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Where can a beginner get to intermediate in the Gorge?
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Laura&Joe



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lessons are a must. I have struggled for years trying to learn from my friends. They may know what to do but do not know how to communicate it. They also are off sailing ao aren't around to tell me what I am doing wrong.

I took a lesson this last weekend and my sailing took a large leap forward. Money well spent. We spend so much traveling back and forth from Seattle that the extra cost while it seems high was worth it so I can enjoy the river more. My husband is also talking of taking a lesson next weekend because I told him all the things I learned that he was doing wrong. ;~)

I agree that outside the hook is probably the best place to learn how to water start. The wind isn't the best but there is not danger of getting blown away so much you can't get back to where you started.

Exit strategy is important for anyone. The unexpected can always happen. My husband floated 2 1/2 miles down river this weekend at Stevenson when the wind died while he was sailing. Forunately some fishermen rescued him and spent 30 minutes taking him back to the Bob's Beach and I am assuming they had to go back to their original launching spot. Just goes to show you, it is a good thing to share the river.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laura&Joe wrote:
My husband floated 2 1/2 miles down river this weekend at Stevenson when the wind died while he was sailing. Forunately some fishermen rescued him and spent 30 minutes taking him back to the Bob's Beach

The simple Exit Strategy for Bob's Beach, in non-zero E or W winds, is the beach at the Cascade Locks marina and ferry terminal. It's 1.4 miles from Bob's (2.5 takes you under the bridge), and you just walk ashore on a nice beach, lay your gear on the grass, walk into the terminal or the parking lot, hitch a ride to Bob's or phone somebody at Bob's to come get you, and grab a bite of lunch or go to the bathroom while waiting. It's easy, safe, and quick if there's even the slightest breeze to allow some steering, even if butt-sailing a sinker. Scope it out on Google Earth or in person the next time you're there and make that part of your plan. Last time I did that took me <15 minutes from coming ashore to getting back to Bob's, and I was alone that trip.

Mike \OO/
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record... He has taken 3 lessons and his waterstart 1 lesson is Thursday. however, there are a few things the instructors don't teach. That is all Im saying. I learned without lessons due to being a teenager without a parent to supply the cost of lessons. Wish things were different becuse it took me a LONG time to get things to work correctly by reading a book. Although I must say.. my brother went in with me on the first set of gear and he never read the book.. and spent more time floating downriver... so all forms of training have some value.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes ... unless conflicting techniques or instructor impatience lead to frustration. I suggest you get the instructor's permission to observe the lessons so your homework time together reinforces, rather than compounds, his learning curve (presuming, or course, you get a good instructor; I've seen some useless ones, including one of the world's biggest names in instruction many years ago). Observe and evaluate.
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger that
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an idea: if you do take Junior to ThreeMile, drive west around the fenced Indian in-lieu site, park at the west end of the lagoon INSIDE the lagoon (where the west jetty meets the shoreline), and tell Junior that if he disappears downwind you can drive to the boat ramps and pick him up (check out those spots in advance).
Caveats:
The walkback inside that end of the lagoon may be easier than the walkback east of the launch ramps. I don't know.
I heard a rumor the launch spot inside the very west end of the lagoon is no longer accessible. For several reasons, including Google Earth closeups, I doubt that. I suspect that what's been lost is access to the lagoon shoreline inside the in-lieu site.
Again, 3Mile is very often -- actually, usually, in most midsummer scenarios -- dead even when it's blowing 4.X at Arlington. You'll want to use NOAA's Boardman/Hermiston zone forecast at
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=pqr&pil=ZFP&sid=PDT and the Loroc's sensor #27 to predict and measure 3Mile's winds. Frontal winds generally tend to penetrate further east than thermally boosted ones and have been our primary wind source out east for two years now, but the thermally boosted wind is steadier and can last for a few days rather than this and last years' more typical hours or one day.

Up through 2010, most of my trips into that area or to its west warranted taking my motor home and sailing for 2 to several consecutive days many times ... probably 15-20 times per season. This year, beginning in early April, only one blow has lasted more than one day out east (my biggest sail is a 6.2). I've saved a thousand bucks on gasoline by driving my SUV instead, but I'd far prefer spending the extra bucks and having much more and better wind to show for it. What all this means to you is that more of the wind has been frontal, so reaches 3Mile better, but it's of shorter duration, increasing the risk factor of your long drive from Portland. Realize, too, that my comments are based only on careful observation, not written logs. They are generalities founded on my and other TriCities sailors with a collective century of sailing out east.

Get that kid waterstarting consistently and all those concerns fade. Then, anywhere west of Rufus, he'll have the wind pushing him east and the escalator pushing him west. Ya launch, sail eastward, then raise yer sail to go east and lower it to head west. Barring strong current, which is forecast to last all summer at John Day Dam (Maryhill), what could be easier than that?

Mike \OO/
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andymc4610



Joined: 19 May 2000
Posts: 678

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when my buddies and I were learning in the gorge (we were in High school) there was no event site. The marina was the best spot, we'd only go to the hook if it was closed cause the pro-am. being able to touch is so helpfull that's why maybe the hook, doug's or Floras are the best. Floras is the best for jibing you only go a 1/4 mile then you got to jibe, miss you stand up and go back but get 4 times the try's. if your worried about forecasting its not all that hard, use noaa at the very least.
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocRobster, nice to meet you and see you and your son at the beach yesterday! He looks like he's doing great! Yeah, cleaning out the sand is a chore, but in my opinion worth it for the amount of space you have there... as you found out, it sure makes an "I just wanna get it!" run pretty painless! Hope to see you out there again! Tell Roman good luck with the waterstart lesson.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1184
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tweeky wrote:
RocRobster, nice to meet you and see you and your son at the beach yesterday! He looks like he's doing great! Yeah, cleaning out the sand is a chore, but in my opinion worth it for the amount of space you have there... as you found out, it sure makes an "I just wanna get it!" run pretty painless! Hope to see you out there again! Tell Roman good luck with the waterstart lesson.


Personally I think Roman had a good lesson. But then again I'm biased Smile A lot of improvement in 2 hours....
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andymc- me too at the marina, but the son's board has a deep tuttle box and the only fin is a 44 and the water is too shallow for it.

Tweeky - Thanks, was nice meeting you too and love the site. will be fun to go there after work when I can. It is a hassle to clean up, especially after dark, but definately different and interesing sailing conditions.

JohnL - It was good to see Roman pull off his first waterstart, And learn that sailing isn't automatically the same going port and starboard..
He is having dreams now of waterstarting...lol, let the fun begin!
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