Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yaquina River Runoff

As the year wanes and the northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, the tides become more extreme here at home. Along with dropping temperatures and increasing rain come vital tidal drops on local rivers, which coupled with normal outflow can create currents approaching three knots.

During the millenia that humans lacked the technology to oppose nature there was no question of working upstream against the tide.

I'm not one who thinks we should ignore the potential that machines and technology have allowed us, but if you have somewhere to go in your boat and all you have at your disposal is the 1/4 horsepower you can develop with your own body (oh, Joy!) it's best to use the power of nature to aid your progress, don't you agree?

A metaphor if you like.
More than simple philosophy. A way of life.

In celebration of this philosophy Doryman asked an eclectic group of home boat builders to join him in a run down river on the Yaquina yesterday. Ten boats and sixteen rowers showed up. Some kinda record!

The weather promised to be nasty with a strong Pacific Ocean front coming ashore so we embarked anxiously with the turn of the tide from Elk City.
(Are there elk in Elk City?... Occasionally.)

Six miles downstream is Canyon Quarry launch ramp which was just the right distance. After two hours on the river, the rain and wind picked up so everyone was relieved to see an imminent landing.

Part and parcel with the philosophy of taking the path of least resistance is complacence with the elements as they present themselves.

Rain or shine, it's all the same to me but not all folks think that way so I was relieved to have a pleasant day on the water and the opportunity to retreat for BBQ ribs and burgers when the rain arrived.

Thanks to the exceptional Oregon Coots for coming out even when the weather guy said not to.

More photos by John Kohnen (with his fine Nikon D90)



EyeInHand said...

Beautiful. Looks like the country 'round here, but with more water and fewer rocks.

doryman said...

A bit further upstream, beyond the tide water there are plenty of rocks. The Yaquina is a fairly flat river up to Elk City, thus the tide influence 25 miles from the ocean. It must be silted in pretty deep because you will not find many rocks in the whole stretch, which is nice for sailing because it's shallow in spots and you're likely to go aground at sometime or other.
I'll post some pictures one day of the river at a minus tide. Not so much water then! On this day the tide fell ten feet but by low tide it was dark and we were having dinner.

fangueiro.antonio said...

The wonderful non-machine world of men and nature. I have a similar view for the sea and many kinds of fisheries, but then... I´m not a business man :).


doryman said...

Ah, business... I'm afraid we have embraced the demon.