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Old 12-11-2008, 14:56   #1
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Columbia River Bar

So I hear this place is called the Grave Yard of the Pacific. I've been to Fort Stevens (?) and looked at the waves from there. I've seen a Discovery Channel show about it. How bad is it really? I'm pretty sure there are days we wouldn't want to cross it. But I'm sure there are lots of good weather days that it would be no problem for the right boat, also. In my case the boat will be a 37' cat sailboat. Anyone have any stories about 'crossing the Bar'?
Thanks
Scott
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Old 12-11-2008, 16:23   #2
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Hi AZK:

Done the Columbia Bar twice. Once it was flat calm the other time I got across right before it closed. Here is a link to the story on the bar. Not tooo much info. My take is that if you wait for the right weather it is no problem don't want to be n a hurry to get in or out. West Coast slide Astoria to SF
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Old 12-11-2008, 16:50   #3
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I've done the Columbia River bar, as well as some others off the Oregon coast. If you pay attention to the tide tables and listen to the reports, you generally come out fine. If you ignore them, or have to enter in an emergency (as I did on the Umpqua River bar), you get a wild ride or worse. The Coast Guard cutter that preceded us, broached, righted itself, and waited to pick up our bodies. We surfed a Hinkley 49 in, over the bar, pegging the mechanical knotmeter, and had a great story to tell at another form of bar. Literally, "surfed", the bow dropped on a 15 foot wave, we didn't broach, and made it in without broaching. It wasn't easy, but it was fast.
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Old 12-11-2008, 17:41   #4
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Haven't done it myself, but did some research when I was going to help a friend move his new boat, schedule didn't work out for me.

http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/salmon/docs/columbia.pdf

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Old 12-11-2008, 17:55   #5
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We crossed the Columbia Bar in fair conditions (light southerlys) but it was just before they closed it for several days w/ 70kt winds. We saw a map of over 200 "graveyard ships" lost over the years. We trucked our 23-footed home from Portland :-)
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Old 12-11-2008, 19:02   #6
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It is one or our largest sport fisheries in either Washington or Oregon with boats going out almost every day..The tide and swell is the key..I personally have been out and back in twice..8 footers the first time 10 to 12 foot the second...rollers both times with very close periods but no break.

If I were going to do it in my own boat I would pick the brain of a Charter boat captain on what to look for for both a smooth exit and what conditions create the death rollers..like I said they do it almost every day.

And dont pick this kind of day
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Old 12-11-2008, 22:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
.......
If I were going to do it in my own boat I would pick the brain of a Charter boat captain on what to look for for both a smooth exit and what conditions create the death rollers..like I said they do it almost every day.
Not all charters are 100% smart. There was one that broached a couple years ago and the CG had to pull them from the water, the ones they could find. Fortunately, they were wearing life vests.

Shipwreck: Graveyard of the pacific ocean - seaview ilwaco washington, Whale watching long beach wa, salmon sturgeon halibut tuna fishing washington, Shipwreck, graveyard of the pacific, nahcotta surfside klipsan beach ocean park washington, clam cam
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Old 12-11-2008, 22:46   #8
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OK...make that an OLD Charter boat captian....
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Old 13-11-2008, 00:32   #9
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Nice link, Delmarrey! Thanks!
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