Friday, August 18, 2006

This is the sight we saw as we rounded Cape Disappointment on the Columbia River, as we were about to cross the dreaded Columbia bar. When I think about the name I wonder who was disappointed and why? We went to the Maritime Museum in Astoria today and I didn't see any displays to tell me who or why, too bad!!
To take a step backwards, yesterday we motored most of the way from Gray's Harbour to Astoria. The wind came up with 15 miles to go and we actually sailed across the Columbia bar, it was glorious, sun beaming down on us the boat just humming along, fishing boats, trawlers, coast guard vessels zipping all around, great fun. The entrance to the Columbia River is dreaded up and down the west coast as one of the potentially most dangerous stretches of water, it has been called the graveyard of the Pacific. It is treacherous due to the tons of sand that are deposited at the mouth of the Columbia River each year, dredges are constantly scooping up the sand to keep the channels open. The shallowness of the entrance causes the waves from the open ocean to become very steep and close together. We made it in with no problems but we still have to cross the bar on the way out. Hopefully our charmed voyage will continue.
We spent the morning trying to purchase a cell phone. Don't get me started on how and why it was a problem, just suffice it to say that computers don't understand the problem of not living where the phone has to be activated and that the U.S. computers don't seem to think that citizens of another countryy could possibly be interested in buying a cell phone here. (big long heartfelt sigh). We do have a phone and I activated it tonight and although I had to ask someone what their zip code was so that I could activate the phone I am not in that zip code area, so I am unsure if the phone will ever work. I will keep you posted.
We are in a marina that is under the bridge that spans the Columbia River going from Oregon to Washington. There are huge ocean going freighters chugging past at all hours of the day and night. We had a great walk along the waterfront today seeing a lot of buildings that are still in use and then a bunch that have been converted to restaurants and shops, a very interesting mix. We are off to Newport, Oregon tomorrow, it will be another overnight sail so must get to bed.