Monday, October 27, 2014

SIYC 2014 Halloween Cruise

Friday October 24, 2014

It's been an entire year since the last Halloween Cruise with the Sauvie Island Yacht Club.  I had been looking forward to the cruise since we returned from Canada.  Being the end of October, one knows that the wind and the rain are coming and it did.   I texted Ray and Alicia earlier in the week, we decided to leave for Government Island's Bartlett Landing on Friday afternoon.  Since everyone else in the family had plans I single-handed the CarolMarie up river for the cruise.

Ray and Alicia had worked all week on their Bimini to keep them dry throughout the cruise.  It looked great, and seemed to work well keeping the light rain off them.

From under the dodger and cover on CarolMarie following Rowena to Bartlett Landing.
Rowena with her new Bimini.
We docked without a problem, but somehow in the night I lost a fender and the line attaching it.

Friday night's boats.
Later in the day, Paul came on Openwater and David on Hawksbill.   Paul, Ray, Alicia and I stayed on Rowena after dinner to play cards, which went well into the night.  While Ray, Alicia and I shared in some cocktails, we noticed Paul's card playing got better through the night.  Paul didn't drink of course which likely explained why he seemed like one of Vegas's greatest sharks by the end of the night to the rest of us.  After Paul had five winning straight hands, I knew it was time for bed so I turned in about 11 pm Friday night.

Saturday October 25, 2014

The winds howled from the East through the night. The boat rocked and bounced pulling hard on her lines.  As the winds picked up speed I was certain I was hearing voices in my sleep, which was really the wind in the rigging.  At 2:00am in the morning I realized that part of the voices I was hearing was coming from the VHF which I had left on. I got up and turned it off, checking the rest of the boat.

At 4:00am I was certain I was being boarded and people were whispering all around the boat.   It was a real haunted feeling as I lie there in the dark wondering what to do.   Should I get up and run off the spooks or just go back to sleep and enjoy the wild dreams.   I decided to get up and check the boat, stopping first at the ship's clock.  The ship's clock read 4:21am, while the barometer read 1002 mbar and continuing to fall.  That was a drop in 24 mbar in less than 24 hours, explaining the strong winds.

4:21 am reading of the barometer.
I went outside to add a spring line to the boat, when I noticed I had lost one of the fenders through the night.  With another line on I went back to bed and slept until 8:30am.

In the morning we had a nice breakfast on Rowena; Alicia's a great cook.  I went on a walk about the island to stretch my legs and explore.

Bartlett Landing sign.
 Looking at the Bartlett Landing sign I decided to first walk down to the beach, since it was closest and the weather was crazy; storming and sunlight.

A photo from NW Beach looking back at the dock.
I then turned north from the beach down a trial lined by blackberry bushes to the cattle pasture.   The island actually has a nice 15-25 foot raise to it from the beach, then another 10 foot for the hills grazing lands.  When I was in Fort Vancouver the park ranger told us that Ulysses S. Grant actually farmed in this area between 1852-1853.   In reading his Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, "I with three other officers concluded that we would raise a crop for ourselves, and by selling the surplus realize something handsome. I bought a pair of horses that had crossed the plains that summer and were very poor. They recuperated rapidly, however, and proved a good team to break up the ground with. I performed all the labor of breaking up the ground while the other officers planted the potatoes. Our crop was enormous. Luckily for us the Columbia River rose to a great height from the melting of the snow in the mountains in June, and overflowed and killed most of our crop."  I am not certain if this happened on the island but I could see it there in the fields. 

Sunlight breaking through the clouds.

Cattle lands on the island.

 Following the fence line back westward I found my way back to the beach, realizing I had walked a good two miles back westward past Bartlett Landing.  There was an interesting placard there about the native American's dugout canoes.

Dugout Canoes

Arriving back to the dock, I watched the first half of the Mississippi State v Kentucky game.  During the game Paul dropped in and later Ray did.  Garry arrived about half time, and everyone rushed out of the boat to greet Gary on Cambria.   We had lunch on Rowena, then set up the tents on the dock along with the portable heaters.   The winds were now strong out of the south, and the island blocked us from the brunt of it.
Tents and heaters set up.

Paul then added his own version of the shelter by providing an old orange spinnaker with sail patches on it to make a pumpkin face.

Paul and his pumpkin chute.
I brought out a few beers to share while Ray and Paul carved pumpkins for the contest later that night.

Paul carving SIYC into the pumpkin.

Ray working on his own version.
Everyone went off to prepare their dishes and costumes for dinner.   At 5:30pm we all met again on Rowena for dinner.  Ray and Alicia were dressed as Greek Gods'

After a wonderful dinner, and good chatting, I turned in about 8:30 pm.

Sunday October 26, 2014

I woke up the next morning at 6:30am, best sleep I had had in weeks.  I took a shower on the boat, watched some of the morning's news, then took a short walk on the island again.   The sun was shinning and the wind was brisk still out of the south.

Once again we all met on Rowena for breakfast.  After breakfast we packed up all the tents, shelters, and other items on the docks and headed back to our respective moorages.  I had a great time, single handing the boat back to the slip.  It was a wonderful weekend with friends.