Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Cruising Season

The Pacific north west continues to be plummeted with gale winds and flooding rain storms. My cruises have come to an end for this year and what a year it has been. 2011 has been   my most traveled year (1244 nm), since buying Shatoosh in 1999 which culminated in bringing Shatoosh and Pashmina to the Salish Sea, near my home in Puyallup,WA.

After 8 years of exploration on the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers, I headed down river for my final run in May 2011. In June, Joyce, my able-bodied first mate from Arizona, and I crossed the Columbia River Bar and harbor hopped our way up the coast bringing Shatoosh and Pashmina to the Puget Sound for a
run of 470nm. With 2 months of local cruising under our keel,  I headed north in August-September for a 5 week cruise to the San Juan Islands and returning to our new home port at Zittel’s Marina in the south sound for a  run of 431nm.

It has taken me 11 years to leisurely accomplish my goal of cruising the navigable rivers on the west coast of the United States.While I know of a couple rivers I missed, I am proud to have cruised 70 of them and only bumped  Shatoosh’s bottom 4 times and ran hard aground once on the Napa river. My ole Delta buddy, Conrad departed this world this year. He planted  the seed in my spirit to move Shatoosh to the Columbia River and tutored me in the exploration  of the Columbia, Snake and Willamette River Systems. I think of him often as I look around  Shatoosh and see his footprint everywhere on my boat and in my life. He fiberglassed my hardtop, designed and installed my folding bench seat, hand-carved a small replica of Shatoosh, which sits atop my depth sounder. He knew about my big 2011 plan to cruise up the Washington coast and whole hearted gave me his stamp of approval. I am so grateful for knowing him.

I have had soooo much support from friends, family, marina owners, boat truckers, blog readers from around the world, Albin owners, Chamber of Commerce people and all my crew. I have thanked them along the way or gave them special mention in my blog. It has been a fantastic year and I look forward to more Adventures of Shatoosh and Pashmina, as we explore more of the Salish Sea in 2012. Thank you all for everything you do to support me, so I can continue to turn my dream. into reality.