Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Old Favorite- Martin Slough

Yesterday the sun was shinning and after getting supplies I depart for my old fav lagoon: Martin slough. The weather is perfect, the Columbia still and peaceful and I arrive after sliding down river with the ebbing tide at 8.5 knots. It could not have been a more perfect cruise. I meet a freighter coming up river.

My gps is being mapped on Sea Clear and the chartplotter is performing as it should. I look for my hearty mother osprey and she has already hatched her chick. Last year she had 3 and nutured them all to fledge. I slow down to navigate the cut and as expected, I am alone in the lagoon. What a treat.

I awake to crystal clear blues skies, a slight breeze fills the lagoon with one large cat's paw.

While the temperature is crisp the projection is a high of 70, which is a nice break from 47. The cattle herd is growing and I see 3 big black angus bulls and a few recent calves. 7 vultures are circling on the east side of the lagoon, but what catches my eagle eye is a pair of wood ducks cruising past the dock. This is a first for me to see these beauties here in the lagoon. They spend some time preening themselves on the shore and then take flight and circle back to the trees in the meadow. They build nests in trees and then shove their chicks out, sometimes falling 20 ft. They tumble and roll and are ready to follow their mother to the water to get their first swimming lesson.

I have a list of things to do, as usual, but will enjoy the weather and the peace that nature provides. A great blue meanders down the dock towards Shatoosh, and the swallows are flitting everywhere skimming insects off the water. I am certain today will be a delicious reminder that summer is near and I am going to enjoy the rare rays of sunshine on my pale body.

I pump up new fenders and attach lines. these will be used in the locks along with the new bow and stern lines that  I prepared a few weeks ago. I tightened all the nuts on cleats, pulpit railing, and the deck bolts in preparation of extra loads. Lots of scrubbing and cleaning done.

Went down to the end of the dock to say hi to all the cows. Many are new mothers and a red headed (hereford)  came over to smell my hand. I thought since it was Mother's Day weekend I should take their photos, as no other boats have cruised in. Where have all the mothers gone?

Late afternoon a lovely Tiara powerboat named Mattanza pulls into the dock, cooks up some burgers in minutes and hand delivers one to me. The new owners are familiar with Albins, so they get a tour and just as fast as they appeared, they departed. So fast, I didn"t get a photo of them. Thanks folks for the delicious burger and it was nice meeting you and seeing your boat. The sun is behind the cottonwoods now and it has been a beautiful day spent in nature with the sun beaming glorious rays upon me. With a burger in my belly, I'll settle down with some hot tea and have a quiet evening. At 9 pm I discover my #2 batteries are dead.They have been loosing their charge, so will have to get them replaced. They are only 4 years old.