Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Stopover to Check on Shatoosh

The other day I drove down to Oregon to check on Shatoosh. She was fine, sitting elegant in her slip, probably wondering where the heck I had been. Well, you see, I was off helping a friend with surgery, tending to a friend with a broken heart, then a freak snow storm blanketed the northwest. Oh yes, I found time to compile over 700 pages of letters I had written about my life in an Indian Ashram. I named the compilation, "Letters From Heaven". Then I did all my Christmas shopping. I don't think I need to justify my schedule to Shatoosh, but I did feel bad because she was looking rather dusty.

After running through my list of things to do I headed home. I did take some time to stop at my favorite Mexican food restaurant and see how the murals were coming. Wow, they are all finished and really are quite beautiful.

Next, I am off to the land of real mexican food, cheese enchiladas and sopaipillas, here I come, El Paso.

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.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Blog Stats

Yesterday I added a mini stat gadget to the right sidebar. It only shows  pages viewed. On my internal dashboard the stats continue to amaze me. Three years ago when I started blogging it never occured to me that one day there would be readers from all over the world. I figured that some of my friends and family might look at it from time to time, but to have readers from South Korea, Turkey, Eukraine, Malasya, Shri Lanka or Slovenia would have been out of the question. As of now, readers are from 35 countries and the only continents not represented are Africa & Greenland.

I can picture people reading about Albins in countries where they were shipped, but countries where local Albins are not present is another story. While cruising the Columbia, Snake, and the Willamette river systems I have never seen, or heard of another Albin 25. Albin 25's are fascinating little cruisers. All sorts of people fall in love with them. I often find people coming up to Shatooosh wanting to check her out. They say, "wow, what kind of boat is she", "I have always wanted an Albin", or "a friend of mine owned one of these boats". "Can I come aboard"? "Yes, you can", as I begin my tour. It just never gets old. It only gets better with time.
I look forward to another great year of owning Shatoosh and Pashmina and cruising deep into the waters of the Salish Sea.

This beautiful map was created by Chartographer Stefan Freelan.
"Map of the Salish Sea & Surrounding Basin, Stefan Freelan, WWU, 2009"
Stefan has given my readers permission to download and print this Map.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A New Look

Recently I have been getting some emails from my faithful blog readers, wondering why I haven't been blogging. They are concerned, "are you alright", "we miss hearing about Shatoosh". Everyone is sweet to check in with me. I have been traveling, weathering out the Northwest storms and getting ready for my Christmas trip to Texas.

I showed my blog to some friends for the first time and they wanted to see big pictures of Shatoosh and Pashmina. So tonight I am reformatting my main page, deleting some old photos and adding some new ones. After 3 years, its time for some changes. I hope you like them. The beautiful photos of Shatoosh underway were taken by Russ Matta of Vancouver, Wa. They are my favorite photographs.

I continue to tweek my 2011 cruise plans of going up the Washington coast and bringing Shatoosh to the Puget Sound closer to my home. Today I emailed Warrenton Boatyard to schedule a haulout in June to install my swim platform, power wash & paint the bottom and check out my zincs. Emailed Joyce who is sunning herself on some fancy Maui beach and confirmed her committment to crew for me. I continue to study charts, map routes, make to-do lists and pray for wonderful weather in June.

I am wishing all my blog readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. When I see the stats on the blog and know that there is a growing number of readers from all over the world it makes me happy to continue exploring and blogging. This little Albin boat is touching the hearts and minds of many people and for this, I am most grateful.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More on the Death of Columbia River Sailor

Reading more of the facts online, I discover the "BAD DOG" Sloop was skippered by a 46 year old father and crewed by his 3 teenage children. All 3 children were wearing their life jackets and the father was not wearing his. They had left their berth at Kerry West Marina on Westport Slough heading for the port of Astoria. Apparently, they encountered a gust of wind, causing the boat to heel over and the helmsman chair to rip from the deck mounting. As a result the skipper was thrown overboard and disappeared within minutes. The children, lowered the sails and radioed for help. His body was found washed up on the shoreline near Cathlamet about 10 days later. Such a tragic accident for this family.

Again, an unworn life jacket will not save your life.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Columbia River Death

I returned home to see the news about a man's body had been discovered near Cathlamet, on the Columbia River. Apparently the skipper had fallen overboard when his seat had broken loose from the cockpit. His body was found several days later. The news clip showed his helms seat  and I recognized the vessel. I had seen the vessel recently on some of my trips. It was a very large (60 ft) racing sloop, which had a jet ski on the reverse transom. You can see the large helm chair, sitting high above the stanchions, which when broke, literally threw the skipper overboard.

The last time I saw it was at its berth in Westport Slough, Oregon. It can become disastrous when the skipper goes overboard. This is why I continue to talk to wives on my journeys, as the majority of them do not know how to handle the boat and would be incapable of retrieving their husbands/partners in such a situation. And most men do not wear life jackets. Always news of this sort is a reminder that safety is paramount and crew need to know how to retrieve a man overboard.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Snake River Road Trip

14 October 2010
I've been on a road trip to Denver, so followed Hwy 84 again along the Columbia River and crossed the Snake River into Idaho. I am visiting my old Delta friends, Conrad and Juanita, who inspired me to bring Shatoosh to the Columbia River back in 2003. I had lost track of them, but finally reconnected a few months back.

My friends built their custom 30 footer in their back yard many years ago and have cruised many a mile on her. (The Cheryl Lee). Often they tie the bow to the bridge on one of the islands in the 1000 Springs area.

We drove along the Snake in the 1000 Springs Area near Hageman, Idaho.  It is amazing to see so many springs rushing out of the basalt and lava hills. The water is the purest and clearest that I have seen in decades. The fall colors and the blue skies were perfect for an outing.

We see a couple of snakes along the Snake river, but was surprised to see alligators at a farm which is
fed with geo-thermal water. I never thought I'd be putting alligator pictures on my blog. Carol Warren, is the alligator queen with her Albin 27 blog in Florida. Then we visit a rainbow trout hatchery which keeps some old ones around for viewing. Also, in the pond were 2, 6-9 ft sturgeons.

It was delightful to visit another part of the Snake River, that I had never seen, and the icing on the cake was touring this special part with my old friends.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blog Stats Get My Attention

9 October 2010 Saturday
Well, I'm overnighting on Shatoosh tonight, as I depart for my road trip early in the morning for Denver, CO to visit my niece and great nieces. We have had quite a storm come in to the NW this weekend with lots of rain and wind along the coast. With the bilge dry, I will depart at dawn and rest comfortably knowing that Shatoosh and Pashmina  are safe under the roof of a covered slip.

Back in September, I added a blog counter and began to notice a "Stats" section on the blog dashboard. Curious, I opened it to find lots of information. At first, I thought there was more data than I wanted to know, but as I cruise through and revisit the sections, I am finding the info more interesting.

There is a map of the world and as people read the blog the country is highlighted in green. You can see what is happening on this day, week, month or 6 month period. You can also see which devices people are using to access the blog; mac users, pc users, ipods, ipads, iphones, and the list goes on. Also, you can see which search engines are being used, and which servers are being used. Also, which postings  have the most readings.

My blog counter logged over 1200 hits in Sept.That averages out to almost 450,000 since I starting blogging 3 years ago. The stat section reports The US and Canada have the most readers, but Europe is busy reading about the Adventures of Shatoosh and Pashmina. France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland,The Netherlands, Spain, Great Britian, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Bermuda, Italy, Australia, and Brazil. After writing this post and posting it, I check to see who is reading it; 3 people in the US, 2 people in Canada, 2 people in India and 1 in Sri Lanka. How amazing is this?

The 2 most read postings in the last 6 months have been Johanna's Albin that was for sale and has since sold. Thanks to the blog and the Yahoo Albin Group. The most read posting is the one I wrote in Nov 2009, on Shakti, my Vashon Tug, which I owned back in the mid 1980's. I had to laugh. All the time and effort I spend writing about the Adventures of an Albin 25, it is trumped by a non Albin vessel, a 23 ft Vashon Tug. This stat really surprised me. I would have thought, coming out of the Bonneville Dam and Lock at over 14 knots would have peaked someone's attention, or crossing the Columbia River Bar would have captured the imagination of some old arm chair boater. I might have to go back and re-read that posting to see what is so intriguing about it, that everyone in the world is looking at it, week after week, month after month and year after year.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Planning Summer Passage 2011

Yesterday, 1 October 2010, I drove over to visit some harbors for next summer's journey up the Washington Coast. My first stop was La Push, Wa, which has a small harbor, numerous small islands which are near the entrance and a bar at the mouth of the Quileute River. There were bar restriction with the southery wind and breaking waves at the mouth. Getting to see it under restricted conditions is sobering, to say the least, but places the importance of timing and waiting out the weather, paramount.

I was able to speak with the Coast Guard at their La Push Station and also with the harbor master. All information was helpful and I am deciding on their information and the tide tables, that June would be a good month.,

I then drove over to Neah Bay, which is "around the NW corner of the state". The weather calm, seas flat and conditions that I love. The other time I sailed into here was in 1982 after Sabra, Jean, Mike and I had crossed from Hawaii. There is a large marina here now with several protecting jetties for breakwaters.

I logged over 400 miles and averaged 58 mpg on my car and it was a long day, but well worth the trip. I am gathering enough information to make sound, safe decisions about making this trip.  Yes, I know, I could put Shatoosh on a truck,again, and make the 80 mile trip up I-5 and have her in the South Sound in a couple of hours. But, the spirit of adventure looms large in my life...and the sea is calling.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coon Island to Scappoose Moorage

23 September 2010: Thursday
The dock workers arrive at 0700hrs and fire up the generator, so I get up and fire up my alcohol stove and make some coffee. I can hear the cackling of the sandhill cranes across the way on Sauvie Isl. I slowly meander up the remaining 3 nm to the marina. It is drizzling and my Rain X is working like a charm.

I'm having another cup of coffee as my laundry is being done. I've discovered it is easier to do the boat stuff here as to hauling it back home and doing it. The less hauling is the goal.

I keep reflecting about the wonders of this decade of cruising has been. It started with such a simple idea, get a boat that is an older fiberglass one, with a diesel engine that I can run and jump on and go anywhere. Within a week I had my boat and was cruising out of the San Rafael creek to the Napa River Marina. After getting my sea legs and running Shatoosh on a sand bar, my twin Jean and I headed back down to the SF Bay to do a December winter cruise, in which, we had glorious sunny days and went out under the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Bonitas Buoy, and looked up and down the coast.

Hira's Rules of the Road: Have a dream, create obtainable goals, have a plan of action, and relish in the fruits of your endeavors. Don't get caught up in the quagmire of "what if's". Those fear mongering, "what if's" will stop you in your tracks, sabotage your goals, and dissolve your dreams. All I can say, it has been a fabulous ride on an unforgetable boat.

Do You Have a Dream? Are you making it happen?

Total miles December 1999 to present: 5618nm

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Martin Slough to Coon Island

22 September 2010: Wednesday

As I am cleaning out the refrigerator, I hear some whinnying going on from one of the horses that reside on the island. I look up to see 2 beautiful sorrels loping along the outer rim of the lagoon heading into meadow area. I love seeing free range horses running. They stop near the cattle that had collected by the foot of the dock. I whinny back to them and they start looking around to see the other horse, but never figured out it was the ole cowgirl from texas who was greeting them, all hidden in a nook on the Swedish cruiser.

While the morning ebbing tide continues, I decide that is is so beautiful a morning, that I'd buck that tide and go up river in slo-mo. The river was not only calm, but glassy still. I hug the Oregon shore and can only muster 5.8k, but as I pass Columbia City, my speed picks up to 6.3k. I stop in St Helens to get fuel, and see my mechanic, Toni, working on a large tug and we wave. Then I dock at the city dock to have lunch at the Hawaiian cafe.

The tide has turned, so I am running 7.3k up the multnomah channel. I've always wanted to see the tug and gravel barge pull out onto the channel from the gravel pit slough. Well, after 7 years on the channel, the tug Rene is coming out and making her turn up river.

I follow behind for a quite a while and then pull along side of her, as I know her route by heart. She takes the west side of Coon Island and I turn to port and dock at the east side of Coon.

There is a lot of work being down at the upriver east end of the dock. I proceed to the men in the work boat to see if it is ok to dock and they say, "yes". They are putting in a break water to prevent all the logs/debris from entering and jamming into the docking area. This will be helpful next year for certain.

This trip ends my final season of Columbia River Exploration and next year Shatoosh, Pashmina and I
set out sights on cruising up the coast of Washington and bringing them into the Puget Sound where I live. It will be nice to have my friends near my home for a change. I look forward to re-visiting all my old favorites places when Sabra, my Swan 36, and I cruised together back in the 80's and to cruise the magical waters of British Columbia.

I sit here tonight, with my heart exploding with gratitude for getting to cruise, not only the
Columbia,Willamette and Snake River Systems, but also the SF Bay and surrounding Delta. A decade of cruising, filled with such wonderful memories, meeting so many delightful people and getting to see numerous Albins, along the way. The day I bought Shatoosh, I could not have imagined nor dreamed of all our adventures that we would have. It has been truly memorable and I look forward to more adventures as we travel to the northern waters. The leaves are beginning to turn, I only have seen 2 osprey mothers this week and their 3 chicks, the sand hill cranes are beginning to fly into the refuge on Sauvie Island, so fall is in the air.

My summer began at the farthest reaches of the Snake River and ended with the Columbia Bar crossing into the pacific ocean. From when I brought Shatoosh to the Columbia River in 2003-2009 I have cruised 2811nm. Thus far, in 2010, I have cruised 850 nm for a total of 3361nm.
Day's run 16nm
Total: 206 nm

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

Monday, September 20, 2010

More With Zach and Bob

20 September 2010 Monday
The guys are departing this morning and heading to Rainier up river. But before all that we have coffee on the dock, but have to move under cover on the Viola Helen due to rain. For the last few days my engine clock has been flickering and yesterday I couldn't read it. Zach investigated it this morning and it looks like I might need a new one which is part of the tachometer, which might be costly. Otherwise, I could get a less expensive separate unit. I'll see what the volvo people say.

We look at Bob's hardtop and which might even be an option for an Albin 25.

It turns out that Bob is the harbormaster of the Skipanon River Marina, where Zach keeps his boat and which is next door to the Warrenton Boat Yard. It might work well for me to get my swim platform put on and then wait the weather out next summer from Skipanon to head for the bar crossing and my trip north. Something very interesting to consider. 

Zach shows me how he puts the Portland Pudgy on board. Uses a block and tackle to pull her up, then pivots her around on to her nesting spaces. Very easy and very clever.

Off they go up river. Have fun you guys. I'm staying at Walker Island today, and with all these rain squawls passing over, I'm going to go and dig out my bottle of RainX.

Walker Island via Westport Slough

19 September 2010: Sunday
Scattered patches of blue sky keep my hopes up this morning. I'm in no hurry to get up river, so have that leisurely morning and enjoy an extra cup of coffee. I depart Cathlamet at 0950hrs and rather risking running aground at low tide, I take the longer, safer route on the outside of Puget Island. A freighter passes me port to port and is from Majuro.

More blue skies break out just as I am approaching the entrance to Westport Slough, so take the nun to port and find my way into this lovely slough. I'm heading for Kerry West  Marina. I usually spend the night here, but not this trip. Many of the derelict boats have gone. There are many, surprisingly, large sailboats in here and my favorite, steel motor yacht, the Florence A is still here. Many small boat slips are empty and there are many big boat side ties available.

Access to this marina is on the Oregon side at Hwy 30, east of Westport Ferry. This is a deep water slough with great protection. It is getting warm, so the flaps go up, the shorts and t-shirt goes on. Oh, I do love the sun. The mergansers and the kingfishers seem busy fishing and flitting about.

As I depart the slough the ferry boat The Waikiakum, is crossing the river and knows where to cut across the sand bar and head up the slough to the Oregon ferry landing. I watch, but would never try that on my own, as I have seen the bar at low tide.

The flooding tide is moving up river and I am doing an impressive 7.8k. The west wind starts to crank up at noon and Shatoosh doesn't mind the 1-2 foot stern waves. I tie the helm and put the flaps back down and grab an apple out of the fridge for lunch. We make steady progress and tie up to the Walker Island dock at 1420 hrs. I recognize an ole friend's boat, the Viola Helen. An aluminum custom built vessel by Zach, the owner. His friend, Bob is cruising in tandem and has a new 23 foot, Trophy.

 Zach was one of the first persons I met after I arrived on the Columbia River. I met him in the fall at Martin Slough. He generously took the time to mark special areas on my chart book, including the back way into Cathlamet! I told him that I had 6 inches under my keel last week. So, it is most fitting that I would run into him on my last voyage of the year, ending my 7 year marathon of Columbia River System Adventures.

We all sat and talked for hours and Zach shares stories of his cruise up north a few years ago to Ketchikan and back single handing his very interesting boat. He has so many ideas that stretch your imagination into a new place. I'd love to spend about a week with him to listen about innovative things I could be doing. Right off the bat was his new dinghy:
1. An Amazing dinghy: the Portland Pudgy( Portland Maine)He puts her in the river so I can row it around. I love it but it is over 100# and is too heavy for me.

2. A netbook with AIS interface. Notice his plastic screens to block the glare on his screen.

3. A composting toilet

4. A water heater for showers.
5. Then he talks about cruising without refrigeration, which intrigues me. He says many items can be stored in the bilge areas as the water keeps the hull cold. Items such as frozen salmon in sealed packages can stay for some time in the cool bilges, as most fruits and vegetables. Carrying freeze dried fruits and nuts can be kept for long periods of time. He has a small hand held gun that measures temperatures. Point and click and you know the temperature of the item, space, or cubby hole. I might have to try some of these ideas for my next outing. With this weather, I could use some warm soups.
6. I ask him, "how did you go all the way to Ketchikan without wipers"? " Wipers, who need wipers, when you have RainX.".

This rendezvous with these fellows has been so much fun today. I have run into Zach several times on the rivers, but haven't had any opportunities to talk with him. This has been wonderful. They invited me for some spaghetti, but instead finished off my squash and polish sausage. I joined them later after dark, when I heard the coyotes yelling over on Walker island. I love that sound. 

Day's run: 28nm
Total run: 170nm

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Out of Astoria

18 September 2010: Saturday

I got up at 0530 hrs, looked out the window and there were stars and some clearing of the skies. "Oh, this looks good," I say to myself. Made coffee, ate some almonds, stowed the electrical cord, made my bunk and waited for dawn. Quietly, at 0650 hrs, I slip my lines and head for the exit of the marina. The sunrise is beautiful, the ships  anchored in the mooring basin are turning off their lights. There is a slight northeasterly breeze and the skies are blue. There was nothing of this sort mentioned in all the weather notices. One just has to be prepared to move at a moment's notice.

There are 5 ships anchored and one coming down river at a fast clip. The wake flips my water bottle off the shelf and knocks the lid open, spilling half of the water. I grab it quickly, but the carpet is soaked. I pass Tongue Point and Margaret from Storm Bay hails me on the radio. She was up early and took a walk and noticed I had already departed. We wished each other great journeys and expressed how much fun we had getting to chat. Kindred spirits for certain. I admire them alot, as it is not easy to sail long distances and be out of country for years. Good on ya, mates.

Shatoosh is clipping along nicely against the weakening current at 7.3k with the flooding tide. Perfect tides for my up river trip. I approach Jim Crow Point at 0900 hrs. I had heard that up in the cove, there were guy wires across the top of the cliff to the adjacent trees. This line had a long rope hanging from it and you could anchor in very deep water and tie up to this line. Today is just the perfect day to check it out, except if the wind was westerly it would be better protected. I ease myself in behind the point and can see the ropes and lines, but the rope hanging is very close to the rock cliff. The water is very deep 50-70 ft, except for the waters near the shore and I found it to be 18-20 ft. This is not something I'd want to try, when there is a nice anchorage slightly up river from here and in shallower water. Well, the cliffs are beautiful, and I'm glad I stopped. I opened the curtains, kept my life jacket on and my fleece pullover on and enjoyed the fresh air.

The line is hanging in alignment with my flag staff.

The Ansac Katherine is moving fast downriver and loaded to the max. I just barely get a shot of her bow wake, before I have to take her wake. This sunny weather is such a refreshing change from the rain. I love the sun, but we just don't get enough to saturate my bodily needs.

This has been a fast upriver jaunt and I arrive in Cathlamet at 1030 hrs. The place looks pretty deserted.
The sun holds until noon and then intermittent, scattered sprinkles come and go all afternoon and evening.

Tomorrow, I've got favorable tides all morning and part of the early afternoon, So will have a leisurely breakfast and take my time getting to Walker Island. What a nice easy day, tended to maintenance, stitched up a hole in my worn out jeans and had a really nice long, hot shower. I love living on Shatoosh, life is so simple and close to nature. Moving with the tides, helps me connect to the rhythms of the universe.
Days run 24nm
Total run 142nm

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Rain

17 September 2010: Friday

Yesterday, I solved the problem of rain accumulating in the tarp on Pashmina. I extended the handle on my boat brush and ran it under the tarp on top of the fore and aft ends of the dinghy and secured it to the transom. Then refastened the tarp over it. Now, the rain runs off both sides and can no longer pool. Clever solution.

This front wants to stay and rain is predicted all next week. I will probably stay another night to sync my return up river with the flooding tide and return to Cathlamet. The wind shifted during the night to Easterlies, which means it is coming down the channel and with the tide ebbing, it would be a slow rough ride back up river. At noon there is a break in the rain and the skies are lightening up, however I am staying another night and will leave at the crack of dawn. If the ride is too bad then I'll duck into some of the smaller channels and meander upriver with the flooding tide through the numerous islands.

Take a look at the wind for yesterday and today in Astoria.

Margaret from Storm Bay returns with an armload of paper charts that they want to get rid of and I, too, have found my old northern California cruising guide that I donate to Storm Bay. We are both so happy with the transfer of charts. She loves Shatoosh and has a few minutes to check their emails. I look forward to keeping up with their journeys and hope the best for their travels.

Johanna who just sold her Albin, Lit'l Bit, emailed and congratulated me for passing my bar exam. I put a photo of the Columbia River Bar on my desktop and now qualify as a bar captain. Looking from the ocean the north jetty is to the left, the south jetty to the right. Ilwaco,Wa to the left and Astoria, Or to the right.

I've been crossing paths with this Nordic Tug from Santa Barbara, named Forevergreen, ever since Cathlamet. They carry 2 folding bikes on the cabin top.

Its 2100hrs and the wind has picked up, and Shatoosh is being bounced around in the slip, so I go online to the wind site and see what is happening oustside my warm bunk. The wind has shifted around from the east to the southwest with gusts over 20k.
I'm off to sleep so I can rise bright-eyed and be ready for whatever the day brings my way. One thing is for certain, the tide will be flooding, and I am grateful for that.