Friday, November 27, 2009

More on Astoria

We have become good friends with a lady who lives on her boat on the next float over from ours. Her sailboat is fifty footer with a fifteen foot beam and it has all the bells and whistles. Barbara is from Valdez Alaska and is travelling south to Mexico as well. We have had plenty of laughs together. Her and pirate girl have become fast friends. (uh oh) Barbara is overwintering here and will continue on to Mexico somtime in the future. We hope to see her down south someday! We have also met her cousin Hank who is a boat surveryor and has a wealth of knowledge of the waters here. He also has become a good friend and has offered up local information on marine shops etc.

The Columbia River Bar has a long time and very interesting maritime history and has claimed many ships over time. Navigating the bar now is relatively straightforward as long as you pay attention to the tides and the weather. The safest time to cross over the bar is at high slack tide with moderate to calm weather. Crossing any other time can prove to be quite hazardous. Careful planning and respect for the conditions are all that is needed to cross safely. We had a small snag when we were starting our crossing. We were waiting for the tide (about 7pm, high slack was at 8), when our radar went out. The Columbia River has a very busy shipping lane and we have had difficulty seeing any ships or pick up bouys if any fog rolled in; not good without the radar. The captain radioed Cape Disappointment coast guard and asked for assistance. They picked us up on their radar from the lighthouse and checked in with every 20 minutes to ensure our correct position going into the bar channel. Blake was able to fix the radar (fuse) and we had our complete navigation back. the coast guard stayed with us until we radioed that we were fine and able to continue on our own. When we were almost to Astoria, a coast guard zodia cam alongside and requested a boarding. They told us to maintain our speed and position and they would come alongside. To say the least it was a little distracting!! (I was on the helm at the time) They boarded the boat, and helped guide us into the marina. After we were docked we were given another inspection and found no infractions. They asked the same questions as the fellas in La Push "without reaching for them, do you have any weapons?" and "Does you toilet have a holding tank?" Guns and poop are important!! And in that order...

Today is November 27 and we are heading out tonight on the 9 pm tide. If all goes well, we have a weather opportunity to keep going approx. 200 nm south to Coos Bay. If we are doing well with shifts and all that, we may just keep going!!

We will stay in touch, and update as soon as we can.

Blog ya later

Cape Disappointment lighthouse
Bridge over the Columbia River

This house was used in a film called Goonies. We did not see it, but apparently it is famous!!

River pilot coming alongside a ship in the river

Blake and I at the Astor Column. 164 steps.

Barbara and me on top of the Astor column overlooking the Columbia River In bound ship heading up the Columbia River

The Astor Column - the murals tell the story of the expedition of Lewis and Clark

The Triangle Pub est. 1934

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guys, Glad the weather's finally gotten a little better and you can get underway again. Being stuck in port sucks. Been there. Miss you!!!!