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 Cruising

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PostSubject: Cruising   Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:55 am

My wife and I love to take the boat out for weekends to various places along the Columbia River where we live.

I thought I would share some of our favorite spots with you all and see if anyone would like to share theirs. It's almost sailing season in Portland and I have the itch so I need to live vicariously through you all for my sanity.

Every year we spend a week downtown Portland for the BluesFest on the water. They do it every 4th of July and dozens of boats raft up on the waterfront and listen for free. This is the view off my stern.



We also take a lot of trips to Coon Island on the Multnomah Channel. My avatar shows us on our annual "Fall Colors" cruise to Coon Island. It was October and we had the whole place to ourselves.

Here is the hound guarding the boat.



One of our other extended weekends is to take a trip upstream about 30 miles or so to Beacon Rock. It is a great cruise up the Columbia River Gorge. We pass Multnomah Falls along the way:



And here is Beacon Rock. It's a massive monolith in the gorge. There are docks with shore power at the park near the base. We sit in the hammock and watch climbers take the hard climb up the side to the top.



We take the trail to the top.

Sometimes we just take the boat out and sit on the hook for the weekend.
Here is my wife's favorite spot. I rigged a hammock from the mast to the forestay.






But of course, this is what we like to do best...





And when the wind is too light...


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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:17 pm

Being a river, is the current ever too strong for a sailboat?

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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:30 pm

Sometimes it is a challenge in the spring when the river levels get high. The snow melts and the rain comes at the same time and we can get 3-4 knots of current when the tide is going out.

I went for a sail one time with a high current and a light wind and I sat in the same spot for two hours looking at the same spot on the shore. My knot meter logged 9 nautical miles even though I really never moved upriver at all.

Most of the time it's no problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:44 am

My sailing skill level would be challenged by setting down in any water but a small lake.  Current, tides, figuring out how to get back to somewhere, I could no longer get a visual reference to, boggles my brain.

I admire those that take full advantage of what sailboats really do. 

In Nebraska, a large body of water, is the size of a small town city park.  lol

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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:09 am

lol , Try leaving Tacoma heading to Budd bay with a high tide just letting out 35 minutes before departure. I made that mistake once . Certain parts of Puget Sound gets alot of current at times of day that even my sea ray struggled with making headway. Here you need to pay attention to the tides alot unless you do not care if you make progress. There are also areas here , even if tide is coming up, you still do not gain any current to speak of. Like sailing around Vasion ,on the Gig Harbor side. hardly ever south bound current.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:03 pm

Headed South out of Fisherman bay into the wind and current coming out of cattle pass.  4 hours of sailing netted us 4 miles towards the pass.  So we gave up and sailed over to San Juan Island and hiked up to American camp.  When we made it back to the down side of Cattle pass, the wind had dropped and we were almost at high slack water.  Much better!
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:51 pm

I trailered down near Astoria once to do some crabbing just inside the bar. Best crabbing is at high tide but when we were heading back and the tide was flooding out, I barely beat the current with my little 6hp at full throttle. I got the anchor ready to drop in case I stopped making way. I certainly didn't want to try crossing the Columbia River bar in my CM26!!! They don't call it the "bone yard" and the "graveyard of the Pacific" for nothing. I managed to get back to the marina but it was slow going.

I was doing 5 knots or so on the water but about half a knot over ground.

I haven't taken my sailboat crabbing since that one.

In the summer when the water is low, the river actually flows backwards when the tide is coming in. We are easily a couple hundred miles from the ocean here but still get a 2-3 foot tide variance on the river.

Some of my favorite days are hoisting the spinnaker on a light wind day at slack tide and just ghosting along at 2 knots. Marley on the stereo, sun on my face and maybe just a spot of rum.

I'll post more pics soon. And I hope to see some of yours also.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:07 am

Looks like I have the next trip laid out now.  7 Days sailing from Lumi Island across the north end of the San Juan Islands to North Pender Island in Canada.  Returning via Roche Harbor to clear US customs with the option of sailing back north of Orcas Island or through the middle of the San Juan's depending on weather conditions.   I may have also recruited a first mate for the trip.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:25 am

Jealous!

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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:32 am

Post pics here when you get back!
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:22 pm

It is time to start laying plans for the sailing season!  With the bigger truck and two replacement axles on the trailer...  I'm game to do some traveling.  Should only be about 2 hours south to the Columbia river...  Any possibilities?  I can probably made it a four day weekend.

Toying with trying for the West side of the San Juans - maybe English Camp this year.  I may also try for the PNW Cruisers party in Paulsbo this summer.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:51 am

We just had our first snow, but I am with you, planning on the water already.

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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:44 am

I'll check the calendar (my wife) about some river trips. We have some new clippers in the neighborhood that I am hoping to contact about a rally this year.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:37 pm

The outboard is back in working order.  Would be great to get a date on the calendar soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:35 pm

Last weekend I managed to move the boat and trailer forwards 8 feet. At the end of the weekend I moved it back.  The engine is back on the boat.  The jack has been replaced so I can drop the trailer back onto the hitch.  The trailer wiring has been replaced.

I spent some of yesterday and some more hours today upside down inside and now it looks like most of the electrical system is finally working again.  Nothing like having a newly patched hull that you don't trust yet and a dead bilge pump...

So the float switch went out last summer and I bought both a float switch and a spare rule sv-24 pump.  The float switch is fine but the new pump isn't turning over even though it basically didn't get used...  Unfortunately I picked it up in B.C. and don't want to go back there to return it.

getting closer to getting on the water.
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PostSubject: Getting ready   Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:17 pm

Headed out this coming Sunday.  Will launch from Lummi point.  2 miles north through the pass and head West towards Sucia Island at the North side of the San Juan Islands.  I picked up another captain and we will wander as we see fit.  The first known port will be Friday Harbor on Tuesday Evening for the Vega Rendezvous.  Thursday we will depart and depending on the weather will choose a southerly direction.  The next port will be Poulsbo on Friday evening for the NW cruisers get together.  Pirates and cannons, what could possibly go wrong?  Sunday, ears permitting, we will return to Seattle to put Triticum back on the trailer for the trip home to Olympia.

I hope to return with some good pictures and maybe a tall tale or two  (hopefully something not done to my ship!)
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:51 pm

Mid 50's today....  I'm itching to get back on the water.  I received pictures of my grandchild equalivent (My older son bought a Merit 25 last fall) out on the lake in GA  30 mph steady wind in an ex-race boat...  I am so envious.

Also trying to decide where to go this summer...  Newer motor last fall so interested in stretching the legs this summer...  Maybe back into Canadian waters...
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:25 am

Mid 60's  light but pretty steady breeze from the west.  I took Tritiucm out for her first sail of the season.  Got stuck helping replace a serpentine belt on a big pickup so didn't get onto the water until about 4pm.  The wind held up after sunset and since BUdd bay is ringed with houses, there was plenty of light to sail by.  It did get pretty cold towards the end but we got her back on the trailer by the street lights and she is back in the driveway.  Made it back to the house a couple of minutes before midnight.

The newer motor was a joy.  two or three pulls to fire up, much less noise and far more power than the old one.  I needed to go the spares box for a couple of clevis pins...  I'll have to do a west marine run for a few small parts but even without the load the boat list, I didn't find anything I couldn't work around.  Unusual for a first voyage of the spring.
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PostSubject: Re: Cruising   Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:10 pm

On the bay again on Tuesday.  Weather was good, maybe a bit hot (for me).  Wind was ok until about 4pm when it died.  I wish the weekend wasn't quite as busy as there was more wind then.
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