Sailing the Columbia River

two boats

In the picture above, guess which boat belongs to my brother and I…

Last weekend we had three great days of crusing on the Columbia River. On Friday, we mostly motored to Government Island, and then the wind picked up so we sailed all the way back to our marina and got in about 10 p.m. We were planning to stay at the dock, but the night was too nice for sailing.

On Saturday, we sailed almost all the way (21.5 miles) down river to St. Helens, Oregon. We had steady winds, on the nose, and tacked all the way there. Beautiful sail, followed by dinner out and the new Batman movie at the restored theatre in downtown St. Helens (old town). For $5.50, it was a great evening out.

On Sunday morning, we had breakfast at the famous St. Helens Cafe, now in its new location. (Better than before, in my opinion.) After that, we did some heavy weather sailing down river from St. Helens, and then motored up the Multnomah Channel all the way to the Willamette River. Most of the pictures with this post are from that trip.


At the Willamette, we tacked downriver back to the Columbia, and then did a run up river, beneath two bridges, back to our home marina. The winds became increasingly strong, and the downwind gybes became fun, but it certainly beat motoring.

By the end of the trip, we had racked up 58 nautical miles, and we were ready for a break. A very fun trip.


We have a complete photo gallery here:

Sailing the Columbia River

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