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The Gorge - First Trip
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Bond1



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's too bad the weather forecast over the weekend is for extreme heat, intense smoke, and little to no wind, generally from the east.

Most of us who live here will be hiding inside our homes.
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ldhr



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot Gorge Surfhouse!
My apologies!
Definitely go see these guys for the best wind information.
And they're next door to Gorge Greenery Dispensary! Cool Wink

Each day, after breakfast go to one of the shops downtown - all within a few blocks of each other.
Windance, Big Winds, or Second Wind.
They will tell you the forecast for the day and the best place for your ability to sail.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18329

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bond1 wrote:
It's too bad the weather forecast over the weekend is for extreme heat, intense smoke, and little to no wind, generally from the east.

Most of us who live here will be hiding inside our homes.

But will the lack of wind keep most Labor Day visiting windsurfers away from the Gorge, or might they come anyway and boost the swap meet out of boredom or out of faith in great deals at the Last Swap Meet of the Season?
Historical observations? Best guesses?

Besides ... who's right ... the gurus predicting strong east winds or the ones bearing doom and gloom?

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Bond1



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The context for my post is someone coming to the Gorge for the first time to sail.

It's a long drive to discover over 100 degree heat, poor air quality, and east winds that may or may not be sailable for a relative beginner.

If said visitor understands what they're driving into and still wants to come I don't have a problem with it, but I think they should be aware of this ugly forecast.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 995
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he should be able to get enough good deals on gear to pay for his trip.
If you can find the small carbon boom that's good but I'd be fine with Alum.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18329

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bond1 wrote:
east winds that may or may not be sailable for a relative beginner.

East winds are not suitable for novices ... even for many or most advanced sailors ... who don't follow the rules I obey for east winds:
1. Rig BIG ... big board, big sail, big fin, relative to the wind ... and that doesn't even address the factor of subtracting the current from the wind speed. The bigger issue is the effect of slight wind direction shifts that make getting back to Stevenson darn near impossible if not highly powered.

2. Get my ass upwind and stay there.

3. The minute I can't observe #2, run for shore.

4. Plan for the Stevenson shore wind shadow when coming back to shore. If it's filled in, lucky you ... this time. If not, see #5.

5. If all that fails and I can't get back to Bob's Beach within about two tries, I sail dead downwind to the Cascade Locks beach. Yeah, that's across the river, but it's a nice beach, there are people and a restaurant and telephones right there, and you can Phone a Friend or hitch a ride back to Stevenson. The only alternative is the worst walk of shame I've ever encountered in the 70+ launch sites I've sailed on the Columbia River. I'd rather be on "Naked and Afraid" than make that trek again.

6. In case #5 is not clear, be prepared to spend hours getting back. By FAR the quickest, easiest, surest, least painful, most humane way back I've ever found or heard of is the Cascade Locks beach.

7. Oh, yes: Do Not Get Caught In The Locks. You WILL need assistance to get out, and you screw up river traffic until someone rescues you. Don't ask me how I know that, but it was STILL the best solution to dying east winds.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 995
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't land at Bob's the huge sandbar downstream at Rock Creek will save you.
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Bond1



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

westender wrote:
I think he should be able to get enough good deals on gear to pay for his trip.
If you can find the small carbon boom that's good but I'd be fine with Alum.


The opening topic had them coming to sail the Gorge.

They probably won't be doing that.

I can't speak for the OP, but driving 750 miles round trip and spending 3 days sweating and breathing unhealthy air for a deal on a used carbon boom doesn't pencil out.
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 216
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bond1 wrote:
westender wrote:
I think he should be able to get enough good deals on gear to pay for his trip.
If you can find the small carbon boom that's good but I'd be fine with Alum.


The opening topic had them coming to sail the Gorge.

They probably won't be doing that.

I can't speak for the OP, but driving 750 miles round trip and spending 3 days sweating and breathing unhealthy air for a deal on a used carbon boom doesn't pencil out.


We already drove down to Portland today. We arive in Hood River tomorrow and will attempt a session weather permitting. There are enough events happening this weekend to justify the trip even if we have to cut the sessions short. Still, good wind would be most appreciated for our first trip.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18329

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mamero wrote:
We arive in Hood River tomorrow and will attempt a session weather permitting ... even if we have to cut the sessions short.

You DID bring your "jet ski", didn't ypu?
OTOH, there may not be enough wind for that. A guy tried to light a match in HR recently, but there wasn't even enough wind to do that.

But you knew that a week in advance simply by looking at the 10-day forecast of Portland and HR temperatures, and are counting on "There are enough events happening this weekend to justify the trip". That's a valid excuse, considering that there have been scores of fun things to do in the Gorge tallied.

I live a couple of hours east of HR, and our local air has been rated lately as the worst air in the nation due to heat and smoke ... from BC wildfires. But if I hadn't seen it in print, I wouldn't have noticed it. Sure, I can't see much beyond a kilometer, and I don't plan to dig a house foundation at 3:00 PM, but, hey. it's summer; it's SUPPOSED to be hot, and the smoky haze gives us some shade and looks like any hot, hazy, humid summer day in the eastern half of the U.S. I'll take this over any summer day where I grew up in the SE U.S. 100 Portland degrees feels like 80 Alabama degrees or 120 New Mexico degrees, so it's all relative.

I just wish this hot, humid, smoky air were moving at 30 mph rather than near zero. Smoke, schmoke; as long as I can see other sailors and tell where shore is, clear air is a bonus, not a requirement. Just two days ago we couldn't see the river well enough to tell if it was sailable, so we just rigged according to the sensor data (as I do anyway at that spot). Nailed it.

Ordinarily we advise visitors to keep one eye glued to the river as they pursue other Gorge activities. With both Portland and HR under the triple-digit heat bubble, however, I'd say just concentrate on any other activities I can find, even if it means going to Clatskanie or the phenomenal OR coast. IOW, consider turning right rather than left at Portland.
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