Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Astoria Crab and Wine Fest 2015

On Thursday I finished to prep by adding 200 gallons of water on board.  This year we had guests, my adopted sister Kathy, her friend Dana with her son Julian.  The weekend’s weather was to be cloudy, rainy and cold. 
Our first leg of the trip was to Cathlamet WA.  This is a nice small town with a great marina.  Problem with the marina is the very very small, SHALLOW entrance.  We hit the marina at low tide.  Took ASD out of gear as we coasted over the 4 ft of water at the entrance.  Kay worked the lines and I was able to completely turn the boat around in tight quarters without hitting anything!  At this point I was looking good.  Later in the evening we were met with members of the Longview Yacht Club, Tom and Mary, John and Jesse and Tim and Sandy.  The girls had a great time in town and found a coffee shop and local artist shops.  I installed a new window wiper on the fly bridge center window.  I told everyone we were leaving at 0700 sharp as I wanted to miss the wind. 
Up at 0600, got coffee made and cranked the engines at 0645.  Kay and I woke everyone up!  When we got into the main channel of the Columbia River, we had a big squall hit us with heavy rain and visibility down to a ½ mile.  It lasted about 45 minutes and then it lifted.  Out in the distance was the tug “Tacoma” with a tow and she called me on the VHF by name!  First time I have had another boat call me by name based on my AIS!  Cool!  I am told the AIS will be of a big help once we go north.  Once we came around Pillar Rock, the skies started to clear, my speed increased to almost 12 kts without speeding up the engines.  Yep we were on an outgoing tide.  Call Ken McAlister who went down the day before and told me that there wasn’t a breath of wind in the marina, but to call him once we made the bridge.  When we got to the bridge, Kay put fenders and line on both sides of the boat, just in case.  Astoria’s west marina can be tight and with the heavy flow and wind can be a challenge.  Just before we entered the Marina, sure enough, the wind came and we had to readjust our path inside so I could make it in.  Then we “bowed in” to the slip as I didn’t want to hit any other boats.  I got teased about that later.
With everything tied up, electric cords connected and moorage fees paid, it was time to get an ice cold silver bullet and a cigar.  Around 3:30 the rest of the clan came in and they hit the wind hard.  Tongue Point has big waves and it stirred up the crap on the bottom of Midnight Sun’s fuel tanks and he barely made into the marina before one of his engines started acting up.  We later found out all his fuel filters were clogged.  New filter time.  For the rest of the day it was cloudy and a few rain showers, but not bad.
Bright and early on Saturday all the gals and some guys headed up to the crab and wine fest.  It started at 10 AM and the bus picked you up at 9:30.  I elected to stay behind and assist with the fuel filter change.  I am not a wine connoisseur and the crowd can be very large.  Kay told me later that there were many wineries there, she and Kathy test tasted almost everyone.  Problem was it had taken two hours to get through half of the wineries and they were both getting on the tipsy side.  Ron, Jerry and I headed to the Wet Dog for lunch.  The trolley took down town where one of my favorite beer breweries is.  Had to have a couple pints of “Bad-Ass Stout!”  Man I love these nice thick, black meals in a glass!  Here is the link for the wet Dog.
The nice thing about Saturday was that it was supposed to rain and it was bright and sunny and warm!  What a great day.  Later that afternoon, we all gathered out on the deck as most boat cruisers do, when Sandy Kirkpatrick joined us.  She had been very sick the past winter and we were all very happy to have her join us.  A lot of love and tears!!  This was actually the highlight of the trip for me.
Sunday Morning was the long trip back.  We took our time getting out of town as most of us had hangovers.  But once Kay whipped up some beacon and eggs and hot coffee we were ready.  The trip back was cloudy, windy and cold.  It took us a little over 5 hours to get back, but it was good to get home.  I then told Kay, this time next year, we would be heading around the horn for our first trip to the inside passage. 
The clock has now officially started ticking to Alaska and the inside passage…….

Then the following Tuesday Kathy and Kay took a road trip.  Yep to Mary Hill Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge.  Kathy reluctantly had to go to Seattle for work, then home.  We miss ya already sis!

Be for warned this is a picture heavy post.

Nice smoke!!

Rainbow over the Astoria Bridge


West harbor

Looking across the ASD's bow at the "Sea Ya"

The 3 Flaggs

Harbor Office

Our view

Columbia River Cruise Ship.  Left at midnight blew its horns as scared the crap out of us.

Lots of Aluminum

Gotta have a sunset

Taking a pic of you taken a pic of me!

80 ft Cest Le Vie  Brad and Kelly

Astoria at night

Kay, Kathy and Julian. Off to the wine fest

Kay, Kathy and L.J. All decked out in crab stuff

Pic Hound

Ready for the crab fest

My little sis!!!

Dana and Julian

Wonder what these boards are for?

Have no idea why the girls took a pic of a cup of coffee

Those boards again.

This maybe?

or this?  They use the boards to crack the crab!

How much money does Tom make?  Not enough...

starting at 10 AM!!!

Tasting all the wines...

How much wine?

Yet another please

Pretty, how much $$$$

Looking at Washington from Oregon

Sea Lions everywhere!

How'd he get up there?

Opps That's water in my glass......

It was water really!!!

Very nice

You said what???

All curled up

Heading Home

Ours friends the USCG

Flats of the lower Columbia

Birds and a coffer damn

Pillar Rock

Old late 1800's Cannery

These coffer damns are all up and down the river and are there to redirect the flow to the shipping channel

Spring is here

That's moss on that tree

Yep it our anniversary 16 years

See the church?


sharing the river

another church

Found a comfy place while chugging at 10mph

Catching Ken at Wuana paper mill

Love the colors

See the birds

Ken and Liz

Ken says to me on the radio"  Trying to make me feel bad by passing me???

for $5 you can ride the ferry across the Columbia

Resting posts for the birds

Best place on the boat to ride

House on the hill

Fueling dock

Got too close

I did do some work and installed a windshield wiper

Washington Hwy 4

Fisher Slough almost home

Water Iris

Kathy found a man who is worthy of her!!!!

At the clamming grounds

3 some?

Looking over the oyster and clamming grounds

Kathy and Kay were on a mission

Oysterville WA

I need this on my docks

Low Tide on the oyster beds

Cleaning their catch

Long Beach and the mighty Pacific

Beach bum?

Almost got a tan!

Yum Yum Butter Clams

Believe it or not I have never had BBQ oysters.  WOW they were good!  Thanks Kathy!

You are welcome

A true Alaskan

Man they were good.  Ate until I couldn't eat anymore.  We cooked 3 dozen

Sunset at home.  If you look at all the sunsets you will notice the sun sets are moving from left to right as we get longer days

Ron heard we had left overs


Almost Alaska, but warmer

On the way to Mary Hill

Water Falls in the Columbia River Gourge

Multnomah Falls

What a great pic!


Happy Camper! Where is the wine?

so who did they con to take this pic?  I was at work....

Mary Hill

I found the wine!!!!

Yes I did right behind these doors

Kathy in Seattle!

Winter Home

Kay has been busy!

Kathy surprised Kay with her favorite bird!  I thought it was always the finger bird....

ASD on the river.  Thanks Liz!!

Mt. Hood at the Portland Airport

The catch of the day!



Enjoying the fire during rain

Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuse

This bay is on the way to Long Beach

Our ride to get Oysters

Old Hywy 30 in Oregon

Columbia River Gorge

Path at Multnomah Falls

Lunch at the falls

Herman the Sturgeon at the Bonneville fish Hatchery

AKA Columbia River Halibut......

The Gorge

Mt Hood

The Gorge

Midnight Sun in Astoria

Being silly


Opps Busted.  More wine but I am happy!

Quack Quack

Bridge from the trolly

Long walk back from the Wet Dawg

Managing the ASD's lines

Boat Boy!

Doing Titanic well minus the hitting a iceburg...

Ms Kay being the Admiral...

Leaving Astoria

Looking for Big Foot!

Under the Astoria bridge

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