Old Times on the River

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It’s been 49 days on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and my journey throughout Washington and Oregon is drawing to a close. Tonight, we are leaving Portland for Alameda, California. The Sea Bird will spend a month docked in Alameda while she is ripped apart, scoured, and put back together with new bells and whistles for the upcoming year. Where does this leave me? My bank account stagnant for three weeks. My home away from home with holes in her side. My tales of a right sea-faring adventurer put on hold until Baja.

In four short days, I will be kicked off the boat and told to fend for myself. Two of my best friends from Boston College are in the Bay area, so I will be staying with them for a week until I take my free plane ticket back home to Upstate NY for several weeks. Plans/goals? Sleep an absurd amount. Start Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #10. Maybe obtain my open water diver certification. Also buy a camera lens for wildlife photography.

Excusez-moi while go check my bank account again…

Hmmm.

Though I will miss the relaxed pace of river living, I am ready to sail in saltwater once again. There’s something about star-gazing up on the lido deck late into the night while listening to whales’ blowholes that you just can’t recreate on the river. Sure, you get the occasional breaching salmon, but even they seem anxious to finish their trek upstream.

Also being lulled to sleep by the rocking of gentle waves. I miss that.

Speaking of gentle waves, it sounds like conditions our 3-day trip from Portland to Alameda will be, well, not that. Captain held a meeting yesterday in which he declared the upcoming waves high and rough. The stewards are being moved out of the foc’sle (the forward, most bottom part of the boat) to guest cabins above where the motion will be more manageable. Today, the crew is working tirelessly to secure and latch loose objects, board up windows, tape drawers shut, the works. We have been instructed to wear life jackets and bring another person if we venture outside.

But, dare I say, only 9 hour working days for the next 4 days. 8am-5pm. Living the dream.

I will leave you all with some of my favorite pictures from the WA and OR. Thank you, river, for being beautiful, slow-paced, and serene. Perhaps we will see each other again someday.

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