Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Senator Ron Wyden stops in at Big Winds to celebrate the 4th!

Senator Ron Wyden stops in at Big Winds to celebrate the 4th! We talked with him about paddlboarding and why The Columbia River is such a special playground – all part of his 7 Wonders Oregon tour.

 

 

 
Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

Low Columbia River Level – October 24th, 2014

The Army Corps of Engineers lowered the Bonneville pool for maintenance on the Bonneville Dam. It wasn’t a great day for photography but we got some anyway.

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Mosier, looking east

Mosier, looking east

Mosier, looking west

Mosier, looking west

Mosier, looking west from Highway 30

Mosier, looking west from Highway 30

Rowena

Rowena

Mayer State Park

Mayer State Park

Before and after of Rowena as seen from Rowena Crest:


 

Klickitat River.

Klickitat River.

Island of the Dead, from Memaloose Lookout:


The Hatchery

The Hatchery

Swell City.

Swell City.

The sandbar, from White Salmon:


 

Wells Island from White Salmon

Wells Island from White Salmon

The Hook from White Salmon

The Hook from White Salmon

The Marina, looking east:


 

The Marina, looking west:


 

The east side of the Event Site

The east side of the Event Site

The west side of the Event Site

The west side of the Event Site

The Waterfront Park:


The Hook looking east

The Hook, inside

The Hook, outside

The Hook, outside and Wells Island

Swell City and The Hatchery from the Columbia Gorge Hotel

Swell City and The Hatchery from the Columbia Gorge Hotel

Children of the Wind

COTW posert

At Andrew’s Pizza Skylight Theater, July 18th, 7:30PM.

Children of the Wind tells the story of two brothers and a cousin who journey from poor fishing families on a tiny Caribbean island to become three of the best freestyle windsurfers in history.

Children of the WindThis event is being handled by tugg.com. Please help spread the word. 55 tickets must be sold by July 11th for the movie to be shown.

Don’t worry! If the threshold isn’t reached, the event will be called off and no one will be charged for their ticket purchase.

Here’s where to order.

Children of the WindSet against the backdrop of the 2011 Windsurfing World Cup on Bonaire, the film follows the boys over 15 years as they transform not only their island but the face of the sport worldwide.

Children of the WindThe film focuses on brothers Tonky and Taty Frans and their cousin Kiri who come from a poor fishing family and began windsurfing before the age of ten, using whatever broken or discarded equipment they could scrounge, and who are now, twenty years later, global superstars.

Children of the WindTonky, Taty and Kiri burst onto the international scene in 2001 when, along with thirty or so other Bonaire sailors, they attended windsurfing’s North American Championship in Florida. Given the island’s economic status, just getting to Florida was an achievement in itself. Once there, they caused a sensation, taking home twenty trophies between them. Given that Bonaire has a population of under 15,000 and had, at the time, no way to fund formal training facilities, provide equipment or pay for travel to events, this accomplishment was simply astonishing.

Children of the WindThe Frans brothers and Kiri are now among the top five freestyle windsurfers in the world and have become local heroes on their island. More remarkable: Bonaire continues to produce young champions at every age category of the ProKids World Championship, which started on the island. Set against the backdrop of the 2011 Freestyle Windsurfing World Cup on Bonaire, Children of the Wind is an exciting tale of kids who refused to be defined by the limits of their circumstance, and consequently transformed a sport.

 

Big Winds Featured in Chamber of Commerce Video

 

Steve and Lizie with the iconic Hood River bridge in the background. Click to play video.

Steve and Lizie with the iconic Hood River bridge in the background. Click to play video.

The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce put together an introductory video on standup paddle boarding. Steve gives Lizie Yance some basic tips on how to get started in the growing sport of SUP.

Steve gives on-the-water instruction to Lizie Yance of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

Steve gives on-the-water instruction to Lizie Yance of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

Oops

bridge-crash

The following is the text of a press release issued March  30, 2009 by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SEATTLE) — Coast Guard Sector Portland, Ore., is investigating a bridge allision involving the Tidewater Tug Defiance and the Hood River Bridge on the Columbia River in Ore., Saturday. At 3:20 a.m. the Tug Defiance was pushing three barges ahead when one of the barges allided with the north pylon of the Hood River Bridge.

Immediately following the incident, the Tug Defiance and barges quickly moored upriver at the SDS Lumber facility in Bingen, Ore., to assess the damage.

Crewmembers from Sector Portland worked with Tidewater in determining that the barge had sustained minor damage and is safe for continued cargo operations.

The Port of Hood River inspected the bridge and found no damage. There is no current threat to the environment and the bridge remains open to all traffic.

==

The things you learn: allision: to strike or dash against. Maybe an allision is a collision only not as bad.

Toward the end of July, 2006 a fierce wind blew through Hood River that left almost all of the sailors in the corridor frustrated and mildly confused. It wasn’t that the wind blew hard, it was that it had a wicked southerly angle, a component that leaves all but the truly stubborn on the beach. On occasion, though, the stubborn are rewarded. The trick to surviving the southerly (other than leaving the corridor completely) is to put in at the Event Site, smile to the nice kiteboarders and turn right and sail in their area. In fact, the payoff is to be so stubborn that you sail through the whole kite community and stay just down river of the Marina. NOBODY sails there except, on this one day, me and some Canadian hockey player with long blond hair. Maybe it was a dream. It felt like it after this day.

In a big southerly, the waves pile up against the Washington wall and bounce off, forming wedges that make the hassle worthwhile. Only the hockey player and I were taking advantage. Actually, she was there by accident, having put in at the Marina and turned left. I found out about her heritage and passions as we sat on the tip of the sand bar and watched a barge driver take a couple of shots at the Hood River bridge. It’s a narrow part of the river, so when a barge comes through, it’s best just to take a breather and watch.

The wind got puffier and stronger and backed further south. I’d say the gusts had to be in the upper thirties. I was getting pushed around pretty hard on my 4.2. I couldn’t imagine how a barge, with that much surface area facing perpendicular to the odd wind direction would manage to stuff his load through that little bridge opening. And, he didn’t, on the first try. That big yellow smiley (BYS) face turned grim with determination as the tug driver floored it. I guess he thought he could get through with a burst of speed. But the Wind said, “No way, bud,” and dealt out a monster puff.

Reverse. I didn’t know those things could stop that quickly. The new problem was that now that he had stopped, the wind was about to shove him onto the Washington shore. Black smoke poured out of the tug’s stacks as he jammed it into full reverse, with his stern toward me and the hockey player. Once he got some way on he turned down river. The effect on his barge was sort of like crack-the-whip; he sort of flung it so that it lined up again with the river. He continued backing up clear to the White Salmon bridge, making an even bigger mess for all the sailors.

The hockey player and I resumed sailing. Soon a little tug (LT) came from the lumber yard in Bingen and joined BYS. Two tugs are better than one. I thought it would take them awhile to hook LT up to the front of BYS but they didn’t bother. The plan was to have LT push the nose of BYS enough into the wind as they approached the bridge. So, the hockey player and I took another seat on the sand bar and watched. There was a lot more black smoke and churning water but they made it. No dings. Another blond came paddling up to us in a kayak. He said a few words to the hockey player and they took off together and made their way back to the Marina.

Steve’s Big Week

Steve Nailing a Jibe in the Gorge

It was a great week to be a windsurfer/kiteboarder in the Gorge! After a chilly spring and spotty wind, things cranked up in a big way this past week, with the full range of conditions offered up.

After my latest start to the season in memory, I was committed to make up for lost time, and sailed four of the last seven days, loving (almost) every minute of it. Monday was a perfect 4.2 after-work session at the White Salmon Bridge, with a clean swell and lots of open space.

Thursday I wedged a brief-but-memorable session in between work and an evening meeting. I was fully lit up on a 3.4, with the biggest swell I can remember at the Hatchery. It was beyond big, with sailors disappearing behind clean, smooth, almost mast-high river swells!

Friday was another really fun after-work employee sailing session at the Event Site on 5 and 6 meter sails and freeride boards. It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of how much fun it is to go rip around with friends in 15-20 mph breezes. Social sailing. Pretty darn fun.

I ended the week with a rugged, really windy 3.4 session at Doug’s yesterday afternoon. It was the definition of rough water! I also squeezed in a few tennis matches and a bunch of work. This place is exhausting!

See you out there,
Steve