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Where can a beginner get to intermediate in the Gorge?
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="isobras"]This thread has several irrefutably wrong statements I'm choosing to ignore.


Ummm, can you elaborate on that? I'd like to hear what the wrong statements are and save myself both time and trouble if possible.
I'd hate to waste a day driving or attempting to teach my son in a place we have no business being... I have limited time to teach/sail with my son and would really like to make the most of it....
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocRobster, don't worry about Isobars aka Isobras aka Mike Fick... he's just a cantankerous old fart that loves to argue about everything and anything in these forums. He trolls for little things he can jump on, and then tries to hijack the thread making it about himself and some pointless statement rather than it being a productive discussion. In this case, he's trying to make you believe that Three Mile Canyon gets very busy... however, what he omitted from his post was that a very popular east launch site, Roosevelt, was closed due to a Pow-Wow that was going on. Its just all part of the little games he likes to play. You've gotten some good info here, I think enough that you can make some good decisions.

Finding a "good beginner to intermediate" spot in the Gorge can be tough, and there are always variables that can fluctuate on any given day... wind strength and how many people likely to be at a launch site being just two. Its always a bit of a roll of the dice, but I think other than "Isobra's" post, you've been given a realistic lay-of-the-land assessment of different locations, and how they are likely to be should you choose to utilize them.

One thing I would suggest, maybe you do it already, is that for any given launch point, you come up with an exit strategy both upwind & downwind, Oregon & Washington sides of the river. For instance, if you are on an easterly at Bob's Beach, and have your break to the point of being unusable as I did, then Cascade Locks on the Oregon side is actually a much easier exit point than say, ending up on the RR tracks on the Washington side. Since it was a pre-planned exit point, my wife knew to come over to Cascade Locks and pick me up, which made getting off the river much easier.

Good luck with your son!
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobras wrote:
I'm presenting useful, valid information to the OP. If you don't want it, don't read it. This thread has several irrefutably wrong statements I'm choosing to ignore. How about you correct some of those rather than throwing your unfounded accusations into OUR punchbowl? You were showing signs of shedding some of the $#!++y attitude you joined us with a few years ago; you may not want to throw that progress away now.

Behaving like Chandler, keycocker, the old Tweeky, et.al. is definitely NOT cool.


Classic "Isobars" in action... Mike, how many times are you going to type "unfounded accusations" into this forum? Maybe you should read your first two sentences:

"I'm presenting useful, valid information to the OP. If you don't want it, don't read it."

and take your own advice. You are the last, absolutely the LAST person on this forum that needs to be talking to people about their attitude. Your laundry list of people that you've had issues with is far longer than what you've typed here. And a few years ago? What about when you said "I quit" then "I mean I quit discussing politics, just shoot me..." How long did that last? What about your "plonking" days where you relegated people to "the children's table"? Remember all that BS? Look you angry little man.. you have issues. Sort them out. Or don't. But constantly railing against forum members here, and expecting a different result is insane. You know, I have to laugh.. if its not me, its someone else you're on about. Christ Mike, you could (maybe you do?) literally cut-and-paste some of your responses... ah well. Happy ranting I guess!
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dcfordo



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Tweeky's advice above is pretty much right on. Learning to windsurf in the gorge is hard, and you have to be very motivated. The conditions are always different each time. And it will be extremely frustrating every other time you go out. The key is learning waterstarts both directions as fast as possible. At that point you can go to most of the launches.

The only spot that comes close to your criteria in the OP is, as others have mentioned, just up wind of "the hook". The wind is usually strong and consistent, you can usually touch, and the hook stops you from drifting down wind.

3 mile marina is rarely crowded and would be good for big board, non-planing, up-hauling, sail practice. I wouldn't want to learn waterstarting there. You will drift down wind, and the walk back will be a rocky pain.
Doug's can occasionally be good, but the wind angle there usually has a north cant which makes the shallow spot near the launch really light and gusty which stinks for learning.

If I were you, I would do the Floras lessons, then go to that spot outside the hook every chance you get. Go once a week, minimum. You will get the waterstarting quickly and then you can go to Mosier, Rowena, Celilo, and all of the good intermediate spots.
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tweeky and dcfordo,

I have scheduled a waterstart lesson for him on Thursday at the spot by the hook. I have already shown him how to position and fly the sail but he needs someone with more patience than me to teach him. Would go to Floras but it is a 6 hour drive with no guarantee (from looking at history) of enough wind and as said earlier, need to maximize TOW.

I guess that means put out the cash for lessons for him.

We are spending 3 days a week on the water, I am just impatient to get his skills near enough to mine that we can sail in the same place.

Thanks for the tips, I appreciate very much!
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocRobster wrote:
I'd like to hear what the wrong statements are and save myself both time and trouble if possible.
I'd hate to waste a day driving or attempting to teach my son in a place we have no business being... I have limited time to teach/sail with my son and would really like to make the most of it....

I've driven past 3Mile close to 2,000 times on my way to and from sailing further west in the Gorge. I'd estimate it blows maybe 1 out 4 or 5 of the days it blows at Arlington. i.e., maybe 80% of the times it blows at Arlington, the wind stops just east of there, west of 3Mile.

The only thing the Arlington sensor can tell us about wind at 3Mile is that if it's not blowing at Arlington, it's not blowing at 3Mile.

The Loroc's Island sensor #27 is at (across the river from) 3Mile, not near Arlington.

3Mile has for 20+ years been regarded by "out east" locals as a morning place, with the wind veering sufficiently north of the river channel direction to mess up the wind and swell by early PM most days it does blow.

The 3Mile lagoon is a lousy walkback, not a great place for a novice (or for an expert in holey wind) who can't stay upwind.

Even those 70-ish vehicles did not crowd the place; the parking area and the river are huge there. It's just desert; to camp you just turn off the ignition, crawl in the back, and go to sleep. I leave my doors open for a breeze when camping at most Gorge spots, but not there; the ground squirrels have invaded my van. And as the man said, outside a very busy parking lot, rattlesnakes abound out east (vibration sometimes drives them away ... we hope). At some of the wild (unofficial) launches, before the RRs got serious and shut them down, we'd sometimes see/hear multiple rattlers as we entered or left the water.

The walkback from Doug's to Rowena's east cove does not depend on low water. It's a stroll in the sand at water levels anywhere near normal. It would take extremely high water levels -- higher than I've ever seen there -- to be a problem. You can usually walk right out to the wind line and can walk back if you lose ground.

Is your goal to teach your son to WS, or is it to advance his WS skills? The latter, via professional lessons, will improve his skills faster, but of course reduces the father-son bit in the short term ... for better or worse.

As for Tweeky's advice and attitude, one only has to go back to his 2007-2010 behavior to understand why I plonked him. He had improved enough to get off my list more recently, but is now showing his true colors again. Bye, Tweeks.


Last edited by isobras on Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:10 am; edited 3 times in total
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am unclear on the "walkback" from Doug's to Rowena. Specifically because Doug's is on the Washington side upriver/downwind of Rowena on the Oregon side. Is the walkback on the WA side and then across on a reach to Doug's or are we assumen equipment failure and a hitchhike back to Rowena?

My goal is more than a single one. I want my son to learn to WS and I can teach him a few things an instructor likely won't. On the other hand, I want his skills to advance so I am not sitting somewhere in 10 mph wind watching him and thinking it would be nice to take a kite lesson instead of sitting on the beach making sure he is ok.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I launch at Rowena for one simple reason: the wind often fills in at Rowena hours before it does at Doug's. I can't tell you how many times I sat at Doug's with no wind for hours, watching sails rip back and forth upwind at Rowena. I finally wised up and began launching at Rowena to sail the whole Rowena-to-Doug's East stretch. And if the wind quits while I'm well east of my van, I can either ride either the current or stroll back in the water on the sandy south side. The escalator is a very useful feature of the central Gorge and a sandy river bottom helps even more.

Mike \OO/
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really ought to consider The Dalles River Front Park.
a little gusty, but a nice place with a shallow launch.

-Craig
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocRobster wrote:
he needs someone with more patience than me ... I am just impatient to get his skills near enough to mine that we can sail in the same place.

That's at least half of why we encourage lessons. Not only is teaching a friend or family member to WS one of the surest ways to build a brick wall, but a trained and experienced instructor normally makes a FAR better instructor than even a great sailor does.
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