Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Walker Island to Martin Slough

21 September 2010: Tuesday

My engine hours clock is working today without any loss of time. I took this photo when it wasn't working, so that I could take it with me to the volvo dealer/repair.

A fellow had pulled into the dock yesterday afternoon, arriving from a haul out in Astoria. He had a large 40
foot catamaran. This morning he showed me his setup for a chart plotter. He uses a heavy duty Walkabout computer which is a tablet format for use in the outdoors. The screen is made for viewing in direct sunlight and the computer is very heavy duty and indestructible.The specific unit was the Hammerhead RT933 with color screen. He bought it used on ebay for about $150.00. I found this to be interesting and would be great on a boat, particularly being water proof and sun reflective screen.

He departed after I did and went the shallow back way and I chose to go the longer deeper way, but we ended up again meeting at the upriver entrance just down river of the Bridge at Longview.

I stopped at Rainier to pump out the holding tank and after getting everything setup, the pump would not work. I remembered that the same thing had happened several years ago. So, I leave and head for Kalama, as they have a new pump that works like a charm. I fix a half sandwich and depart.The sun is holding well, my shorts and t-shirt are on, and I am happy as can be.

The Morning Spruce, hailing from Singapore, and Shatoosh are on converging courses at the entrance to the Martin Island  slough. The cargo ship is aiming for the red nun to change course to Kalama and Shatoosh will be taking the nun far to starboard. Since I was far enough ahead of this convergence, I figured that I would not be affected by his wake, as it would be diffused by the wing dams and range markers. I was wrong on this one, and I looked up to see a large set of big waves coming thru the wing dams straight for me. There was no room or time to turn and face them. They would be hitting me on my starboard beam and aft quarter, a place where I would not want them to be. I stood up and braced my body to the side cabin wall, right hand on the throttle, and began to steer and throttle accordingly. For several minutes, it was quite the sight, the passing waves were crashing on the shore and bouncing back to my port side and the large sets of waves were lifting me up in the air and I would go racing forward trying not to get thrust into the rocky shore, but not steer to too much to starboard  and run myself into the shoaling sand spit. After about 10 waves, I felt it was all under control, and I took a deep breath. Wow, that had never happened to me there before. In hind sight, I should have slowed and waited for the ship to pass and being outside the entrance, and in deep water, I would have plenty of room to head up into the waves.

The sun is going down and I have had my sun fix for the day. Life is good when you survive another lazy day on the Columbia River.
Today's run: 20nm
Total run 190nm