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Old 05-10-2011, 11:47   #1
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Location: Pacific NW, sailing the Columbia River, USA
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Sailing the Wine Country of the Columbia and Snake Rivers

We bought our catamaran last fall one year ago today in San Diago. I sailed it with my buddy Gabby ( who ownes a Gemini in West Palm FL. and lives in Kennewick WA during hurrican season) (My wife had to teach a horse riding clinic ) to Catalina island for a week and caught my buddies Bob Bitchen and Steve and Shelly at Two Harbors for the Lattitudes and Attitudes crusers party, we had a blast for our first voyge. We had to meet up with the truck in Mission Bay that would hall sv We Be Jammin north to Portland Or and the Columbia river ( being fall and the weather getting less and less good for the trip north sailing. My wife joined me after we got rigged in Portland Or for our first cruse 230 miles or so up stream with 4 locks and dams to pass thru. We had a great November cruse up stream to Clover Island our home port.
We've been busy getting We Be Jamin set up the way we wanted and sailing. Work kept us from going too far from home untill Sept. and we headed down stream mid way to Portland and visited several small ports on the Or side of the river free 72 hour moorage and one on the WA side of the river. The temp was in the mid to lower 80's and the water was 74 deg F so we went swimming daily, the fall breezes had picked up from the summer light air and 100+ temps and we had some 30 kt breezes to sail ( it was awsome ) . We stand 50 ft to the top of our VHF antana so the 65 to 68 ft bridge clearences was no problem.
Last week we came home to reprovision and do laundry and Wed headed up the Snake river to Ice Harbor dam and lock. We had been sailing on Lake Sacajawea in our old boat and I knew several free buoy's to hook to over night which worked out really great. The wind was great for sailing with a couple of low dry fronts coming thru the area. Surrounding the lake is huge venyards and orchards with several wine tasting places. The smell of grapes on the vine made the air really sweet for our 6 day cruse.
We were passed by a 165 ft yacht that had 4 huge radar domes and we found out that Ringo Star and friends were aboard and had been wine tasting and probably buying land to start there own, I think the yacht was owned by an Australian guy. We were passed by several other bigger yachts one about 100 ft and one about 80 ft they were stopping at park docks and picked up by some of the wineries drivers. It seamed like a new fad to WA's cruse to wine country for yachting and wine tasting .
We did have a little trouble when we started to head for the lock, about 100 yards from the lock our disel cut our and started sputtering and finally died right in front of the dam. We limped over to one of the free buoys where I found the problem was our electric fuel lift pump had died. We were about a mile or so from the Charbneau state park and marina so we droped our dingy w/ 2.5 hp motor into the water tied it to the port step and motered at half throdle at 2.5 kt's to the marina and called my buddy and got our van up to the park 17 miles from town. On Monday I took off the fuel pump and went to NAPA auto parts and picked up the parts $61.00 instead of the $178.00 the Westerbeak co. wanted with a week or longer to get one.
All in all we had a great fall crusing the Mid-Columbia wine country and are planning on more trips soon.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:51   #2
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Re: Sailing the wine country of the Columbia and Snake rivers

napa parts rock!!!!! goood trip--sounds like fun.......whare da pix?????
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:01   #3
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Re: Sailing the wine country of the Columbia and Snake rivers

As soon as we get the video we shot looked thru I'll put up pic's, but it may take several days it's on my wifes camara and she's headed to teach a clinic this weekend. The area is high desert with sage and grasses, steep hills with volcanic rocks. I guess it looks like some of the pic's of the Baha I've seen. There were lots of fishermen and ladies catching steelhead and salmon on there migration up stream.
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