Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Ghostly sunrise from the St. Helens City docks where we waited
to get re-accepted at our former Portland OR marina.

How the heck did I manage to let 4 weeks slip by since my last post?!?

Astoria Bridge, behind us we work our way up the Columbia River.

I left off posting when we were headed back across the Columbia Bar; blissfully another non-event across the “graveyard of the Pacific” thanks to Wayne’s excellent planning and some good luck.

Mt. Hood welcomes us home as we wend our way from the ocean up the Columbia River
toward Portland Oregon.

We arrived back in the exact same Jantzen Bay marina slip we left in the summer of 2018. 

A dock in the middle of nowhere between Cathlamet and Longview.
We stopped overnight to cruise rather than buck the tides.

Ultimately, it was the cold weather and our tropics-spoiled blood that prompted us to get back on the grid to heat our boat more thoroughly than our main cabin propane heater can. For us, that means plugging in an electric space heater and a heated mattress pad. What can I say? Now anything colder than 70 degrees F now feels cold!

Approaching the Longview Bridge. Not far from St. Helens, where we waited for our
live-aboard approval for a slip in Portland Oregon.

We’ve been on the move since May when we left Florida with my Prius packed to the gills with what last bit of stuff that didn’t fit, moved by Greyhound. It’s easy for the time to fly when there’s a healthy list of stuff that’s harder to do when you don’t stay in any one place for long.

To name a few… 

Smook, a very affectionate kitty who was kind enough to
welcome me to his home for a house-sit.

  1. filling out the 5-page 2-point type document to get re-accepted into our former marina as live-aboards
  2. setting up a PO Box (as our marina doesn’t accept mail)
  3. getting caught up on our snail mail
  4. moving into yet one more very small storage area (goal — digitize my photos and dump the storage area)
  5. starting to catch up with friends and family
  6. tracking down some less mainstream personal hygiene items,
  7. replacing some of my more threadbare clothing and adding some items for colder weather
  8. acquiring some mail-order odds and ends
  9. setting up to house-sit with Trusted to get in my pet fix and to get off the boat a few times this winter (and just finished my first stint today)
  10. getting an extension for completing my online marketing class that required more regular wifi connection that I could spare for classwork(due now the end of the year)
  11. working on a few freelance writing projects…

Latourell Falls, part of the Gorge Scenic Highway waterfall loop.

Our unexpected reward for returning before November is the most vivid fall colors I can recall in my 20+ years in the Pacific Northwest. While the weather’s been chilly, often dropping into the 30s overnight and not getting warmer than the mid-50s most days. But, we’ve had mostly sunny skies, little rain, and not much wind.

We scoped out the dock area at Beacon Rock, further up the Gorge, for future reference.

It was a treat to make a couple trips up to the Gorge, take in the sights of the area that lured me up to the Northwest back in the late 80s, and get in some great hiking.

Bridge by Bridal Veil Falls, Columbia Rive Scenic Highway waterfall loop.

What next? Well, there’s always boat work to do!

Wayne, doing brightwork on the boat over the summer. Other projects await.

Beyond that, we’re open. 

I’ve got a couple presentations to make on our sailing adventures. 

Image from

Eventually, I need to decide what is the “one through message” for my book that will inspire me to pick it back up and finish writing it.

I’m leaning toward developing my freelance work while finding other ways to re-connect with the community around me so I feel like I’m doing more than just passing through.

At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful to have the luxury of options and time to figure it out.

Portland’s chock-a-block with cool murals. This one was in the Goat Blocks, by Market of Choice.

Location Location
We’re back in Jantzen Bay Marina (N45 47.449 W122 47.189), Portland Oregon.

Up Next
I will do a roundup of our most recent cruising, how far we went, the highlights, etc. – unless I can’t resist doing a post with some more “beauty shots” of the Gorge scenic area first.