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Old 01-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #61
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Cool link. Thanks for posting
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:38 AM   #62
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Red, thank you very much for sharing your experiences in crossing the Bar. I'm going to print and save your comments for when we do it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:55 PM   #63
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I crossed the bar twice. Once in and once out.

We were bringing a friend's 45' heavy fish boat up the coast. He had just purchased it and we had a few days to fit out. We crossed the bar in bad weather at Winchester Bay and the weather settled out but we had two engine failures on the Oregon coast due to water in the fuel.

We were north of the Columbia River and planing to continue north through the night. We could see the lights on shore including the nav aids so visibility was good for night running. The weather and seas were getting worse and worse so I decided to go a few miles out to sea thinking the bottom was heaping up the seas. But it just got worse. At one point I was afraid it would be dangerous to turn around. I hoped we could turn around between the crests. I talked to two fish boats (very large) and eventually the CG. They suggested to go to Ilwaco. So I turned around fine and headed south. There were some ships in the area of the river mouth that made me uncomfortable but the CG "talked me in" following a big ship and we spent the night at Ilwaco. Crossing the bar was white knuckle but not as bad as out in the ocean. The rest of the trip was good except for the engine failure just off Cape Flatery near Neah Bay. I sighted on the Cape and quickly determined we were drifting out to sea. That was a relief so we took our time draining out the water and bleeding the air in the lines. All our engine failures happened in good places and at good times. This was 25 (or so) years ago. I got off at Everett and Kellus took the boat north to Juneau.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:19 AM   #64
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Nick,
I'm a relative newcomer to bigger boats. Two years to be exact. For the first year, we boated the Lower Columbia River. There is a fair amount to see and do. Last fall, I got my nerve up, consulted with others and then we ventured over the bar numerous times. As CFG and Hollywood mentioned, getting over the bar is just a matter of planning. (Flood tide is "Fine", Ebb is "Evil" as a GENERAL rule). Check for dates with lower amounts of tide fluctuations.
Summer months are best, not winter. My wife swore she would never go out into the ocean. I motored out of the river, over the bar and out to the CR buoy when she wasn't paying attention. "Look honey, we're in the ocean!" The entire voyage was almost like glass and she loved the trip.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:22 PM   #65
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Sam tell us the rest of the story!!! There has to be more as I know your admiral! She HAD to retaliate in some way shape or form....I know this from experiance! Great pics
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:48 PM   #66
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Nope, she was an awesome sailor. You should put some of your story on this blog about crossing the bar Tom.

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Old 01-17-2014, 10:51 AM   #67
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Well here you go.

This is from my part of my post on my blog from October 2013-Long Voyage Home.

Day 4, Oct. 6th New Port to the Columbia:


As daylight broke and I felt like I was not being chased by pissed off fisherman, Kay and I started to think of just running straight to the Columbia. The seas were great. So I went below and check my little pump up gage under the lower helm. We had a little less than half tanks on the big 250 gallon tanks and the back 50 gallon tanks were full. But then I heard a little voice in my head from our friends Jerry and Chris…..always go over the bar as heavy as you can. Don’t even dump you waste tank as that is weight. So we pulled into Newport around 9 AM. The port is easy to get into, but attention is a must if you have southerly swells, but ours were from the NW, so no big deal.


Took on 289 gallons @ $3.78 Per gallon. We averaged 13.6 kts that night. The lady at the fuel dock was really nice. Kay and her hit it off and I found out I was now just the boat boy. I checked the engine oil, took a look at the engine bay and all looked good. I checked the weather report which said good size NW swells, with winds increasing from the south later in the afternoon. Kay and I discussed it and did some calculations. The Columbia River Bar high tide slack was at 2 PM. It was 96 miles from Newport to the bar. We could running hard make it with time to spare. So we fired up the 3208s, chugged out the channel, turned north after the second red can and threw the throttles forward to 2450 rpms. We were scooting!


Things were looking up. Last night was not much of a challenge, the seas were calm and we felt like we were beating the ocean and Mother Nature. How things can change in a matter of two hours. We started to get some south winds early, but they were not that bad. Sun was shining in the bridge and making it hot, so we opened another window. Then the swells started to get bigger and in getting bigger they slowed us way down. You would surf the front of the wave and as it went under you it sucked you right into the trough and kept you there while you could hear the engines struggling. What the hell is this crap! The farther north we got the worse it got and the longer it got. 48 miles from the first Columbia River bar buoy we started to encounter large west swells. The south winds had increase to 35mph sustained with gusts to 50mph. We could see Tillamook Head. We were almost home, but then the weather started to push us north east toward Tillamook head and the south jetty. We had lost the time for the bar and I could see we were having troubles.


Kay shouted CRAB TRAP! YELLOW! I didn’t hear her and she slapped me on the shoulder CRAB TRAP, YELLOW! Hard to port, then back to starboard so I wouldn’t catch a wave. Because of the swells I could not see the trap. She saved the day again! I told Kay we had to find a way to work our way back to our route as that comes in at the first bar buoy. We were being sucked into the south jetty and there are a lot of ship wrecks there and I didn’t want to be one. Using steering and applying power just as we reached the back side of the wave, I was able to start making progress toward the first buoy, only 10 miles away. I call the coast guard, Pt. Disappointment, this is the motor yacht Interlude. Nothing. Tried again. Nothing. Then I call Sector Columbia River and they answered. I told them my position and asked for a CURRENT bar report. About 30 seconds later (which seems like 10 years on nasty water), I hear: Motor Yacht Interlude this is Cape Disappointment with a bar report as of 2 PM. ********! Point, Cape what the hell is the difference! They told me the bar was unrestricted and a middle channel was advised. As of 2 PM and it was almost 4 PM. Kay and I both put double PFDs on and went for the bar at a full ebb with a minus tide, 35mph sustained winds with gust to 45mph from the south and 6 to 10 foot swells from the west. This should be interesting.


As we entered the mid channel we felt like a guppy in a swirling fish bowl. We had waves crashing all around us, going under us and making it difficult to steer a straight course. The bow got stuffed twice and I guess instinct took over. I started to apply full power, then backing off, full power as a wave went under and then when the rudders were not fully taking where we wanted to go, I used the engines, backing one off while applying full power to the other. You could hear those engines running hard. The Interlude knew this was a test she had to pass. My friend Jerry told me it was only a mile that I had to be concerned with! Bullshit, it seemed to be 100 miles in slow motion. Then about half way through we noticed a charter boat ahead of us and we stayed on his tail. When we got inside we had to still get across these huge breakers to the starboard. I quickly learned how to do this by observing the charter boat. Stern to the wave and maneuver your boat sideways or horizontal starboard. It worked and we finally started up the channel toward Astoria. We were in and still alive! We both had huge smiles. Then the coast guard came over channel 16: “Motor Yacht Interlude, Cape Disappointment, great job across the bar.” My reply was that this wasn’t the way I wanted to bust my virgin bubble across the bar. They replied understand as you could hear laughter in the background.


We had made it and now it was time for showers and a well-deserved rest. Made some postings on forums and called mom. We entered Astoria harbor, parked the boat with some difficulty in the wind, hooked up electric and crashed.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:36 AM   #68
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ASD - Damn good Job, by you both! - Congrats!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #69
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Great seamanship and even better writing prose!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:53 PM   #70
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Sam, thank you. I'm in a somewhat similar situation with my wife. While she's been out in the ocean with me a number of times, it was the Atlantic and on fairly calm days. Her only impressions of the Pacific NW have been a visit to Cannon Beach and seeing thundering breakers, and the video which started this thread - which did not give her a warm and fuzzy feeling (me neither...).

ASD, great write up, but I'm not going to let her see it, it wouldn't help my case!

Thanks again!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:54 PM   #71
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There you go Nick. Clear as mud I suppose? Now you have the good, the bad and the ugly.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:26 PM   #72
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Also Nick, Love the name Endurance. It is the second best story EVER told.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #73
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Tom, were sailing up your way this morning.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #74
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Great story ASD. We will plan for that kind of crossing and with better timing hope not to encounter the same. Gives me confidence.

Nick, we can do this! I'll follow you...
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:01 PM   #75
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Sam, thank you. My wife has been naming our boats after what she considers my personality traits (Relentless, Tenacious, Perseverance, Endurance...).

Of course, it begs the question: what is the best story ever told, if Shackleton's is the second best?

Rob, I'm looking forward to it! I think our first crossing of the bar will need to be a dual American Tug convoy (my wife will be greatly reassured by the sight of rescue nearby!).
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:03 PM   #76
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Thanks for the visit Sam. We are going to have fun this summer....
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:13 PM   #77
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Recent rescue

Coast Guard rescues man off North Jetty - Daily Astorian: News
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #78
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My son does this for a living - USCG Motor Lifeboat Station Humboldt Bay.

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Old 01-21-2014, 06:51 PM   #79
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That looks like fun on a nice sunny day when the boat is built for it! In my boat, not so much.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:32 PM   #80
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My boat could do that!


Once. Then I'd be swimming with the Orcas and Salmon!
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