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Announcement: 10/15 - 10/29 - 2017 Snake/Columbia River C-Dory Cruise
Posted: Jim Gibson @ Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:43 pm
The "Great Lewis & Clark Snake/Columbia River C-Dory Cruise" is being planned for October 2017. I am seeking a few hardy C-Dory skippers who would be interested in joining me on this once-in-a-life-time journey.

The objective would be to cruise our C-Dory’s from Lewiston, Idaho downstream to Astoria, Oregon. It would be a minimum ten-day water journey through a vast and pristine landscape. Traversing this approximately 500 miles of navigable waterway would be a pleasure that few have enjoyed in their own vessels.

Lewis & Clark made this journey in 1805. Now there are a series of eight U.S Army Corps of Engineers locks to navigate through. Four locks are on the navigable Snake River and four locks are on the navigable Columbia River.

We would launch our C-Dory’s at Hells Gate State Park, on the banks of the Snake River (4 miles from Lewiston). It is about 150 miles from Lewiston down the Snake River to the junction of the Columbia River, near the Tri Cities.

Then it is about 350 miles down the Columbia River to Astoria where we will take our boats out at the Mooring Basin. There are 26 ports between the Tri Cities and the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to the minimum 10-day water portion of the trip, a minimum of 5 land travel days would be required (at least from my starting point in Sacramento, California). The truck and boat trailer portion of this trip for me is approximately 2,000 land miles, which includes retrieval of the boat trailer equipment between Lewiston and Astoria.

In total, this adventure would consume a minimum of approximately one-half month of time (15 days), not including advance trip preparation and front-end and back-end boat and truck maintenance. The trip is formally scheduled from Sunday, October 15, 2017 to Sunday, October 29, 2017.

This trip is aggressively scheduled and some contingency probably needs to be built into the back-end due to possible weather delays that could easily lengthen our time on the water. Fifty miles a day on the water may not always be achievable on a consecutive basis. Therefore, plan on a possible Friday, November 3, 2017 trip end date given unforeseen circumstances.

These calendar dates, and the direction of the cruise, were strategically chosen to optimize ease and safety of navigation. In the fall and winter, the easterlies prevail. Wind is a major factor to contend with on the Columbia River.

This trip theoretically allows the wind at our backs and the speed over ground advantage of going down-river. This trip plan also theoretically avoids the problem of having winds blow from the west into the easterly direction flow of the current, creating large chaotic chop.

I do not pretend to have everything figured out. Don’t ask me too many questions as I probably do not know the answers yet. I have a complete set of NOAA charts for the entire trip (“River Cruising Atlas: Columbia/Snake Rivers”, Evergreen Pacific Publishing).

The good news is that we are not crossing the mighty Columbia Bar on this trip as we are stopping somewhat short of the Pacific Ocean. In fact, we hope to complete the entire journey and not experience a “crossing of the bar”.

At this point I am looking for a few select D-Dory folks who will help me plan this trip, and join me on this adventure, at this proposed time schedule. Please contact me off line if you want to discuss with me in more detail this journey.

I am not underestimating the challenges of this trip. It will be a significant undertaking in terms of time, energy, money, equipment preparation, logistics, and determination. Please budget for a possible flight, bus, car rental, or Uber lift from Astoria back to Lewiston. There are also other options for this task that would be determined later.

Please consider the serious nature of this cruise in your response. This trip is probably not for the faint of heart or for the more casual recreational boater. If I cannot find one or more other C-Dory’s to join me on this expedition cruise, I myself may not undertake it alone.

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