Or, we could backtrack to Buoy 41.
St. Helens lies 39 miles upstream
from Cathlamet, but on the Oregon side.
Several full-service marinas and yacht
clubs line the shore, including clusters of
houseboats, and they all have dramatic
views northeast across the river of snow-
capped Mount St.
Helens – yes, the
volcano that noto-
riously erupted in
1980 (and is still
active). St. Helens is only about 25
miles from downtown Portland, so many
residents commute to work – some by
boat. Here’s where we joined up with
John and Sue Waikart, commodores
and cruise coordinators of the Columbia
River Association of Yacht Clubs.
3. The Multnomah Channel
For a quick shortcut away from the
strong current, the Multnomah
Channel branches slightly west from
Top left: The Bonneville Dam. Above:
The I5 truss bridge over the Columbia
River. Below: The marina at Beacon
Rock State Park features a boat
launch, dock, and a pumpout station.
100 slips with guest docks to 80 feet
LOA, diesel, gas, launch ramps, and
parking. This small marina is an active
boating center with a full calendar of
activities, while docks along the town
cater to small ships and fishing boats.
A pleasant half-mile walk takes us to
Cathlamet Market in the middle of
town – a good place for boaters to provision. To depart, we could continue up
Cathlamet Channel by going under a
bridge with 60-foot clearance before
rejoining the main stream at Buoy 67.
See this article online at BoatUS.com/
Magazine for important anchoring tips,
navigation checklist, great hikes and trails,
and historic sites in the area.