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Posts Tagged ‘Hobie Mirage Adventure Island’

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Allan goes boating in the Nahcotta boat basin

Today was a windy sunny day, with gusts predicted over 30 mph. That could make a pleasantly busy ride in a little sailboat. It was an easterly too, which favored north/south waterways, like Loomis Lake. A day to celebrate! I figured I should return there to check if the vegetation is diminishing enough that I could take out a guest without getting stuck. The locals have been working on it. It’s the biggest lake on the peninsula, two miles long with lots of wildlife. After a slow start, I drove up past Long Beach and found that the public launch to Loomis Lake was locked shut for the season. Even if I name-dropped my way into launching at the private Tides Wests dock just north, it’s a push and a drag to get my heavy boat launched through their grasses.

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My boat is too big to toss off the side of the dock.

Here are some shots I took in 2014.

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The upper right shows my path through the muck in June, 2014.

With an hour and a half until dusk, I headed north to Nahcotta. The tide would be over eight feet. That meant deep water without the mudflats that appear below the three-foot tide.

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only caution is a fast outflow after dark

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It is a short trip to Nahcotta.

Here is the turnoff. There is a small mountain of oyster shells in the distance.

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Beach Bites is a highly rated food truck.

Launch fees are $5; kayaks or canoes are only $1. I paid once without the envelope, then once again correctly with the envelope which includes the tag for the dashboard.

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There’s a picnic table to the left and parking next to the water. With a food truck nearby this could be a good way to enjoy the day even without a boat.

I sailed north towards Oysterville (3.5 miles) and looked at houses.

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We used to help maintain the gardens at one of these houses.

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Viewing houses can be fun from the water as there aren’t any tall fences or hedges. It was certainly fun splashing through the waves but it was only a 46-minute outing. It would have been interesting to boat out to the end of the pier and watch the crane but it was getting dark.

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A crane unloading what looked like oyster shells.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

boating on Willapa Bay

Another not so early start today as there didn’t seem to be any breeze predicted above 5 mph and there was painting to be done at home.

When I arrived in Nahcotta people and boats were at work. The wind was brisk. The bank is rocky so I set the boat up on the lawn while waiting for the ramp.

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After five minutes this boat left with their floats.

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Ten minutes later another boat arrived to unload butter clams.

After that, another boat arrived and also unloaded their bags of butter clams.

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I quickly rolled the boat down the ramp past the bags of clams when a truck appeared at the top of the ramp behind me. Aha, by backing the truck bed down the ramp, loading clams would be easier. I was about to quickly pull my boat back out when one of them offered to help. I lifted the stern, expecting the wheels to drop off, but they got stuck, of course. He reached under, the wheels fell off properly, and off I went to tie up out of their way.

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Lowering the truck bed to the dock makes for easier lifting.

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I’m out of the way while the crew gets ready to head out for more butter clams.

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Full of boats and gear.

I meant to check out the crane and the workings of the port but sailed right past. The wind had picked up properly and small white caps formed.  I headed straight out into the bay to avoid any more boats coming in. Just because I was fortunate to have the day off, and a recreational boat, it’s only proper to stay out of the way.

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Like the powerboat above, I headed out to clear the breakwater

There are lots of small hazards to entertain too.

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I thought this might be a submerged sign.

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A forest of poles mark the oyster beds. I didn’t hit a one. (16 in this pic)

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The tower marking the port’s entrance.

I angled back to the shore looking for familiar landmarks but didn’t recognize a thing as it didn’t look like the view from the road.

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The view from the water.

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The same buildings from a google map.

Not seeing a lot of reason to continue south I quickly headed north over yesterday’s route.

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Ooh, over 8 mph and worthy of leaning over the side to track better.

About as good destination as any. A house with a very long fence I could look up later.

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It’s a shallow shoreline when there is grass growing out of the water.

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The air was clear enough to see the Cascade range, about 140 miles away.

I had gone 2 miles north of Nahcotta and the sun was getting low.

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The top of Long Island is on the right. I covered about 2.5 miles of the coast.

I later asked a local about these square net floats and found out that some oysters are grown in floating net bags to grow to a more round shape.

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Back at port crews were still busy. There was another beautiful sunset.

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This ship was spinning around spraying the contents off the barge.

It was now 5:00 and the port office was closing. A couple of cars were watching the sunset and another car was watching their dogs run around me and bark. The crews had gone home.

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The port shut down for the night.

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Day one, lots of wind and fun but only 46 minutes.

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Day two and two-thirds more trip.

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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Allan and MaryBeth sail on Black Lake

To confirm I was pretty caught up on projects, I thought I should use the day to take a boat out. To make it more leisurely, I would go out on Black Lake just a mile away. But, to put some challenge into it, I invited MaryBeth, the person who sold me one of her little kayaks, one so little that it fits inside the van with room to spare. She has conquered the tippy little kayaks but had never sailed.

(Below): Here is the Black Lake Yacht Club. Don’t let the pine needles and the grass piled about fool you, nor the fact that the two white boats haven’t budged all summer. It could be a happening place! I’m appreciative that I don’t have to drag my 150-pound green boat from home.

A small retirement community.

The first item is to clean out the needles and reinstall the plugs.

The sail is only half the size of what the boat was designed for.  It makes it very stable and not too overly thrilling. The winds only reached 11.5 mph which led to a relaxing day.

A free boat several years ago, it just needed a winter’s worth of hole patching, painting, new wood…($); but it works now. I’m now the owner of a graceful boat that was saved.  

I set up the red sailboat so that I could later abandon MaryBeth to her own adventures in either boat.

First we had to row out to clear water and then south to find some ripples.

Being cranberry harvest time, the lake was down about a foot.  The McPhail cranberry farm at the north end of the lake pumps water into the cranberry bog in order to float the berries for harvesting.

MaryBeth took the controls and we drifted downwind to the southeastern tip.  There was someone fishing off every dock but Marybeth carefully avoided all their lines.

Letting out the boom.

We saw a lot of these today, who were maybe attracted to the colorful sail (and each other).

This type of sailboat can head any direction except 45 degrees left or right of a headwind. Depending on the trees, hills, and weather,  the wind speed and direction changed a lot.

We paid attention to the wind vane. Here we are angling 45 degrees into the wind.

The black streamers indicate we’re heading into the wind and about to drift backward.

We did a lot of curlicues today. When tacking upwind, and changing from one direction 90 degrees to another heading, sometimes the boat just stops. It won’t complete the turn, it drifts and won’t steer. Swinging the rudder back and forth like a Venetian gondolier sometimes moves the boat just enough, as often you’re close to shore. There’s an official nautical name somewhere but the curlicue can get you going again. The wind pushes the sail, the boat speeds up, the rudder starts working again. The boat can complete the turn and you’re off again on another tack.

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A little extra distance but hey, this isn’t a race.

 

The breeze was light and we successfully tacked nearly all the way back to the north end.

The captain’s eyes are on everything

With the wind nearly gone I started rowing. Soon I heard voices and looked over my shoulder. We were all up in this fisherman’s business. Afterwards, we beached, folded up the sail and continued by oar.

We’re the only two boats on the lake and who do I bother?

Another fisherman, minding its own business, was near the northern shore. My telephoto got a few shots of this snowy egret before my splashing oars caused it to fly off.

patient and quiet

I did not get good photos of the snowy egret. However, a local wildlife photographer recently captured these beautiful images of the Black Lake egrets and has kindly allowed us to share them here.

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

We rowed back through the lily pads to shore. After we failed to wrestle the boat up the bank, MaryBeth came up with the idea to use the trailer hitch to help. It only snapped one rope but we succeeded in pulling it out. Next time I’ll bring a winch. 

Solo sail, eh? Next time. She can do it now or rent a sailboat on her own. An intriguing rental place is on Seattle’s Lake Washington. It rents the smaller affordable dinghies and kayaks which I hope to visit someday (Sail Sand Point). Portland has a sailing club and school for the bigger (way over 150  lbs.) sailboats at the Island Sailing Club.

This was plenty fun and totally relaxing for both of us.

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The stats

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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An Osprey nest.

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

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A large barge was heading downstream across the river.

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

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

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

Another ship was heading up the river.

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It was the Enishi.

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

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

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Steamboat Slough and adventure ahead.

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Looking back at the Columbia.

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

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

I had to see what was on the other side.

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Here’s Steamboat Slough looking back towards the Columbia.

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The thick Ellison Slough continues behind the gate.

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And blackberries.

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

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Canadian geese keeping ahead.

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

Soon there was no wind at all.

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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.

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

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The incoming tide was filling the slough from ahead.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

Soon came a float I thought I could salvage.

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

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Another bird home design

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

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

It was 6:45 and everybody was heading home.

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A long crooked trip back

A bald eagle was at the harbor entrance.

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

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I passed the home to Columbia River Kayaking.

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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.

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“…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.

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

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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.

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

 

 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sunday, 30 July 2017

The original destination for today was the Niawiakum River that runs in front of Goose Point Oysters, just north of the Bay Center turn off. It’s one of three rivers accessible from Bay Center that also includes the Bone and the Palix. Here’s a map to give a general idea. The Bone River is just below Bruceport, then the larger Niawiakum River just east of Bay Center and the larger Palix River system is SE of Bay Center

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Bay Center is just across from the tip of the peninsula.

In the early 1850’s James Swan lived at the mouth of the Bone River. A trip to that site is here. He sketched and wrote extensively of the area and included this sketch of a camp he visited on the Palix.

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The cover and a sketch he includes.

The tide was low at only 1.5 feet, which meant most of Willapa Bay was mudflats.  It seems to stay that way until it rises to about 3 feet. It would be rising until dark so I planned to stick to the river channel after leaving the dredged port entrance. There is a launch in Bay Center amongst the oyster boats, next to one of the shellfish processors, but first I drove by the picturesque wreck of the R/V Hero. To the owner, it must look nightmarish. Last year it was afloat but in need of work, but now that it’s sunk, it’s going to cost more. There is a Facebook page for the R/V Hero that includes many photos of its work as an Antarctic research vessel and its demise located here.  It was built in1968.

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At Bay Center, just uphill from the dock, I ran across the Chinook Tribe’s Office.

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One of their great canoes is stored here.

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A low tide and a quiet harbor.

Near the launch is an area washed by the tide that supports Salicornia (Sea Beans). Here is a site with better ID and seven ways to eat them.

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A plentiful supply of Sea Beans. A few would be salad garnish tomorrow night.

It was a quiet launch as it was a Sunday and a low tide.

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Accidental landscaping to starboard as I left.

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Oyster farms extending out into the bay as I pick my way through the channel.

I headed for the channel marker tower to look for the Naiwaikum River and turn upstream. From the shore, the start of my adventure looked like somebody’s first-time sail trip. I put up the sail and then headed nearly straight out.  Then, if they were watching, onlookers saw me get tangled in the eel grass, beach the boat, take down the sail and slowly paddle away. I didn’t see another boat out on the water today which speaks to how remote we are.

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It’s slow going through this stuff.

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Here’s my excuse for missing the entrance to the Niawiakum on this google map. The river’s entrance was actually further downstream from the channel bouy. There was no Niawiakum that I could see.

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I chose the Palix River channel and headed upstream hoping the Niawiakum River channel would appear later.  As Rat said in The Wind in the Willows “…there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Either river would be a good day.

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The Mollusk in front of one of the processors. It was working during my visit when I blogged about the trip here.

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Older real estate with character.

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The Hero from the other side.

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The 101 bridge over the Palix.

From here the Palix splits into the North, Middle, and South. I followed the South Palix.

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This might have been the camping ground in James Swan’s book.

It was very quiet except for the birdlife.

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A house was an unusual sight so it gets a picture.

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The bank washed away and ruined this dock but even google maps doesn’t show a likely house that would have used it.

Further upstream I came to this cleared area and discovered I needed to turn around or take the mast down.

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I can see through first floor. The lack of plantings made this house look empty.

Within sight of the empty house was a low bridge. It was 3 PM, an hour and a half out from Bay Center. It would be upwind most of the way back so I turned around. I had come 5.7 miles but it ended up being 10.5 miles back. That included a lot of tacking and a short side trip up the middle branch of the Palix. I read there is a falls upstream. That trip will have to wait for another day.

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Trask Lane meanders over this bridge.

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Logging relics just east of Highway 101.

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Here’s a boat launch next to 101 on the Palix I haven’t used yet.

The wind gauge shows I’m making progress upwind (if the daggerboard is doing its job). Another sailing dingy my dad gave me would usually put me on the same shore locations at each tack, with no upwind progress. It’s made of styrofoam and sits so high off the water I think the wind just overwhelmed the daggerboard and rudder.

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A low sun, a glittering surf, and maybe a whole eight mph.

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The Hero again at higher tide with a flooded doorway

It was 5:40 and the tide is now up from the earlier 1.5 to 5.9 feet. Finding the Niawiakum would be easy now. Next time, I’ll head a bit downstream for the right channel or, just wait for a higher tide.

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The channel buoy is now surrounded by water.

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Oyster bed markers.

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Bucketing off the deck.

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A wet lens, so it must have been fun.

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  Monday, 19 June 2017

Allan goes boating on the Naselle River

It’s going to be the first day of summer tomorrow. Today is going to be the first kayak expedition since last November.

Back in October 2014 I thought I could launch at the Willapa Refuge, head all the way upriver to the town of Naselle and back in one day. In six and a half hours I made it just past the 101 bridge, up the Ellsworth Slough and back.  The bit of the river around the town of Naselle I paddled once in February 2015. There is no launch in between unless I pull off the road and drag the boat across a field, which is possible, but too athletic.

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Today it’s the lower route

 

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The fog was still out hiding the bridge across the Columbia to Astoria

 


Same view later from on the way home

The tide was plus five foot but would be going down all afternoon. The Naselle River stays deep enough for a kayak all the way up to the town of Naselle even when the Willapa Bay is mostly mud. The plan was to launch from Naselle and go out with the tide. The current would be on my side but there would be a headwind with gusts to 20 mph. If I took a sail, I could sail back and maybe cover the almost 20-mile trip.

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The boat launch with enough concrete to walk on with a plus 5.1 tide.

When I returned after the trip, the launch was concrete deprived.

At the low tide of 2.2 feet, it’s muddy

It’s sticky, sucking off your shoes, covering your boat muddy.

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Fortunately, it was easier to launch than it was to return and I set out.

I thought I’d snap a picture after just avoiding the overhanging trees

Watching for sunken trees and things that go bump.

A fallen tree had blocked three-quarters of the river. I think it used to be an island that is now being washed away.

The root ball and channel are off on the left.

Tree branch ribs

This helps show the tidal range. It’s plus 1.6 foot now.

A toy for a water fun

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Someone had done a long climb to get that rope up.

A backhoe scoop had been installed the right, a modest garden is now on the top deck.

The rear deck and a doorway for someone else to explore. I did wonder if it opened.

Another old boat up on the shore

There was very little breeze through the woods. When I got out of the trees the wind picked up to to 15 to 20 mph

A furled sail makes upwind paddling easier

Before this boat, my usual experience was that I had to fold up the sail to get home. Tacking back and forth trying to work back upwind with my dad’s boat would usually just be back and forth but no upwind progress until I got the oars out. Small sailboats usually don’t come with oarlocks but I find them handy.

Around the bend, I partially unfurled the sail as it was gusty from 15 to 20 mph. Too much sail at once can be too exciting and actually slower.

Someone left these pilings in the way to zig zag through

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Less than eight miles per hour but it seemed fast.

This is the bit of river I see when driving north of the curved 101 bridge over the Naselle River.

I ducked up into a calm Ellsworth slough to put on some warmer, dryer clothes and grab some lunch.

The 101 bridge, the goal.

Made it

Now the wind was at my back. The river isn’t straight, nor does the wind keep coming from the same direction as the terrain changes. This makes the sail sometimes flip from hanging off one side to hanging off the other side. The boom running along the bottom of the sail will whack the inattentive sailor as it flips to the other side giving notice that the boat will be instantly leaning the other way.

The internet suggested I could hold the sail out if I cut a notch in the paddle.

When the sail wanted to switch sides it would wrestle the paddle away.

Low-tech worked better.

It was an easy 6 mph glide back up to the woodsy part of the river. That beats 3.5 average paddling speed. That made the extra time setting up a sail worth it.

On the way back I saw this leftover relic from logging.

Someone has a nice garden with a river view which I’ve never noticed from the road.

I thought I saw a herd of deer scramble up from the shore. When I ‘developed the film’ I saw that someone is raising goats.

Into the woods and the wind was quiet

As the signboards used to say along the freeway, “If you lived here, you’d be home now.”

Or, more affordable, here.

I’d settle for this and a good tent.

Six ten and nearly home, the landing is just beyond this bridge in Naselle.

Something to look at, maybe salvage if it’s a sailboard.

It’s got tent poles. Here’s another use for a water proof camera…use it under water.

Perhaps it blew into the river during one of our windstorms. Perhaps it was trash tossed off the bridge

Now to do the responsible thing because creatures could drown in it. It won’t decompose.

dragging it back

Dragging stuff up the muddy landing

A tent ready for a leaf bag from the car.

So, two hours after spotting the tent, I was heading home to clean off the mud and to cook up a late dinner.

 

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‘MapMyTracks’, a phone app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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