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Old 05-20-2018, 03:39 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Pairadice and ASD Columbia River Adventure 2018

MY Pairadice and MY Alaskan Sea-Duction will start this new adventure on Tuesday May 22, 2018. We are figuring a 6 week trip from Portland OR to Lewiston ID. We will be locking 8 dams and going from 8.2" MSL to 738'MSL.

ASD will meet up with Pairadice at Government Island docks on Wednesday. From here we will stopping at Beacon Rock State Park to stage for the first lock at Bonneville Dam.

https://parks.state.wa.us/474/Beacon-Rock

As of today, the Columbia is running high and Bonneville is spilling 500,000cf of water and increasing to 600,000cf on Wednesday. This is due to snow melt.

Why now? The wind is a big factor in the Columbia River Gorge. Wind waves can get very nasty. In the spring and late fall the wind is not so bad.

Oh did I mention Pairadice and ASD are lock virgins!!!


https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/f...=main&cid=null
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:47 PM   #2
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Wifey B: In one trip you'll go from lock virgins to lock sluts. Seriously, just go in prepared and locks are nothing. Sounds like a great trip. We wished when we were there we could have gone further. One day we will.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Wifey B: In one trip you'll go from lock virgins to lock sluts. Seriously, just go in prepared and locks are nothing. Sounds like a great trip. We wished when we were there we could have gone further. One day we will.
Thats a good one but very true. Last year we went with some virgins in a Marlow on a 2 week portion of the loop they quickly became sluts.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
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I was thinking about you guys and your upcoming trip this weekend. I had to go to Kennewick for a meeting and drove down the river from Vantage to Tri-Cities. I know that you will be heading up the Snake at Tri-Cities, but I noted that it sure seemed like the were spilling a bunch of water at the Wanapum and Priest River dams.

That sure sounds like a great trip. Canít wait to follow along vicariously.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:05 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great trip. When you guys take off, how many knots of river current will need to overcome on the way up to maintained your normal cruising speed or do you just slow the pace down?
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:35 PM   #6
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Bring big fenders... We did 75 locks bringing our current boat home. It really isnít too bad. We had 2 big teardrop fenders and wished we had taken 4 of them. It is just too hard to store them. Wear old work gloves since some locks get a bit slimy. Good luck and post a lot of photos.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:32 PM   #7
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Yay...following again
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:42 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great trip. When you guys take off, how many knots of river current will need to overcome on the way up to maintained your normal cruising speed or do you just slow the pace down?
Pushing up the throttles for 1 or 2 kts just throwing money overboard. It will be slow.

The current on the lower Columbia is about 4kts + with high water.Once above Bonneville Dam is should ease a little. I hope
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:14 PM   #9
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Pushing up the throttles for 1 or 2 kts just throwing money overboard. It will be slow.

The current on the lower Columbia is about 4kts + with high water.Once above Bonneville Dam is should ease a little. I hope
Thanks. Hopefully youíll make some of it back on the way down. Itís a trip we wanted to do when we were based in the PNW. Looking forward to your blog.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:45 PM   #10
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Wifey B: In one trip you'll go from lock virgins to lock sluts. Seriously, just go in prepared and locks are nothing. Sounds like a great trip. We wished when we were there we could have gone further. One day we will.
ASD, good luck on your trip, sounds fun.

Wifey B, correct me if I am wrong, but don't you and Mr. B travel in large boats with a full crew? That was my impression from the other forum where Mr. B was posting about the crews you have had in the past and your hiring experiences. Only asking, when you say "locks are nothing". Personally, I don't have any first hand experience with locks except when I was on ships in the PC and I just stood there looking over the side periodically and admired the view.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:46 PM   #11
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Pushing up the throttles for 1 or 2 kts just throwing money overboard. It will be slow.

The current on the lower Columbia is about 4kts + with high water.Once above Bonneville Dam is should ease a little. I hope
Check again, At 500,000 CFS I have personally seen 7- 8kts at the area the Tug Capt's call "The Push".. its the last couple miles below Bonneville and starts at Beacon Rock.

The walls of the locks are in really rough shape, we ruined all our fenders and actually popped a couple on our trip up.

I could only get 9kts. out of Volunteer at 100% .. I ran over an hour with the throttle at the stop... never did that for more than a few minutes before that time.

Have a great trip, we really enjoyed the summer we spent on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:22 PM   #12
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We are getting Pairadice ready! Ye ha!
Gotta go stock up on Klondike bars. And Mike, gonna make a liquor run just for you......
Choppin at the bit and ready to go!
Cheers all!
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:26 PM   #13
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ASD, good luck on your trip, sounds fun.

Wifey B, correct me if I am wrong, but don't you and Mr. B travel in large boats with a full crew? That was my impression from the other forum where Mr. B was posting about the crews you have had in the past and your hiring experiences. Only asking, when you say "locks are nothing". Personally, I don't have any first hand experience with locks except when I was on ships in the PC and I just stood there looking over the side periodically and admired the view.
Wifey B: We travel in all sorts of boats but we're also licensed captains and spend a lot of time at the helm as well as handling lines. We've locked by ourselves with just the two of us aboard and with 10+ aboard.

Locks are simple although many different kinds of locks. It's really just a matter of preparing fenders and lines in advance (for both sides) and pulling along side and holding yourself based on the kind of equipment. Read about the specific locks in advance. There are even youtube videos on many, for instance a mini documentary on the Columbia River Locks.

Only other real issue is if you're in a lock with commercial tows to be aware of wash from their engines and wait as instructed or if in front pull on out as instructed. Lockmasters are excellent in advising what to do and when and your first time locking or on a specific river, don't hesitate to tell them and they'll instruct you in greater detail. They'll appreciate your honesty and your thanks for their assistance.

Now I'll say locking places with a lot of close locks, like the Erie Canal, gets tiring fast and places like the Ballard Locks can be one large cluster.... with boats rafted. We did go through the Panama Canal but with a pilot and help from experienced people. That's our only time using a mule.

So, I reiterate, don't be scared of locks. Easy to learn.

Oh, and I do definitely agree with whoever said "gloves."
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:33 PM   #14
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Pairadice will struggle with the current, but struggle we will. We are leaving the old covers on the fenders for this adventure. New ones will go on once we return.
Admiral has like 20 pairs of gloves, might need to get her a few more pairs to restock after this trip!
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:43 PM   #15
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John and Tom, you're going to be running into a 4+kt current all the way up the river. That's what it's flowing right now in front of our house, so just be prepared for a loooooong, slow trip.


Now, a bit of info on Bonneville lock. The bollards (the floating things you tie to) inside Bonneville are different from all the rest of the locks on the Columbia and Snake. For some reason when they made the bollards for Bonneville they made the bollards about a foot and a half taller than they are on the rest of the locks.


I can't get into my 3rd party image hosting site right now or I'd post a photo of what all the rest of them look like. My wife is about 5'4" and has no problem reaching the bollards in the rest of the locks. Bonneville's bollards are high enough that she has a VERY hard time reaching them.


I'm going to PM Tom with my phone number. If you want, give me a call tomorrow and I'll give you "Mike's Trusted Lock Tips" that will help you out. I normally charge a lot for those but if you're making a booze or Klondike run in my honor, I feel duty bound to share them at no cost. They'll make popping your "lock cherry" a bit easier.


FYI, I'm picking my boat up on the 29th in Portland. A friend is coming along to help and we're going to make it a 2.5-3 day trip back to the Tri Cities. To do that we'll be running on plane most of the way but that's the only way I can do the trip in a reasonable amount of time. So somewhere along the Mighty Columbia we'll probably be passing you guys or maybe we'll overnight somewhere together.


Our planned stops are 29th at Hood River or The Dalles. 30th at Arlington, 31st at home in Tri Cities.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:02 AM   #16
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John and Tom, here's what the bollards look like in all the dams on both rivers EXCEPT for Bonneville. Those have a weird setup where the part you tie to is a couple of feet higher than this setup.

Tom, note that we tie up using only a midship line, not bow and stern lines. Remind me when you call to explain why.


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Old 05-21-2018, 12:23 AM   #17
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Wifey B: We often use one line depending on the boat and the lock. However, we will often run the one line from a forward cleat, looping it around the Bollard and then running it to an aft cleat. Never tie firmly to a cleat as you should always be prepared to quickly release in the event of a malfunction of the Bollard. One other thing I will mention is that the lock walls are very rough and dirty in some areas and you may find Fender boards preferable to fenders.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:48 AM   #18
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I'm going to PM Tom with my phone number. If you want, give me a call tomorrow and I'll give you "Mike's Trusted Lock Tips" that will help you out. I normally charge a lot for those but if you're making a booze or Klondike run in my honor, I feel duty bound to share them at no cost. They'll make popping your "lock cherry" a bit easier.

Got it! Will Call Wednesday.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:34 AM   #19
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On a bollard such as shown in the photo, we do not secure the line. We run it around the bollard and then back to our cleat and just figure 8 it on the cleat. That way you can loosen the line no matter what because there are no cleat hitches to undo, just unwind the figure 8.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:13 PM   #20
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I hear what you guys are saying about not tying to the bollard in case the bollard jams up in its track and gets locked into position, but my wife has a folding knife attached to her pfd that she can flip open the blade with her thumb to cut the line if needed.


Also, tying to the bollard like she has done in the photo makes it easier for her to untie when we get the green light to leave. If the line were looped around the bollard then secured to the cleat on our boat, she'd have to bend over to reach down to the cleat to untie the line. With it secured to the bollard all she has to do is untie it from the bollard; no bending over on the walkway. She stays upright where she can reach the handrail if needed to keep her balance.


Normally she would have tied that line to the bollard much shorter so the boat would have less "wiggle room". I don't really care if the fenders rub along the wall, that's what they're there for. Yes, the walls of the lock are dirty and will scrape the fenders, but I just don't care. We store the fenders in the lazarette where they can't be seen so I'm not concerned with what they look like.


My biggest concern when we're going through a lock is my wife's safety. Anything I can do to make that job easier on her is what I will do. If she doesn't have to bend over to untie a line, IMHO that makes it easier on her. Our way of tying up in the locks may not work for someone else on their boat. That's OK. It works for us and that's what we want. Easy Peasy.


Just saying.
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