Worst day ever on the Columbia---read for a laugh--by Mac & Panda

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BearlyAwake

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Joined
Aug 18, 2010
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10
Location
Saint Helens,Or
They say the worst day of fishing is better than the best day of work.....they are soooo wrong.
We started the day Saturday 8/28 putting in at Scappoose Bay at around 7 in the morning. Finally got our
16' Smokercraft running really good the day before and my wife Panda and I were excited to go Salmon fish in our first Johnny's derby.

(Our Boat)
All was great and we made the turn around Sand Island when the motor started cutting out and died in the middle of the channel. The bulb went flat and motor would not restart. Frantically we worked on getting fuel back to the motor and had our heads buried under the back panel.
As if by fate we both look up just in time to see we have drifted closer to shore, and were heading straight for a long row of pilings jetting out from the Washington side.
I scramble and toss our thankfully heavy anchor over into the shallower water, and tie off to the bow cleat. The swells were 2-3 feet and just as the anchor struck hold we bounce up and the outboard just barely scrapes the pilings.
There we are dead in the water and our stern just inches away from smacking the pilings bobbing up and down with the swells.
Finally we get fuel to flow again and I get the motor started. I do all I can to inch forward to keep us off the pilings as my wife tries to pull the anchor. I look forward and she has the anchor rope over the side of the boat holding it, but is not strong enough to pull it up as it is stuck. We scream at each other trying to will the thing lose and finally it works free and she is able to pull it in the rest of the way with all the strength she has.
We decide to go ahead and try to get to a fishing spot. We find one but the current is not running yet and all boats anchored are sideways. We motor around about an hour or longer and then finally decide to drop anchor. As she drops it, I fail to notice as I drift back to my spot the line is not going out as I move back. The anchor ball had locked and we were not setting the anchor, but it was barely on bottom. We set into a spot and get all rigged to fish. After about 30 minutes of fishing I glance over and we have drifted a good boat length and a half back from our spot. It hits me we have to reanchor, so we pull gear and try again, half way back I realize what was happning and have to motor forward again and make sure that the rope is free so it sets the anchor....success.
As we sit fishing, the swells are getting worse and worse. For the first time ever I start to get....seasick. I lose my breakfast and we decide to fish awhile longer and head in...
We again pull the heavy anchor and motor back toward the marina. The boat dies again in front of the St Helens Courthouse but we are lucky enough to be able to get to the Sand Island docks to work on it. From there it was 1/4 speed to the slew as the motor did not want to run at all right...dying...restarting...dying...restarting. We make it half way down the slew and see the turn for the marina when it dies and the batery decides it had had enough for the day and goes dead as well. We anchor yet again.
Making a phone call we find that her uncle just pulled out and was heading home, he puts his boat back in and comes out to tow us...

(Us being towed in)
I realize on the way that the keys for our truck had been taken off the ring and I had the key for the ignition in my pocket, but the door key had been locked in the truck.
She calls her mom to take her home to get the other set of keys as I wait there tied to the dock.
We finally get the boat loaded and head to drop it off. Just as we leave the marina, we hear a noise we thought was the net falling over, but keep going.
She goes to button the boat up for the day and sees that the awesome bucket mount toilet seat lid we had is nowhere to be found...the sound we heard earlier was it flying out of the boat.
It was the "Capper to the Crapper" of a day we were having.
We were able to go back and find it still intact by the side of the road, and I got some weird looks as I walked down the road with toilet seat in hand and people passed by.
So people....things can happen to take what we feel will be a great day...and turn it into the day from Hell...we know this to be true, and we both hope it never happens to you...

(Our anchor and the toilet seat)
 
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B

BobbiDollPDX

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Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
644
Location
Milwaukie, Oregon
Wow, that is some story.

But you know what... even though things went wrong, you guys managed to keep yourselves and your boat intact (with the exception of the temporary loss of the toilet seat).

Hopefully your next outing will be much more pleasant.
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Apr 15, 2008
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4,733
Location
Less than 50 feet from the Santiam River! :)
Oh,dear! So,how much are you asking for the boat? lol What a day,but it sounds like you were able to keep your sense of humor AND your toilet seat! It has got to be better next time. Thanks for sharing,we need to be reminded that crappy days on the water do happen. ;-)
 
S

Swamp Puppy

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
207
Location
Warren, OR
Mac - i believe i know who towed you in. i think i was fishing next to him yesterday. those fuel line problems can be a pain. i know. had the exact same thing happen to me.

Saturday was a beast of a day for sure. We didn't even get out. i put the boat in at St Helens about 7 and tried to run out. i made it about to the red can below sand island before i called it off and headed back. we sat at the marina until close to 10am waiting for it to lay down. probably 7 or 8 boats (bigger than me) came back in during that time talking about taking water over the bow and stern.....made me glad i didn't brave it.

Got out sunday and watched the guys in the line above us catch all the fish. that was frustrating as that is the line we usually fish in. of course, once people see where fish are caught it a race to get there the next day and i just can't do 4-5am to get to a spot.

glad you got in safe! saturday was no day for boat trouble. heck, it was no day for a boat unless you were sporting something in the 21ft range. lol.
 
B

beaverfan

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
2,179
Location
Beaverton, Oregon
Sounds like a pretty crappy day, but it could have been much worse! Glad you guys made it safe!
 
D

DuckWorth

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Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
10
Location
Clackamas oregon
I know how your Saterday went there Mac and Panda , I was going to go out bank fishing leaven the boat at home but never got out of the driveway .
coffe in the the rig,putting the poles in and the wind catches the side door and whack ,clips off the tip of my pole and latches close with my 2 fat fingers in the door, only good thing was keys were in my pocket and could reach the drivers door to unlock to get my fingers back out .
None the less I did not go fishing or out to the rig that hole day now have 2 very swollen fingers with black nails , so I know about a crappy saterday , glad you all made in back home safe and sound .
New thing for me never going bank fishing on a saterday its my boat or the lazyboy tell Sunday lol .
 
C

cddunn

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Coast Range,Or
Thanks for the post. As a newbie boater with a 13 ft tinny who wants to try the Coumbia in that area, it's certainly an eye opener.
 

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