Captain my Captain! One of the “to do” things on my list when our boat “Western Flyer” was ready to untie the lines included a little shakeout cruise up the Columbia river – to see how far we could go. A while back I researched the trip and found some interesting stops along the way. What follows are some rough notes with marinas thrown in. Let me know what you think as this trip is still possible before we exit stage left out the Columbia bar in August 2014. Of course we’ll cruise with our friends Mark & Diane to St. Helens or any of their other chosen stops.
- One of the first marinas to visit – Cascade Locks Marina (541-374-8619) Showers, Gas, moorage, short walk to Eastwind Cafe for the BEST soft ice cream cones! Narrow and shallow entrance. Keep in the middle of the channel. Limited depth to 8 feet.
- Government Cove 4 miles upstream on the Oregon side. Anchorage with no services. Great protection, good holding ground, and your own rock quarry to explore. Enter almost from due north, keeping about 15 yards off the rock jetty to the east of you. Excellent holding ground in 8-15 feet of mud.
- Hood River Marina (http://www.portofhoodriver.com)
- Bingen Marina Water, moorage and anchorage. Good walk into town. Eat at Fidels for good Mex. food! (Great Margaritas Too). Keep plenty of room between you and the rock on the down stream side of the enterence. Tie up to the primitive docks, or anchor out. You might want to lock things up here.
- Mayer State Park A Bomb-Proof Anchorage with a great view of Eastern Oregon. About 6.5 feet of total draft is the maximum for this anchorage. Line up the tall piling with the wooden fence section (about 215 degrees mag.), and come in slow. Exit the same way with frequent back-sighting….remember there is current here. This is my favorite anchorage. There are two mooring floats located in the anchoring basin, but anywhere you decide to set the hook is fine. The wind can blow hard sometimes during the night, but with only 8 feet below you, some scope should keep you into the muddy bottom here..
- The Dalles Marina (http://www.portofthedalles.com) This is a no-brainer, as the rock jetties will only let you in at one spot. Proceed to port and to the quest dock for water, gas, ice, showers, etc. which is run by The Dalles Yacht Club members. For a nice walk into town and lunch, ask for the Baldwin Saloon, next to the RR tracks on Court St. The folks from the The Dalles Yacht Club are the nicest around! They have ice, showers and advice that they freely offer to total strangers.
- Guest Moorage is at bottom of walk ramp on the southeast end of the moorage basin.
- From here I’d suggest continuing upstream via The Dalles Locks. The Celilo Pool is more like Baha than you can believe. Proceed up though the Celilo Railroad Bridge (Ch. 13, and the bridge tender is sitting in a office in Pasco WA.). Continue east up along the Washington shore to Miller Island, and anchor in “Full Moon Bay” on the NE corner of the island in 10 feet of water. Look for the pictographs on the rocks!
MORE TO FOLLOW