Happy New Year
Lets make 2022 a great year.
For us that means confirming my complete remission and resuming our cruising, on top of the other more regular wishes.
So to begin the new year in style we decided to go on a cruise and catch up with a group of local cruisers, including our friends Celia and Sean on their beautiful Kadey Krogen.
The cruise starts with a couple of bridges, first the I5 bridge: The I5 is the main highway running down the coast from Canada to California, and the bridge is fixed. It is high and Enfin easily fits under, but we note the air clearance on the lowest side as this allows us to calculate the clearance for the next bridge. The next one, a railway bridge, is 17 feet lower and it often is a tight fit for us with our 30 feet air draft.
At zero gauge, the railway bridge clearance is 39 feet, but the river water is often much higher leaving us a clearance closer to 32 or 33 feet.
Going under a bridge with only a couple of feet to spare looks very intimidating, however certain we are of our measurements and calculations.
Any lower than 32 feet clearance and we ask the bridge operator to open it for us. It's not a difficult process, but the bridge being in the middle of the city is fairly busy with trains, so there might be a wait.
The rest of the cruise was uneventful. Back to St Helens, but this time we're going at the city docks, a first for us.
The city docks have paying electricity, which makes life easy, especially since our furnace has decided to act up a bit and flames out a little too often. We have spare parts on order to service it, but in the meantime we can heat the boat using our air conditioning in heat mode.
It is really good to have a choice of heating sources, and I am ever so glad I made having both AC and furnace a big priority when choosing our boat.
That being said I hope to use the AC in cooling mode in a near future, in a nice warm weather marina.
I'm starting to know this part of the river well now, and except for the frequent barges and ship traffic, the navigation is easy. Make sure to keep away from the sand bar on the up river side of Sand Island and the rest is good.
We got to the docks where a friend was already waiting for us and helped us tie our lines ashore. The docking maneuver was slightly tricky with 3 knots of current and an icy and slippery dock, but Di and I know to take our time. Enfin has a large strong propeller and a big articulated rudder to maneuver precisely. Di and I wear headsets so we can communicate by talking in a normal voice. She tells me how far I am from the dock, and we make sure we stay safe.
It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Unfortunately with my immune compromised status we couldn't mingle on the various boats as much as we would have liked in pre-Covid times.
I would have loved to visit our neighbor's beautiful Symbol 60, but had to do with a virtual Yachtworld.com visit instead.
We visited the little town of St Helens and took a few walks. It seems like a charming place, and we'll have to come back in warmer weather during the spring to enjoy it more.