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Posts Tagged ‘Hobie Adventure Island’

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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

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Fishing dock art

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heading past the first ‘yacht’

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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.

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

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off into the grey

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

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this might be a ‘harlequin’

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a house of gulls

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I think he was sorting out his nets.

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rain ahead with a good breeze blowing my way

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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.

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

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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.

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

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A tree stabilizing the upstream end of the first island

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Looked like bamboo getting established

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a relic

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

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Entrance to Wallooskee River

A modest breeze powered me up.

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looks pretty low for a sailboat

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kit cat

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Too low, turning around

The breeze had been fronting another squall.

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

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A wet and shy heron

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the sail catches the rain and drips it down

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

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The Astoria Column

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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.

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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.

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power boat returning to dock

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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.

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A working class yacht club

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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.

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Allan’s day off: Boating on the Chinook River

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 The Chinook River feeds into the Columbia River about 3 miles east of Ilwaco. At one time this was a portage route to the Willapa Bay avoiding the infamous Columbia bar.

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Heading west, the Stringtown Road intersection is just ahead and the Chinook River launch is to the right.

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Kathryn & Dave arriving

We were to meet at the boat launch of which the very existence surprised me. Thank goodness for knowledgable friends. I followed a google map up the river and what I thought was a driveway was really government land and a ramp. Beats a dragging the boat off the road and sliding it down a muddy bank.

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In the distance the cars await unloading.

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Could this be a living tribute to the abandoned town of Pleasantville that used to be here?

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Susan & Ann already in.

Ready to launch as I return from displaying the Discover Pass in the car.

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A nice tandem kayak

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Heading towards the South Fork of the Chinook

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Susan checking out the tide gates. I tried to get a picture of what she saw but the sun ruined it. Just imagine facing a 3 foot waterfall on the other side of the bridge in a very dark tunnel.

The river’s tides were confusing as we arrived shortly before a seven foot high tide. The water was flowing in from the Columbia and the water weeds indicated the water was also flowing towards to the Columbia. Throughout the trip the Chinook river seemed to rise from the flood gate’s inflow though the tide tables said that the overall tide was receding.

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Susan checking ahead

 Heading up the west fork that is shown on the map as being ‘wide and blue’ along the portage route, we were soon grinding against the muddy bottom. After we all got stuck a few times, it was time to try the other fork headed east towards the town of Chinook.

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And off they go

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As this was my first group ride, I was still figuring out the dynamic of where to try to be. If I could get in front, I would have a hard time twisting around for a rear photo of the group. I would slow down and there I am, in the deep channel tripping up the others.  Our cat Frosty likes to do this at home, right in front of me, in the hallway, just stop, turn around, and see if I’ll stop.

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Susan in good form heading upstream

Or I could paddle off to the side. The photo angles are good, but then I seemed to run into the mud.

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Both sisters as we look south towards the Columbia and the faint noise of the highway

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More often, I ended up in the rear, taking backside shots and then trying to catch up.

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Here I got a rudder or maybe the pedal drive stuck again in the mud again and off they went while I sorted things out.

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Dave and Kathryn also were getting stuck in the mud in this section. The mud was so soft that pushing against the bottom didn’t always work; there was nothing firm. Sometimes it took a pull on the bottom grasses to get back in the channel. This river was best suited for the short and shallow yellow boats or maybe a canoe.

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A telephoto shot as these two check out the shallows and water grasses that would be the end of our eastward leg.

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This picture confirms that Dave had spotted, with his paddle and camera ready, something…

Susan shared some homemade yummy flourless, agave sweetened, chocolate cake. Sticky, sweet, and just right so I ended up taking home my wheat thins and PB & honey sandwich, unopened, while I listened to discussions of blended plums, beets and other advanced cooking tips. Ann Kirchner (center) is the ‘Ann’ of the excellent ‘Ann & Tony Kischner’s Bridgewater Bistro located on the Astoria waterfront.

We were discussing ducks, golden eagles, trying to identify the flock of birds circling to the northeast, elk, bears. Then we all saw it, or as it turned out, them.

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OMG! Is that a bear?

We soon all agreed that they were cows. Dave did his best cattle call to try to pique their interest to come closer but they were shy. Even though it was suggested, no one stood up to get a better picture.

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 Now it was a quick trip back

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Susan and the group rounding a fallen tree

 A telephoto shot as I was probably stuck again

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 This was going to be a ‘light of the almighty heavens’ shot shining down on these two.  The camera did it out a few days ago.

 The weather was actually very nice, in the mid fifties and only a light headwind on the way back downstream

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 When Dave and Kathryn were paddled in sync, it was like watching an Olympic Games event.

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Susan, faster than a falling water droplet

 The rubber rings on the paddle shaft and her jacket cinched under her gloves all help keep the blade’s water from flowing down her sleeve.

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We went from this point to that point

Ilwaco is on the bottom, the Port of Chinook is near the top on the right.

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 It was really only maybe 4.5 miles. The red dot shows where I stopped the car to try to get a better picture of the flood gate and remembered to finally shut the app off. The app ‘MapMyWalk’ correctly figured out that we took no steps. It was way off on the ‘kCal’ calorie count, I felt pretty caloried out but I now know more about the Chinook River.

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