We brought another pickup load of ‘stuff’ to the boat this morning. The final load. We planned to make about 40 miles today and stay overnight on the Columbia at a quiet anchorage near Longview Wa.

Somehow we got that shit load of stuff put away ( I still don’t know how this boat carries all that stuff), said our goodbyes to our friends at the marina and left the slip.

The river is running very high so we had been giving our exit from the slip a lot of thought. Our boat does not back-up well. Only yesterday we had a goodbye party, for about 30 people, when toward the end of the party a marina neighbor decided to wash the other side of his boat and turn the boat around, by himself, manipulating a bow and stern line tied to the dock. Misjudging the current the 10 ton boat swung out into the river held to the dock by two lines now totally out of reach to anyone on shore. We all volunteered to help but four large people on the lines could not budge the boat against the current. It rocked back and forth in the river – a David vs. Goliath epic. With the help of a passing motor boat the owner was placed on his boat and (an hour later) we were able to coerce the boat back into place.

So we were understandably concerned, not wanting to make a spectacle of ourselves by adding to the amusement of boat owners and the people sitting at the marina restaurant not far away.

But our exit was graceful; elegant even, we felt good underway. For the half mile it lasted, it felt wonderful. Until, a quick glance at the instruments showed the alternator not working! Damn.

So this evening we are back at the marina waiting for Monday morning to replace the alternator – so maybe tomorrow we’ll head on down the river. But at least we know how to leave gracefully.

-Ron