Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Martin Slough to Coon Island

22 September 2010: Wednesday

As I am cleaning out the refrigerator, I hear some whinnying going on from one of the horses that reside on the island. I look up to see 2 beautiful sorrels loping along the outer rim of the lagoon heading into meadow area. I love seeing free range horses running. They stop near the cattle that had collected by the foot of the dock. I whinny back to them and they start looking around to see the other horse, but never figured out it was the ole cowgirl from texas who was greeting them, all hidden in a nook on the Swedish cruiser.

While the morning ebbing tide continues, I decide that is is so beautiful a morning, that I'd buck that tide and go up river in slo-mo. The river was not only calm, but glassy still. I hug the Oregon shore and can only muster 5.8k, but as I pass Columbia City, my speed picks up to 6.3k. I stop in St Helens to get fuel, and see my mechanic, Toni, working on a large tug and we wave. Then I dock at the city dock to have lunch at the Hawaiian cafe.

The tide has turned, so I am running 7.3k up the multnomah channel. I've always wanted to see the tug and gravel barge pull out onto the channel from the gravel pit slough. Well, after 7 years on the channel, the tug Rene is coming out and making her turn up river.

I follow behind for a quite a while and then pull along side of her, as I know her route by heart. She takes the west side of Coon Island and I turn to port and dock at the east side of Coon.

There is a lot of work being down at the upriver east end of the dock. I proceed to the men in the work boat to see if it is ok to dock and they say, "yes". They are putting in a break water to prevent all the logs/debris from entering and jamming into the docking area. This will be helpful next year for certain.

This trip ends my final season of Columbia River Exploration and next year Shatoosh, Pashmina and I
set out sights on cruising up the coast of Washington and bringing them into the Puget Sound where I live. It will be nice to have my friends near my home for a change. I look forward to re-visiting all my old favorites places when Sabra, my Swan 36, and I cruised together back in the 80's and to cruise the magical waters of British Columbia.

I sit here tonight, with my heart exploding with gratitude for getting to cruise, not only the
Columbia,Willamette and Snake River Systems, but also the SF Bay and surrounding Delta. A decade of cruising, filled with such wonderful memories, meeting so many delightful people and getting to see numerous Albins, along the way. The day I bought Shatoosh, I could not have imagined nor dreamed of all our adventures that we would have. It has been truly memorable and I look forward to more adventures as we travel to the northern waters. The leaves are beginning to turn, I only have seen 2 osprey mothers this week and their 3 chicks, the sand hill cranes are beginning to fly into the refuge on Sauvie Island, so fall is in the air.

My summer began at the farthest reaches of the Snake River and ended with the Columbia Bar crossing into the pacific ocean. From when I brought Shatoosh to the Columbia River in 2003-2009 I have cruised 2811nm. Thus far, in 2010, I have cruised 850 nm for a total of 3361nm.
Day's run 16nm
Total: 206 nm