Friday, May 27, 2011

Our Final Down River Voyage Waits for the Weather

8 years ago on Memorial Weekend 2003, Too Tall Tom and I loaded up Shatoosh on a trailer, departed Oxbow Marina in the "California delta"and headed north to Oregon and the Columbia River. I had settled on mooring her on the Multnomah Channel, a side channel off the Columbia and Willamette rivers. It is located out in the country, with Sauvie Island on one side and the Oregon mainland on the other side. This has been a lovely, quiet marina to call "home". Many years passed before I actually stayed on board for more than a day. I was in and out, fast, so I could go exploring. I stayed one time for 2 weeks painting the cabins and touching up the wood work. I thought to myself, this is really enjoyable to stay here for a while. I used the laundry and showers and explored my own marina for a change. So, after all these years and over 3600 nm of cruising the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers, it is most fitting that I am again, departing on Memorial Weekend. Both cruising grounds have been most memorable for me.

The Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers birthed many adventures for Shatoosh, Hira and Pashmina as one only needs to read the 3 years of blog entries that have been made. I even birthed the blog in these waters. In fact, my niece was hospitalized with an unstable pregnancy which caused her to have to be on 3 months of bed rest. To keep herself from going crazy, she started a blog. When I heard how easy it was to establish, I enthusiastically leaped from logging my boating experiences to blogging them. My innocent intention of letting my friends and family keep track of my wanderings, soon dissolved into a world wide success story. Hira and Shatoosh would be known on first name-basis only. All one needs to do is google: hira and shatoosh, and presto, the blog is there for all to read. The audience stats still amaze me and last week Algeria and Mexico joined our expanded family, along with Iran, Aruba, Israel and most of the European and Asian countries have continued to read along. I would never have dreamed this would have happened, as I slowly meandered and jotted down my experiences through the sloughs and back water niches of this huge river system.

Today, 27 June 2011, Shatoosh and I are ready to depart, but we have watched numerous squalls march through, clear one minute and bam, another is right on its tail. The raging current hits the break waters and it sounds like a waterfall cascading over the logs, the wind rips at the tin roofs and one can imagine it being ripped off. I just walked some of the big boat docks while the wind, rain passes overhead in a northerly direction. We are champing at the bit, ready to be swept away with the current taking us to favorite sites down river, but I also want to stay and savor all my precious moments in my mind's eye, hang out in my warm bed roll, study charts and routes, and have a nice dinner. It will be my last one in my cozy slip.
We will see what the morning brings.