Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Live Blog From Martin Slough

30 June 2009: Tuesday

I'm delighted to get off the rough and wild columbia river today. It was horrible coming down river. The tide ebbing, 20-25k headwinds and seas 5 feet. I believe this was my worst trip down river. Martin Slough is a peaceful lagoon today, the sun is shining and only one boat is anchored.

I'm tied to the dock, as I wanted to do some work on my 2 stern steps. With Pashmina off the cabin top and in the water I put one coat of cetol on the teak rails. Then moved to the aft cabin door and framing. Will get that worked on as well.

I have finally gotten around to replacing my life rings on both sides. I always thought it added a nice, nautical look to the ole girl.

Last night I downloaded Google Earth to my net book and spent some time "flying" to some of my cruising spots. I realized that the deep cuts and shoal areas can really be seen clearly, so thought it would be good to have on board. I will be able to look at new destinations and see problematic areas. I shared this with Jean, my twin, so she went on Goggle Earth and looked up my marina and Martin Slough. She has been here before, except it rained the whole time. She never thought to look up where I was cruising so this will add a new dimension for her. Perhaps those of you who have Google Earth should "fly" in and see where I am located. Google Earth is a free download, so join in the fun.

Last week the man on a deep draft Dutch sailboat stated he had another way of getting through Devil's Elbow, so I saw it last night very clearly. It will be a nice tool to have on board. I also looked up Jensen's cove across from Washougal and the entrance did not look too inviting, but my neighbors on Viajero stated their yacht club has gone there often.

They also told me a story which I will relay on to all of you. I was telling them how I had ventured to the other side at Rooster Rock through the culverts to Young Lake and creek. A member of their club had done the same in an inflatable and found himself tangled into an underwater barbed wire fence. There went all his buoyancy. So I was lucky. Must be those nautical guardian angels that cruise with me.

I love having all these new capabilities.

Day's run: 18nm

Monday, June 29, 2009

My New HP Mini Net Book Takes to the Water

29 June 2009: Monday

Upon return from my last trip it was clear that I needed to make some changes in my blogging methods. My small invertor did not power up my new computer so I was left with having to type 2 weeks of adventures when I got home. I worked on it all week.

Numerous options came my way and I decided on getting this little mini netbook made by HP and packaged/sold by Verizon. It has a 8 in screen, 80gb hard drive and 1gb RAM. Now with its internal broadband access I can have internet access all the time there is a verizon signal. It can be charged with ac or dc charger. So here I sit onboard Shatoosh typing this directly on my blog and saving it in draft form as my current trip evolves. I will be able to insert pictures after I download them. So now you may be able to read updated trips almost as they are happening. Wow, this is just the perfect solution. Technology immerges just when I need it. Thank you Verizon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Up River Cruise 6-20 June 2009

6 June 2009: Saturday-Scappoose Moorage

My plans are loose; get some work done, cruise up river and visit some places that I haven’t been. Let each day evolve and enjoy it no matter what comes my way. Be in the moment. This time of year the currents get stronger as more water is released from the Bonneville dam which can make for some speed and docking problems. It also allows you to get into places that traditionally have low water levels.

This afternoon upon arriving at Shatoosh I immediately dive into my electrical projects. I installed my new LED dome light in the cockpit. It has a white light for cabin use and a red one for navigation. I took out my old navigation light, as it always reflected light into my window, thereby distorting my vision. I then removed my light in the head and replaced it with my old cockpit dome light. Wow, what a difference. I can actually see in the head now. I’ve been replacing many of my lights in my condo and when you put in good lighting it is amazing how well you can see. Bringing the light into my life; there is nothing wrong with that.

I looked into the cabin lights which aren’t that great, but I am having trouble taking the light bulbs out, so will have to investigate tomorrow. I had hopes of going into Portland to a LED marine store to see if I could switch them out. I always feel good when my electrical projects get done, as electricity is a weak subject for me.

Thanks Larry, Skipper of the Starship, for showing me your LED lights last year. It has inspired me to change some lighting out. I’m waiting for darkness to fall so I can check out the nav light on my chart.

I have brought my computer to Shatoosh for the first time and will be pre-typing my blog as the days emerge. I hope to be onboard for 2 weeks. I have a small transformer that I can use to power up my laptop, when cruising, but while I am dockside, I’m plugged into 110v. I just checked to see if there were any Wi-Fi spots and there is one on f dock but it is secured. It will be interesting to see what shows up while cruising. I can get my emails from my cell phone which is really amazing to me.

Well, its dark so am signing off and scampering out to the cockpit to see my new lights.

Scappoose Moorage

7 June 2009: Sunday- Scappoose Moorage

Well my light show last night was perfect. I love the soft white light and the red diffuses throughout the cabin without reflecting on the window. I rarely run at night, but a few years ago I had to for a medical emergency and the glare on the window was too much. So I am quite the happy camper.

After breakfast I went into town to Ace Hardware to pick up a few items and went over to my old marina to pick up a copy of the Fresh Water News. The owner of the boat, I thought was a Fisher 25, was onboard, so I stopped by hoping I could take a look. It turns out that WhiskyJack is an Island Drifter, made in British Columbia. I went aboard and it is a very well built vessel, The pilot house has room for only one person at the helm station and the icebox is on the starboard side. While he trucked her down from Victoria, this summer he will be sailing her back north. He longs to explore the west coast of Vancouver Island. This is a dream of many people, but few actually do it. I wish him good winds and a safe journey. Perhaps in the future I can hear some of his stories.

I’m ready to get to work. I unbolt the aft cleats from the deck and sand them down as they are the most weathered from the sun. Next, are the aft cabin grab bars and they get sanded, as well. All the other wood trim is in good condition, so a light sanding and cleaning is good enough preparation, so I can put on another glossy coat of Cetol. I will have to go into Portland tomorrow and pick up a can of base Cetol to begin refinishing the others pieces. This process will take several days, at which time, I need to contact my diesel mechanic Mike at Mayday Marine and see when he and Tony can check my valve clearances on my cylinders.

I am usually never here on a Sunday, so it is nice to chat with some of my neighbors and meet new boaters who have recently moved in on my dock. After looking at several boats today, I am more and more impressed by my little Albin. She is economical, well built by strict Swedish standards, ingeniously designed, easy to single hand, yet comfortable with 2 on board and 3 for short periods of time. Having the aft cabin for guests is particularly comfortable, whereas most boats have a dinette conversion for guests, which in my view is not practical, nor comfortable. Shatoosh aft cabin has 2 - 6 foot quarter berths with sitting headroom. While I have never slept back there, everyone seems to enjoy it. Perhaps one day I’ll try it out.

Another aspect that is unique to the albin is the slanted navigation chart table. As I look at 40 foot power cruisers, none of them have a helmsman chart table, much less a slanted one. Most power boats don’t have a dual helm seat like the one on Shatoosh, and only have a single helm station. Having a dual station and chart table in front of you, really helps navigate in the shoal areas of the outback waters that I enjoy cruising in. Having someone else checking the chart as I am watching the depth sounder is quite helpful.

I remember years ago when a group of us gals chartered in Florida to head for a Christmas vacation in the Dry Tortugas Islands. We were navigating at night, coming back up the Caloosahatchee River in a storm, and my friend, Bambi was standing on the cabin ladder looking aft into the cockpit and using a flashlight to read the chart, which was on the cockpit sole, and give out course headings and mileage to the next marker. It was an impossible scene, yet we came through it without a hitch. There was no chart table in sight. Thanks, Bambi for being able to do that. Wasn’t that a fun vacation? Several people never went on a boat after that, as I recall. The Gulf of Mexico can really kick up some nasty weather. At least our time in the Tortugas was sunny and fun filled. I came very close to throwing up the night before while we were crossing the Gulf.

Scappoose Moorage

8 June 2009: Monday- Scappoose Moorage

I drive into Portland to go to West Marine Store and buy some cetol for my teak grab bars. The price has gone up to $44.99 for a quart, but is on sale for $29.99. What a bargin! My alcohol is $29.99 a gallon, but I heard from a boater yesterday that I can get the same quality of alcohol from Home Depot for about $12.00 a gallon. I’ll have to investigate that, as it is ridiculous to pay that amount for alcohol.

Dan, the owner of WhiskyJack, with whom I met yesterday emailed me today thanking me for stopping by and introducing myself. He took time to read my blog and was pleasantly surprised and complimented me on a job well done. He offered up some good reading material for Shatoosh about the Columbia River, which sounded interesting. He, too, has a fascination with Fisher sailboats which are made in England.

Today’s focus was to continue working on the teak grab rails and cleats, which are looking quite nice. I repaired several dinks in the fiberglass, particularly the starboard aft edge which got hit with a strong wind and wave combination on the Walker Island Dock last year.

I had called my dock friends, Paul and Carol to let them know there was a lot of debris building up between their 60 foot yacht and the dock. They came down this evening and we were able to get all the debris out and swiftly down river it went. We discovered mutual friends that we know on Orcas Island. Paul is building a larger version of Shatoosh out of steel at his home and states that it is near time to turn the hull over.

I’ve been having a major allergic reaction to the cottonwoods since coming down and I’m taking antihistamines to quiet the effects on my eyes. They are red, watery and swollen. With this new episode, I think I will go to bed early.

Scappoose Moorage

9 June 2009: Tuesday- Scappoose Moorage

Before I depart for Portland again, I put another coat of cetol on the aft rails and cleats. I’m heading into Portland as the store is closed on Monday. It is the marine exchange and run by a woman who is most knowledgeable about LED lights. Larry told me about her last year when we were docked in Martin Slough. Thanks to my GPS in my cell phone I find the place and get the skinny on the LED cabin lights.
She orders me 2 and they will be in next week.

I get back to Scappoose and get me some medicine for my eyes/allergies. I put on another coat of cetol. Late afternoon I rebolt the cleats through the deck. Well, I have to say the outside teak is looking really sharp. My repair on my fiberglass did not turn out so good, and cosmetically looks terrible in spite of sanding it. However, it is repaired, and that is the important thing.

This evening I have been figuring out where I might like to cruise and am considering going up river to Rooster Rock. With the high water I will be able to make it into the little docks they have there. It is a sweet place and last time I was there I noticed a little creek feeding into lagoon which might be fun to explore in Pashmina. On the way there is a cove that several people have told me about that I might investigate as a possible anchorage. It looks very protected and inviting. It is well worth poking our bow in and taking a look.

I’m pleased with the work that I got done….this is the longest I have stayed onboard in the marina. I usually am too excited to get on the water. I’m looking forward to another beautiful day.

Scappoose Moorage to Hadley’s Landing

10 June 2009: Wednesday

The morning is filled with the usual departure schedule; hauling, hauling and more hauling. With the groceries stowed, the boat washed down, the engine checked, and the water tank filled, I cast off my lines and my friends Shatoosh, Pashmina and I head upriver for a change. Not long after departure it begins to sprinkle. We stop at Rocky Pointe Marina to fuel up. I can’t wait to see if my eagle family has returned again this year. In between the rain drops, I can spot the nest high in the cottonwood trees on the Sauvie island side of the slough. I had spotted the male bald eagle downriver sitting in a tree. The eagle I saw on the nest was an immature mother flapping her wings. Immature eagles do not have the white head and tail feathers and don’t get their mature plumage until 4-5 years.

Across the river and a little upriver is the great blue heron rookery and several nests with herons on them could be seen. It was difficult to see much more than that with the rain falling. I see some clearing out east of Portland, but since I have not eaten lunch, it is raining I decide to pull into Hadley’s landing. A 47 ft Chris Craft had just tied up before my arrival. They are from Tyee Yacht Club and they will be having a club rendezvous this weekend. I chat with them later in the day as the sun comes out. I have to admit I am still a little tired from this allergy fit. Today is the first day I haven’t had to take any medication for it. I’ll take it easy this afternoon and perhaps take in a cat nap. I review the charts for tomorrow’s trip and yes, I’ll be beating up against the tides and current. I only went 5nm today, but it is a nice, quiet start. I’m out in the country, lots of birds are singing, a few people fishing from the dock. The river or slough is swollen near to the tops of its banks and one needs to keep a watchful eye for all those trees and limbs that are racing down river to the sea.

More about Sauvie island: Back in Lewis and Clark days it was called Wapatto Island for all the potato like roots that grew here. Sauvie island is the largest island in the US that sits in fresh water. It is about a 50 mile circumnavigation. By the time I get Shatoosh back to Scappoose we will have completed another circumnavigation of the island. It is a large farming island and home to a huge wildlife refuge. In the winter there are a half a million birds and over 40 different species.

Hadley’s Landing to Government Island East or Barlett’s Landing

11 June 2009: Thursday

I woke up at 0600 and started my morning routine. By 0830 I cast off my lines and slip quietly away from the dock. The couple on the Chris Craft are still asleep. It is overcast, but calm and a few people are stirring on the floating homes along the Sauvie Island side of the channel. I stop at an old marina named Freds. A very nice looking lady greeted me as she took my dock lines. All I wanted was ice and maybe another cup of coffee. She hadn’t had time to make it and wanted one herself. So we chatted as the coffee brewed. I noticed some almonds that were coated in lime and chili pepper, so thought it would be a new taste. Later they proved to be quite flavorful as I nibbled on some about noon.

The cheerful lady stated that they owned several acres on Sauvie and liked living there. The coffee done, she asked if she could help me carry things to the boat and also helped untie my lines and gave my bow a good shove away from the dock. Now that’s service with a smile. I made my way out to the Willamette river bearing off to port and was greeted first by a docked cargo ship named the Fortune Sunny hailing from Hong Kong. Why, that’s the name of my friend , Linda. It is also the name of the Fortune Spirit we had seen last fall, also from Hong Kong. Probably the same shipping company. As I was taking a photo of her, a tug and barge was passing me on my port side. A big yellow smiley face greeted me and then the name on the tug was the Betty Lou, another friend of mine. So in a matter of minutes, I had a kind greeting, a smiley face, and two ships reminding me of friends. What a pleasant way to start my day. As I am writing this at 2045 hrs, a tug pushing 4 barges downriver just passed me with the same Smiley face looking at me as I lifted my eyes to take a glance out the port window. I couldn’t be making all this up. Life is full of synchronistic events. A nice beginning and a nice ending to another perfect day.

I’m on the Willamette for about 2 miles and then enter the Columbia River for a short time and decide to go between Hayden island and the mainland. After all these years of cruising I have never been up this slot before. It is filled with elaborate floating homes, tons of boats, marinas and haul-out facilities. It is all a no wake zone so I make about 4 knots and see all the places I have heard about. This is such a densely populated area, not one that I would want to be in. I’m glad that I am docked out in the country.

I’m tied up to the east dock on Government Island which is east of the Portland airport and west of the Washington towns of Camas and Washougal. I see that they have made a new west dock and 2 sailboats are docked. It is west of the original dock which is still there. So it gives people 3 docks to choose from. I choose to take the easterly dock as it is closer to my destination. I arrive at 1305 and have some lunch. I’m here all alone, except for a boat that just pulled in at dark. They have been up at the Dalles and had come through the Bonneville locks when they got an emergency call, so they are moving fast back to Scappoose where they dock and then on to Seattle. They seem really nice and friendly. She had a best friend in California who used to own an Albin. You get to meet some nice people on the river.

I watched the ospreys fish and feed their young, noticed many deer tracks on shore, listened to the rumble of the trains on the Washington side with their lonely wailing of their whistles and watched the swallows flit about the shoreline. From sunrise to sunset, my day was a blessed event. My new cockpit light is perfect for me typing this up. I’m a happy camper.

Day's Run: 18.2 nm

Total: 24.4 nm

Government Island East to Rooster Rock

12 June 2009: Friday

I cast off my dock lines at 0830 and head up river. Rooster Rock lies 129 statute miles from the ocean and Government Island lies 116 sm from the ocean. In between these 2 sites the river takes a long s-bend as it goes by Camas and Washougal Wa. There are many shoals and rocky outcroppings. Staying in the channel is critical and made easy by picking up the range markers on shore. You have a set ahead of you and behind you for reference and when in doubt you can plot a course to double check your position. The current can be running fast with lots of eddys and rips. I'll be looking for Jensen's cove which someone told me about. Their yacht club anchors in there and it is on the Oregon side across from Lady island. I cruise in close to shore looking for an opening but am unable to find it. I see a nice anchorage site behind some large log booms but know that is not what I am looking for. I pull to port and head back into the channel when in between the barge haul out area I see an opening. which would be the place. I'm not that impressed and it looks a bit too commercial and it is near the high tension wires which cross the river. Perhaps I will take a look on my downriver leg.

At 1015 my speed slows to 2.9k as I make another bend in the river. I'm at Camas-Washougal.

The red nun is being forced over by the current and there is a 2 foot hole at the base. Up river near Reed Island I see a 3 foot sturgeon leap out of the water off my port side. I eye the Reed Island area with interest as it is noted for a nice anchorage.

At 1125 I enter the slough for Rooster Rock State Park. The depths are 7-12 feet. I enter and decide it would be best to be on the dock out in the center without a land attachment. This means I will be rowing ashore to go to the head, but it also means that since this will be a weekend there will be lots of dock fisher people. This way I will have more privacy.

The sun is shining, I unload Pashmina from the cabin top, stow my Ann Gash ditty bag and I have a plan. When I was here a few years ago I noticed a culvert on the rear end of the lagoon. Today the water level is very high. I wonder what is on the other side? It goes under hwy 84 which is a 4 lane divided road. On the chart there is a lake, but doesn't look connected to this lagoon and further beyond is Young Creek which feeds the lake. I believe that it is all connected and today I'm going to find out. I have a life jacket, water, cell phone, binoculars and camera.

I dinghy over to take some pictures of the outcroppings of columnar basalt and the swallow nests. I row up to the culverts and take a peak through them and see some kayaks coming down. 2 ladies appeared and reconfirmed there is a lake and a river. The culvert is too narrow for me for me to row, but I can reach the ceiling and propel myself forward "letting my hands do the walking". The ceiling while dark is made of blocks of stone. I can't feel any vibration from the traffic going over head. I can say I have ever done this before. This is a totally new experience for me and yes, there is light at the end of the culvert.

As I emerge from the culvert there is a beautiful lake with majestic cliffs and cascading waterfalls. What a delightful surprise and a spectacular view. I see Crown Point which is 700 ft high on the cliff and provides a unparalleled view of the beginning of the Columbia Gorge. The La Tourell Falls I believe are the ones I am looking at. Many of these gorge mountain tops are 3000 ft high, however have all be shrouded in mist. I row up to try to find where these falls enter the lake, but realize there is a railroad track between the lake and the bottom of the falls. I can hear the falls as they cascade down the mountain side. A great blue heron sits quietly nearby. I hear a heron rookery with all the babies squawking but am unable to locate the rookery due to the density of the forest. The cottonwoods are close to 80-100 feet tall. There are some big fish in here rolling and jumping along the shore. I row down to the beginning of the lake and into the creek area, It is just so lovely to look at. A big meadow is off to the right. I return to the culvert and re-enter the lagoon at Rooster Rock. Shatoosh is waiting for us to return and interested in our trip. This has been such a wonderful treat for me. I dearly love exploring in Pashmina. It is the best. My trip has taken me 1.5 hours to complete. I realized many years ago that in order for my spirit to soar I need lots of time in nature, exploring, being on the water, being in the stillness and oneness of this earth. My happiness meter just exploded.

Day's run: 11.4 nm Total: 25.8 nm

Rooster Rock

13 June 2009: Saturday

I see a Canada Goose with 3 goslings early in the morning hanging out along the shoreline. It looks like it is going to rain so I jump in Pashmina and row ashore and visit the head. By the time I get back at 0830 it begins to drizzle and continues all day until 1400 hrs.

This is a library day, so I pick out a book that I haven't read in about 20 years. The Wreck of the Mary Deare, by Hammond Innes. A fascinating story set in the Minkes off France of a yacht being run down by a rogue, unmanned ship. It kept my attention all afternoon, but at 1400 when the rain stopped and the sun came out I was back in Pashmina rowing up and down the slough. On my life jacket I have a strobe light and a whistle attached. New batteries are put in at the beginning of each season. After dinner and dark I return to my book and finish it by bedtime. This was an easy day and I got 2 miles of rowing in.

Rooster Rock to Fishery and Return

14 June 2009: Sunday

After breakfast I check my charts and find a launch ramp, moorage and small service available at the Fishery on the Oregon side near Beacon Rock. I call and yes, they do have ice, which I am low on. It means I have to make a long trip upriver against a tough current, winds and possible rainy, cold weather. I'm up to the challenge and depart on an flood tide at 0830hrs. I pass a vulture and a merganser at the entrance. I get to Cape Horn and see all the cliffs and waterfalls. They are so beautiful. The Amtrak train of 5 cars zooms through the tunnel that is carved through these massive cliffs. The upriver winds are beginning to pick up and there are a few rain drizzles. The channel makes some bends and now the Multnomah Falls are in view. I'm on the last leg to my destination. I hug the shoreline and see a bald eagle with a flock of vultures flying over head. He must have what they want. All the mountain peaks are shrouded in mist, dark clouds, but there is a break way up river near Beacon Rock.

About a half mile from my destination and where there are more anchored sturgeon fishing boats than you can imagine. The wind and seas become violent, confused and spray is blowing off the white caps. I'm taking 3-4 footers on my stern and am now standing to steer between all the boats. The temperature drops and in spite of the windows snapped closed there is a chill in the cockpit. I grab my life jacket off the seat back and put it on, as it does have a warming effect in addition to safety. Shatoosh is rocking and rolling up the river and I am standing at the Still Point of the boat. This is the center point of the boat, the balance point, the place of least motion. This is a great place to be whether you are on a boat or just trudging through life. The calm place in a storm, the calm place within you, where you act without reacting.

As I approach the Fishery and there are lots of boats launching and being trailered out of the water. A circling pattern of boats are waiting in a Que and I see that the outside end space is open. I pull on my fender line and release all my fenders down. It is quite calm here, the water flat, the current not bad and the wind reasonable. I will be docking down river but it seems do-able. I pull up to the dock, slowing Shatoosh with little burst of reverse and step out with both lines in hand, tie off my stern line and can flip my bow line on the cleat. It pays to be a cowgirl from Texas who is a roping champion. In all these years I have never lost my touch. I get back in and put on my red fleece pullover that my friend, Marga made for me when I bought Shatoosh. It is the best. I talk with a fellow who was fishing yesterday and who just launched his boat. He told me that his wife snagged the back of a sturgeon yesterday and was pulling what seemed to be dead weight. They got it up and it turned out to be a 9 foot sturgeon. They thought it was dead as his tail was turned up. He grabbed the tail and pulled the hook out of its back and then like greased lightening the fish bolted and nearly jerked the guy off his boat. They never saw it again. Sturgeons have been around for millions of years and there are unbelievable fish stories about them. They are very savvy and can out smart man in a flash.

Shatoosh with Beacon Rock in the background

I get my ice, have a pit stop on shore and have a piece of salami and cheese. I'm considering whether I could or should dock over night or head back to Rooster. The wind changes and blows right on my bow making this a very bumpy dock. With that, I'm on my way at 1120 hrs heading back down river into the tide, the wind, the waves and the current on my stern. I'm in no hurry so keep my rpm's down and ride quite smoothly. The eagle has left the beach and the vultures have the run of the place. I'm almost back in the Multnomah falls area when my old Albin buddy Too Tall Tom calls from California. He's excited to hear that I am on the water. Hey, wait a minute I tell him. There is something in the water ahead and off my port bow. It is white and big. Could it be a wake board, or wind surfer board? Oh my gosh, Too Tall, its a sturgeon floating belly up. I'm past it in a flash. I have to get a picture of this, so turn the boat around and tell him I'll call him back. I circle back around several times to see it and it is about 9 feet in length. Could this be the 9 footer from yesterday? I take some photos, and get back on the cell phone to update Too Tall. We have a wonderful chat. He is always looking for Albins that he can re-do and sell. What a fun guy. We had more fun messing around with our Albins at Oxbow Marina on that wonderful Georgiana Slough in the Delta.

I'm back down to Cape Horn to take some more photos of the cliffs. I hear a plane overhead and look forward as it sounds very low and low it is. It is a biplane and he just buzzed me and pulls up after he passes over me and in front of me. Again and again I repeat, all these stories are true. Let the day begin and I watch in real amazement. I love writing this blog so all my friends can read these amazing stories. I'm back tied up in the still waters of Rooster Rock by 1330.

This was some ice run !

I hang out reading another book. This one was written about my ole friend Ben McCormack and his journey of designing and building his boat Crescendo in his parent's side yard in San Diego. What an adventure that was. I loved sailing on Crescendo, a beautiful ketch. Ben is now dead and Crescendo ended up on the bottom of the ocean when Ben hit an unmarked rock off Koolawe Island in Hawaii. I remember looking at a photo of Crescendo on the bottom with all her sails up and flowing. She looked as though she was sailing underwater. I was so sad when Ben was telling me about her one time when I stopped in Lahina and looked him up. This book brought back so many memories of Ben and Crescendo, sailing off shore in Hawaii. His favorite place to go was Hanalei Bay on Kauai, where he often spent the summer. I sailed with him once over there and at dawn, he put on the soundtrack from South Pacific, opened a bottle of champagne and then preceded to cook Eggs Benedict for everyone. Another time, I sailed with Ann Gash in her Folkboat, Ilima ll, to Hanalei so we could spend time with Ben. And once again, we sailed Sabra over to rendezvous with him for a week or two. It was a wonderful time in my life.
I really enjoyed re-reading the book.

Day's run 12.6 nm Total: 58.4 nm

Rooster Rock to Reed Island Anchorage

15 June 2009: Monday

I depart Rooster Rock at 0830 hrs on a ebbing tide, but still have 7-11 feet of water in the slough. I swing out into the protected bight at the entrance as this looks like a good place to anchor providing the wind is blowing up river. I mark it on my chart as I head out into the channel and sight my next navigational marker. I want to cruise as close to Reed Island as I can to see the lay of the land. There is a large stand of small trees that have been blown over which would have had to be winds coming off the cliffs above Rooster Rock and blowing down river to do this kind of damage.

By 0930 hrs I am anchored just inside the entrance to Reed island in 12 feet of water. I set my anchor hard with my engine in reverse. There is no wind, the sun is out and the river looks like a lake. There are many GBH(herons), ospreys and a few eagles. I'm going to like this place. I had stowed the solar shower on the floor of Pashmina and by 1100 hrs the water is nice and warm. I have a nice bath/shower and boy, does that feel good. Clean clothes..well, I put on a swim suit of sorts.

A kayaker paddles by and circumnavigates the island, a research vessel comes into shore on Reed and checks some traps, and some small fishing boats are cutting through from the upper end of Reed from the Columbia. With all the high water they are getting through. The charts show that the upper end is all exposed shoaling normally. On the WA side there is a small airfield in which I watch some aerobatic planes perform their loops, spirals, and dives. I watch 3 free air shows this afternoon. I never know what the next minute will bring. Later in the afternoon the clouds clear off the tops of the mountains and Mt Hood is clear as a bell. I can see Crown Point above Rooster Rock. Just off my port side the ospreys have a favorite fishing hole and dive all day long taking their small catches back to their nests to their ever starving babies.

My most unfavorite nautical vessel: the skidoos arrive for an evening of zooming here and there

and I believe they take great joy in getting as close as they can to anchored boats. By sunset, all the boats have gone except myself and another one anchored deep into the cut. We turn our anchor lights on at dark and settle in for a peaceful night.

Days run 4.1nm

Total: 62.5 nm

Reed Island Anchorage

16 June 2009: Tuesday

Boat wakes awaken me at 0445. I get up and look around and climb back into my warm bunk.
I get up in 2 hours and my eyes are red, itchy, and I'm sneezing. I take an antihistamine, put the mantra on, the coffee water, meditate and give myself a Reiki treatment. The morning is sunny but then clouds over for the day. After breakfast I take the stove out and give the galley a good cleaning. Next is the ice chest and all the food is stored in the dc refrig. I take an inventory of remaining foods, plan meals for the remainder of the trip and will throw in a few meals at Washougal and St. Helens. I should get home with all the food gone. I use all my left over ice water to refill the solar shower. I don't want to waste my fresh water. I tidy up the aft cabin deck and she looks nautical and nice.

After lunch I take a little 15 minute snooze and read more about Lewis and Clarke in this area. They camped along the river coming into Washougal and stayed quite a while. Clarke took a group back down to explore the Willamette River, another group explored the Sandy River across the way, which they called Quicksand island. The main thrust in 1806 on their way back east was to provision themselves as best they could. Smoking meats, using the elk hides to make clothes and twist into ropes to haul the boats up river and portage them through the Cascade Falls. They tanned hides that would buy horses once they got to Nez Perce country. I love reading and re-reading about this adventure. I never tire of it. I have several books, calendars, brochures and pamphlets about the Corps of Discovery. I always learn something new that I missed on the previous reading. For example, for all the hard work that York and Sacagawea did, they were the only 2 that weren't compensated for their service. York pleaded with Capt Clarke upon their return to be granted his freedom from slavery, but Clarke would never give it to him. Other not so known facts: Clarke did take in the 2 children of Sacagawea to raise and educate them, as if they were his own. Clarke married a 15 year girl upon his return, Lewis never married and he never managed to get his journals published. Many people never learned that he was probably manic-depressive and an alcoholic and finally committed suicide. Such a tragic ending for such a talented man.

I watch with interest when an older wood, lapstrake hulled power boat about 35 feet length enters the anchorage and continues deep into backwaters. He probably has a 3 foot draft. He anchors near the island shore. He anchors for a while but then drift fishes while coming back out to the main river. I'll have to check this out in the morning. After sunset I put on my anchor light and continue reading with my new cockpit light. I had a simple, easy, restful day at anchor. I love being in a quiet anchorage.

Reed Island to Government Island West(Sandy Beach)

17 June 2009: Wednesday

I weigh anchor at 1030 and set a course deeper into the cut behind Reed Isl, following the path of that cruiser last night. I was amazed how much further up river I could go. This is good knowledge for future trips. It always helps to have local knowledge. I retrace my course and cut across the channel to where I have seen some other fishing boats go. It is behind Gary Island and is between several range markers. There is a small cove back there that would be good to go in at high tide. I make my stop at 6 feet depth and survey the area. This also would provide shelter in the spring and early summer in a shallow draft boat. All good to know about.

I turn down river and at markers 50 and 48 my speed is 10k at 2400rpm. I usually cruise at 2700 rpm.

I'm pulling into the port of Camas-Washougal and am prepared for the strong currents. Fenders and lines are ready on both sides. I need to pump out my holding tank which is on the starboard side but that would mean I would have to dock down current which would not be a good idea and a large signage on the dock states not to try this. As I approach the dock the current kicks me off so I have to retry. I continue up into the marina and circle back down and out and then turn around again to come into the dock. Just then a small fishing boat with 2 men pull abruptly behind me and take the place next to the pump out station where I was going to dock. I gave them a stern look and then was going to have to pull forward and out again. The man jumped out of his boat and yelled, Come back, I'll help you. He grabs my stern line in the nick of time and together we get the boat tied up. I asked him if he was getting gas and he said no. I said I need the pump out hose and he gets it for me. Just as quickly as they arrived on the scene they were gone. I was miffed that they were messing up my strategy, but the truth was they had pulled in behind me to assist me. Nautical Angels. I yelled thanks and waved.

The current is so strong at the dock I didn't dare try to untie to move Shatoosh closer to the pump out. I was hoping the hose would reach. I am now in a position that I never wanted to be in. I walk out on the narrow deck and hold onto to the cabin top railing and bend over to try to reach the screw fitting with my my little opener tool. I stretch my body to the max and both armpits feel as though they are being ripped apart as I see the current raging past my eyes. I get it open and off and then have to screw in the adaptor fitting. On the third try I get it aligned correctly. I stand back up and walk to turn on the pump, get the hose and bring it around the aft section of the boat. I put it between my legs and use my hands to take me back out on the side deck again. I can't manipulate the on/off switch, but discover that it is stuck in the on position. Again I stretch and lean over to pump her out. Fortunately, I have a small holding tank so it only takes less that a minute. That done I return the pump, remove the adaptor, screw on the cover plate, go below and put in new toilet chemicals and wash my hands. I'm hot and have a headache from bumping my head, so take some electrolytes and water and feel instantly refreshed. Now I'm hoping getting ice will be easy. I call on the dock phone, leave a message and wait for someone to come down.

2 men show up and are quite happy and friendly. Well, I have to say it again, they were really impressed with Shatoosh. We chat for some time and then I ask for ice. He brings me a bag/ they don't carry block. I ask, how much? He says there is no charge today for you, smiling from ear to ear. Really? How can that be, I ask? We want to be of help and provide good service. They wait as I shift my ice box items around. Mark is his name. He hands me his card. Oh, I see, he is the harbor master. He tells me that on the other side of the pump out is another protected slip that I can use in the future. Good news and it just gets better. He will cast me off and come help me tie up at the Puffin restaurant, where I had planned to eat lunch. Off I go and he meets me around the corner. The current is now abeam and compressing all my fenders, so I put out some extra fenders for protection. He says he is off to lunch, but call him when I am ready to leave and he will help me off. What a nice guy. Talk about service. A have a great lunch and give Mark a call. He is back in minutes and helps get me off the dock. I tried to move the boat and I could not make it move an inch against the current, so I was glad to see him. With some fast maneuvering and goosing the engine I was able to get out and around the last boat on the pier and turn up current and make my circle out of the marina. Whew, is all I can say, but I'm glad to know that I can pump out under the worst of conditions. Later in the day, I send Mark a photo of Shatoosh with a big thank you text. Another Nautical Guardian Angel. I love it.

1315hrs I'm glad to be on the river again and decide not to explore this inlet(Jensen Cove) nestled down in the barge haulout area. I've had my fill of tight quarters and currents. However, I do want to explore the back side of Akerman Island and the slough into Camas. I pick up the Akerman range and see some interesting places: The Vancouver Yacht Club, and several large homes on the Wa side. One design catches my eye: one central octagonal living area with 2 separate wings. This is just what I have always thought would be an ideal living arrangement. 2 private wings and a great room to share common activities. Perfect. I 'm now reaching "4"marker at Lady Island which acts a buffer zone for the Camas Slough. This slough is really for barge traffic into the papermills in Camas. It is deep and lined with pilings to tie barges to. As I approach the overhead bridge I am slowed by the swift current again and not wanting to get into a tight space again, I turn and retrace my course outward bound docking safely at the newly completed Government Island Docks( over a 1,000ft of dock space) on the west end. It is 1500hrs and I am the only one here. Surprise, I love weekday cruising.

All seems quite and peaceful until after I go to bed. At 2300hrs I am awakened by the wake of probably a tug and barge. Shatoosh rides the wake rather poorly so I decide to get up and check my dock lines. I see the tug and barge upriver of me. I'm sitting on the helmseat looking at the lights and how pretty the 205 bridge is at night when out of the corner of my right eye is an animal moving down the outer dock. It's head is lowered and he is moving rather fast but checking out the various sides of the dock. He goes to the end and starts back up. I grab my flashlight and shine it in his direction. Yes, it looks like a coyote for certain. I don't see him leave the docks, but wait as he could be coming down my dock or perhaps he already has. I stay put and in a few minutes a large cruising ship appears coming down river at a fast clip. I can't hear an engine nor do I feel any wake. A four story cruise ship all lighted up like a ghost ship. I sit quietly in the dark of the cockpit waiting to see what might happen next but all seems quite. I crawl back into my bunk and immediately fall asleep. Early in the morning before dawn I have these amazing dreams of coyotes and wolves coming into my newly purchased property. I brew an extra strong cup of coffee to get me going.

Days run 15.1nm Total 77.4nm