Weather Calls Us Back Stateside
Once we’re stateside again, migratory instincts draw us north to San Francisco Bay and its vast Delta cruising grounds. For an incognito foray into California’s wine country, grab a low-key slip at Napa Valley Marina and line up vineyard tours and wine tastings at a dozen excellent vineyards within 15
miles, such as Carneros Creek, Stag’s Leap, Mondavi, Bouchaine, DeSoto, Madonna,
McKenzie Mueller, Etude, and more. Sunday brunch among the vines is offered May
30 to mid August.
We can easily spend two weeks exploring the Columbia River, from Astoria Bar, on
the Pacific Ocean, for 120 miles upstream through the Willamette Valley to the head
of navigation at Bonneville Dam. Snowy-peak views of Mount Hood and Mount St.
Helens greet us as we round the river bends. At Big Eddy Marina, we inspect a unique
collection of houseboats across from the Lewis and Clark Highway near Gresham.
Farther north, Puget Sound’s woodsy waterways could satisfy our wanderlust through
spring. Renaissance Faires dot the Pacific Northwest, and one of the finest occurs in early
June at the traditional Norwegian village of Poulsbo, about 25 sea miles from Seattle.
Meet Our New
BoatU.S. West Coast
With a degree in journalism, Pat Miller
Rains fell in love with boats in 1977 while
cruising with friends. “I’d taken a year
sabbatical from life to recover from
divorce and discovered Serena, a 26-foot
Piver trimaran abandoned at Puerto
Escondido. Rebuilding that little boat
rescued me, too. Learning to explore by
boat opened the world I thrive in today.”
Pat cruised the Sea of Cortez for five
years aboard Serena, while working as
a writer and photographer for the Log
Newspaper, Los Angeles Times, Cruising
World, Sail, Sailing, Western Boatman,
and other nautical publications.
In 1984, delivery captain John Rains
invited Pat to crew for him to San
Francisco. For the next 25 years, they
delivered 200 different boats from the
U.S. East Coast
to the U.S. West
Coast via the
and the Western
and Hawaii. Along
the way, Pat
sea miles, earned her U.S. Coast Guard
100-ton masters license, her ham radio
general call sign KB6HBI, wrote three
guidebooks to Mexico and Central
America, and married John.
Pat gives popular seminars at Trawler
Fest, Strictly Sail, the San Diego Boat
Show, and local yacht club and does
webinars for the Seven Seas Cruising
Association ( SSCA.org). Pat and John
still go cruising with friends for pleasure
and to update Pat’s guidebooks.
For upcoming issues of BoatU.S.
Magazine, Pat is working on an inspiring
feature on 10 great small-boat trips on
the West Coast, a guide to boating in
the Colombia River, great tips for whale
watching, and an informative article
on customized weather charts.
Welcome aboard, Pat!
The San Francisco
Bay Area is always
a draw for boaters
(above). The iconic
Coronado Boat House
in the boaters’ mecca
of San Diego (right).