Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Salmon River messabout

 A fellow Coot from California stopped on his way to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival to experience a row on the Salmon River.

Rick rowing his Walkabout.

Rick Thompson brought his beautifully-made Walkabout, a boat designed for rowing by John Wellsford. Wellsford was a featured speaker at the festival this year, which inspired many boat owners with Wellford designs to show up with their boats to what is one of the oldest wooden boat shows in the nation.

Rick and his wife took their time wending their way up the coast from their home near San Francisco to Port Townsend, Wash. He emailed me and said he wanted to experience rowing one of Oregon's coastal rivers. The Salmon did not disappoint.
My wife enjoying the fine weather with Trouble, our dog.
The weather was beautiful - sunny and calm - and the tide that afternoon was mellow with only a three-foot exchange. My wife, who is skeptical of boating trips on the Salmon River from years of experiencing wind-tunnel conditions there, took a stocking cap and coat and, amazing to her, didn't need them.

Rick rowing out to take a close look at the bar.
The water was clear (in contrast to what Rick was used to rowing on the Sacramento River delta) and the wildlife was abundant. Shore birds and water birds of all kinds greeted us and harbor seals followed our boats like curious puppies. A large herd of Roosevelt elk grazed in an open patch above us on Cascade Head. It was a sight we almost missed because we were so busy admiring the two beautiful boats pulled up on the deserted beach.

Six-foot ocean waves kept us in the river and on the beach for the most part, but Rick ventured a little too close to the breaking bar and a wave climbed over his stern and into his cockpit. His Walkabout handled it well and he was able to sponge out the water between strokes on the quiet row back to the boat launch.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ravn is the People's Choice

Bob, Clair, Doryman and me rowing.
 The seventh annual Toledo Wooden Boat Show in August was a fun event for several reasons: it marked the one-year anniversary since launching Ravn, it was the first time rowing Ravn with four rowers and Ravn won the People's Choice award.

 Doryman is one of the mainsprings of this event and keeps very busy before, during and after the show. One of his most pleasant duties this year was playing host to Bob and Claire McDonald, a wonderful couple from Spokane who recently donated their Teak Lady sloop to the Port of Toledo. Now the port has a matched set.

Doryman and I discuss seating before the row.
 During dinner Saturday night Bob and Claire, who are at the aft end of their mid 80s, recounted their adventures rowing nearly every morning on the Spokane River. Bob said he wished he could row at the festival. This matched up with one of my wishes -- rowing Ravn with four rowers. Sunday morning both wishes came true.

Mary, Doryman's lovely wife, put together a great video of Ravn with four rowers. Many thanks to Mary, who also took the pictures in this post. I had my camera with me, but I didn't use it much.
The major award.