Standing Firm

The natural ambiance of Hope Island provides a mariner’s sanctuary From the January 2021 issue of 48° North. Standing with my little rowboat on the mainland shore, I stare out across the still black water toward Hope…

Close to the Water: Fun Stinks

As a kid, I loved our family’s banana-yellow speedboat. It was the most typical fiberglass outboard boat you could buy in those days, but it was my ticket to fishing, knee-boarding, camping, and just zooming around. I…

Sneaking Out: A Quick Overnight Cruise on the Columbia

Come late August, it dawned on my wife that we’d never managed to go on vacation this year. I’d been on a solo weeklong cruise, but Kate hadn’t spent a night away from home since 2019. Our college-age son had moved back…

The Right Boat

You probably know this type of boater; the person who has a hard time with commitment. This year they’re training in an Alden rowing shell, next year outfitting an Ericson 38 keeps them busy—until the following season, when…

Loving LoCo: 5 Hidden Gems of Cruising the Lower Columbia

I mean Lower Columbia, not loco like crazy. Though if you own a small boat and don’t visit LoCo, you may be crazy. There’s always something to see, to like, to love. Here are my top five of a recent trip. #5 Working, or…

A Year to Remember

Almost year ago today, I had just come back from the Inside Passage. I learned a lot about myself and life. Staring at the strange scenes of masked humans in front of my house today, I can’t help but feel lucky to have been…

Second Growth Wilderness on the Columbia

From the August 2020 issue of 48° North Shantyboat legend, Harlan Hubbard, once wrote of yearning to settle down in "some backcountry beyond the road's end, long ago abandoned or passed over by the expanding world, a…

Solstice 2020 on the Columbia River

Inspired by the memory of ideal conditions, I summoned the members of the Portland Sail & Oar League for a summer solstice messabout on the Columbia River. “I’m itching to get out on the river and enjoy the longest day…

Photo Essay: On the Water Under Covid

Editor's Note: The article below characterizes one boater's choices and observations. It references the reality that some individuals are not complying with social distancing guidelines as closely as others. Both 48° North…

Secret Behind Portland’s Marine Graffiti

Graffiti found at Portland's loading docks is more than it appears The Lower Willamette River is known for its Superfund site and industrial loading docks. There is no natural shoreline, just huge vertical piers. It’s an…