Saturday, August 08, 2015

Indigo underway: The Lower Columbia

Indigo has left the dock. We are underway, taking the boat down the Columbia to Astoria, then out across the bar into the North Pacific for a little coastal cruise overnight to Neah Bay, at the southern mouth of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. We have don’t this trip a dozen times, but the open ocean passage is always a little daunting. Yesterday, as we passed Tongue Point, coming into Astoria, we had this crystal clear vista looking toward Saddle Mountain. We also had a twenty knot wind against a strong ebb tide, and hobby horsed into the Astoria West Basin well shaken and soaked.

We took two days to come down river to Astoria. As always, we are stunned by the beauty and the isolation of the Lower Columbia River.  Ten or so years ago, I painted myself a map of the portion of the Columbia river just upstream from Astoria, where it widens out and features a maze of islands. The navigation channel hugs the northern shore, leaving miles of shallow water and tidal islets.  

Tomorrow we head north, but today is Regatta Week in Astoria, and a parade!