11/20/2012, St. Helens, OR
Elara is safely at home at St. Helens Marina, resting for the winter after an active summer of cruising the lower Columbia River. We were blessed by over three months of nearly continuous sunshine beginning in early July, which made for an awesome summer sailing season, with 20-25 knot winds nearly every day blasting down the Columbia River valley in the vicinity of St. Helens. Predominantly northwest winds and a north-south river orientation provided for extended close reaches down to Kalama, and long runs back with just the genoa flying. With lower river levels in the later summer and early fall, flood tidal currents of up to 2 knots in combination with 20 knot tail winds made docking into our upriver slip more than interesting. Highlight of the summer was a 10 day downriver cruise to Ilwaco, Astoria, and Cathlamet.