Lost water tribes and thoughts on a New Year

A few years ago, I sailed nearly 100 miles up the Columbia River, from Astoria to Portland. The wind came up early each day and lasted until dusk, allowing for long, uninterrupted days of downwind or beam reach sailing. So…

Built at Ballard, Lost at Barrow

Schooner TRANSIT. Launched 1891, Salmon Bay, opposite Ballard, WA.Builder T. H. Petersen is front row, 2nd from the right, Mrs. Petersen is at the left. The schooner was built for E.P. Nissen, a merchant from San Francisco,…

The Log of "Row Bird"

When I tell fellow sailors that I keep a log for my 18-foot sail and oar boat, they mostly look puzzled. "Why would I want to do that?" I see them wonder. Sure, it’s an open boat, and my thwart-based nav station consists of…

48° North Boat Review of J/97E

The J/97, in some form, has actually been on the market since the first hull was finished in 2008. It was built to prioritize ease and versatility while maximizing performance under the IRC racing rule. It did so…

A summer solstice messabout on the lower Columbia

What better way to spend the summer solstice than on the water with friends? Thanks to leaders of the newly formed Lower Columbia River chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association, attendees of the chapter’s…

Sailing Johnstone Strait in 2 Days – What a Wild Ride!

Heading up Johnstone Strait is one of the hardest sailing challenges we anticipated for our cruise, and this year we planned for it to take as long as 5 days. Many boats motor it in 1-2 days, but we wanted to sail, and had a…

Hidden in plain sight | Hayden Island’s aquatic community

Crossing the I-5 bridge between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, a driver might spot boats on the Columbia River below, several dozen, perhaps, under sail or power. Noticing a few marinas as well, our observant…

Non-skid paint: What worked for us

A year ago we wrote about our experiences with KiwiGrip non-skid paint and how we were pretty unhappy with it because the sharp ridges trap dirt very tenaciously, making the paint appear  permanently dirty, even after…

A little luck on the Columbia

There’s a time in the late fall when it hasn’t rained for a while and the Columbia River gets low. Really low. Most boaters have called it a season, but there are still some fine days left if you watch for the right weather…