Little Green Boat

Spruce visited Japan and Alaska in 2018 after time spent in the South Pacific, NZ, Australia and Asia.

16 August 2019 | Astoria - Oregon - USA
16 August 2019
16 August 2019
16 August 2019
10 August 2019 | On Passage - Vancouver Island to Oregon
09 August 2019 | On Passage - Vancouver Island to Oregon
08 August 2019 | Tofino - British Columbia
08 August 2019 | Ahousaht - BC - Canada
08 August 2019
30 July 2019 | Hesquiat Harbour - BC - Canada
22 July 2019 | Bodega Cove - BC - Canada
13 July 2019 | Rugged Point - BC - Canada
07 July 2019 | Kyuquot Sound - BC - Canada
07 July 2019 | Kyuquot Sound - BC - Canada
29 June 2019 | Walters Cove (Kyuquot)-BC-Canada
29 June 2019
27 June 2019 | Barter Cove - BC - Canada
17 June 2019 | Sea Otter Cove - BC - Canada
09 June 2019 | Sointulla - Malcolm Island - BC - Canada
06 June 2019 | Sointulla - Malcolm Island - BC - Canada

The Mighty Columbia River

16 August 2019 | Astoria - Oregon - USA
Sue & Andy Warman
Our passage south from Tofino finished at dusk on Saturday after penetrating a mere 16-miles into the 1240-mile long Columbia River. A river that has its source in British Columbia and here forms the border between Washington and Oregon States.
Anchoring outside the main channel in the official anchoring zone seemed prudent. Lots of lights were left on overnight, AIS transmitting, anchor ball hoisted aloft and yellow quarantine flag fluttering beneath our US courtesy flag. Our nearest neighbours on the opposite side of the channel were all ships of Panamax size; a gaggle of huge bulk carriers sat patiently waiting for customs clearance. This was another step in culture shock from the recent Tofino experience. A malfunction with the US Authorities' phone resulted in us leaving a couple of messages, but there was little likelihood of being cleared until the morrow.
Noise and wash from passing vessels increased light grew in the sky from an overcast dawn. More calls to the authorities, more messages left. Breakfast in the cockpit as we watched the new scenery. Our arrival at dusk had been greeted by flocks of pelicans heading seaward to feed. This morning a few geese grazed along the shore but what moved was mostly river traffic. A fascinating change from the remoter regions of Vancouver Island's West Coast. Noisier but nonetheless interesting to watch: dredgers, support vessels and pilot boats swapping bar-pilots for river-pilots as ships transitioned for the long journey inland towards Portland, Oregon.
Mid-Sunday afternoon a support vessel brought a CBP Officer alongside. The skipper,“Kiwi”, skilfully eased “Miss Molly” stern to our beam in a three-knot current. Holding her a foot off, never touching. Officer Wells confirmed there was a problem with the phone system for contacting the duty officer. We were cleared in and officially back in the USA after 18-weeks cruising Canada.

16 August 2019
Sue & Andy Warman
When Spruce moved into a marina berth the next day, “Kiwi” invited us to join him and his wife, “Jenny”, for a run out to a merchant ship to see the role support vessels play on the Columbia River at closer quarters. Two 800hp engines drive twin screws, hence the manoeuvrability. Control is either from the forward cabin or from on deck, where operations can be monitored whether craning supplies aboard ships or transferring personnel. When ships arrive in port not only is their cargo loaded or discharged. Other maintenance jobs, faults and breakages sometimes require shore-side technician support. Occasionally, medical evacuation of a crew member is necessary. That is where these support vessel earn their keep.

16 August 2019
Sue & Andy Warman
On this occasion a technician (at top of ladder) working aboard a bulk carrier was being picked-up. Several hours work to discover the parts supplied were the wrong ones. He must return another day. Jenny signals to help Kiwi position “Miss Molly” beneath the ladder. In a large wind chop the manoeuvring must be carefully undertaken. (in the background the bridge between Oregon and Washington)

16 August 2019
Sue & Andy Warman
In the marina another cruising yacht, s/y Charelle, was berthed. Campbell and Jennifer hail from Cairns in Australia. They also sailed east via Japan and the Aleutian Islands but a year earlier than our passage. Charelle will also be going south to Mexico this season. We had a fine time chatting about places we have both cruised in Asia and on this side of the Pacific Ocean.
Another sailboat, s/y Anestina, also heading for Mexico was met in Tofino. Canadian Mike has stayed there for a week or two more while doing a few maintenance jobs before coming south. Paul and Kathy aboard s/y Sister Midnight (we met them in Sointula) are now on the west coast of Vancouver Island and will be travelling south to Astoria in a couple of weeks time. The gathering-period has arrived, snow-birds will be migrating south once the hurricane season in Mexico diminishes.

A Windless Painted Ocean

10 August 2019 | On Passage - Vancouver Island to Oregon
Sue & Andy
Hopes of a sailing passage are truly dashed. Intermittent rain and the painted ship of Coleridge's famous poem are we. There are many Albatross this morning, their huge size clear when seen against the multitudes of tiny Phalaropes. Most patiently sit prissily on the water, waiting for their servant the wind to hoist them effortlessly aloft into their element. Those who do attempt flight work hard at bringing their huge wingspan into motion, occasional swoops close to the surface enable them to glide momentarily on a cushion of compressed air below... then more weary flapping for altitude. Rapidly they tire of the toil and flop into the sea to wait again. The original plan was a slow passage but under sail. The likely outcome is we shall arrive late tonight on the evening flood tide into the Columbia River.

South Towards Oregon

09 August 2019 | On Passage - Vancouver Island to Oregon
Sue & Andy
Blue sea, blue sky, but nowhere near the 10-15 knots of breeze expected. Momentarily, we have had as much as five knots, from behind the beam. Motoring is the order of the day so far as we want to arrive before southerly winds commence on Sunday. It is so nice to be out on the ocean blue. We are just at the ocean drop off some 42 miles from Vancouver Island astern, the coast of Washington State lies unseen 50 miles to port. The wildlife has given a good showing today. Distant whale blows were eclipsed by a huge Hump-back who surfaced alongside and then proceeded to overtake us with ease. Perhaps he chose to check who was making all that noise on the surface, or wanted to give us a fright. Other visitors have included Basking Sharks, Harbour Porpoise, and numerous birds including Black-footed Albatross, Phalaropes, Northern Fulmars, Cassin's Auklets, Shearwaters and Terns. If the wind remains on holiday we may well arrive earlier than anticipated as we are motoring faster than we estimated sailing in light winds.
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-18 brought us from Asia to Washington State via the Noorth pacific Rim. In 2019 we aim to cruise BC and then head south to Mexico.
Home Page:
Spruce's Photos - Towards Darwin
Photos 1 to 111 of 111 | Main
Aboriginal cave paintings in the" Ship Shelter" on Flinders Island.
An ancient Aboriginal shell midden.
Sun baked shells.
Some of the lovely shells we saw on the beach at Flinders.
We think this is the flower of the Kapock tree?
Watching out for Salties with sharp teeth!
Rock formations at Flinders Island.
Andy sorting out the main sail.
Andy signs the book at Captain Cooks lookout , Lizard Island.
A view from the top of the Cook
A Gould
A leaf shaped Butterfly.
A view , part weay up to Cook
A small passion flower , Lizard Island.
Matt ,Jean and Andy on the way up to Cook
Sue enjoying a great sail.
A Beach Stone Curlew.
We think this was croc bone
Double rainbow at sea.
Mourilyan sugar cane plant with a dock to load up the shipping.
One of the black tip sharks that visited us.
Continuing a family traditional portrait.
One of the view points in the Whitsunday Islands.
The blue butterfies love the tree grass flower stalks.
Tree grass patterns.
A visit from Gemma on board Spruce.
Beautiful sunset.
Tree grass flowers
Gemma  at the beach.
Sue trying not to get wet feet!
This beatle looks like an African mask.