A Much Better Trip This Time....

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Gofirstclass, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    We finally got started on our trip to Portland, OR today. We’re going down to get all new canvas made for the fly bridge. It needs it desperately.

    We tried to make the trip about 3 weeks ago then I found out all the locks were going to be closed for annual maintenance. Bummer. Then we started out two weeks ago and ran into some strong winds so we turned back. We were looking at starting yesterday but, given our prior luck I didn’t think it wise to start on Friday the 13th.

    So we pulled out of the slip about 10:30 this morning with light winds and the forecast was for them to lessen as the day went on. After a short wait for the railroad bridge to lift we got underway. The first leg of the trip was a 36 mile leg to McNary Lock and things looked good for us to make that without any issues. Winds were light, waves only 1’-2’ and the sun was trying to peek through a high overcast.

    We were cruising along at about 11kts-12kts when we came up behind a tug with two barges of wood chips when we were about 15 miles from the lock. I knew the lockmaster would not let us go down then have to raise the lock for the tug so we had no choice but to fall in behind and follow him at 7.5kts for two hours to the lock. Bummer.

    He went in first and took a stbd tie. We had been rigged for a stbd tie so we had to re-rig all the lines and fenders. Bummer. The good side of it was we took the forward most bollard and when we got the green light we left before he did. We got into the locks about 1:30 (we had planned on being there around noonish) and got out around 2:00.

    From then on it was a pretty uneventful cruise all the way to Arlington, OR and we arrived a bit after 5:00. This is a nice marina and in the last year or two they have installed power at most of the docks. Their slips are short, about 25’, so we took a side tie. No problem. The power pedestal was right across the dock from us. They only had 30A 120V power so I used my “two into one” adapter. That gives me 240V and the boat makes the adjustments necessary to convert it to 120V.

    No sooner did we tie up than my Admiral handed me a cold beer. Bless her little pea picking heart! We paid the $30 fee for the night and we’re set.

    My track recorder on the GPS showed we cruised 73.6nm in 7:52. We would have gotten here sooner had it not been for the tug. Oh well, stuff happens. Tomorrow we will travel about 75 miles if we go to Hood River, 55 if we stop at The Dalles. We have two locks to pass through tomorrow so that will slow us down a bit even if we don’t have to wait for any slow moving tugs. I took some photos today but will wait until we get back home Monday night to upload them.

    We’re having grilled pork tenderloin, sauerkraut and peas for dinner. And more beer.
     
  2. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Thanks for the update. I really miss the big boat and destination cruising.
    Shawn
     
  3. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    Sounds like a great day GFC! I have never been on the Columbia other than at Astoria and Ilwaco to cross the bar and go salmon fishing. However, I rode many miles up and down I-84 back in the 80’s traveling to Eastern OR to hunt elk and mule deer. It truly is spectacular country. Thanks for sharing!

    Bennett
     
  4. Ezsteps

    Ezsteps Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    376
    Nov 14, 2015
    Lake St. Clair-- Michigan
    1999 400 Sundancer, YL310 Zodiac
    7.4 Mercuisers Horizons 380 hp ea., 9.9 hp Mercury
    Good luck tomorrow and safe travels. Can't wait to see the pics.
     
  5. M Prod

    M Prod Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    467
    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Aquapro Dinghy w/ Honda 8hp
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    Raymarine Electronics
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    Ditto!
     
  6. wyrman

    wyrman Member

    850
    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
    Sounds like you had a great day Mike. I was shoveling rock out of my truck most of the day.
     
  7. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Well today was a much better day. We pulled out of Arlington at 8:30 on dead calm seas with hardly a riffle on the water. Light, thin clouds with the sun trying to peek through. A nice leisurely cruise to John Day Dam and only a short wait while they turned the lock around. What that means is that we needed the lock to be filled because we were going downstream, and the lock was at the downstream level. I called the lockmaster on the VHF about 20 minutes out and told him we needed to lock through and he said there would be about a 20 minute wait. No problem. We got into the lock just about 10:15.

    We got the green light to enter the lock and went in without any issues. The ride down as the water level was dropped took about 25 minutes, dropping us about 85’. Then we took off for the next lock at The Dalles, OR. We got there about 1:15 and were able to go right in. Again, they dropped us about 80’ and the ride down took about 25 minutes. When the lockmaster opened the gate for us to leave I saw there was a tug and 4 barges waiting to get it. He was crowding the entry a bit but we got past him without any trouble.


    It rained off and on as we cruised toward The Dalles Lock and that made seeing out through the old strataglass windows difficult. Fortunately there were zero other boat traffic on the river.


    This stretch of river from Arlington to Hood River is our favorite. The countryside makes a transition from hills covered with desert-brown to hills covered with green, then a few small trees as we get closer and closer to the Columbia Gorge. Coming from our desert area in the SE corner of WA, it’s nice to see the hills covered in green.

    After we left The Dalles lock it was a nice, easy cruise to Hood River, OR, our destination for the night. We pulled in there about 4:30 or so and tied up to the guest dock. Then we found there was no power to the pedestals, and that began the adventure from Hell. We finally got ahold of someone from the Port of Hood River who called someone from the fuel company who supposedly had the key to the power box. He came and then left without ever doing anything or coming down to the boat.

    Then Bryan, a maintenance worker from the Port came down but he knew nothing about the docks or about power and how it all was supposed to work. He made a few phone calls to supervisors and finally got one who suggested we move the boat to a dock across their small harbor where the cruise boats dock. He knew they had 50A power there. So we did that, only to find out that our 50’ power cord was about 4’ too short to reach the power pedestal used by the cruise boats.

    Now all this time I’d been suggesting to Bryan that maybe we could just move the boat to one of the open slips in the Port’s marina. Bryan didn’t have the authority to grant that wish so more calls to more supervisors and we finally got one who did and he gave his OK.

    So Bryan and I drove over to the secure gate to the marina and walked the docks until we found a side tie that I could get into and had the requisite power. So we went back to the boat that was still tied to the cruise boat dock, and spooled in the entire 50’ of the 50A cord before untying and leaving that dock.

    I got to the area I where I was going to side tie and had to back the boat down a fairly narrow fairway that was about 150’ long. I did that OK, and we tied up to the side tie and hooked up our power cord to the pedestal. We got that hooked up but as soon as I flipped the breakers on the boat to turn them on it tripped the main breaker to the whole dock.

    By this time it was getting close to 6:30, we both were tired of fooling around with the power situation so we decided to bag it and stay in a hotel. There is a nice Best Western Plus across the road from the marina so after packing up a few clothes and things for the night and schlepping the bags about ¾ mile to the hotel we are now sitting here in our room. Now here’s another odd quirk…two of the plugs in the room have no power. Go figure.

    So we’re having a drink and going to head for a restaurant for some dinner. At this point I don’t know if the initial attempt at hooking to shore power here buggered up something on the boat or if we’re just having a helluva time getting power. I have to think maybe their power setup (Oh, did I mention it was just put in and we were the first people to hook up to it??) was screwed up and did something to screw up the power on the boat. It worked just fine last night in Arlington (geesh, that seems like it was days ago!) but now doesn’t work.

    I’m going to jump in the shower; trust me, it’s desperately needed! Then we’ll head out for a bit to eat. Another great adventure!

    Well these power problems still are working against me. I tried to log into the hotel’s wifi to post this and I couldn’t get in. I ended up taking my laptop to the front desk and, as luck would have it, the desk manager used to work in tech support. Bingo. That’s all it took. We are now in the bar, my drink has yet to arrive but I’m sooooo ready. Nighty Nite!
     
  8. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Well after a hot shower and a great meal of browned scallops I feel muchbetter. I decided I'm not going to worry about the boat tonight, I'll take that on tomorrow.

    Tomorrow will be a shorter day, I hope! It's only about 55 miles and only one lock before we reach the yacht club that' letting me keep the boat there while the windows get replaced. I can't wait to get there and park the boat and I can't wait to see what it looks like with the new bimini and windows.
     
  9. Richie89

    Richie89 Active Member

    548
    Aug 20, 2012
    Miami Beach, FL
    450 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 480 Zeus
    good luck on your last leg!
     
  10. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Well, today was…..a day. It started off with a great breakfast at the hotel. Then we schlepped our bags back to the boat. I called Bryan and he came to the boat to get his access key card back. Now, a word about Bryan. On reading back through what I wrote yesterday I may have treated him unduly harshly. He was a guy stuck in a position he hadn’t been trained to handle. He came out on a Sunday when he could have been spending it with his girlfriend. He spent the better part of 4 hours with me trying to get things to work and the fact that we were unsuccessful was not his fault. So, my hat’s tipped to Bryan for his services and a job well done. Thanks Bryan,

    When we pulled out this morning there was a stout wind of about 20mph blowing straight up the river. The waves were about 2’ and close together so a bit of spray to start the day. We got a ways down river headed toward Bonneville dam, the last dam of the trip. The further we got down the river the higher the winds blew. At one point the river narrows as it passes between the steep hills on both sides, creating a choke point. It was probably kicking up to gusts of 40 or better in one short stretch and the waves picked up to about 6’ to 8’. Waves were making spray that was blowing up over the boat and it was a helluva ride. Tina grabbed a very short video which she will email to me and I’ll post it.

    That only lasted for about 2 miles then it calmed back down a bit to waves of about 2’-3’ and the closer we got to Bonneville the calmer it got. We had to wait about 20 minutes while the lockmaster turned the lock around but then we got in, down and out without any delay.

    The last stretch of the Columbia between Bonneville and Portland consists of narrow channels and frequent turns. I made that last 20 miles without the aid of autopilot to give it a rest. BTW, I won’t ever own a cruising boat that does not have autopilot. It truly is a god send on lengthy trips like this one.

    We finally got to Tyee Yacht Club and I had to back down another long fairway, about 680’ and had to make a 90* turn at the end to side tie to their dock. I’d been told that there was power at the dock but when I got there I found it was only 20A. Bummer.

    The guy from Tyee gave me a ride to the Portland airport to pick up our rental car, which was very nice of him. When I asked the guy at the rental car counter for a map so I could find my way back to Tyee, he didn’t even know where we were at his office. I had left my phone on the boat so no way to contact Tina, no map program to find my way back to Tyee, and it took me over and houru to drive the 5 miles or so back to Tyee.

    I had tried calling the guy who is going to do the canvas/eisenglass work but they’re closed Mondays and the phone message box was full so no way to leave him a message. Bummer. That kind of detailed work isn’t something I’d be comfortable with discussing with him on the phone so we were stuck getting a motel room for the night and I’ll strangle him, errr, I mean talk to him tomorrow morning.

    By that time it was about 5:00 so we drove to the nearest bar, had a drink and an appetizer and we’re now safely tucked in the motel room. We may leave for dinner, but we’ll probably find a place we can just walk to.

    So I’m still not home, don’t have my photos organized so I apologize but it will be another day for any of those.

    Tired and weary Mike
     
  11. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Forget what I said about destination cruising....
    Shawn
     
  12. LMBoat

    LMBoat Member

    411
    Oct 4, 2006
    Ft Lauderdale
    1999 450 EB
    Cummins 6CTA's
    Just curious, why not run the generator at the dock and stay on the boat vs. getting hotel rooms?
     
  13. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    "Just curious, why not run the generator at the dock and stay on the boat vs. getting hotel rooms?" That would have been my first choice but my mechanic at home pulled the injector pump to have it rebuilt and it isn't back together. The timing for the trip was somewhat crucial so we made the trip without the genset.
     
    The Bill Collector likes this.
  14. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    PHEW! We're home. Finally. It seems like it was a week ago when we left. That's just waaaaay too damn much fun packed into one long weekend.

    I met with the canvas guy this morning and we set all the details. He's going to call me with the price and I'll give him the go ahead.

    Then I met with the guy who did all the work for me 8 years ago when we bought the boat. The inverter batteries are 8 years old and it's time they went away and some new ones will take their place. They're golf cart batts and I probably could save some ka-ching if I did it myself but this tired, old body just ain't up to lugging those golf cart batteries down into the engine room and behind the port engine. He said he'd come up with a price and give me a call before he buys the batteries.

    Then we jumped in the car and headed east. After a brief stop at Multnomah Falls to stretch the legs a bit we finished the trip. About 3.5 hours of driving in what it took us 2.5 days to do by boat.

    It's good to be home, Tanqueray and tonic in hand. Some mail to catch up on and more gin to destroy then it will be off to bed.
     
    joeyleggz and Ezsteps like this.
  15. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    Hey, what about those pics/video you spoke of?
     
  16. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Here are a couple of videos Tina took. The first one, which I didn't know she took until we got home, from inside the cabin. The second is from the fly bridge. I'm not sure where the first one was taken, the second was taken on day two as we were passing the choke point at Thirteen Mile Point. At Thirteen Mile Point the river narrows from about 3/4 mile across to about 1/3 mile across. The current push we were getting was upped from about 2.4kts to about 5.5kts. Gotta love that when you're going with the current.

    Here's #1
    [video:youtube]https://youtu.be/AE9bg0JIE-8[/video]

    and #2
    [video:youtube]https://youtu.be/NWDvO8P76Yw[/video]

    Photos will be loaded when I get them together and uploaded to my 3rd party hosting site.
     
    Ezsteps likes this.
  17. Ezsteps

    Ezsteps Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    376
    Nov 14, 2015
    Lake St. Clair-- Michigan
    1999 400 Sundancer, YL310 Zodiac
    7.4 Mercuisers Horizons 380 hp ea., 9.9 hp Mercury
    That don't make for a nice relaxing comfy ride. Good Luck with the canvas job. Hope it turns out prefect for you.
     
  18. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Thanks EZ. I'm uploading some photos from my phone and my wife's phone. Having issues with the process but taking it slow and doing 2-3 pics at a time seems to work..
     
  19. M Prod

    M Prod Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    467
    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Aquapro Dinghy w/ Honda 8hp
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    Raymarine Electronics
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    Wow those are some waves! So fun reading about your harrowing journey. Felt like I was there with you guys. Funny, your voice sounds almost just like how I hear it in my head when I read your posts. Maybe a little higher in reality. HA.

    Looking forward to pics!
     
  20. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    OK, I finally got some time to load the photos. There aren’t a heck of a lot of them, and Tina gets the credit for taking most of them. I had my hands full of other things most of the time. I'm not sure what was going on with my image hosting site but it took 2-3 tries for each photo to finally get them uploaded.

    This is the tug and barges that we followed at a snail's pace toward McNary lock, but he was nice enough to let us go through the lock with him so I shouldn't say too much bad about him.
    https://postimg.cc/image/qbfglkwqj/
    Here we are tied up next to him in the lock. They don't let us tie up to the barge, which is fine with me. We tie up to the bollard that floats up and down as the water level changes.
    https://postimg.cc/image/hcykznoi3/
    This is looking over the side of the lock at the spillway. They're flowing TONS of water now to help the salmon get to the ocean faster.
    https://postimg.cc/image/48t0mz463/
    My deck hand waiting as we're getting ready to be lowered. You can see the water level behind the gate--it's 85' down to that level.
    https://postimg.cc/image/6vd4hvi97/
    When we got to John Day lock (Day 2) we got there ahead of a tug that was heading upriver. They turned the lock around for us and made him wait. He was a bit pissed (you could hear it in his voice on the radio) so when they got us down to the lower level and we got ready to leave, he crowded the opening to make it a bit tougher for us to maneuver out of the lock. Jerk.
    https://postimg.cc/image/8aep6ngsb/
    Here's my trusty deck hand doing what she does well.
    https://postimg.cc/image/l9bwvo4cr/
    This one is out of order, but it's a shot of Beachcomber sitting at the Tyee Yacht Club awaiting her new canvas.
    https://postimg.cc/image/9wzbdwy8r/
    On the way home we stopped by Multnomah Falls. It's supposedly the 2nd highest free falling falls in the US.
    https://postimg.cc/image/c6s12lrh7/
    See, I told you so....
    https://postimg.cc/image/x3o979x7v/
    Multnomah Falls Lodge
    https://postimg.cc/image/7kvwu9ldn/

    That's it. Not my usual number of photos and videos but I'll take more when we bring the boat home in about 3 weeks.

    All things considered it was a good trip. I'm not sure Tina would wholeheartedly agree with that. She doesn't find the idea of spray coming up over the fly bridge as exciting as I do.

    Then, on the way home we were on the freeway in a construction zone where the left lane was closed, the speed limit was 40mph and I had some arsehole come flying up on my rear. He was so close I couldn't see the hood of his car. I gave him a quick brake check but he didn't back off so I ignored him.

    He stayed right on my tail until we cleared the construction zone then he raced around me into the left lane then pulled right in front of me (within a car length or so) and hit his brakes. He must not have liked the single finger wave I gave him as he went by. He did that a few times then took off.

    I guess I don't understand that road rage thing. I mean c'mon man, we're in a single lane with traffic moving at 40mph. WTF does he think I'm going to do, pull off on the shoulder so he can go by me?

    I promise to take more photos and videos on the way back upriver with the boat.
     
    Ezsteps likes this.

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