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Crossing bar at Columbia river
Crossing the Columbia river bar is not difficult if you use common sense and caution. The channel is over 600'wide and carries a depth of 42' +. The channel is well marked with bouys that are easy to spot and entrance range lights. I would suggest a daylight entry or exit for your first trip across the Bar. The Columbia is a mighty river sending vast amounts of water to sea. It is always best to enter or leave on the flood. Mid tide is nice but it really depends on the sea and wind you can tell when the seas go down soon after the flood starts. With no large swells running it is no worry. Contact the USCG for a bar report and give your self plenty of time if you are coming out from Astoria, many miles from the Bar, I always try and depart from Ilwaco which is just inside the bar and a completly protected harbor with all ammenities. If I go out and the conditions are bad I just head back in. It is nice that the USCG has their motor-lifeboat rescue school there [Ilwaco]so that help is always ready if the worst happens. With the deep channel and breakwaters the Columbia has not been tamed just made manageable for sailors.
Last edited by Faster; 11-25-2011 at 02:22 PM.
Reason: changes inches to feet!