Last week I arrived home from Louisiana on Saturday night. Sunday I received word from Pura Vida’s owner that their yard work was just about completed and they would be ready to move from Portland to Anacortes as soon as the weather looked good. The weather looked good all week, so I had them lean on the detailer a little bit to finish up so we could catch the weather window.
Our plan was to rent a car, drive to Portland, bring the boat down the CR(Columbia River), up the Washington Coast, in the Straights Of Juan De Fuca to Anacortes and get a ride from my wife home. My good buddy Marlin Mike agreed to be my crew (more like said he IS the crew. He was bummed when at the last minute he had to scratch on the Red October delivery to SF last month).
Just we were about to go rent the car, I was called by dispatch for the assistance towing company (who will no longer be named in these posts) to tow in a broken down boat between Everett and Mukilteo. I was able to get underway in 20 minutes and made my way down river to the bay only to Aviq (picture above) out in the bay doing some maneuvers or training. I couldn’t get close enough to really tell. I snapped a few shots with the cell phone, but with the slip of a finger erased most of them when downloading them. I never found them again in the recycle bin. The tow was quick and I dropped them off at the dock so they could buy a new battery. Turns out they had a wire fall off of their alternator and the battery died, so they fixed the wire and replaced the battery so they could stay out and fish.
Marlin Mike & I rented the car, went home and packed it and drove to Portland. We met the boat owner, loaded all of our things, went and topped the fuel, returned the rental car to the airport, went to dinner and hit the bunk for a few hours of sleep. In the morning, we stowed the last items, laid down some lamps and picture frames that would likely have been broken and waved goodbye to the owner.
There are lots of tug and barge units running up and down the river, grain, fuel, aggregates, logs, etc. Most of the logs were based around Longview, WA and grain were more upriver, closer to Portland where they are offloaded from barges to silos and then loaded onto ships headed overseas.
The downstream current gave us a few knots of speed along the way in most places. We came across some sort of a NOAA fishing survey. These two little boats each had one side of a net and were dragging it against the current:
As we made it closer to Astoria, the cloud cover burned off and the winds kicked in. The wind wasn’t really in the forecast, but you know that goes. We could finally see the Astoria Bridge in the distance. This the last bridge before crossing the Columbia River Bar and into open Pacific Ocean. The bridge connects Astoria to SW Washington near Ilwaco:
We crossed the bar at high slack and there was very little swell. The bar crossing was a piece of cake and we had a nice view of Cape Disappointment. Cape D is where Lewis and Clark first saw the Pacific Ocean. There is a USCG observation tower there now and a lighthouse. The Motor Lifeboat Station is just around the corner to the right of the bluff in the entrance channel to Ilwaco, WA:
We made the turn North and set a waypoint just off of Cape Alava, which is about 25 NM South of Cape Flattery, the entrance to the Straights of Juan De Fuca. At this point Mike and I started on a rotation and he went to lay down first. The wind was persistent and the wind chop increased. Luckily there wasn’t really and swell to go with the chop so we just slowed down a bit and kept making way. About 40 miles North, off of Westport, WA, the winds really kicked up and we were down to 5 knots. The buoys to the North and East of us showed much better conditions, so we just made our way slowly through it. By morning we were just North of La Push and the water was flat calm again. We gave a big one finger salute to all of our fishing buddies who were at La Push for a five day fishing trip. Not one of them answered the radio at 0500. They were all sleeping off the previous night’s party and celebrating a good day of halibut and ling cod fishing. Lucky bastards!
We motored in for a few hours and the tide finally switched and gave us a few knot push into Anacortes. The fog was patchy at this point and we were able to get a few more photos. I’ve decided to invest in a better camera in the future so these photos have better quality. Entering towards Anacortes:
We entered the marina, found our slip, tied her up, washed the boat, checked the engine room one last time, removed our gear and waited for my wife to arrive for the 1:15 hour drive home. Another successful delivery completed! Here is Mikey at the slip connecting the shore power cord: