After Al turned on the radio, and just before we were ready to go, we heard two tugs speaking with John Day dam. The Willamette was just exiting the locks, another vessel was approaching from below, and the Chief was waiting behind the Willamette.
We saw the Willamette pass and started out. Al has been verifying ranges on our trip and wanted to go around Miller Island by the south channel to pick up three ranges we missed on the way upriver by taking the more scenic north channel (Hell's Gate).
Then just as we were rounding the bend, we heard the Celilo railroad bridge controller on the radio saying the bridge was preparing to close, did any vessels need passage. The Willamette called and said he did, and the controller said he would hold the train. We called and said that we were 45 minutes behind the Willamette and we would slow down to allow the train to cross before us. We knew from radio reports that the Chief was about 45 minutes behind us--a BUSY day on the river! Especially so, since when we arrived at the bridge, it had not even BEGUN to be lowered. We ended up losing about an hour.
|The Chief eases in|
|Five stories of power! Six if you count the engine room below water.|
|The lock is 86 feet wide, and the load is 84....|
The Chief got the green light to leave the lock and sure enough, the wash started a bit of a whirlpool effect, pulling the stern of the boat out (when our lines slipped a bit) and set the bow on the wall. (More Cetol work for Al.)