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Old 04-30-2019, 02:20 PM   #1
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question re Columbia River

Giving some preliminary thought to a cruise down the Columbia from the Dalles to Astoria in our Albin-25. I have a 2016 article in Passage Maker magazine telling of 30mph prevailing westerlies at Hood River, where they enjoy a lot of windsurfing. Wondering whether that level of wind is common throughout the route of just at Hood River?

Our plan would include a side trip up the Willamette to Portland where family is located.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have no personal experience, but Tony Fleming has a YouTube video of Venture going to Idaho via the Columbia. Quite interesting.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:46 PM   #3
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Fleming wrote the article I saw in Passage Maker.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:58 PM   #4
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While winds are always a consideration, they shouldn't deter you. Hood River is a special case; the gorge where the river passes through the Cascade Range creates a perfect venturi, amplifying any Westerly flow. in addition, the heating of the vast interior desert of Washington, Oregon, Idaho & Utah, creates massive lifting and inflow in the afternoon--through the Gorge.


Don't be discouraged, just go early.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:59 PM   #5
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Nick, I've traveled through that stretch many times and that stretch can be horrendous. Here's what it looked like one day last summer....



Here's what it looked like on another day in another summer a few years back...



Like most areas, you have to pick your weather windows. I've been through there when it's like glass and other times when it was worse than that first video.


BTW, if you go through the Hood River area watch out for the wakesurfers who like to play chicken with your boat like the guy in the second video. He got a lot closer than most do before they bail out.


If you're already in The Dalles, why not come upriver where the days are warmer, the waters often calmer and the skies bluer. I'll keep a light on for ya.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby Nick View Post
Giving some preliminary thought to a cruise down the Columbia from the Dalles to Astoria in our Albin-25. I have a 2016 article in Passage Maker magazine telling of 30mph prevailing westerlies at Hood River, where they enjoy a lot of windsurfing. Wondering whether that level of wind is common throughout the route of just at Hood River?

Our plan would include a side trip up the Willamette to Portland where family is located.

What is the speed that the Albin can do? I seem to remember some of them have tiny diesels that can go forever but not very fast.


The area just downstream of the Bonneville Dam can flow at 9 kts ( I did it in a boat that maxed at 9.. luckily it did 9.1 that day ! )


Lots of places to tuck into in a small boat that big boats cannot get into on the river.


Have a great trip
HOLLYWOOD
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:11 AM   #7
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With the wind going against the current you can get surprisingly steep waves in the Hood River area. Once we had so much water come over the bow of a 45 foot Tolly that the scuppers were not able to deal with it. That never happened out in the ocean. Post Cascade Locks things quiet down.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:13 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies good people, all valuable info, especially the videos!

Our Albin-25 has her original 35hp Volvo-Penta 17C Diesel and will cruise all day at 8 kts. She'll do 10 if necessary, but wants to overheat at that speed, so I need to back off after a short while; hence the E to W downstream route plan.

We would be towing the boat west from Illinois. Launching at the Dalles takes advantage of what Fleming termed the best marina he encountered on the river, and because it lies just east of the start of the Gorge. A Launch below the Bonneville Dam could be entertained
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:42 PM   #9
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Nick, Tony's review of The Dalles as the best port on the river is a bit outdated. While it's a nice place, I think the "best place" as far as just the marina has been taken away by Arlington, OR's port. It is easy to get in and out of, has new docks with good power (30a and 50a IIRC) and it's only a short (1/2 mile) hike into town to a couple of decent restaurants.


The Dalles has a much better choice of restaurants and things to do and also offers a real cheap taxi service. They have had periodic problems with power on the docks at times when we've stayed there.


I sent you a PM with another alternative to consider. Just let me know.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:25 PM   #10
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Thanks Mike & Tina! Arlington does indeed look like a good place to start. From there we would not miss out on any of the gorge, and it would give us a day least to become somewhat accustomed to the river before passing the Hood River area. We are at least a year away from getting serious about hitching up and towing west again.
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