Bay Area residents Sharon Calahan and Keith Olenick are happily spending their first year of cruising on board their Nordhavn 47, Borealis, in the Columbia River which starts in Washington and winds its way down to straddle the Oregon-Washington border.
After taking delivery of their boat in May last year, the Olenicks made a couple of shakedown trips from Dana Point to Catalina Island and back, but the trip up the coast to Portland, Oregon later that summer was Borealis ‘ real maiden voyage.
The trip up the west coast of the U.S. is a notoriously grueling one, but the Olenicks were delighted once they discovered the cruising ground offered by the Columbia River. “We have found the Columbia to have some nice cruising, especially for the long weekend trip, which is what we will be doing for the next few years” said Sharon. They had originally planned to take the boat back down to San Francisco in the spring, but instead will stay put until a trip down to Dana Point to have some warrantee work done in a few months.
Portland, itself, was a pleasant surprise. Flying in and out of Portland is easy and they have a terrific freshwater berth. Along the river, Oregon and Washington have invested admirably in moorage, said Sharon. Although she thought the fields were somewhat primitive, she said they were well kept and generally offered at no cost.
The couple flew home for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but returned back to the boat immediately after the New Year. It ‘ s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of their jobs in the city. ” We enjoy and always look forward to the slower pace and quiet that can be found in the more remote spots along the Columbia River, ” Sharon said. ” The boat is a conveyance that almost always avoids traffic jams, and the river offers nice places to tie up at intervals which allow for a pleasant cruise and never requires a watch schedule. “