Journeys of Sacagawea
September 2004 on Columbia River in Oregan
|Date||9/9/05 9/10/04||Engine hours||9.0|
|Weather||clouds, 80's||Fuel on board||12.0 gal|
|Wind||light||Fuel used||9.5 gal|
|Water Conditions||67 degrees and 3 knot current||Miles traveled||123|
|September 2004, Sacagawea, Tiggy and I took a cruise up and then back down the Columbia river starting at St Helena We went about 60 miles up river and then back down with a 2 knot current.|
This was the week before the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival and I could not drive by the Columbia river without wetting the keel ( if I had one).The weather was as good as it gets according to the marina where I fueled. It's a good thing I enjoyed the great weather on the Columbia because it was about to change as I drove into Washington on my way to the Wooden Boat Festival.
I launched at the Lewis river in Oregon near Ridgefield, it is a little hole in the wall private camping and launch ramp called BB's. $ 5.00 to camp (no hookups) and $3.00 to launch your boat.
The Lewis river is shallow with a sand bottom, it is about 1/4 mile to the Columbia and just across the Columbia is Saint Helen (not the volcano). This is a nice little town with a public dock and interesting museum just across the street from the public docks.
I topped off the fuel at the marina and spent the night behind a sand island across for town, the next morning I headed up the Multnomah Channel that runs from Saint Helen to the Williamette River and Portland about 25 miles upriver. It is a small channel with many old unused docks, small marinas and houseboats. The Williamette river is a major river with heavy shipping into the Portland area. It has many commerical docks and shipping barges. After motoring around in the city I went back into the Columbia River and continued upriver another 15 miles.
I spent the second night back on the Multnomah channel at one the the many Public docks along the river that no one except me seems to want to use, what do they know that I don't?
The next day I slowly cruised down the the Columbia River learning that sandbars can be anywhere. I was running at 10 knots when my depth sounder warned me that the water was now shallower than 5 feet. I was several hundred feet from shore and had been running in 20 feet of water, was the sounder having a problem? Nope, next thing I know as I slowed down the engine I stopped cold, stuck on a sand bar. I tilted up the engine backed around with my pride hurt as I watched the locals on shore watch me.
Back at the campground some of the many salmon fisherman were smoking fresh salmon, great for eating but not to great when you are camping downwind from them. They offered Tiggy and I a free meal which was really a treat and made up for the smell of the burning fish.
|On sand Island across from Saint Helens Or. near launching point.|
|Tiggy guarding the ship|
|First evening on river|
|Looking up river at the Multnomach channel to Portland|
|Crossing over to Saint Helens|
|The stories these old docks could tell.|
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