I knew that Nisa would fall or jump into the water. I knew that at some point I would have to haul up a wet dog. It has happened. Nisa has fallen off the dock into the 3rd most polluted river in the country, yuck. It happened late one night, coming home late from a friends house we stopped to use the restroom before heading to the boat for the night (when in a marina, we use the local facilities rather than using the boat). First it was Susanna’s turn then mine. When I came out of the restroom imagine my surprise to find Susanna on her knees holding a VERY surprised dog by her collar who was not on the dock, but rather in the water!
I used my superpowers and pulled a very dirty, very surprised doglette from the water. Remember now, that it is eleven o’clock at night and about forty degrees. We took her highness the wet one back to boat and hosed her off. Even with the hosing she was still just a little smelly, but seemed no worse for the wear, or so I thought.
FAST FORWARD 4 DAYS. After having breakfast with Winnie at a great little cafe in St. Johns that has the best breakfast out that I have ever had, we returned to the boat to find the fuzzball missing about 20 square inches of fur on her rump. Something irritated her enough to cause her to pull out, at the roots, all the hair over a four or five square inch area of her skin. What she exposed was a very unhappy patch of skin.
In my work in the ER and ICU during college, I had the misfortune to smell a few nasty, nasty infections. It was very clear from the appearance and smell that the Wonderdog was no longer the Wonderdog, but rather the Infected-Ass chewer. The discovery of her condition launched me into SOAP mode. Subjective: Smells like a nasty infection. Objective: Redness, Apparent puss, very tender to touch. Assessment: Some how she got a nasty, nasty infection from falling then 3rd dirtiest river in the country. Plan: Bath, clean and dress the wound.
In the end we got her bald spot cleaned up and now she wonders around with a red radar like cone to keep her from pulling off her bandages. Combine the cone with twice daily bandage changes and wound checks and I am happy to report the besides the standard state of boredom that she seems to be in as we are packing, she is on the mend.
Speaking of packing, Susanna has spent the past weeks gathering food for this expedition. It has been a long held belief that I starved to death in a previous life because when the cupboards are full I am happy. And man am I happy. 5 months of food is amazing. I am told that there are enough Oreos for me to have a tube of Oreos once a week from now until we reach Valdez in September! WOOO HOOO!
Provisioning has also lead to a few experimental food failures. When we where back in Colorado we started trying all sorts of new things, things we would normally not try, like canned potatoes, which, by the way are very tasty.
So here we are in Oregon, there are some things at these grocery stores that we did not have the chance to try back in Colorado. Like canned corn beef: Gross. Nisa didn’t even like it. Now that says something. The other failure was a Campbell’s “Pour Over”. In theory this should be really good. Make some mashed potatoes and pour over the warmed contents of the can over the potatoes and you should have a quick hot meal. The reality is that you get dog food flavored, mystery chunks over your nice and tasty mashers. What a waste of mashers!
In all seriousness I am amazed at the job my wonderful wife has done with the provisioning and packing. The process has been incredibly long and fairly complex. She has acquired, portioned and stowed enough food for the voyage ahead. In the mean time she has also managed to take 2 inches off of Bluewater’s waterline. We will just have to eat our way back to performance.
Several people have asked about the plan. So here is it is. We are pulling away from the dock in Scappoose on the morning of the 15th. Weather willing. We will travel downstream to the town of Cathlamet in Washington, spend the night and then head down to Astoria Tuesday. My father is riding his Harley out to Astoria and his wife will be joining us that weekend. In the mean time we will be sailing and shaking down the boat. Mostly we will be preparing to cross the Columbia River bar and head off shore up to the Neah Bay and the strait of Juan De Fuca. Tentatively we plan on staging to leave Astoria for Ilwaco (Closer to the Bar) in the days after my father’s wife returns to Colorado. Our departure from Ilwaco and crossing of the bar is then at the mercy of the winds and the tides. We could leave immediately or the weather could hold us in Ilwaco for as long as it sees fit. There is no telling what will happen.
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