Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘boating’

Sunday, 27 August 2017

On April 12, 2014, I took my first kayak ride. It was here in Skamokawa that I signed up for a beginning lesson from Columbia River Kayaks. We went up the inside passage of Price Island and back down on the riverside for a total of three miles (posted here). They have graceful sit-inside craft with snap on skirts and were a big help in deciding what kind of boat I wanted to own. They offer a wide range of trips with expert guidance.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 1.46.58 PM

The road to Skamokawa

In March of this year, we had visited the museum at Redmen Hall, shown in the photo below.  From the windows, we had seen an enticing boat launch.

DSC06619

Here is Redmen Hall from the boat launch.

The plan today was to head east, stay near the shore inside Price Island, and duck into Steamboat Slough to visit the Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge. Today the wind was forecast to be from the north 10 to 16 mph. That would mean I could use sail power both directions and hopefully minimize heading into the wind.

I filled out the form. I noticed the launch was pretty quiet for a sunny summer Sunday. There were no cars parked nearby.

DSC06765

I put in my dollar.

One of the locals came down to see if he could launch his ski boats yet but the tide was still too low. He then he told me that I needed to park my van in the parking lot across the road behind the trees. I only had $3 towards the $5 parking fee so it was off to the little store under Redmen Hall for a snack and more money.

As I pulled into the boat ramp’s parking lot I discovered a campground with close up views of the passing ships on the Columbia.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 10.51.37 AM

Back to the launch all sorted out.

I copied this idea for carrying my boat on the van’s roof from a Yakima rack loader. It requires only lifting half the weight at a time. I’m trying to avoid using a trailer.

DSC06620

Next step is to swing the tail off to the ground and then lift down the bow.

With the parking paid, I was finally off.

DSC06628

Here is a closer look at the trimaran I had seen on our previous trip.

DSC06629

Here is the outward channel and a marker ahead.

I chose to head outside the island as the inside passage still looked narrow and shallow.

DSC06638

An Osprey nest.

DSC06642

Outside Price Island I passed a kayaker carrying her dog on the back deck while playing a splashy game of fetch.

DSC06651

A large barge was heading downstream across the river.

DSC06652

Maybe the local I met at the ramp was finally out on the water.

DSC06657

A sailboat passed me going upstream. I was paddling and had the sail out but it still passed me.

DSC06660

The entrance to Steamboat Slough, about 2.5 miles from Skamokawa.

Another ship was heading up the river.

DSC06664

It was the Enishi.

When I got home, according to marinetraffic.comI found out the Enishi was soon to arrive in Longview.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.46.16 AM.png

There was a light breeze as I headed away from the Columbia River. I didn’t even feel the wake from the Enishi.

DSC06667

Steamboat Slough and adventure ahead.

DSC06673

Looking back at the Columbia.

DSC06674

The shallow water is kayak friendly but not so good for motors.

DSC06675

A gate that controls the water level of the interior wetlands.

I had to see what was on the other side.

DSC06678

Here’s Steamboat Slough looking back towards the Columbia.

DSC06679

The thick Ellison Slough continues behind the gate.

DSC06681

And blackberries.

DSC06683

Steamboat Slough Road is also a way to explore this area.

DSC06691

Canadian geese keeping ahead.

DSC06696

Steamboat Slough, the road, and I all continued east.

Soon there was no wind at all.

DSC06695

Here is a junction. I went off to explore a wrong route.

My map and good camera were back at home, probably sharing the same table with Skooter. I could use the phone’s  ‘MapMyTracks’ map.  First, it helped me go inland, then back upstream, then back the way I came (but differently), and finally out to the river. The inland route stays a sizable stream and crosses under the highway.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 12.05.23 PM

Missing this turn would have taken me inland or upstream to the next town.

DSC06697

The incoming tide was filling the slough from ahead.

DSC06699

The shortest route home was to the right while keeping straight would add another three miles.

By now it was about four hours until sunset. Although there was enough time that I didn’t need to go back the same route,  I wanted to finish the loop and avoid driving home in the dark.

DSC06701

The hills of Oregon. I could hear boat engines beyond the trees.

DSC06703

Back out into the river and the return of a wind.

The Columbia flows northwest here instead of due east. The trip back would be northeast and into the north wind.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 12.50.56 PM

A sailboat crisscrossed the Columbia upstream but I was headed the other way.

DSC06710

I was enough upstream I could see the bridge at Cathlamet, about seven miles from Skamokawa.

Here I was tacking against a near headwind. Meanwhile, two sailboats were motoring their way upstream. They had an incoming tide, and a fair wind to push them along, but, not me.

A can floating by to salvage.

DSC06725

It was unopened and punctured from the side, a mystery.

Soon came a float I thought I could salvage.

DSC06743

It snagged me hard and swung up the daggerboard. This may have been a marker for a pot.

DSC06720

Another bird home design

Finally, after about three hours I was back at the entrance to Steamboat Slough.

DSC06736

The birds were still there, though by now most of the the bar was underwater.

It was 6:45 and everybody was heading home.

DSC04012

A long crooked trip back

A bald eagle was at the harbor entrance.

DSC06752

Its head was bowed and I wasn’t patient enough to wait for its noble pose.

DSC06754

I passed the home to Columbia River Kayaking.

DSC06755

The harbour’s Ospreys were calling it a night.

I passed by one of the local trawlers, the nondescript F/V Alki II. The blueprints and its history are in the Library of Congress here.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 1.20.53 PM

“…Alki II represents the transition from traditional wood hull gillnet boats to the more modern fiberglass hull and a change in boat building…”

I’ve discovered the internet has resources for ship spotting, such as the Enishi and the smaller boats too.

DSC06627

This blackberry covered special may not be on the internet at all.

DSC06767

Finally, an hour before sunset and about to head home.

The top speed of 24 mph on the phone looked awesome until I remembered that I had put the electronics in the car when I went into town for money. Oops.

DSC04013

It’s more like Distance: 17.4 miles Top Speed 6.0 mph and knock an hour off the activity time.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 19 August 2017

in which Allan goes boating on Young’s Bay and the Lewis and Clark River

“100 Paddles! is an opportunity for people to join in a human-powered water journey. Lewis and Clark National Historical Park invites the public to travel by water into the park, similar to how the Lewis and Clark Expedition members traveled during their winter here in 1805-06.

On the day of Saturday, August 19, experienced kayakers will meet at the Astoria Recreation Center (former Astoria Yacht Club site by the Old Youngs Bay Bridge) for a 10:30 a.m., launch and group paddle across Youngs Bay into the Lewis and Clark River. Less experienced folks are encouraged to meet at Netul Landing at 10:30 a.m., and head downstream on the Lewis and Clark River. The two groups plan to meet on the Lewis and Clark River. After a flintlock gun firing and huzzah, together the groups will paddle to Netul Landing for refreshments. Participants need to bring their own kayak, canoe, paddleboard or any non-motorized watercraft and need to wear a US Coast Guard approved personal floatation device. 

100 Paddles is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark National Park Association which supports park education and interpretative activities at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.”

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.06.34 PM.jpg

The yellow line points to the ambitiously named Astoria Yacht Club and the orange indicates how far upstream I went today.

While I was figuring out what I forgot, a happy dog splashed around the boat. “He likes to go in all the boats,” his walker explained. Coincidently, I also got the same tail-wagging greeting when I returned later.

HEY! Get back here.

Waiver signing and a nice kerchief for all, as modeled by one of the Park employees.

Boat, paddle, life vest. A simple combination for a fun day ahead.

Also heading out today were some fisherman.

Getting ready while all those darn kayaks line the boat ramp.

Ten boats in this picture but I did not get a total attendance figure.

“Are you tied up?” I heard as my boat started to drift. I quickly got tied up and waited to leave.

Expedition leader, Mitch, awaiting a gather around.

We had guides in a lead, middle and trailing kayaks. He explained that it was not a race and we were all to stay together.

A water auditorium with Mitch behind the blue kayak.

Off we went

The fishing boat at the dock heading for the Columbia River.

As the flotilla spread out, Mitch sends a boat back to the rear to make sure everyone was having fun.

I unfurled a quarter of my sail at this point and it seemed to make the paddle easier.

Astoria’s Regional Airport is ahead where the Coast Guard helicopters are based.

Two of the park employees passing a water hazard. Behind is the 101 bridge from Astoria to Warrenton. These are often mudflats but the tide is a plus 6.4 feet now.

We went under the Business 101 bridge by the community of Jeffers Garden and then up the Lewis and Clark River.

On the west side, the river bank is mostly ‘wild’ and without buildings.

On the east side was Astoria Marine Construction with a large trawler pulled up for repair.

Several other boats docked.

A fellow paddler with a well done homemade kayak. We discussed kayak seaworthiness and inverted bows.

We grouped up at the entrance to a grass route parallel to the river that would take us under Fort Clatsop.

Note the tree formation to find this route again. We followed the channel upstream about a quarter mile.

Park rangers on the bank to welcome us.

Here we met with the group that had done the shorter trip downstream from Netul Landing.

“Turn down your hearing aids!” we were cautioned.

BAOOM! (but no smoke)

“Hip hip huzzah! Hip hip huzzah!”  Then we crowded up for a group picture. I had the outriggers folded in so I wouldn’t get stuck in the grass or be a road hog.

In August 2015 I visited Fort Clatsap and checked out Netul Landing. My notes are in the last part of this blog post.

We then headed north to the landing for visiting and cake.

The party strung out behind until we re-entered the main channel.

Soon I spotted the most beautiful boat. It’s a small Chinook ocean-going canoe.

The owner had made a wood mold to create the finished boat, gunnels, deck and all entirely of light fiberglass so it would never rot. He now has the molds to create more when the time comes.

It is flat bottomed and reflects a design that has evolved over thousands of years. A sweetwater, or lake canoe has evolved into a different design. A brief explanation by trailtribes.org can be found here.

Pulling out at Netul Landing.

Two landings techniques were notable. One was to accelerate into the ramp, grind off a little hull, and then step out dry. Another was to park parallel and then roll out and accept the wet. The Chinook canoe was treated more carefully.

I was privileged to help carry the canoe to the trailer.

A closer look at the home built boat I paddled with back at the river’s mouth. It has a built in wheel. When on land he just drags it around like airport luggage.

A little bit of cake was still left by the time I got there.

This is a lightweight under 40lb. canoe by ‘Advantage’

The Rangers went around asking if anyone needed a ride back to the Astoria landing to fetch their cars so they could come back and load up their boats. I didn’t know that this was an option but it worked out well for most as the wind was picking up. I can’t guarantee they’ll do a shuttle next year but it could tempting after a 5.1 mile paddle.

The literature downplayed the short trip down from Netul Landing as suitable for less experienced kayakers but it is a good place to launch to paddle the entire river. The Lewis and Clark river runs about six miles.  I headed upstream alone as it was was still only one o-clock.

The first adventure was a black creature rustling ahead behind the shrubs. After just leaving the Lewis and Clark expedition I first thought BEAR and cautiously steered for the other bank.

The river banks were otherwise quiet, grassy, non-threatening and played their part of a pleasant day out on the water.

I reached the first upstream bridge in about twenty minutes.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 12.32.56 PM

Here is the bridge from google’s street view. It has a pull out if you wish to drag a boat down to the water.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 12.50.03 PM.png

Here’s a ‘googlemap’ view of the upper Lewis and Clark river as it crosses under a couple of bridges.

Heading back downstream I dodged the pilings. I only hit one because it was hiding underwater. The flipper’s shaft bent about thirty degrees but still worked almost fine.

Back near the Netul Landing the pilings are more frequent and often made of steel.

By now the wind was gusting up to 24.2 mph mostly from varying angles ahead.  That meant much fun tacking through the pilings.

I passed and greeted an inflatable that with the aid of the wind, was easily paddling back upstream.

One of many small mini gardens growing atop the pilings.

I beached under the riverside trail at the fort and got out warmer stuff to wear. Dave and Melissa had given me a waterproof bag as a gift and it proved handy to keep my sweatshirt dry before getting it soaked later in the bay.

The Astoria column with the boatyard in the foreground.

One of the boatyard buildings as seen through a wet sail.

It was a windy and splashy trip back along the edge of Young’s Bay. With the sail mostly rolled up (reefed) the boat still felt flat and secure as it reached almost 14 mph.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 2.35.39 AM.png

This boat has what is referred to s a ‘wet ride’.

I had invited two guests. One observed that 100 paddles sounded like about 96 too many. Group rides are how I got started but it can be a solo sport. This trip follows a historical route that led to the building of the winter encampment of Lewis and Clark in 1805-1806. I appreciated the Park staff giving us a sense of the importance of the place that I would not have noticed alone.

The other invited guest had a tight timeline. I couldn’t see not being out in the water all day if I had cleared off enough of my obligations and there was fun was to be had.

Fort Clatsop also offers three hour guided paddle tours throughout the summer where they will provide the two-person boats and equipment. The registration is done online.

Lewis and Clark River Paddle Tours

Hop in a two person watercraft and paddle along the lush riverbanks of the Lewis and Clark River. See bald eagles soar while you calmly float through history and hear a unique perspective of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.The themes of these three hour ranger-led paddles will vary and include natural and cultural topics geared for all interests.
Tours will run Thursday through Sunday during the summer. Tours will start on June 24, 2017 and run through September 3, 2017.

  • The park will provide water craft, paddles, and life jackets however, if you are a special size you may want to bring your own life jacket.

…There is more to read, you register online, and the Tour is free with park admission.

I saw one bald eagle today as I ‘calmly floated through history.’

Go to: https://www.nps.gov/lewi/planyourvisit/paddle-tours.htm for more information.

Due to a battery failure, I like the results of my phone’s MapMyTracks ap better as it shows 3.6 miles more distance.  I think the phone covered the faster return trip when the Garmin had ‘died’. Even better, the phone picked up a top speed of 13.8 mph (!!) versus the 7.9 on the Garmin. Paddling usually averages around 3 mph.

DSC04376

Read Full Post »

I managed to find the slow way out of town. Here I am watching a crew clearing the large tree that recently took out the city’s power. Down the road I was stopped again as traffic watched a crane working on a new culvert.

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-12-57-57-am

Left is the tree top and right is the sizable trunk with fresh wires in between.

After arriving in Seattle and settling in and visiting with my brother, I attended a Christmas party with old friends Saturday night.

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-4-01-03-pm

A bunch of Moto Guzzi owners-but no motorcycles parked outside in the snow.

Next day started with some detective work.

A Wedgwood grade school classmate of mine had posted this picture on her Facebook page. The house in the background looked familiar but I couldn’t find it on google’s street view.

img_8297

The car may be a classic but it was just a couple of years old at the time.

Soon the case was solved.

Here it is almost sixty years later.

Next, I walked a little further to our grade school, past a ‘Little Free Library.’

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-3-41-28-pm

“Every book is a Tardis”

A small portion of the Wedgwood grade school’s playground has been made into learning gardens divided by grade level.

A greenhouse just like ours with an ambitious self-leveling water collection system already half full for the sixth graders.

The faucet by the fence is plumbed a long way from the school.

For the third graders

A friendly sign.


I went by my old house and noticed a more efficient heat pump had been installed by the new owners. Mom’s plants are maturing in the foreground and our Scottish Terrier’s play area was behind the fence.

dsc00889

Across the street was a beauty berry bush.

Next, it was down to the water where Seattle likes to boat.

We are at the site marked number one.

In spite of a Seattle SeaHawks game and a forty degree day melting the snow from the day before, I saw a couple of boaters.

The Aqua Verde Cafe rents little boats and serves up Mexican food.

A tetrapanax highlights Aqua Verde’s small garden. The Interstate 5 bridge is in the background.

One of these tours might be convenient. They know where to go and will try to bring us all back right side up.

Birds of a feather flocking off the dock.

Next, I headed for Duck Bay in the university’s Arboretum, my favorite place to canoe as a kid.

Duck Bay residents.

When I was a kid, we used to drag our boat to the mud bank closest to the “You Are Here” arrow and muck our way in.

The Arboretum now has dedicated graveled landing sites, and they’re not very near the car at all. I was told at the visitor’s center that with the scarce parking, most boaters launch from the University crew house and paddle across the highway of motorboats going through the Montlake cut.

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-2-54-52-pm

The university rents canoes from the upper left.

When I was a kid, this seemed a lot bigger.

Here’s the water route that leads to the noisy freeway bridges.

Next place to check out was at the south end of Lake Union next to the original Boeing airplane plant .

The mouth of Cedar River has a small park and a boat club centered around its racing shells.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-8-17-25-pm

When Boeing is done building the plane on the right it will be towed over the slender bridge to the field to the left.

Not the prettiest place to paddle, but lots to look at.

The couple on this bridge were waiting to see a plane take off.

A sign you don’t see very often.

I was behind the building when there was a loud roar overhead.

I missed the potentially fatal jet blast, dang.  The couple on the bridge was excited to see the plane take off,  whoa! How did the locals know the time of this thunderous event?

Later, back at my brother’s place:

A couch surfer’s view of my brother’s apartment on the last morning.

When a guest stays too long they look like prey.

On the way home, I stopped at Trader Joe’s for a few special groceries from the ‘big city.’ There I learned when not to get another free sample.

Sign at Trader Joe’s

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Allan goes boating on Young’s River

It’s been 84 days since I had set sail. During that time I had installed a fence, helped plant thousands of bulbs and watched a record rainfall during September. Life is good; today its even better.

I had been been looking at a list of over twenty local kayak launch sites that Columbia River Kayaking located upriver in Skamokawa posted. Given that I had an almost free day,  a 17 mph SE wind, and a high enough tide all afternoon, it must be a sailing type of day. Young’s River is remarkably close, wide enough to tack upwind and as yet unexplored by me.

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 8.50.24 PM.png

The launch site post states that the… “Astoria Yacht Club is located at the SE corner of the Old Young’s Bay Bridge. The Yacht Club is a funny name. It consists of mooring for a commercial gill net fleet around salmon net pen docks, an old green building, picnic shelters and tables, and an outhouse.”

dsc09204

The dock with the Old Young’s Bay Bridge in the background

It continued: “The boat ramp and dock are atrophying into oneness with nature. At low tide, the launch area is a marvelous mudscape. But it serves our purposes just fine.”

dsc09205

a modest but capable boat launch at a +3′ tide

dsc09206

Fishing dock art

dsc09208

heading past the first ‘yacht’

dsc09211

Looking back, the boat ramp is on the right.

I first checked out the nearby bridge and probably could have cleared it but the goal was to get near another launch seven miles upstream at Olney, where the river is much more narrow.

dsc09214

Signs not seen by cars such as how to call ahead to get the bridge raised.

dsc09216

off into the grey

dsc09213

According to a chart Skyler gifted me, these might be male ‘oldsquaws’.

dsc09270

this might be a ‘harlequin’

dsc09222

a house of gulls

dsc09219

I think he was sorting out his nets.

dsc09221

rain ahead with a good breeze blowing my way

dsc09228

Here I thought I was getting near to an inattentive heron on a piling.

As a squall came throughI reached my top speed of 7.9 mph.

dsc09231

not a lot of color but a nice cloudscape coming my way

dsc09237

I just finished a couple of books set atop the isolated mesas of Venezuela. This could be their view from the Orinoco River.

After tacking upstream and expecting a quick trip back, the wind died.

img_2639

I headed around the first island to at least set a landmark as to how far I had gotten.

dsc09238

A tree stabilizing the upstream end of the first island

dsc09236

Looked like bamboo getting established

dsc09239

a relic

There was a small river I’d passed earlier. I wanted to check out its bridge.

dsc09246

Entrance to Wallooskee River

A modest breeze powered me up.

dsc09248

looks pretty low for a sailboat

dsc09249

kit cat

dsc09252

Too low, turning around

The breeze had been fronting another squall.

dsc09257

The wind is gone, rain is pouring, and it’s back out to the main river.

dsc09258

A wet and shy heron

dsc09259

the sail catches the rain and drips it down

dsc09261

so I hung it off to the side and encouraged it to drip elsewhere

dsc09262

The Astoria Column

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-8-17-46-pm

A Cormorant Column and the Lord Nelson Column

Here is a photo I found of the view from the Astoria Column looking up the Young’s River.

view-from-astoria-column-inland

I made it up to the edge of the river’s view and partly up the river edging the tree line on the left. The launch is off the picture to the right.

dsc09265

power boat returning to dock

dsc09273

an accidental wet lens effect

The rain paused long enough to pack up and get back to the SALT pub to hear about Skyler & Carol’s adventures that day.

dsc09278

A working class yacht club

dsc09275

Putting an old GPS on a waterproof box with a small battery shows I was moving ninety six percent of the time and faster than a brisk walk.

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Allan goes boating in Ocean Shores

Last year I attended a paddle race that looked to be frantically fun. I would see how fast I was compared to other boaters (Last year’s race). All human powered craft were welcome and the pictures showed a wide variety.  This year I thought it was history but the organizer called and asked if I was coming.  So, with no training (as usual), off I went.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 7.39.22 PM.jpg

DSC07187

Emerson Park on Duck Lake

I arrived with a half hour to set up, register and be in the water.

DSC07188

They’re unloading a 26 foot Huki. Long and slender with an outrigger (or ama, as it is called in Hawaii).

DSC07284

These are considered ocean canoes for two. (class: OC-2)

I think he said “Stay left of first island, then right on the next, then stay left.” Mentally I was flipping the map 180 degrees to align with the lake but in reality, I planned to stay in sight of someone ahead-then pass them at the finish.

DSC07191

Bob showing us the six mile course.

IMG_2633

Pretty hard to get lost

DSC07196

With the tailwind drifting me into these beautiful boats, and six miles ( 5.6 on the GPS) to catch up, a few feet back is no big deal.

Some people start really fast. Now, I need to start passing them all, except the lead boat so I don’t get lost.

DSC07200

Steve and his canoe, a fine paddler indeed as I had this stern view most of the race.

DSC07204

Boat racing class: C-1 (m). A canoe, one person, male. The more classes, the more winners.

If you brought a sea kayak for one (SK), there were six other boats out there in that class. There was also one fast sea kayak (FSK) which are extra long and slender but I couldn’t spot it.

DSC07209

Headed around the first island, on the left, I think.

DSC07226

We disturbed the gulls as we passed one of the support boats.

DSC07245

The first of a singular set of boats I managed to pass.

DSC07259

Back at the finish. I was twenty seconds behind Steve and his canoe, but always catching up.

DSC07371

Last year did 1 hour, 8 minutes. This year I was slower by 82 seconds.

DSC07263

Meanwhile, I noticed later looking at this photo at home, was another ‘MaryBeth’ kayak like the one I have at home.  (That means I purchased it from our friend MaryBeth.)

DSC07268

The red #20

DSC07306Brady raced in the class: SOT (y). (Sit On Top (youth). He finished with a first place medal in the two miler.

dsc07285

The start of the two mile event.

DSC07287

A home made canoe and a Huki behind me.

Turns out I could get better pictures from the back of the crowd.

DSC07288

Off they went.

DSC07289

Paddling hard

DSC07294

DSC07302

Around the one mile buoy.

DSC07311

Michael’s brilliant home built propeller pedal craft. He started late but finished first in pedal craft. He also posts a lot of pictures for the Sound Rowers club based around Seattle.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.10.37 PM.png

The left view shows the chain to shaft transmission. the right shows the bar he uses to adjust the prop’s height. The plate that protects the hull is under his car rack.

DSC07369

Next up was the poker run.  We were each given a map to six docks to gather playing cards. I had more time to look around and enjoy as we went another three miles to the various neighbor’s docks.

DSC07318

And their little dog too.

DSC07324

DSC07321

waterlilies (nymphaeaceaes)

This pedal boat also entered the six mile race. I caught up with them here in the poker run. Their Nauticraft’s ‘Escapade’ has a simple belt driven propeller .

DSC07339

One person to pedal, two to give encouragement and wave.

DSC07330

A semi-transparent ‘skin on frame’ design. I think this was the boat that was doing eskimo rolls near the dock later. Apparently there are roll competitions as I listened to a tale of an eskimo roll with no hands.

DSC07347

Oooh, an ace. No prize here.

DSC07350

Combining the 2 mile sprint and the slow poker run.

I maxed out at 6.9 mph last year with faster times last year too. Looks like I need to rest even more and save up more energy

DSC07358

Now it was cardboard boat building time.

DSC07376

Our team with two sheets of cardboard, three rolls of tape and a couple of box cutters. Bob had a plan.

DSC07377

More teams at the ready.

DSC07378

DSC07392

Our budget kayaky boat with a seat.

DSC05249

Also a paddle board and prams. 

We all used lots of tape for waterproofing.

Meanwhile, I had earlier taken a photo of the Girl Scout parents. Their troop was sharing the park with us today.

DSC07275

DSC07385

Here they later are building a cardboard boat with us.

DSC05251

The Girl Scouts are ready to launch. Our team’s boat is in the background.

Each team was allowed one helper to help with the launch.

DSC05257

And we’re off.

DSC05258

The ‘S.S. Win’ skimming away while the Girl Scout brings out her cardboard paddle.

The first and second place boats were still loading up while most of the pack took off.

DSC05259

DSC05260

Our team launching last…

DSC05261

…but fast.

DSC05263

Her boat was sound but the paddle was bendy.

DSC05264

Our boat headed opposite the crowd around the buoy.

DSC05270

First and second place

DSC05274

The last sunken boats including ‘S.S. Win’ swam back. The Girl Scout is still heading out to the buoy.

DSC05277

No one is left on the water but the support boat. She’s still heading out to the buoy…

DSC05281

…and back.

DSC05284

A strong design indeed as they took this boat out to play after the race.

DSC05287

Great fun for all but, unless someone else steps up to run the show, this year is the last.

DSC05290

More bountiful and bolder deer than on the LB peninsula.

DSC07400

Attractive planters with spiky plants at their city hall as I started the long drive home.

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Allan’s boating excursion

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.18.35 PM

Returning to the scene of part 2 in the August 7 blog 

The last time I was on the Willapa river my goal was to find the most shallow part that could be paddled. I had been advised it was just over 2 miles up from the Wilson Creek launch .

DSC05139

Just a couple more miles upstream!


DSC05171

With a slight tailwind, here I am back at the bridge 2 miles upstream from her dock.

This resulted in a formula:  GIVEN: (glass half fullism + pity (ghf+p)) equals a multiplying factor of 2.25,   AND: ( a stranger’s given distance (sgd) x (ghf+p)) equals the ACTUAL DISTANCE (ad),  The formula looks like: (sgd) x (ghf+p) = (ad).

Substitute the given values: (“2 miles” x 2.25) = 4.5 miles actual distance.

This was proven true today, twice.

DSC05172

Into new territory. The wind was predicted to be 15 mph and carry me right upstream. It wasn’t blowing yet

The river is salty on its incoming tide which might explain this sharp high tide vegetation line.

DSC05168

DSC05177

Lots of attractively planted pilings. I bumped over a few underwater which must be even more a thrill with an outboard engine.


DSC06680

The second bridge. This is about the upper limit for small fishing boats according to LeeRoy’s Ramblings  , an excellent local fishing blog.


DSC05219

A typical North American small fishing boat.


DSC05180

Wow, what a destination!


DSC05181

This is a “no tickets’n turnstiles” budget water park featuring a unique high dive with tidal adjustable height.


DSC05188

Also featured is a water swing plus a return ramp up the beach. (More about this river’s beaches later)


DSC05190

The locally sourced return ramp


DSC05191

Many hours of work involved, and such an accomplishment! The old time artistic signature above and the modern era disclaimer below.


DSC05193

This was worth paddling by many times as the river kept pushing me downstream while I  studied and imagined this place in use.


DSC06681

A not so quality picture of a couple as they quickly kayaked downstream. “Just another 3/4 mile.” they said.

Applying the earlier formula again, briefly, ((2.25) x “(3/4) miles)”  equals just under 1.75 miles to go. I measured it….

DSC05195

Looked like a tree wanting its picture to be taken.

…and with a slight round-off error factoring their downstream exuberance…

DSC05197

Upstream at the ‘end of the line.’

…it was actually 1.5 miles upstream from the kayakers’ friendly ( ghf +p ) advice and 4.5 miles from the dock near the launch.

DSC05198

Shallow rock bed all the way across. Time to wade like an explorer or turn around.

Banging into pilings and shallows resulted in a rod becoming bent and a flipper stopped moving. One flipper would equal only half speed so I took a few minutes to replace it.  I can straighten the damaged rod later.

DSC05200

DSC05201

DSC06686

Headed back downstream against a wind.


DSC05210

An attractive farmhouse with a beach.


DSC05215

Returning under the first bridge with a wet lens.


DSC06688

Past the cute ‘Lany Bug’ again.  It just called for another photograph.


DSC05217

Last visit I thought this ramp only needed a replacement dock. Now I think the bank washed away from underneath it too.


DSC05218

Adjacent to the ramp the riverbank looks scrubbed.


DSC05222

Alert boaters must become shorter than this stick.


DSC05223

I learned that when a ski boat is being towed the towed person gets soaked.

Back at the launch I installed the other pontoon and headed into the brisk wind downstream.  I intended to to paddle down and sail back.

DSC05231

A fine house and a riverfront fishing camp.


DSC05228

A turret, skylight, fireplace and style.


DSC05234

The beginning of a very long row of pilings.


DSC05237

Tightly spaced and extending around the bend.


DSC05238

The head wind still blowing should make for a quick trip back.


DSC05239

The apparent source of the pilings, an old mill.


DSC05253

Remember the water park’s beach ramp? This is the typical river beach. I learned to wear knee boots, they built a ramp.


DSC05240

Part of a old belt system I think


DSC05241

It’s next to the burned and ruined dock


DSC05249

It looks like a small cedar shake operation still continues.


DSC05251

Where’s the wind?


DSC05254

Getting a scrub before boarding


DSC05252

A house with a fine view while the trees slowly grow back.


DSC05256

Calm, windless water. It was still a faster trip upstream against the current than downstream against the wind.


DSC05259

A shy deer from Raymond.


DSC06698

Professional model deer from Raymond


DSC06696

A colorful rail on what looked like a day care center.


DSC05262

12.3 miles with about 20% of the time not moving.

Piecing together about three trips, I’ve now paddled  the Willapa river end to end except for the swampy bits on the upper left of the map near Raymond.

thumbnail_photo.jpg

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Allan Paddles the Bone River

James Swan, the author of the book, ‘The Northwest Coast’, built his residence at the mouth of this river in the mid 1850’s. In his time it was called the Mouse River or the name it had always been before: The Querquelin.  The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is currently running a photo exhibit of ‘Swan’s Land‘ which I plan to see soon.

DSC05084

Mr. Swan’s sketch of his residence with Toke’s lodge on the right

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 2.03.53 PM

The Bone River is just below Bruceport

Today’s plan was to use the northwest wind to carry me to and from the river’s mouth and also to use a rising tide to go up the river, a falling tide to return.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 12.34.10 PM

Starting at Bay Center and going for a  gold star

IMG_2566

1 pm to 6 pm will be clear of the vast mudflats.

DSC04863

Passing Baby Island at 11:20 with a rising 2.4′ tide and mudflats.

There is a short road upstream just north of the bridge that would make an easy starting point if you’re comfortable leaving your car there.

DSC04867

Looking downstream from the turn off.

DSC04869

A peaceful highway view that soon will have a red boat distraction coming upstream.

DSC04872

The town cafe and biker bar. I will return.

DSC04873

Oyster farmers unloading.

DSC04875

A large parking lot at the launch with an oyster white sheen

DSC04876

Another working boat coming in just before I leave.

DSC04878

Between those two points lies the Bone River

DSC04879

I found a skinny cup for the small cup holder in the little yacht. I can now sip drinks enhanced with salt spray.

DSC04882

Off for more oysters.

DSC04885

DSC04891

DSC04897

First view of the river’s entrance

DSC04900

I tried for a better photo, twice, before pulling down the mast. The bridge is really too low .

DSC04904

This works.

DSC04905

The swallows swooped in and out faster than I could snap the shutter.

DSC04910

A calm river with very little current. In four miles there will be hazards only a more nimble little boat can ascend.

DSC04912

A hot day today. The birds and animals seemed to be snoozing. Here is a stray fishing float we will follow up later. Note its location.

DSC04920

Convenient for logging, the trees were all pretty young.

DSC04945

This line of pilings to tie up log rafts were the only human relics I saw past the bridge.

DSC04916

A mild wind was blowing upstream.

DSC04918

Not enough wind to bother with the sail.

DSC04921

A head scratcher.

DSC04924

This was the end for me today. The water was five feet deep but this hazard is is best conquered with light little boats like Mary Beth’s 39 pounder she sold me.

DSC04927

One outrigger pulled in but it’s still like turning around a motorhome.

DSC04936

Quiet trees on a warm day

Now it’s time to get back to the launch. The day is still, quiet, and the wildlife seems to be snoozing until the evening. I speed up to 4 mph and head back to the bay. A 33 sec. YouTube video putting you there is here.

DSC04944

Potential sea beans for Skyler on the right side but they’re muddy and it would kill the plant.

DSC04946

Same float, different place. Now it’s in our yard.

DSC04950

A survey post where I wanted to land to see where the old village/homesite might have been.

I walked out to what I thought might be a marker for this historical site.

DSC04954

It was a marker for a recent survey and a ‘witness post.’

DSC04955

When I got home I reread the book’s passage and decided the more likely village site was upstream of the bridge.

DSC05086

“The river wound round this point in the form of a horse-shoe…”

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 12.59.02 PM

The circle indicates a field that may contain the site of the old illustration.

DSC04908

Possibly a historic field next to the highway

In the 1966 book: ‘Coast Country’ by Lucile McDonald, she describes the recent finding of James Swan’s old fireplace. The site has also changed due to building a highway through it and flooding.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 1.20.06 PM.png

DSC04951

Sea beans for Skyler by the survey site. Plump, thick patches of sea beans everywhere. I took a few and we had them for dinner the next night.

DSC05000

No salt required on these little green delicacies.

DSC04962

I sailed back to Bay Center.

DSC04964

Closely spaced floats in rows marking oysters

DSC04970

Six o’clock Sunday evening and the port is quiet

DSC04977

A view of the 101 bridge just south of the Goose Point Oyster plant from Bay Center.

DSC04978

A rough oyster shell beach.

DSC04980

Lots of ‘stopped’ time today, like a staycation tourist.

DSC04988

Outside of the Dock of the Bay eatery

DSC04991

Some of the interesting art inside. I couldn’t see an artist’s name on these prints but very interesting in a ‘how things work’ way.

DSC04992

DSC04996

Reasonably priced hamburger steak dinner including the option of ‘oyster dressing topped with hollandaise sauce and melted cheese.’

DSC04997

Baby Island on the way home at 8:20 pm with a falling +2.1′ tide. It’s back to being mudflats again.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »