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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Toward the Mighty Columbia River's Mouth

Sunset, from Tongue Point Channel, Astoria Oregon. View from tonight's anchorage.
Monday morning we'd planned to begin our trek North, despite my arriving near midnight from the Bay Area the night before. Instead we decided to wait, as the best day to cross the sometimes deadly Columbia bar was Thursday from Astoria. I put our provisions in order for our two-month trip and we enjoyed a rare date night -- watching the movie "Yesterday" at St. Helens old time Columbia Theater.
Our Columbia River passage this morning; St. HElens Oregon to the outskirts of Astoria Oregon.
Our journey was 62 miles from St. Helens to the well-sheltered Tongue Point, Astoria, where we planned to anchor for the night. Our typical boat speed is 7 knots, so we anticipated an 8 hour or so trip.
Boat kitty Tennessee, paying us a visit from m.v Serenity at St. Helens Oregon.
Before we left St. Helens, e enjoyed meeting Tennessee, our neighbor's boat kitty. It appeared the feeling was mutual. We are a sucker for kitties. When we figure out where we'll stay a while, we'd like to add some furballs to our home. In the interim. we live vicariously through other's pets, and pet-sitting when we get a chance.
Alaska gillnetters at St. Helens Oregon docks.
Gillnetters season on the Columbia River is a short one; four days one of these two boaters told me. They'd arrive late afternoon, head out for the eve to drop their nets, then return in the morning.
Otter and its sibling, about to devour fish stranded at low tide. St Helens, Oregon.
We got a kick out watching these otters fish on the banks of the Columbia across from St. Helens city docks.
Choppy Exit from St. Helens, Oregon. Note the spray on our windshield?
The wind and chop rocked and rolled us pretty good as we took off from St. Helens. It take some serious chop to soak our windows!
Fishermen near Longview Washington.
Gillnetters and otters weren't the only fishermen plying the river in force. The boats were practically everywhere, even though it was a Tuesday morning.
The town of Rainier hosts a number of tugs on the  Columbia river.
While Lewis and Clark tootled past Rainier in 1805, it wasn't until the mid 1850s Rainier became a settlement.
There were a number of fascinating, ramshackle buildings barely still standing on the Columbia, This one was past Longview WA, on the Oregon side of the Columbia river.
Other more rusty than rustic towns make traveling this stretch of river interesting.
Sternwheeler, passed along the way.
The water settled down as we approached Longview Washington, to the point of glassiness.
One of a number of tankers we passed along the way.
We pondered about why one of the bulk freighters we passed was called the African Buzzard. We were amused by the name but couldn't find out what inspired it, though we did find the boat listed on Google.
Serendipity at anchor, Tongue Point Channel, Astoria Oregon.
Location Location
We are anchored in Tongue Point Channel, Astoria Oregon N48 11.522 W123 44.333. The spiders outside our boat are having a field day with the local insect population; prevalent enough to keep us from continuing out stargazing.

Up Next
Tomorrow we'll head to Astoria's marina to be closer to town and enjoy it for the day. If Thursday's forecast holds, we'll head out that morning and pull an all-nighter for the 144 miles to Neah Bay. 

The plan is to hit the San Juans and British Columbia Canada after the Labor Day crowds are gone, but there's still nice weather. Unless we come up with another idea, the plan is to return to Portland Oregon by November.


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