Monday, July 11, 2011

Disappointment to Flattery

It sounds just like the chapter title in a romance novel. But, no, its the description of the passage from Astoria and Cape Disappointment, up along the Washington coast to it's northernmost point at Cape Flattery. This is the passage from the Columbia River up to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and hence to the Inside Passage waters which extend from Puget Sound all the way to Alaska.

We started our trip on Sunday morning at Astoria, passing by Cape Disappointment as part of the fourteen mile trip out past the bar of the Columbia River. Then we motored north in the open ocean, with only the most distant views of vague land forms until Monday morning, as we approached Cape Flattery.  This Cape marks the southern entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and this morning it was all shrouded in cloud and fog, as is often the case. In fact, although we have come close to Cape Flattery a dozen times, we have never seen it clearly.

But with some patience and a little deviation from course, we were able to creep close to the Cape and to Tatoosh Island, the rough bit of rock and island that makes up its most most extreme point.  A nineteenth century lighthouse sits on the prow of the westernmost rock. It - like all the U.S. lighthouses - is long abandoned to remote control. But it does still sit proud among these amazing, storm sculpted rock cliffs.

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