Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-29-2014, 12:19 AM   #1
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,684
A weekend of firsts.......

This past weekend was one of many firsts, and a great time was had by all right up until the end.

We were headed to Fishhook Park on the Snake River, a park we've been to many time before, but this was the first time we've gone along with the Clover Island Yacht Club on one of their cruises. GW and I were going to go but we couldn't find a house sitter to take care of her Pugs, so we decided she'd stay home and I'd go up with a friend of mine from our yacht club. He was going to go alone on his boat so we made arrangements for me to go on his boat.

Thursday was the day we were supposed to leave but he called me Wednesday afternoon and said he was having some electrical issues on his boat and it wouldn't start. It only took me about 2 seconds to suggest we both go on my boat, which is what we did.

So he met me at our boat at noon on Thursday, we loaded his gear and our food on board and shoved off. We had zero wait to get through the railroad bridge just downstream from our marina and we were off, heading down the Columbia to the Snake River.

As we turned up the Snake we realized we were behind a tug with two barges. If he was headed to the lock at Ice Harbor Dam he would have priority and we'd be delayed an hour or so. I called him on VHF13 and asked if he minded if we locked through with him. He didn't have a problem with that, so there was the first "First" of the weekend.

Here's a shot as we entered the lock at Ice Harbor Dam.

and here he is coming in behind us. This is the first time I've gone through a lock with a tug and barges behind us. (You don't want to be behind them because their prop wash will really push you around)



We got up to the park in good shape and were the only boat there on Thursday night, except for a small sailboat that one of the other members of our club came in on.

Friday afternoon the boats from CIYC started showing up and by the end of the day we had about 7 boats join us.

While waiting for them to show up, we had this paddle wheeler tour boat cruise past the park. (Another first)


and we had this Navy sea plane doing touch and go's on this stretch of the Snake River. (Another First)


People from CIYC started showing up around lunch time. Some came by their boats, some came by car, and one couple showed up on a motorcycle.


I have to hand it to the good people from CIYC. They REALLY are well organized for these cruises. They started showing up and before we knew it they had rigged a series of blue tarps around the covered picnic area to block the wind, they had the tables all moved to where they needed to be, they had boxes of firewood unloaded and a nice bonfire going. What a crew!

Another first happened that afternoon. A larger paddle wheel tour boat came upriver, and this was huge. Another first--the first time I've seen this boat on the Snake River.

That's some huge wheel....


Before long dinner was fixed and was enjoyed by all


We sat around the campfire and swapped jokes, told stories and laughed all night. Pretty soon it was time to hit the hay so people staggered down the docks to their boats and turned in.
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,684
(Continued)
(Continued)
Saturday morning was beautiful. Sunny skies, a slight breeze, a warm campfire and more food.



The day was spent wandering the docks, chatting with friends, making new friends and just enjoying the company of fellow boaters. As night approached we again gathered around the fire and toasted a good life.

Yours truly (in blue) and Rich, the guy who joined me on my boat.


Sunday morning the winds picked up. I had some commitments in town on Monday so I made the decision to head back around lunch time. Following us as the guy on the sailboat who wanted to stay in our wake. That worked well until a few miles from the lock when his rudder broke. We ended up towing him to just upstream from the lock and left him and his boat at a dock at the launch ramp.
As we approached the lock the winds were really howling. The lockmaster said there were sustained winds of 30-35kts with higher gusts.
I didn't have GW with us and I missed her. She's an excellent deck hand and does a good job in the locks, even when the wind is blowing. The friend I had with me was used to driving his boat, not used to tying up to the bollard. It took us five approaches to the bollards before he could get us secured.
We rode the lock down OK but we knew when they raised the downstream gate the wind coming beneath it would be fierce due to the venture effect the lock gate has. In a change from normal procedure, I asked the lockmaster if we could untie and move back in the lock a bit before he raised the gate. He said that would be fine, so we did that.
When he started to raise the gate, the wind was howling. I was about dead center in the lock and when the wind caught us it pushed us backward and against the port wall of the lock. I couldn't stop the boat and heard this sickening crunch of fiberglass vs concrete. I was able to get control of the boat and proceeded out of the lock under power, almost to the point of getting in plane. When we cleared the lock we managed to bring in the fenders and lines then headed down the Snake, smack into about a 40-45mph wind.

We went back to the slip and after I'd backed it in I was able to take a look at the damage. It wasn't as bad as it easily could have been, but any damage is too much for my liking. (Another First--the first ding on Beachcomber)
Here's a photo of where the aft port corner hit the wall of the lock.

All things considered it was a great weekend. When boaters get together to swap lies and jokes and have fun, you know it's going to be a good time. Even with the damage to Beachcomber, it was still a fun weekend.
__________________

__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
Guru
 
AusCan's Avatar
 
City: Adelaide
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Kokanee
Vessel Model: Cuddles 30 Pilot House Motor Sailer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,091
Oooooh, that would hurt. Locks can certainly be a challenge under the wrong conditions.

But it sounds like you had a great time other than the ding.

Besides the tunnel effect on the the wind, our local lock often has leaky gate seals as well, causing a strong current adding to the fun.
AusCan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 10:55 AM   #4
Guru
 
healhustler's Avatar
 
City: Longboat Key, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bucky
Vessel Model: Krogen Manatee 36 North Sea
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,178
Wow, what an adventure. Given the position of that damage, it must have been a heck of a hit. That may be the hardest point on your boat. Still, some cosmetic on the exterior and maybe some build up of material inside, she'll be as good as new. I think you compressed an awful lot of boat life into a very small amount of time. The trip had everything but an overboard and capsize!

One note though, in my cruising in Germany, since 2005 or so, the rental trawlers are very often equipped with hydraulic bow thrusters. Exiting even those comparatively tiny locks, you immediately are faced with oncoming traffic, perhaps only 25 ft. to port. When the wind hits, you can hear the grinding whistle of those bow thrusters to direct the bow away from that traffic, and there just isn't enough water passing the rudder to help much. Lots of head-ons occur, most of the time with little damage, but when I think of you being pushed over like that, I wonder if such a thruster would have made a difference.
__________________
Larry

"I'd rather be happy than dignified".
healhustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,101
I know locks are handled differently in different areas, but most I'm familiar with would not want you untied when they opened the gates just to avoid such incidents. Even had they allowed you to move back it would have been only to retie. But they require you to stay hooked to the side until the horn sounds or lights change or whatever signs they use. Am I correct in reading this that at the time the gates were opened you were actually untied?
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
THD
Guru
 
City: Seattle
Country: US
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,142
I had the same question as B&B. The locktenders in Seattle will not allow you to untie before the gates are fully open. Even with no wind, with gravity fed locks, the lock level is always just a bit lower than the true water level and there is a big inrush of water when the gates first open. If you are toward the front of the lock, it can really push you around. Also, I can second on being behind a tug, been here and done that. Got behind a big ocean going tug with two barges and when he put it in gear and goosed it to get those barges moving, the prop wash was pretty amazing!
THD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by THD View Post
I had the same question as B&B. The locktenders in Seattle will not allow you to untie before the gates are fully open. Even with no wind, with gravity fed locks, the lock level is always just a bit lower than the true water level and there is a big inrush of water when the gates first open. If you are toward the front of the lock, it can really push you around. Also, I can second on being behind a tug, been here and done that. Got behind a big ocean going tug with two barges and when he put it in gear and goosed it to get those barges moving, the prop wash was pretty amazing!
That's also one where they'll generally tell you to stay tied until he moves out.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 04:53 PM   #8
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,684
The lockmaster at Ice Harbor is a friend. When I first asked him about untying prior to him lifting the gate he was hesitant but OK'd it. When he lifts the gate the wind coming through that venturi is blowing a bazillion miles an hour. We were at the mooring bit closest to the gate and I knew we wouldn't stand a chance when the gate opened. So yes, we were untied when the gate opened.

BandB, you're right about the prop wash. I would not have gone into the lock if we'd had to be behind the tug. I called him on the VHF and asked if we could lock through with him and, after getting permission from the lockmaster, the tug skipper told me to wait for a wide spot in the river and pass him there. I did, then kept up the speed until we were well ahead of him. I wanted to be able to get into the lock and get secured before he got there so he wouldn't have to wait at all.

The wind was strong enough that it spun us about 45* to the port side in a matter of a few seconds. I was standing at the upper helm with my hands on the shifters when the gate was coming up. Had I not been right there and ready to react the bow would have taken the hit on the wall and that would have been a LOT worse.

As it was, the wind pushed us backwards about 50' before we got tossed against the wall. It held us there while the gate was coming up. I tried to use the bow thruster to get the bow off the wall and it just barely was able to move the bow out from the wall. I got the bow out about 15* from the wall then put it in gear and started moving forward.

Scared the bejesus out of me but we got out of there in one piece....sort of.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 05:02 PM   #9
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,783
Welcome to the club, that'll buff right out....

Thanks for the trip report; I would love to cruise that specific area up there some time.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 05:10 PM   #10
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
The lockmaster at Ice Harbor is a friend. When I first asked him about untying prior to him lifting the gate he was hesitant but OK'd it. When he lifts the gate the wind coming through that venturi is blowing a bazillion miles an hour. We were at the mooring bit closest to the gate and I knew we wouldn't stand a chance when the gate opened. So yes, we were untied when the gate opened.

BandB, you're right about the prop wash. I would not have gone into the lock if we'd had to be behind the tug. I called him on the VHF and asked if we could lock through with him and, after getting permission from the lockmaster, the tug skipper told me to wait for a wide spot in the river and pass him there. I did, then kept up the speed until we were well ahead of him. I wanted to be able to get into the lock and get secured before he got there so he wouldn't have to wait at all.

The wind was strong enough that it spun us about 45* to the port side in a matter of a few seconds. I was standing at the upper helm with my hands on the shifters when the gate was coming up. Had I not been right there and ready to react the bow would have taken the hit on the wall and that would have been a LOT worse.

As it was, the wind pushed us backwards about 50' before we got tossed against the wall. It held us there while the gate was coming up. I tried to use the bow thruster to get the bow off the wall and it just barely was able to move the bow out from the wall. I got the bow out about 15* from the wall then put it in gear and started moving forward.

Scared the bejesus out of me but we got out of there in one piece....sort of.
Well, I think you have it in perspective. You had a great trip. And damage could have been much worse.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 09:41 PM   #11
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,162
The only time I felt I lost control of my boat was a similar humbling experience coming out of a small lock on Montezuma Slough on a very windy day. I knew it would hit us hard on the port side when we exited past the wall to port, but I never expected THAT much! It shoved us into the pilings along starboard side of the exit path. We had to back in toward the lock to realign before heading back out with more speed and control authority. There was no damage aside from my ego, but I learned a good lesson from that.

Glad yours was such slight damage, Mike.
__________________

__________________
Al

Custom Google Trawler Forum Search
FlyWright is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012