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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Sailing Around the World without Navigational Instruments

Ken and Pierre piloting their piroa by feel in British Columbia, Canada, fall 2019.
I do not know how to use the technology and have no intention of learning.
Marvin Creamer, circumnavigated the world without any navigational instruments, died at 104, August 2020

When we set sail from Galapagos to the French Marquesas—over 3,000 miles—the single longest stretch of unbroken, open ocean—our first 24 hours we went backward six nautical miles. Six days in, we'd progressed an excruciatingly minuscule 259 nautical miles toward our destination. At that rate, it would take us 70 days—over two months—to reach landfall.

Panicked, I tapped my satellite hotspot to query another cruiser along the same passage with better weather data for navigational advice, asking how far South versus how far West they recommended we go to escape the doldrums. In desperation, I even contacted my best friend—a non-sailor—to ask her husband if he could use his exceptional technical problem-solving-skills to work for us. 

Eventually, the doldrums lifted. The counter-current that wasn't supposed to be there, dissipated. 

Meanwhile, we found out another cruiser who left Panama when we did, a mere two weeks prior, sank their sailboat only twelve nautical miles from us.

Still sailing thirty-one long days without landfall after leaving Galapagos, with torn sails in dying winds and an engine that wouldn't start, we gazed forlornly at the mirage-like peaks of Hiva Oa in the setting sun. We were so close we could smell the welcome earthiness of land, yet not close enough.

Over our VHF radio, we begged some cruisers anchored in Hiva Oa to tow us in those last five miles so we could at last set anchor, and for the first time in over a month, sleep together as husband and wife. They did. We did.

Hiva Oa French Polynesia anchorage our longest ocean navigation
Hiva Oa French Polynesia anchorage. It took us over a month of open ocean
and a five-mile tow to arrive there.

Unlike Marvin Creamer, we always knew where we were. Neither of us sailed off while our spouse waited patiently for the word of our progress. 

I know we did not possess the knowledge, skill, or the faith to carry on as Marvin Creamer did, without our navigational and communication aids—and we sailed only halfway around the world. Rather than foolhardy, I consider Marvin Creamer heroic. 

The ability to rely on personal knowledge and observation is a rapidly disappearing skill. I confess, these days I habitually rely on GoogleMaps or Waze driving directions as much as we use our GPS on the water, and with far more frequency than reading a map or exercising my own instincts.

Last fall in watery wilds of British Columbia, our paths crossed thrice with two fellows on a tiny sailboat, fishing lines streaming, using their oars to paddle along as needed. The third time we encountered each other, we'd all stopped for the night on the same island, and got a chance to chat. These two Canadian Millennials, Ken and Pierre, were sailing Vancouver Island for a month in their hand-built, motorless skiff, styled after an ancient piroa, strictly by feel. 

They give me hope, that preparation, instinct, and willingness to trust in themselves, and others are still as viable today as in Marvin Creamer's time.

At the same time, I feel fortunate today's tools allow us to travel to distant lands without their exceptional courage, fortitude, and talent.

Today or tomorrow, regardless of how you travel—go—whether more delving deeply into your immediate surroundings or into the world farther afield.

Location Location

Neighboring sailboat at St. Helens Oregon city docks at dusk this morning.
Currently, we're docked off of St. Helens Oregon's city docks, N 45 51.820 W 122 47.727, enjoying the last of summer before we prepare our beloved trawler, m/v Serendipity for sale. We're actively shopping for a boat in a location that we can return to the West Indies in, while I continue to work on my memoir about our West Indies adventures, Sailing Naked.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

What Will Our Next Cruising Adventure Be?

flatbed semi-truck on road taking a boat on the road
Photo pilfered from Cross Country Boat Transport's website

When my future is in flux, I often go quiet. We are far from done with our watery adventures. We plan to cruise—the question is: when, where, and on what?

Cruise to Alaska?
northern lights
Alaska photo from Mckayla Crump mckaylacrump.com on Unsplash.com

Originally, we planned to take Serendipity up to Alaska, leaving this spring. Pre-COVID, we decided we didn't want to chase winter, which going to Alaska would do. We want to chase summer. We felt an immense sense of relief when we decided to not spend 6 months on that round-trip passage. We also are "homesick" for the tropics and the cultural novelty of living outside the US. With COVID cutting off Canadian entry for US vessels, and even Puget Sound until late spring, not making that trip turned out to be a good call.

Plan B: Stay Put. Then?
Columbia River cruising grounds Mt Hood in the background
Columbia River: our late spring through early fall cruising grounds this year.Mt. Hood in the background.

We chose to spend another summer here in the Pacific Northwest, mostly by default. Don't get us wrong: we love summertime anchored off our favorite beach on the Columbia River. Once a week we head into the quaintly quirky small town of St. Helens, Oregon, where I hop in my car and head over to West Marine, where I work to get my social fix (great manager, colleagues, and customers) and support our boating habit. We are exceptionally fortunate: our life is simple enough we're not that affected by COVID.
Landing page link to my author's website, currently a temporary landing page.

I'm slowly continuing to build my editing and writing-coaching business, Editing for Your Purpose, and am working on the first of a two-book memoir, Sailing Naked, due out August 2021.

One of the other reasons I haven't posted much is because I am not sure what to do with this blog, relative to my author's blog and the efforts to build interest in my forthcoming book, Sailing Naked via www.SailingNaked.life. If you know a good, affordable strategist for that, please let me know.

Do The Great Loop and Snowbird South?
Map of 6,000 mile Great American Loop boat route
Great American Loop boating route, liberated from America's Great Loop Cruiser Association website, https://www.greatloop.org/

Only a week ago, we were poised to write a big check to Cross Country Boat Transport to truck our beloved boat, m/v Serendipity, to Minneapolis in mid-September. That would've required Wayne taking a Sawzall to her bridge, carefully slicing it off to lower her height, then securing the bridge to our foredeck. As awful as that sounds, we would hardly be pioneers in this endeavor. 
brown coated monkey on branch
Horrors! Don't sawzall the boat!!! Image from Jamie Houghton on Unsplash.

From there, we would wend our way out to the coast by water, arriving in Florida in December, with a possible cruise to the Bahamas. The following year, we planned to head up the Eastern seaboard, and complete "The Great Loop." If you'd like to learn more about The Loop, check out America's Great Loop: Last Great Adventure from US Harbors and Passagemaker's collection of Great Loop stories and this cheesy but classic Great Loop Guide from Captain John.

Two days before the time came to write the deposit check, we chickened out.
two brown hens
Image from Monica Kubala on Unsplash.


Why?

Do-ability was not the issue. 

Rosie the Riveter – Dictionary.com
Do-ability was not the issue—though we weren't sure we wanted to.
Photo from Dictionary.com

Cross Country Boat Transport's customer service impressed us. Their excellent reputation is well-earned, with over 30 years of service trucking boats cross-country. Wayne even found a local yard here on Portland's Multnomah channel with experience and availability to make it happen if he chose not to take the DIY route for Serendipity's surgery. 

Lack of interest in The Loop was not the issue, and we are itching for a change of venue

We love the Pacific Northwest (especially in summer), but we also love exploring, and the galaxy awaits.
Photo Source: UI here.com

We do want to do The Loop, so that wasn't our reason to back off, either, though ideally, we planned to do The Loop later, and cruise more internationally sooner. Then came COVID. We don't want to spend another gloomy winter living aboard in the Pacific Northwest if we can help it. Last winter we eased that some with housesitting, but because of COVID and reduced travel, there are far fewer opportunities to housesit. 

Cost was definitely a consideration.

fan of 100 U.S. dollar banknotes
Unrecoverable cost for moving our boat, Serendipity, across the country was definitely an issue.
Photo from Alexander Mills Unsplash.

We considered whether or not it made sense to pay what the boat was worth to ship it or to pay less and with "surgery" to bring the cost down, or whether to sell and buy another boat on The Loop.

We figured moving Serendipity would give us some control in an otherwise unpredictable time. 

selective focus photography of deity marionettes
We wanted control in an out-of-control, COVID-crazy world. We know and trust our own boat.
Photo from Sagar Dani of Unsplash.
We know and trust our boat, Serendipity.
  • We'd choose a respected, experienced mover.
  • We'd know where we'd land, and when. 
  • There's plenty of information on the route. 
  • By staying in the US, there would be a lower likelihood our travel would be COVID restricted.
  • Serendipity is perfect a perfect boat for The Loop. 

    Serendipity in 2019 at Princess Louisa Inlet, BC Canada. A more innocent time.

    We trust her. We love her. We've made her comfortable. Wayne's put his heart and soul and a lot of sweat into her, and she shines with his care, as well as the love from our surrogate parents who owned her before us. When we became homeless, Serendipity became home. For more about that, see this story running in 48 North, August 2020, page 26.

    We were concerned we'd get someone else's nightmare. The work we've put into Serendipity is more cosmetic. comfort and maintenance; Serendipity's engine is sound.

    But . . . 

    We didn't anticipate we'd spend more than two years, maximum bouncing between doing The Loop and hanging out in Florida and the Bahamas. Then what?

    Would moving Serendipity be a good move for us financially?

    File:Korean Traffic sign (U-Turn).svg - Wikimedia Commons

    Short-term, there was a big chunk of sunk-cost change we'd swallow: ~$14K to make the move, including prep and post-work yard time on each end.

    Long-term, we believe Serendipity will fetch a better price here in the Pacific Northwest than on the East Coast, either as a cruising boat, a live-aboard, or both. The money saved on not paying to truck Serendipity, plus the income from selling her, could go a long way toward a boat better suited for our longer-term plans.

    No, moving Serendipity would not be the wise move for us financially for our longer-term plans.

    Our longer-term cruising plans

    Wayne's first quote for moving Serendipity without "surgery" came in at ~$24K. At that point, Wayne stumbled over a major fixer—just like s/v Journeythe boat we sailed to Australia—for sale in the Caribbean. With a dead engine, he was willing to offer $5K for Journey's misbegotten twin.  The problem is we didn't know when we'd be able to get to it. Even if we had a trusted friend inspect it, how long would we pay yard fees of $400+/month before we could join it, fix it and move aboard?

    At that price, would it make sense to make that boat our "snowbird" boat, and Serendipity our Pacific Northwest late spring through early fall boat? Chasing winter by cruising spring through fall to Alaska and back on Serendipity was more appealing if we escaped the Pacific Northwest winter. That would still mean storage and maintenance for two boats. We weren't thrilled with that option. 

    tropical overlook Nacula, Fiji Yasawas
    We love cruising the tropics. This was a view from Nacula in Fiji's Yasawas.
    What excited us most about that Caribbean fixer was the ability to cruise the tropics internationally again. Even with COVID, most of the Bahamas are still open to cruisers. Other options include finding a boat in the US Virgin Islands, where we can pay US postage if needed for major or minor boat parts.

    Next: Sell. Then Buy. Unless . . .

    For Sale
    We'll look for someone who can love Serendipity as much as we do, and help us take on our next adventure.
    Photo credit: Nick Youngson www.nyphotographic.com/Alpha Stock Images, found on alphastockimages.com

    We plan to enjoy the rest of this summer and part of this fall aboard Serendipity. Then we'll seek someone to love her as much as we do and her previous owners did. She's a great live-aboard in inland and near-coast cruiser. There's a few more tasks to pretty her up before we're ready to say goodbye to her.

    We are keeping an eye out. While we do want to sell before we buy, for the right price, for the right boat, in the right place, we are willing to buy, then sell.  We wouldn't even rule out selling our boat, just picking a place out East, finding an apartment for the winter, and taking our time finding a boat.

    As of yesterday, we became the back-up offer for another Pearson 365 sailboat in Florida. When we bought Journey, we were the back-up offer.
    Tonight, we found out the other prospective Pearson buyer got cold feet.

    There's much more we still need to learn before we know if this is the right boat at the right price for us. 
    We figure if it works out, it was meant to be. If it doesn't, we'll find out what does, even if that means hopping in our car or on a plane this fall or winter and haunting boatyards. 

    Someday, we do want to do The Loop.

    Earth - Illustration | The earth cropped from space against … | Flickr
    More to explore on this big blue marble we call home.
    Image from Creative Commons Donkey Hotey

    At that point, it will be our Plan A, not a consolation prize.

    We reserve the right to change our plans . . . on all of this.

    Bahamas Banks from our sailboat
    Wayne and I, pausing on the Bahamas Banks aboard s/v Journey.
    Wish us luck.

    Location Location
    At the moment, we're docked at St. Helens, Oregon's public dock (N 45 51.820 W122 47.732)

    Friday, July 10, 2020

    Expired Flares? Here's What to Do

    Expired flares.
    Most boaters know they need flares for their boat, so they buy them. 

    Did you know most flares expire in 3 1/2 years? We had about a dozen expired flares, most expired about 10 years prior. We bought newer flares and kept the old ones in case we burned through our current flares in an emergency.

    But if we ever did need them for an emergency, would they light? We weren't sure. Nor were we sure we knew how to light one if the need arose.

    Ken, Stacey, T, and Harold kindly invited us to their toasty 4th of July beachside campfire.
    We decided we'd kill two birds with one stone, finding out how to light our flares and seeing if 10-year-old expired flares were viable. What better time to set off pyrotechnics than the 4th of July? What better place than over a relatively deserted beach, and over the Columbia River? 

    We checked in with the few fellow boaters around the area. When they checked their flares, found they also possessed a bunch of expired ones, too. Theirs were only a few years out of date, versus our vintage variety pack.
    Wayne explaining how to right expired flares.

    The only concern? If they blew anyone's fingers off, we were a ways from medical careWayne pulled on his reading glasses before it got dark and read the fine print on firing flares and explained how to set the flares off. Like most boys, Wayne and Ken were far more eager to fire the flare guns and pull the cord than us gals were.

    They were more comfortable playing with fire than me (I watched rather than joined my brother's minor pyromania play and I'm a lifelong non-smoker who still can't light a Bic cigarette lighter). They led the way, with Ken dancing with his; lit flares. Photos and videos of Ken's tripping the light fantastic are not included because we consider each other friends and I'd like to keep it that way.

    Ken's aerial flares fired off from his gun without a hitch.

    Out of our twelve flares, a mix of hand-helds and gun-fired aerials, nine failed, and only three were not duds and fired. 

    In the interest of experience, I attempted to light some flares off. 

    I felt jumpy, and the exploding fireworks from another nearby beachside group didn't help. After all, if you're jittery in the first place and not sure you know what you're doing, it's startling to hear a BANG! as you are about to or just pulled the beaded string off a flare in your hand. I also didn't quite expect the recoil! The flare jerked my hand back about an inch or so after yanking the beaded pull of my one successfully fired handheld flare.
    Expired flares, blowing their wad on the beach at Sauvie Island.
    After lots of flare-fire and dancing with handhelds, Mike still had a dozen spare expired flares. He stood them up like candles, planted them in the beach in sets of four, then lit each off after the prior set burned down.

    We doused our spent flares in water and disposed of them. In doing some additional research, I found out they are potentially damaging to the water supply, and harmful for wildlife.  The best way to dispose of them would've been to check with the local police department, who probably would've suggested we take them to the hazardous waste site.
    Flare images pilfered from https://www.westmarine.com/flares

    If money was no object, I would rather use an electronic flare, but they're not cheap. They run about three times the cost of traditional flares, assuming you need to purchase handhelds, aerials, and a gun for the aerials.
    Image for electric flare from Sirius Signal pilfered from their website,
    https://siriussignal.com/shop/c-1002-sos-distress-light/
    The only electronic flare that passes all the latest Coast Guard requirements is Sirius Signal. No worries about lighting them off or expirations, only making sure the battery is still viable.

    The ROI would be about and long as the age of our expired flares. 

    Meanwhile, all our flares aboard are current and I now know how to set them off, should I ever need to.

    Location Location
    We're anchored off Sauvie Island, Portland Oregon area N45 47.455 W122 47.201.
    Moon over Sauvie Island, 4th of July 2020.

    Saturday, July 4, 2020

    USA's 244th Birthday: Fireworks Flashback & 2021 Call to Action


    Two Moments of 2019 Nostalgia

    There will be no official fireworks exploding across the skies to celebrate our country's 244th birthday.  The video is from 2019, St. Helen's small-town fireworks show. Be forewarned: if you don't like bagpipes, listen with the sound off. If you love bagpipes, by all means, crank up the volume!

    Our nation is more divided than I can recall in my lifetime, this struck me as a worthwhile time to consider our origins and where we want to go.

    Our Beginnings

    National American Indian Memorial - Wikipedia
    The USA's only true non-immigrants.
    Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_American_Indian_Memorial
    Before there was "the United States" our vast land was inhabited by Native Americans. Then Europeans arrived,* virtually wiping out the native populations with no resistance to their diseases. Territorial wars further dwindled their populations. 

    *While Christopher Columbus visited Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 1493, in 1513 Ponce de Leon was the first known European to reach the present-day United States mainland -- Florida's Atlantic coast.


    Not Very Free -- Convicts, Slaves & Servants

    Eventually, by mass exportation of the most bodies, Great Britain became the sovereign power of what we now consider the thirteen colonies who began the United States. Most did not come of their own free will.
    Of the 585,800 immigrants to the thirteen colonies during the years 1700-1775, about 52,200 were convicts and prisoners (9 percent of the total). During these same years, slaves by far constituted the largest group of immigrants (278,400; 47%), followed by people arriving with their freedom (151,600; 26%) and indentured servants (96,600; 18%).... Almost three quarters of all the people arriving in the American colonies during this time period did so without their freedom. -- Anthony Vaver, author of Anthony Vaver, author of Early American Criminals and Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America
    We could pretend we are not responsible, that we were not yet the United States—except it took 89 years and a bloody civil war for the US to abolish slavery in 1865. Societally, 155 years later, we still have a long way to go.

    American Revolution Was Really a Trade War
    File:Boston Tea Party w.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
    The Boston Tea Party
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boston_Tea_Party_w.jpg


    The three big events that led up to the American Revolution were
    1. Boston Massacre of 1770, when 5 colonists died after being shot by soldiers breaking up a mob that gathered over a trivial personal dispute that escalated. 
    2. 1772 burning of British customs schooner, HMS Gaspee.
    3. 1773 when colonists destroyed British imported Indian tea because they were irate the untaxed tea was getting an unfair trade advantage. In retaliation, Brittain stripped the colony's right to self-rule.
    In 1775, the British attempt to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat and the war officially began.

    Our National Birthday's Based on a Premature Event
    Benjamin Franklin signing the US Declaration of Independence.
    https://picryl.com/media/benjamin-franklin-signing-the-declaration-of-independence
    We celebrate the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, July 4, 1776. The actual war wasn't considered over until 7 years later, in 1783. 


    Our Contributions


    Saving Lives

    Of these top 10 advances in medical history, America played a pivotal role in 6:

    1. William T. G. Morton: anesthesia during surgery
    2. Ramond Daman Damadian medical imaging: MRI
    3. Dr Joseph Murray and Dr David Hume organ transplants
    4. ativiral vaccines
    5. Dr. William B. Coley immunotherapy
    6. AI's role in medical diagnosis and treatment

    This chart shows assessed contributions to the World Health Organization for 2020.
    USA was the biggest contributor to the World Health Organization. Will we continue to be?


    Key Role in Ending Nazism

    Remembering D-Day 75 years later > Schriever Air Force Base ...
    D-Day, the WW2 invasion of Normandy, France.
    image from Schriever Air Force Base
    While we presume the USA deserves primary credit for decisively ending WW2, that may not be true. However, there is wide agreement internationally the USA did play a pivotal role in ending WW2.

    Today we have a president who is unwilling to criticize white supremacists as they are one of his core voting constituencies.


    Immigration: A New Place to Call Home

    Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, New York | Pikrepo
    Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, New York.
    https://www.pikrepo.com/fqtvm/statue-of-liberty-ellis-island-new-york
    The USA's track record varies on whether or welcome mat is out, and to whom, but historically, we are known as a nation of immigrants. Fortune or freedom compelled many to come to the place where they through the streets were "paved with gold." My Jewish grandparents and great-grandparents came to the USA through Ellis Island, from Poland, Russia, and Hungary for freedom and in the hopes of a better life between WW1 and WW2.
    Mexico–United States barrier - Wikipedia
    US-Mexico border wall.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico%E2%80%93United_States_barrier
    Today, to the tune of $11 billion and counting, we are building the most expensive wall in the world between ourselves and Mexico. Times change. Maybe the wall will protect more Mexicans from death from America's gross mishandling of coronavirus, which has hit Latinos in the USA much harder.


    A Call to Action

    George Floyd protest by the White House (5/30/20) | Protesto… | Flickr
    George Floyd protest by the White House
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoliv/49953042223
    Freedom is Still Elusive for People of Color
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    George Floyd's death at the foot of a police officer sparked a call for racial equity that is still reverberating. Today, Blacks suffer from racial profiling, compromised healthcare, and economic inequality—lives filled with violence, compromised and untimely death, and generational poverty. 

    What changes are you making to help our country live up to our Declaration of Independence preamble?


    If nothing else . . . 


    Vote Generic 2016 America - Free vector graphic on Pixabay
    image credit: Pixabay

    My hope for 2021 4th of July is for a more unified United States, one where we focus more on what unites rather than divides us.

    grayscale photography, people, hands, friendship, unit, together ...
     I wish you a safe and satisfying celebration,
    and a 2021 Independence Day we are more proud of than this years.
    image credit: https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-jltdm

    Location Location
    We are anchored off Sauvie Island (N45 47.433 W122 47.197).
    Shaver tug off Sauvie Island, doing their part for the 4th of July festivities.
    Last year we went to St. Helens to watch the fireworks. This year, as with most places, the fireworks display in St. Helen was canceled in fear of spreading COVID-19. 

    We will test out our expired flares in a safe place tonight. 

    Wednesday, June 24, 2020

    Why We Don't Navigate the Columbia at Night

    These logs weren't ashore Sauvie Island's shore last year. Getting hit by them in a boat would hurt!
    For scale: check out these spikes!
    We dodged this submerged log nearly the length of our boat, coming into Sauvie Island a few days ago.
    Location Location
    Dawn off Sauvie Island, looking across the river at the Washington shore by Bachelor slough.
    Sauvie Island, a bit West of Portland, Oregon, and about 90 miles inland of Astoria. N45 47.444 W122 47.195.

    Thursday, June 18, 2020

    Hidden Trailhead: How to Find the Best Little Waterfall in Columbia County

    Beaver Creek Falls, about a 40-minute drive from St. Helens, Oregon.
    St. Helens Marina is a sweet and affordable spot to moor while waiting for warmer, drier, less windy weather. The town of St. Helens offers everything we need, mostly within walking distance, plus it's close to our favorite beach on the river when beach-worthy weather lures there. Traditionally, that's mostly the 5th of July, other than a few teaser days here and there.
    Map and directions to St.Helens, Oregon to Beaver Falls, Clatskanie.
    Meanwhile, besides boat work, my freelance writing and editing work and chores, we're busy. Nonetheless, even in cooler weather, we like to get off our duffs and walk. Charming as St. Helens is, the area is a bit shy on worthwhile hiking trails. Beaver Falls was the closest well-rated trail we could find.
    All Trails is one of my go-to sources in trying to find a good hiking trail. Click here for their link to the Beaver Falls trail.
    Other than a wide turnout area on the road, there's nothing to mark the trailhead for Beaver Falls. There were enough cars there for us to figure we were at the spot.
    Even once parked, it's easy to miss the trail to Beaver Falls. No sign, but this is it.
    Beaver Falls was not just a short drive away, it was also a short walk—a good thing given we often get a late start.
    Foxglove bloomed profusely at the edge of the parking area.
    That June day, there wasn't a whole lot of wildflowers in bloom, but the blooming foxgloves are among my favorites. Native American Indians used foxglove to treat heart conditions—carefully—as can foxgloves can also be toxic.
    This Beaver Falls sign seemed to help.
    AllTrials mentioned there was an issue with litter at Beaver Falls. It looked to us that there was an effort to clean up. On our walk, I saw only a few pieces of litter.
    Recently cut, this stump sap reminded me of tears. Maybe in their own way, they are.
    We came across a substantial tree hacked, obviously felled by an ax.
    Tree stump section stepping stones across Beaver Creek to get to the falls.
    The stepping stones across Beaver Creek were mostly stable (just two were wobbly), and looked like they were the reason the tree was cut.
    More picturesque view of Beaver Falls after crossing over Beaver Creek.
    Ferns and other flora loved this damp, slightly misty spot.
    The fellow about to walk behind the falls gives you a better sense of scale.
    The trail makes its way behind the falls, for those interested in a different falls view.
    Cool view from behind the falls.
    I took the trail behind the falls to look out from under them. If you do, take your time, the trail is slippery!
    Slick clay-mud behind Beaver Creek Falls.
    On our drive back to Highway 30, we noticed a smaller set of falls off the side of the road.
    No idea what these Beaver Creek falls are called. They're not the main event, but they're pleasant.
    The area just beyond the falls is an idyllic-looking spot.
    This is up-creek from the little Beaver Creek waterfall.
    Beaver Creek would be an excellent stop to beat the heat on a blistering hot summer day. 

    Much as we enjoyed Beaver Falls, we realize how spoiled we are with Portland Oregon's and SW Washington State's fantastic options: Lucia and Mouton FallsForest Park, the West Hills, and quick access to the Gorge (though many options are still closed due to COVID-19) and the Mt. St. Helens area.

    Location Location
    This ~50-foot snag is why we don't sail at night on the Columbia River.
    The sun is shining for one more day, so we're on the hook off Sauvie Island N45 47.453 W 122 47.193 getting in our dose of vitamin D while we can. Saturday's forecast is soggy, so we'll hightail back to St. Helens Marina for that.  A week or so before, most of the trails at Sauvie were more like creeks, something to walk through rather than on.