Just like in the magazines
Columbia river Fish Hatchery - the Gorge
Woke to a good forecast for today with typical summer winds said to be 25-30 knots through the main corridor (Doug's to past Swell City).
After breakfast and some time in the Dog River Coffee co. For my daughter to use the wifi it was off to the river. Pulled into a full parking lot so had to park across the highway which I actually liked better as there was grass and space as opposed to pebbles on the Hatch side. Rigged 3.7 after a quick river check, launched down the rocks and off I went. Kind of surreal to look up the river and see the view I had seen from magazines all the way back from the eighties. Crazy crowded in front of the launch where everyone gybes or throws down the freestyle in the flat water "viewing area". Also absolutely psycho chop on the river. Pretty darn easy sailing though (especially after the coast) . Was nice to rinse off my stuff in the fresh water though. Some of the things I noticed (or realized) were that the age of most of the windsurfers was up there. I was by no means out of place age-wise. Also the percentage of women sailors was relatively large ( Suz thought about 25% which compared to here is off the charts). It was full-on 3.7 for me but the swell was never THAT big. Good for boosting airs and backside riding fun though. The stick of choice was by far a single fin. It is also very weird to be motoring UPWIND when you fall in - the current was solid at the Hatchery for sure. Lastly - never trust Americans for water wear advice. A lot were wearing wetsuits and booties but I was too warm in a shorty and the rocks are big and easy to go barefooted on. Some good moves going down and some low but fast loops both fwd and back which would suit a medium day at home - you learn a lot sailing with that many skilled guys and girls. Lulled a little mid-day (to 4.7) but I was back on the 3.7 later in the afternoon until I was too tired to even jump or gybe properly. I didn't want it to end. A great day that more than lived up to my expectations. There are pictures coming once I sort them out.
Windy, sunny, warm and Gorge-ey