We recently came across a great group of folks at the Sauvies Island Yacht Club and decided to join them for their annual October Cruise to Barlett Landing on Government Island. Before going off down river I was certain that the batteries were near their end, so with the help of my son we replaced all four of the house batteries.
Changing them was dirty work, and they are very heavy. I wasn't certain on their age and condition, and before going out overnight I wanted to ensure we had power.
With the batteries changed the week before, last Saturday the 19th we worked our way to the marina early in the morning. The forecasted weather was 70oF high and no clouds through the weekend. We we certain we'd be crowded out if we didn't get there soon. I had looked up the location of Barlett's Landing earlier in the week on the web. To my surprise two other yacht clubs had also scheduled on the same day and the same time. Bartlett Landing is the public dock at the eastern end of Government Island. The landing is part of the Government Island State Park with approximately 400 feet of concrete dock. The outside most dock is subject to thrashing from river traffic, so we wanted to ensure we got on the inside of the docks to have a peaceful nights sleep. I was a little nervous because it was my wife's first time on a cruise overnight on a small boat.
Needless to say when we arrived at the marina the fog was so thick we couldn't get out. The spiders had been busy through the night and the entire marina was full of webs that had caught the morning fog.
Over 10 boats came from the SIYC, in all. Jim found a great space behind us, and was tied up and ready for a club potluck on the docks. About half the boaters came in costumes, including myself as pirate. The club members visited with each other, and on each other's boat as the darkness came in. We tried out a cheap 400W inverter to run the TV but it only last for about 20 minutes and it was gone. We lit the oil lamp for heat and went to bed. Even being on the inside the marina was noisy from the continuous trains passing along the Washington side shore. I felt two heavy commercial boat pass in the night, so I wouldn't say the park is all that quiet.
The next morning the fog had set in and once again we waited for it to lift.
While waiting Jim invited us over to have breakfast on his boat. Jim cooked as Linda kept us entertained by telling us about her classes and adventures on their NW cruise this summer. Jim mad these wonderful eggs, and we'd brought over marinated steak left over from the potluck the night before. The hot coffee seemed to take off the morning chill, as we continued to visit with them.
We made one more circle around all the boat saying our goodbye's. With the same hospitality we had coming docking a host of people held our stern line and helped push the boats bow down river, helping us get underway.
Jim snapped the photo above us return to Salpare Bay. Charing said she had a good time, and enjoyed her first cruise. It looks like we'll be going out more, which suits me fine. I am blessed to have her as my shipmate.