Smoke on the Water
Not a movie reference this time!
The last 10 days in Portland were incredible, with horrible smoke creating dangerous air quality.
We were the lucky ones who didn't have to evacuate, weren't at risk of losing our home, or worse, our lifes. We were safe on Enfin, and could just hunker down in place.
For a while the news said we had the worse air quality in the world, so we wore our medical grade masks when walking Princess (short walks only), as our usual surgical masks weren't good enough in this heavy smoke.
The area looked surreal, this photo was taken during the afternoon. Maybe a scene from Total Recall?
The horrible conditions brought everything to a stop on Enfin, and we simply stayed put inside, trying not to exert ourselves.
We did think about escaping by going cruising, but the extent of the fires and smoke was so huge that there was no real escape either up or down the river.
We fear this might be a preview of things to come, and it feels good to have our own little escape pod.
Eventually the air quality came back down into the measured range and down to hazardous. A day later rain and winds helped finally clean the air up, and we were able to finally breathe normally again.
The ash, soot and dirt in the air left the boat a complete mess, with a layer of sticky black goo that proved hard to clean. I cracked out the power washer and that finally did the trick. I'm not a big fan of power washing, and our washer is a relatively low pressure one so that the risks of damaging the gelcoat are lowered.
I even had to power wash our enclosure as no amount of soap and gentle scrubbing was getting it back. You can see the before and after in the photo.
Of course that meant I needed to waterproof it again. I intended to do it before the winter rains anyway, so it wasn't an additional task. A good spray of 303 waterproofing later and the enclosure is good as new, and protecting our cockpit from rains so well that we can call it "the porch".
More recently Di has been cleaning up our windows screen, with similar results.
With the good weather and more importantly the good air back, the cleaning, polishing and waxing crew got back on board. Here is Tara doing her magic: She really knows her stuff and is an artist when it comes to getting the boat back to its shiny self.
Glad to get back to normal after what felt like the end of days.