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  • Capt. Eric

Kennewick and Irrigon

Leaving beautiful Fish Hook behind we made way for Kennewick again, mostly as a stop to replenish our water tanks, get some decent internet speeds and empty our black water tank.

Di must have thought we were still ashore during our stay at Fish Hook as we used about 45 gallons of water in 2 nights, when our normal water consumption at anchor is closer to 22 gallons a day. Apparently something to do with Covid and needing to extra clean everything. Even with our big tanks, such lavish consumption will force us back in port way sooner than normal. We can't use our water maker in the river (and it needs servicing anyway).

Tight passage with navigation close to the shore

The trip itself was uneventful, if windy, with gusts up to about 35 knots adding to the current once we were back in the Columbia to slow us down a little. Time for some more comfortable pajamas inside Enfin.

In Kennewick, the dock for the pump out was significantly shorter than our boat, and the hose was also way too short to reach, so some gymnastics were needed. We've crossed that pump out station off our list. Marinas we favor have the holy alliance of good pump out, safe docks, water, electricity, fast internet and decent shopping nearby. Rare, but we know a few.

Leaving Kennewick well rested, we headed once again into windy conditions. Nothing terrible, but again gusts at 35 knots meant that in the more open areas we got some nasty little chop to bobby horse Enfin. The boat didn't mind much and kept plugging, but Princess didn't find it amusing at all, seeking comfort with Di in the salon. We eventually drugged her with some Benadryl, so she was a happy dog, much more relaxed once again in the second part of the trip.

At first we had autopilot problems, with the magnetic compass for the pilot being way off, so I asked Di to empty everything around the compass. We are careful not to store anything magnetic close to its locker, but something must have happened that night as it took almost all day for the compass to find its North again. I had to be extra vigilant with the pilot, especially in tight passages like going under bridges or in close proximity to the shore, but it behaved completely fine once the compass started recalibrating itself.

Little nasty chop and high winds
Fresh water spray to wash the boat!
Peace and quiet after a long day, Irrigon

We came into Irrigon on the strength of our Navionics chart that promised just enough water to get in, and the photos together with Google Earth showed a tiny, but accessible marina.

The big boat in the neighborhood

To say the entrance was tight, in the remaining winds of the afternoon and the river current would be an understatement. The depth sounder got unhappy as we crossed the tight entrance, a bit because of how shallow the spot is, a bit because of the water weeds there.

The guest dock was straight ahead after the entrance, but we couldn't dock on the Starboard side (our cockpit gate side) without backing in. So I had to tightly turn the boat around before being able to steer Enfin backwards between 2 docks, then let her drift gently onto the guest dock, controlling things with prop and thruster.

All the while the Sheriff was watching our maneuver with interest, and once we were secure she came down to say Hi and give us her safety card if we ever needed help. She told us about the local restaurants and shops (a whole 3 of them?) and was very welcoming.

Local people came to have a look at the curious sight of a "big" boat in their marina, and we felt welcomed by all.

A good little place, however scary the entrance might look from my pilothouse.

Going out in calm weather will be easier, but still as tight

Neat little spot
Safe dock. No water or electricity, but the price is right: Free

Beautiful park adjacent to the marina. A great place for Princess

Thanks Irrigon. See you later.

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