Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

This gorgeous illustration was done by Marsha Matta of Vancouver, Washington. If you don't remember, I took Marsha and her husband Russ out one morning on Shatoosh  to cruise Steamboat Slough, while they were spending some time on their boat in Cathlamet, WA. Russell, is the fabulous photographer whose photos of Shatoosh are dear to my heart and Marsha certainly excels in her drawing ability. They both work for the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver and this illustration was in print last Friday. How quaint is this?  Kudos to you, Marsha, I love everything about it. Thank you so much for letting me share its beauty with all my readers. The vessel is the Island Maid II, berthed in Welcome Slough, on Puget Island, WA and is owned by Michael Baccelieri. Michael owns the Welcome Slough Boatworks. see
After looking at photos of the Island Maid, I recognize her from one of my Cathlemet trips and she was at the docks, just returning from a haulout in Astoria. Beautiful boat.

As this year draws to a close, I can't help but reflect on my cruising grounds last summer and all the wonderful people I was able to interact with. From the Snake River to the mouth of the Columbia River, my heart is filled with gratitude for all the friendly people who helped me along my way. I met lots of new friends and rediscovered many old boating buddies docked in various nooks and crannies. Upon checking my log I totaled 853nm in 2010 and have now totaled 5790nm since buying Shatoosh in December 1999.

Storm Bay, the Tasmanian vessel, who I met, as she crossed the Columbia River bar, is now anchored in Ensanada, Mexico, after harbor hopping down the, not so friendly winter, Coast. Too Tall Tom has recovered from his Bumpy Snake and Columbia River cruise, but hasn't bought a bigger boat. Ann, my long time crew, has a name change. She is now Granny Annie, since her daughter and son in law adopted 3 children. Captain Dan of Whiskyjack, is relieved that I no longer bug him about the SeaClear Program, Captain Larry of the Starship, no longer has to email and answer my questions about crossing the bar, Captain Steve and First Mate, Carol of Knot Enuf were happy to hear that I finally hemmed my curtains. The Walla Walla Yacht Club and it's friendly and helpful members were a Godsend that windy morning in Wallula Gap. Jill, of Beamers Jet Boat Tours in Clarkston, WA really helped a great deal, giving us a great jet boat ride and allowing Too Tall to park his truck and trailer. Thanks to all the harbormasters who gave us wonderful berths for our wonderful boats. The fall cruise back up river gave me an opportunity to visit with Captain Zack of the Viola Helen, who was the first person to mark my charts of fun places to cruise. It was timely that I finish this year meeting him again. Thank all of you on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers and a special thanks to all my readers and supporters on the Albin Yahoo Cruising Group, the Albineers of BC, who have linked me to boaters and Albin lovers all over the World. It had been a grand year.

An email from John Stewart in the frigid North East: PLEASE KEEP THE BLOG COMING! It's important to maintaining the sanity of snowbound New Englanders during the endless winter...John is an avid winter reader and an active member of the Albin Yahoo group.