Slough Coot – Post-yearly Maintenance

This last week I did my yearly maintenance to “Slough Coot”. A complete exterior sanding and paint job to her superstructure and hull. The bottom paint will be done outside next spring.

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Fall Has Arrived

Here are some photos of the fall sunsets and sunrises here on the Lower Columbia River.

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Slough Coot – Haul Out 2019

This Thursday I took “Slough Coot,” our Dudley Dix Cape Henry 21, out of the water after 6 full months of sailing nearly every week, several times a week! I spent 5-1/2 hours pressure washing her bottom paint, removing most of it. This gets it ready it for sanding and applying a fresh coat before next spring. I gave her topside a major league bubble bath. She is now stored in the shop for winter. During this winter I will light the wood stove and give “Slough Coot’s” exterior a compete fresh coat of paint and varnish to her brightwork.

On another note her Genoa is furled. I plan to furl the staysail early this coming spring, it is now Hanked. This way I don’t have to go forward while underway. Also this frees up the forward cockpit, with the staysail bag removed this make for and unencumbered area when dropping and pulling the anchor.

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4 Days on the Lower Columbia

This last week Jody and I spent a few days sailing and cruising the lower Columbia River.

The first night we spent in Steamboat Slough just up river from Skamakowa. It’s a beautiful place like most of the backwater of the lower river. At 6:30 the next morning we caught the out-going tide for Astoria! On the way down, ships (big ships) were making way up river. What is interesting about this river is it is so beautiful, and there are very few people sailing or cruising it. We feel like it is all ours! My mind goes back to Captain Vancouver, Gray, Lewis and Clark and the men that made way across the country that were employed by Jacob Astor. This place is beautiful and having the opportunity to sail it is truly an honor!! One of the biggest blessings is sharing it with my kid and grandkids.

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Barbey Maritime Center Boat Show

This Saturday morning a few of us from the TSCA Lower Columbia River Chapter showed a few of our wood boats in front of the Barbey Maritime Center. We were asked to show our boats to help enrollment for the Barbey boat building classes. We did this last year; it was so successful we were asked to show again this year. I hauled my little 7’ red cedar pram and towed the 12’ Salt Bay Skiff we are raffling off. We sold over 100 tickets. The winning ticket will be pick this November.

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Cathlamet Wooden Boat Show 2019

This last weekend was the Cathlamet Wooden Boat Show. There were about 30 boats registered for the show. Many boats showed in the water and others on the parking lot resting on their trailers. There were also kayaks and canoes of all sizes and styles. 

On Saturday I built a Salt Bay Skiff with the help of TSCA Chapter members. This will be finished in my shop this winter. Last year’s skiff was on display, and Chapter members were selling raffle tickets for it. One lucky person will be the winner and take home this beautiful 12’ vessel complete with a set of oars ready for the water! 

As I was building away on the 12’ skiff for next year’s raffle, Jody and Lil’ Josey were showing “Slough Coot” and “Coot Chick,” our Dudley Dix design Cape Henry 21 and her dinghy a 7’ red cedar pram. Well, as I was driving home yesterday Allen and Julius (TSCA Chapter members) counted the voting ballots and “Slough Coot” won best sailboat!! A great testimony to Jody and to Dudley’s design!!

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Baby Osprey Chicks

Here are a few shots of the 3 baby Osprey chicks! The one on the right is the smallest of the three. Their parents still feed the little one beak to beak so the two bigger ones won’t take its food away from it.

They will be flying in the next week or so. Then mom and dad will teach them to hunt!!

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A Quiet Sail Up the Columbia

After cleaning all the honey equipment Josey and I went for a
quiet sail up the Columbia.

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Birds and Bees Update

This last weekend there was a lot going on in the bee yards and the Osprey nesting platform. 

This late spring and early summer has had its fair share of showers. With those showers comes lots and lots of flowers. It seems to me that the wild blackberry bloom is nearly twice the norm. With this and the rest of the wildflowers this honey harvest is so different than last year’s. The honey is very light and Oh So Good. It’s sweet, mellow and has a slight hint of citrus! Last year’s was very dark, almost a ruby red. Beekeeping is an adventure, I’m always learning something new! Why every year seems to be different is part of the fun of keeping these supernatural bugs!! To me at least. 

The news with our Osprey family is something new as well. We have 3 chicks! Two of the chicks are nearly twice the size of the third. What I’ve noticed is the parents will feed the smaller chick to make sure it gets what is needed to reach adulthood. They just drop fish and the other two eat at will and would leave the small chick to starve. But it seems to me anyway, the parents are making sure this does not happen. In another 4 weeks or so they will start their test flights!

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Honey Bees Swarming

This last Saturday late in the afternoon one of my hives swarmed. This happens when the hive becomes too small for so many bees. This is also the honey bees’ natural way of reproducing. The queen takes approximately half of the hive and SWARMS. They’ll land on a tree branch or pretty much anything, but most of us has seen a large ball of bees hanging from a tree branch. Afterwards, scout bees go looking for a new home. It could be a hole in a tree or in the wall of an old barn or an abandoned house. This new place will allow the new hive to grow from approximately 10-20 thousand bees to 40-50 thousand bees.

The original hive will make a new queen, and in 16 days she will emerge. She will fly on two mating flights far from her hive so as to keep the blood line strong. Then she will go about laying 1,500 eggs a day till early fall. She can live up to five years.

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