Heavy Weather Sailing on the Columbia River - SailNet Community

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Old 03-17-2012
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Heavy Weather Sailing on the Columbia River

Before going out on the Columbia River the other day , I checked the weather report and was informed that the wind would be 10 to 20 mph. This is good for meas the river runs East West, so it will be a reach or a beam reach up river. When the wind is South-ish there is little fech, and the wind waves are small, on the section of river I sail. On my way out, the wind was pushing 15 knots, so I reefed the main, which took tim wind increased to 25 knots and clocked e as I was solo sailing, which is what I often do during the week as most people who sail have day jobs. With reefed main and jib at 100% (a partley furled 110 jib) I was sailing up river at a good clip. The wind increased to 25 knots and clockedaround to the South some. All was fine until it gusted to 29 knots and the boat wanted to round up. I let the main out and corrected course to keep the boat running parallel to the shore. The ride up river was a heart pounding fast. Working the main and tiller as each gust came and went , was fun for me and a lot of work. There was onr other boat out on the river, but my Cascade 29 could not close the gap to the Hunter 40. We sailed about 10 miles up river. I was working the main and tiller constantly, even with the main all the way out I was still over powewed; So I furled several more turns on the jib. Now the wind was 29 knots and guesting to 34 knots. For a few minutes snow came with a fearless blast. I looked back down river and spied white caps dancing across the river. Spray was jumping over the bow of my boat, and I was having a real thrill ride. It became time to change tack. Coming about in high wind is a real rush. After getting the boat turned, to go down river, I only had a short time to consider options for taking down sail. I elected to power into the wind, to take down the main. Hove-to would not have worked as the North bank of the river limited my sea room. After arriving home, I searched through my ships log. Going back through several years of entries I have recorded on average three trips a year with like conditions. I love this place
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Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Heavy Weather Sailing on the Columbia River

Oh hell yeah!


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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Heavy Weather Sailing on the Columbia River

Wow! Sounds like a really awesome and epic day out!
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Heavy Weather Sailing on the Columbia River

I am going out this afternoon to crew tonight on a 38 c&c. expect to do some spinnaker work.
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Re: Heavy Weather Sailing on the Columbia River

Nice! I worked up in Kelso/Longview area back in '06. Beautiful country up there! Loved the Columbia River! Drove to Astoria one day and when I popped out of the woods and saw the Columbia, I thought it was the Pacific Ocean! That is one BIG river! Have a great time today! Every get a chance to snap a few pics while out, they'd be nice to see!
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