Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter at the Boathouse

It seems there are plenty of people around who paddle and row all year, despite the threat of torrential rain and temperatures barely above freezing.

Just such a group gathered upriver from the Community Boathouse in Toldeo, Oregon yesterday. As fate would have it, the weather was barely winterish. Temperatures were in the mid 50's, fahrenheit and not a drop of moisture fell from the sky.

Doryman was there in the dory cruiser SV Mistral. Though we've seen this stretch of the Yaquina River many times before, Mistral has not. This big dory was designed to explore shallow water, yet a low bridge blocks her mast about thirteen miles inland from the ocean. At the moment, I'm working on a system for raising and lowering her mast while underway. So with the rigging down, we took the opportunity and joined those fortunate who took a chance on the weather to catch the most extreme tidal ebb of the year for a joyride downstream.

Most of November in coastal Oregon has been very wet, with record rainfall. The Yaquina is nearly a foot above flood stage and rising. Couple that with a twelve foot tide drop and you have plenty of current to push a big boat. I have a long sweep oar on Mistral so I can lean back on the tiller and thus row and steer at the same time. Couldn't keep up with the smaller boats, though.

This event was in support of the Port of Toledo's Community Boathouse Project. We were going to have a potluck dinner afterward in the Boathouse but everyone opted instead for the barbeque ribs at the brewpub across the street. Fortunately for everyone, we were the only (25) people in the restaurant.

Many of these photos are compliments of Andrew Linn, who is the spark plug for the Boathouse Project. That's him just up and to the right, preparing to cut across in front of a five-ton boat.
Better hurry, Andrew!

The Toledo Community Boathouse is sponsored by the Port of Toledo.

The full story, in pictures.....

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