Naturally, at some point, my interests in kayaking and sawmilling would collide, and the result of this is kayak logging. Lots and lots of logs end up in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest. Some of these are pretty nice sawlogs for a small mill like mine, and every now and then some nice logs come along in a way that I can actually get at them and salvage them.


kayak and log jam

Last winter, my friend Brian and I tried to salvage some very nice cedar in the whitewater section of a nearby river. We had a pretty exciting adventure, but ended up finally losing the log. Recently he called me up with news of more logs in a lower, flatter and tidal section of the same river. Today, we geared up and went to investigate.

By the way, kayak logging, or any kind of log salvage work like this, even for someone with as much experience at it as I have, is an extremely dangerous undertaking. Logs shift and roll, saws bind and kick back and there are a thousand ways to get hurt or killed outright. Do not try this yourself! If you decide to ignore this advice and do try this yourself, don’t tell anyone that you heard about from me! My advice is to stay safely at home and read about it on other people’s blogs.


kayak accessories

There were some old growth cedar chunks stuck in this logjam, along with a really nice, straight and clear Sitka Spruce log about 80 feet long and about 32″ at the butt end. We decided that the bottom 40 feet or so would be worth saving and set to work.


kayak logging


fun with chainsaws

Unfortunately, the longest saw we had with us had only a 24″ bar on it, and this log was more like 26″ or so at the part where we needed to buck it off. In the end, I cut out sort of a window block to effectively make the log a small diameter. We eventually got it cut through and, miraculously, it did not have some hidden branch underwater pinning it in place. We finally got it loose and tied up to shore nearby. We added a couple of the old growth cedar chunks to our log raft and called it a day, visiting the shaggy cows nearby on the way back to the boat ramp.


towing the log


floating log


long spruce log

Next stop for this project will be pulling those logs up to the boat ramp, loading them on a trailer and taking them to the shop to mill up into lumber.


shaggy cow

OK, so I am catching up on these blog entries. This one is only about a month old now….

The West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium is held every September in Port Townsend, WA, at Fort Worden State Park. This year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the event.

I went to my first WCSKS back in 2004, at the end of my first year working as a kayak guide. I took a few classes that year, including a couple of classes that introduced me to the Greenland paddle, which I have been using almost every paddling day since then.

The next year, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to afford to go, until I was invited to teach a few beginner’s classes at WCSKS by Ginni, who was doing the instructor organizing back then. I have been coaching at WCSKS every year since. This year I actually had several repeat students who had taken other classes from me in previous years.

WCSKS is a large event, sponsored by TAPS, the Trade Association of Paddlesports, and includes a beach full of demo kayaks from many manufacturers, on water instruction, retail spaces and awesome evening programs including pieces of the Reel Paddling Film Festival.

I didn’t take many pictures while I was there, but I did get some shots of the rolling demo, and the cardboard kayak race, and I got a bunch of short video clips of the rolling demo, too.

Dubside is famous for making rolling look easy and fun. In the past he has rolled giant sit on tops, rolled with lit incense in one hand and a brick in the other, and rolled up with his trademark “air sculling” roll. This year, he climbed into this giant rubber raft, and attempted to roll it. It didn’t work out so well…


Dubside in the raft





One of the rolls in the Greenland tradition is a hand roll with a brick in the rolling hand. Leon Somme, from Body Boat Blade does all the rolls with the dreaded “Euro” paddle, rather than a Greenland stick. They set Leon up with a giant chunk of cinder block for the brick roll, but it didn’t slow him down a bit.


Leon getting ready for the



In the last few years, Shawna Franklin of Body Boat Blade, and Cathy Miller of South Sound Kayak have entered the demo in a NDK Triton double kayak


Kathy and Shawna rolling the double



Mckinley Rodriguez made herself famous last year for rolling with a bowling ball, and for rolling the cardboard kayak she was racing.


Mckinley



This year the cardboard kayak race had five entries, and the SSTIKS crew built a very sleek looking craft, which was easily paddled to victory by Mckinley. It wasn’t even close!


Start of the cardboard kayak race


Mckinley and the winning cardboard kayak

And of course, egged on by the crowd, she proceeded to roll her craft several times until it starting getting soggy and not holding it’s shape anymore. Marna, of the Humboldt Honeys team also rolled her cardboard craft several times, but the paddler who was paddling what was essentially a square cardboard raft had quite a bit more trouble pulling off a roll. In fact, it took some work to get it capsized in the first place.


Mckinley rolling the cardboard kayak


Not to be outdone, Marna rolls her cardboard kayak too


This one was way harder to roll...


Mckinley and the winning cardboard kayak

This event took place all the way back in AUGUST, and I’m just now getting around to writing it up! That should say something about how busy the last few months have been, or I guess it could say something about how disorganized I am as well….

I’m going to try and catch up a bunch of entries this week.

Last year was the first annual Lower Columbia Kayak Roundup ever. It is the brainchild of Ginni Callahan, and it is held on her property, Slow Boat Farm on Puget Island, WA. This event combines a BCU skills symposium with a weekend of classes and tours for all levels of kayaking. This year, we were the event where the new BCU standards were rolled out for the West Coast of North America. We had coaches and paddlers from as far away as England, the Netherlands, Denmark and New York.

The work for setting up and organizing this event started weeks before (months actually!) with menu planning, BCU organizing, mowing pastures, setting up camping and cooking facilities, finishing out the office and installing the broadband internet, putting up the canopies, grocery shopping, setting up the composting toilets, etc etc…


Leon with the frog goggles

Two coaches were brought over from across the pond for this event, Phil Hadley and Ed Christian. Just so folks don’t get the wrong idea about British BCU guys, here’s Phil hefting a Greenlandic seal hunting harpoon, and Ed, partying down in a sit on top kayak.


Phil Hadley and the harpoon


BCU coach Ed Christian on a sit on top

These guys were awesome coaches, and we had a great time with Ed as one of our coaching class leaders, and Phil teaching canoeing skills and running assessments. Phil particularly thought it was very funny that we had brought him over from England to teach North Americans how to use canoes, a North American craft. Lots of jokes were made about the 1776 revolution…

The week started on Saturday and Sunday with the coach update and fun with canoes. The new BCU 2 star award involves basic competency with canoes, something that had not been required before. On Monday, I took the Foundation Safety and Rescue Training, which replaced the old Canoe Safety Test. This was a pre-requisite for the level one coach training that would take up the next four days for me and eight of my comrades.


Amanda in the whitewater boat

We spent some time in the classroom, which was the converted chicken coop at the farm, talking about coaching techniques and cramming our heads full of acronyms of all kinds. The rest of the time was spent practicing skills, such as using throw bags for rescuing swimmers, playing all kinds of games in kayaks, practicing rescuing various kinds of kayaks, assessing different venues for teaching, and practicing coaching each other in various paddling skills, in all kinds of craft including whitewater kayaks and canoes.

On Friday, the last day of our coaching training, we were presented with a half dozen or so real students, recruited from the local clubs and other places, and given the task of running a brief coaching session with them.

In the evenings we ate fantastic dinners cooked by Dave and others, and played silly games like this one pictured below, where two people stand on upturned buckets and try to pull each other off with a rope strung between them. Phil was pretty much the undisputed champion of this activity.


Leon and Phil on the buckets

On Saturday, I had a couple of classes to teach, rather than taking them myself. I taught two balance bracing classes, which is the trick of laying on your back on the water, while still in your kayak, to put it as simply as I can. This trick is a gateway to rolling a kayak, and the young lady pictured below was a super fast learner and quickly mastered the balance brace and went on to quickly learn a basic rolling technique as well.


rolling lessons



Saturday afternoon, we held the second annual “sticks and stones” Greenland rolling competition. Last year we had five competitors, this year we had seven, including Cheri Perry from the east coast, who pretty much swept the field clean and left most of us in the dust, points-wise. But I moved up a few points from last year and had a couple of new rolls since last year as well.


sticks and stones


Cheri Perry with the stone

Sunday was the last day of nine days in a row, and I took the opportunity to take a 3 star canoeing class from Phil. I learned more about canoe handling than I ever would have imagined. All in all, it was a fantastic nine days, and I am already looking forward to next year’s event, August 17-23rd, 2009. Hope to see you there!


Phil and the canoe poles

It happened at last! Columbia River Kayaking’s first ever Oregon Coastal expedition finished up successfully last Thursday when we all landed safely on the beach at Pacific City, Oregon, over 60 nautical miles from where we had started on Monday morning in Seaside.

Columbia River Kayaking has had this trip in the calendar two years running, but this year we finally got some people who were willing to trust us with their lives on the open coast signed up for the trip, and we were able to make it happen. Our friends from SSTIKS, Marcel and Jenny came along, and also Dave G and Bruce from the Portland area signed up as well, giving us a full trip.


kayaker

On Sunday night, Ginni and her partner Dave and I headed down to Seaside, Oregon in the Ford truck, stuffed full of gear and carrying a full complement of NDK Explorer kayaks on the roof rack. We set up camp at the Circle Creek Campground, met a few of our clients and then Ginni and Jen and Bruce took off to set up the vehicle shuttle: one car and kayak trailer in Pacific City and a car in Oceanside, about half way, just in case.

In the meantime, while resorting and repacking my gear, I discovered that my radio battery was nearly dead. I had gone out of my way to get extra batteries for the camera, the GPS and my headlamp, but I had totally forgotten to stick the VHF in the charger before we left. Doh! Dave pulled out spare batteries though, and for a minute, I thought I was saved, until I tried to put one in my radio. Apparently, the spares were for the previous model of ICOM radio and would not fit in the new, floating radios that we all had now. In the morning, we called Englund Marine in Astoria, put three new batteries on the debit card and Ginni arranged for a friend to pick them up and deliver them to us at our campsite that evening. Whew!

We slept poorly, to the sound of trucks on the highway nearby, and got up early in the morning to start getting ready. It took two trips with the truck to get all the people and gear down to the beach in Seaside, and then a taxi to get people back from where the vehicles had to be parked for the duration of the trip. The BCU joke is that a shuttle is always a five star trip. No joke!


packing boats in Seaside

I had never camped out of a kayak before, let alone for four days, and I had packed an awful lot more gear than I ever would have considered for a backpacking trip. I had even gone to REI a week before to find a sleeping bag that would compress into a smaller package than the giant one that I already had. Boy am I glad I did that! The Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina bag that I bought was well worth the price. It is plenty warm and, when compressed, it fits into an extra small NRS drybag.

Three blue IKEA bags filled with gear went down to the beach with me, and I was pretty skeptical that I would ever fit it all in the kayak. But twenty minutes later, it was all in there, even the IKEA bags, all rolled up, and I was ready to start the trip. Can I say here that I absolutely LOVE the blue tarp bags from IKEA? It makes the perfect tote for wet kayaking gear.


it all fit in there!

I usually paddle an NDK Romany, a much shorter and lower volume kayak than the Explorer, and the Explorer was going to take some getting used to. My Romany has a hard fiberglass seat that I’ve become pretty fond of, and the foam seat and different backband felt pretty foreign at first. When I hopped in the kayak at the edge of the sea, and started to get ready to approach the surf, I realized that I had forgotten to adjust the footpegs, so I had to stop and fiddle with those. I got them right and pushed off towards the surf zone, but I was still adjusting things and trying to get the seat and backband to be comfortable when I realized, too late, that a good sized wave was just about to break right on top of me. I had no time to brace or try to punch through, and I got capsized and pushed right back towards the beach. I managed to roll up and head on out, and that was the only time during the week that I capsized, during the first sixty seconds of the trip! Apologies to Jenny, who was not encouraged by watching this.

The surf zone at this part of Seaside is pretty wide and it took some paddling to get far enough out where we could safely wait for the others. Ginni and I used the VHF radios to talk back and forth about the launching that was in progress. I got one round of communication out of my radio and then the battery died, mid transmission. A short time later, I realized that the GPS batteries that I was hoping were still good for another day also died. Live and learn…


Tillamook Head

Once we were all at sea, we headed south around Tillmook Head and pulled out for lunch at Cannon Beach, and then continued on south after lunch to Cape Falcon, where we hoped to be able to camp at Oswald West State Park. I tried trolling for salmon in front of Cannon Beach with the handline, but the drag of the gear was slowing me down enough to make me fall behind the group, so I gave it up after a while.

We landed on the beach at Oswald West around 5 PM, after 16.7 nautical miles of travel that day, and one of crew who had camped there before set out to find out where or if we could camp. The park had been closed recently due to some trees falling in the campground, and we weren’t certain what we would be allowed to do. Dave G came back without having found anyone, and so we went ahead and set up camp at the top of the trail to the beach and hung things up to dry, and the other Dave set up the kitchen and made dinner.


camp

Oswald West has a beautiful little protected beach called Short Sands by the surfers, who flock there in droves. We had a nice evening sitting and watching the sunset, and then got a decent night sleep.


Short Sands beach


surfer

In the morning, we were sitting around eating breakfast at a somewhat leisurely pace, with tents still standing and gear all over the place, when the park ranger came into view and headed right over to our table. Boy, he was not happy with us! We were camped in the day use area, and even though Dave G tried to tell him that he had actually been told to camp there once before, he was not having any of it. He gave us 30 minutes to clear out or he would be back with the ticket book and hand out $97 tickets for illegal camping to all of us. No need to tell us twice!


coffee and kayak

With coffee and bowls of oatmeal in hand, we broke camp and moved the boats and gear down to the beach in record time and when the ranger came back, there was hardly a trace of our illegal camp. When he saw how fast we had cleared out, he mellowed somewhat. We moved on down to the beach, packed the boats and got on the water for the start of our second day.


we're going out there!


surf launch

Today’s plan was to head south as usual and pull into the mouth of the Nehalem River for lunch and then cross back out to sea and head on to Tillamook Bay, where we would cross another river bar and camp in Garibaldi, a few miles inside the entrance to the bay. But the weather report was calling for 2-3 foot wind waves on top of 7 foot swell, and the tide was still somewhat low when we arrived at the “NR” buoy at the mouth of the Nehalem River at 11:20 after over two hours of paddling. The bar was closed out completely with breaking waves, some of them kind of large. We decided to eat lunch at sea and continue on to Tillamook, hoping that the entrance there would be more passable, since it is deeper.


Nehalem River Buoy


Nehalem River Buoy

This resulted in some creative solutions for pee breaks, and one member of the party getting temporarily seasick when he had to sit still in the swell. Fortunately he bounced right back when he was underway again, and we headed on towards Tillamook Bay, with our fingers crossed.

We arrived at the green number one buoy off of Tillamook Bay at 1:15 and, as we were approaching from the north, the bar there did not look much better than Nehalem had. When we got all the way to the buoy, though, and sat to watch the entrance for a while, we could see that it wasn’t completely closed out. Ginni called the coast guard tower on the VHF and they gave us some more detail and told us that there was a way in, and that we would be OK to cross. A half an hour later we were in the bay, and pulling up on the beach for a real lunch, after 13.9 nautical miles and four and a half hours of continuous kayaking.


Rough Bar


lunch at last!

After a real lunch on solid ground, we paddled on into the marina at Garibaldi, making our daily distance 15.8 nautical miles. We discovered that the campground we planned to stay at, the Old Mill Resort, had its own boat ramp, and that we would be able to camp right next to it. We also found running water, free hot showers and even a coin-op laundry. This place turned out to be a much better camping spot for us than I had thought it would be when we scouted it in advance. We had a fantastic pasta and salad dinner and hit the hay pretty hard.


Old Mill Campground, Garibaldi

The next morning we headed back out towards the entrance, hoping to find our path free of breaking waves. We got out near the bar and called the Coast Guard again, who told us that the bar was better than the day before and we were free to go. A couple of minutes later though, he came back on and asked me a series of questions about radios, GPS units, flares and trip plans, and then gave us the OK to leave.


Crossing Tillamook Bar, outbound

It was an exciting crossing, and we were often out of sight of each other in the troughs of the waves and swell, but we got out without incident and made our way southwest to the “TR” buoy, and then headed south. We made good time and we landed in the surf at Oceanside at 11:15, three hours after checking in with the Tillamook CG tower and 11.4 nautical miles from the Garibaldi campground.


Three Arches, Oceanside

We had a long, restful lunch at Oceanside, got back on the water at 1 PM and pointed our kayaks at the westward tip of Cape Lookout to the south. This leg of the trip was probably the hardest one for me. I ate too big of a lunch, and it took over two hours to stop feeling sluggish and slow. Eventually though, we made it to the tip of the cape, where, just like all the other capes and headlands, the water was confused and choppy, with lots of clapotis and turbulence, and localized wind.

Cape Lookout is a very impressive feature on the coast. It sticks out into the ocean almost two miles and must be close to 1000 feet high, with rugged, vertical cliffs. In the very end of the cape is a huge cave, maybe a couple hundred feet wide and close to a hundred feet tall. I wish that I had come away with some better pictures of that. I stayed outside with one of the clients and watched the others go in. They were tiny little specks compared to the size of the cave.


Black Rockfish!

When we came around the tip of the cape, the wind died down somewhat and our campsite beach was visible now a couple of miles in front of us. I pulled out the handline to fish, while most of the rest of the groups headed towards the beach. Within a few minutes I had caught a black rockfish (Sebastes Melanops), and a few minutes later Dave G and Bruce joined me to do some cliffside exploring and fishing. It was maybe the best part of the trip for me, poking along the edges of the cliffs and kelp beds, checking out the seabirds perched on the cliffs, and hoping to catch another fish. We probably spent close to an hour working our way east towards the beach. I finally gave up the fishing when I kept snagging up on the kelp and we headed on towards the beach, checking out a cool basalt archway and marvelling at the scale and texture of the cliffs.


columnar and pillow basalt


kelp

When we got close to the surf zone, I decided that I didn’t want the spiny rockfish fins and fishing lures bouncing around inside the kayak and against my drysuit, so I put the fishing gear back in the day hatch and tied the rockfish to the deck with my contact tow line. I got a couple of fun rides to the beach and was finally on solid ground again, after a day’s travel that was measured at 21.6 nautical miles by the GPS.


me in the surf


kayakers on the beach

This was the most beautiful campsite we’d had yet. When we do this trip again, it would be nice to spend a couple of days here, surfing and fishing and exploring the cliffs. I cleaned and cut up the rockfish and Dave put it in the soup for dinner, which was delicious. After dinner, we sat and listened to the weather report for the next day, which was the most benign report we’d had yet, calling for moderate wind and only 3 foot swell.


listening to the weather report

I went to bed while it was still light out. The next morning there were otter tracks all around our campsite and up and down the beach. We had a hearty breakfast and got packed and launched for our last day of paddling. Now that we were so close to the end, neatness in packing didn’t seem to matter as much any more, and as long as it could be made to fit in the kayaks, that was good enough.


otter tracks


morning kayaker

We started out exploring the cliffs in more detail and poking into caves and arches like this one that Jenny is in. After some time exploring like this, we finally headed south towards Haystack Rock next to Pacific City, where vehicles were waiting, and food and beers at the Pelican Pub. Today’s trip would be our shortest day, and we landed at Pacific City at noon, in the smallest surf of the whole trip, after rounding Cape Kiwanda in some of the biggest, most confused seas of the trip. The mileage today was 9.3 nautical miles, making the trip total come out to 63.3 nm.


Jenny in the cave

It was a long carry across a busy beach, in soft sand to the parking lot, where we spent quite a while unpacking and cleaning boats, and some of us went over to the hotel room that Dave G had rented for hot showers. Some of the gang went back to pick up the other cars in Seaside and Oceanside and brought them back to where we were waiting. Once we were all packed up and the boats were loaded up, we walked over to the Pelican Pub and had our last meal as a group, complete with appetizers and pints.


finished, Pacific City

It took almost two hours to get everyone back to the truck in Seaside, where Dave and Ginni and I loaded up the kayaks (again!) and finally headed home.

All in all, the trip was a great success, and we are hoping to do it again next year, and are already looking south to the next stretch of coastline.


expedition competed, Pacific City

More late blog entires…

Way back on the 21st of June, Columbia River Kayaking held a surf class at Cannon Beach, OR. We had a great time playing in the waves, capsizing and rescuing ourselves and each other and getting our sinuses well filled with salt water. I’ll leave out most of the words this time and just put some pictures up for you to enjoy.


Haystack Rock


getting out


wave


pushing out from the beach


waves and rock


oops!

Busy, busy, busy!

I keep meaning to write this post before it gets too stale, and I keep being too busy to get to it. But today, I seem to have found myself with a little bit of slack time.


getting ready to tow

Last week, we ran two leadership scenario days for our guides at Columbia River Kayaking. The task was given to two or three guides to plan and lead a kayaking day trip. We invite along an assortment of paddlers, and then as the day progresses, Ginni and I come up with scenarios of different kinds for the paddlers to put into play and for the guides to respond to. These can range from wandering away from the group, unzipping PFDs, capsizing or needing to be towed.

The first day was with Josh, Katie and James as the leaders, the second day was a harder day, with Matthew and Levi leading. They have a year or two of experience over the other guides so we gave them some harder tasks to deal with.

The first day we ran through an assortment of capsize drills, including this one out in the middle of the river. My job as the “client” was to get unstable, capsize and then be too seasick to stay in my kayak, requiring a long tow to sheltered water. Here’s Josh, emptying the water out of my kayak with a T-rescue.


kayak T-rescue

The next leadership day was set up to be a little longer and harder. The night before, we loosened some of the hardware on the guides’ kayaks: the skeg control and a deck line fitting on Levi’s, and a foot peg track and seat back strap on Matthew’s. If this sounds underhanded (it sure seemed that way to Matthew!), I should point out that we created no scenario for our guides that has not already happened in real life at some point. Hardware does fail!

I also set up my kayak with a bunch of loose, float-able gear in my front hatch. More later!

We set out downriver to Brookfield with our little group, and spent the morning spreading out, not listening to our guides, unzipping our PFDs and generally making pests of ourselves. At one point, I capsized, let my kayak, paddle and PFD float away and when one of the other “clients” came over to help, I capsized him as well. Things were starting to get interesting!

At lunch, we debriefed some of the issues from the morning, and then Ginni pulled out an exercise I had not seen before. “OK guys, your paddle is starting to get hypothermic and has a minor head laceration. Pull out your kit and deal with it.” As guides, we need to be able to deal with almost any contingency that might come up on the water, and hypothermia is certainly common enough, as are minor injuries. This is a great exercise for seeing right away how well equipped the guide’s kit is. Here’s Levi’s paddle, dressed in warm clothes, with a thermos of hot tea, and a bandaid on the head injury. Nicely done!


Levi's paddle, dressed warmly

After lunch, the plan was to cross the river just upstream from Jim Crow Point. At this point in the day, the wind and tide had combined to create some very choppy and confused water near the point. I set out with my front hatch cover loose, got ahead of the group and promptly capsized in the rough water. I pulled all the loose gear out of the hatch and spread it around and flooded the front compartment before anyone caught up to me. Now things were really exciting! My kayak was half sunken, with gear floating everywhere in the rough water. Another paddler had taken off straight across the river, and when Levi went to deal with that, he found that his skeg control didn’t work. Whoops!

Rescuing a needled kayak

Rescuing a needled kayak

Matthew took on the task of rescuing me, which takes more time and effort when one hatch has been flooded. Levi gathered everyone up again and retreated back behind the point, while Matthew towed me and my partially flooded boat back to safety.

Plans were changed now and we headed back upriver to look for a better place to cross, as the wind, which was supposed to be light, instead continued to build, setting up wind waves and whitecaps over the whole river.


kayak portage train

We ended up landing on Fitzpatrick Island for a rest and regroup session. There were still two miles to go to get back to Skamokawa, and some people were tired and others were not comfortable in the waves. We ended up portaging across the island to launch on a more hospitable beach. In the middle of the portage, Matthew suddenly stopped and set his boat down for a closer look. It seems that his foot peg track had fallen out! That certainly could have happened in a worse place…


Something is wrong with Matthew's kayak

We finally reached Skamokawa, remarkably close to the time that our guides had been aiming for, but not before a few more bothersome “scenarios” popped up.

I love doing these leadership scenario training days. Of course, I have a lot of fun capsizing and causing trouble for the guides, but I also get a lot out of watching how things develop and learning different ways of dealing with trouble. Thanks to the guides for enduring it and thanks especially to the folks who came along as “clients”. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Today, I took the day off from bashing my knuckles working on the car and went kayaking. Originally, Karl and Andrew and I were going to go to Ilwaco, but Karl bowed out and so we went with a revised plan instead. Andrew’s old friend Neil came along and brought with him Annette and Jay. We started out at County Line Park, named for it’s being near the county line, of course. The plan was to paddle from here downriver to Skamokawa, about 16 miles away.

I took a ton of pictures, but most were pretty washed out from the bright sunny day, or blurred beyond use from water on the lens. Oh well. A couple of the blurry ones were kind of cool, so I kept them.


waves and splashes

We stopped on White’s Island, just upstream from Puget Island so that Andrew could check on the horned lark population that he has been monitoring there for years. They have not been so happy with all the new dredge spoils dumped on top of their nesting grounds by the Army Corps of Engineers, but if it weren’t for the Corps, there wouldn’t even be a White’s Island, so what can you do?

While Andrew and Jay went for a quick hike, I wandered on the beach looking at all the flotsam and jetsam, and I found more evidence that irony is alive and well.


irony

Zero garbage, indeed!

We stopped for lunch on this little beach, tucked away in a corner, and out of the east wind. This beach is covered with gravel deposits from the Missoula Floods, thousands of years ago. Andrew found several pieces of petrified wood while we were sitting there.


lunch

Now the outgoing tide was starting to pick up nicely and after lunch we practically flew along the basalt cliffs, past several waterfalls, to Cathlamet, where there are a number of boats of all kinds tied up at the old working waterfront. This craft appeared here a couple of years ago, and I had a Chinese couple on a tour that fall who translated the characters on the side and told me that they meant “Lucky Star”. She doesn’t look so lucky anymore, or maybe she is just lucky to still be afloat. She looks like an old longliner, and has such a pleasing shape.




number 37

We really lucked out on the weather, as it was sunny and almost warm at times, and what wind we had was at our backs. We got to Skamokawa a little before 4 PM, about 5 hours and 15 minutes from when we launched. A very nice day!


kayakers