living the trip. I discovered a site where I can have certain elements of my blog printed either in soft book format or hard cover format. So, I ordered me a soft bound copy at

Here are some map pictures from the USGS site, that Dan of Whiskyjack told me about. I emailed him this morning saying why would I use Google when I have him?

The Snake River

The Columbia River Part 1:

Columbia River part 2:
Columbia River Part 3:

Columbia River Part 4: Showing the Willamette River and the Multnomah Channel going to Scappoose