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Ed 10: August

Ed 9: 2015 July

Ed 8: 2015 June

Under construction

Ed 7: 2015 May

On May 5 We travelled from Amsterdam via Houston to Portland. After having picked up our rental car we drove to Scappoose to go on board of the Talmar. We had a stop at Safeway to do some shopping of the essentials. The boat looked fine and was cared very well by our neighbor Faye. After a drink and a snack we wanted only one thing…go asleep. During the flights you try to sleep as much as possible, because it ‘shortens’ the travel, but the longer you are in the plane the less comfortable it gets.

The next time we mainly used for preparing the boat for the season; cleaning, maintenance, installing some new equipment, a.s.o.

Also we met and visited all our friends and had fun together. With Faye, we went for a couple of days to our best friends Don and Sandy, who live in Warrenton near the Pacific. They go frequently to the beach to dig razor clams. Of course we joined them to experience the practice of digging them deep in the wet beach sand with a tubular tool. Back home the ‘harvest’ was immediately cleaned and prepared for consumption. The clams are delicious in pasta and of course for preparing clam chowder.

We also changed the flag of the Talmar. Initially we flagged and registered the boat in the Netherlands, Haarlem. But mainly because of problems due to national rules and additional costs that we would have after leaving Oregon, we decided to flag and register (title) the Talmar in Oregon and now we have the Stars and Stripes at the stern of our boat.

Another issue was to own a car here, instead of many times renting a car. For doing shopping and making an outing in the area. Cars are in the US much cheaper than in The Netherlands, so we started searching at internet to find a suitable used car. The only problem that you encounter is that you don’t know to choose, because there are so many good looking cars for sale. But we found and selected a suitable model and bought the car. The choice was a Chevrolet Captiva Sport SUV, 2014. a good looking and practical car with many comfort items built-in.

However, when we wanted to insure the car we were told that our Dutch driver license could not be accepted, we had to get a US driver license. We informed about the conditions and were informed that our Dutch (European) driver license was not excepted to get a US driver license, while our neighbors in Germany with their German (European) driver license were accepted (?!?). The only way was to do the theoretical and the practical driver test. After some weeks of studying and preparing, both of us succeeded in doing the tests and now we also have our US driver license.

The first guest on board was our niece Annet, who arrived on May 10 for a stay till June 2. With Annet we had a pleasant time and we showed her around in Portland and along the Columbia River. She did also liked shopping very much.Together with Faye, we made a cruise on the Columbia River to Beacon Rock. We like this trip to the Columbia River Gorge, where the mighty river crosses the Cascades Mountains. It is a beautiful landscape, forested mountains with many water falls, steep rocky walls and of course also the many trains that pass by on both river banks, blowing their horns all the time. Elma likes that sound very much, even in the night. At the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River, just behind the Bonneville Dam is a restaurant where they serve our favorite burger and at the parking lot are Native Americans, who sell fresh salmon for which you have to deal. This time we bought a “Springer”, the first salmons of the year that go upriver. These salmons are more expensive, but also very delicious. 

We brought Don and Sandy another visit and had a campfire on the Pacific beach. The next day we made a car tour along the coast, with stops at Seaside, Canon Beach and Haystack Rock. We also went out for ‘crabbing’. During the season you may catch dungeness crabs, but only at a certain size and only the male, to secure future crabbing. Some stinking fish or chicken meat is put in a bait holder and this into the crab trap, constructed in a way that they can enter, but not leave.  But Don was not lucky and catched only female or ones to small in size.

With friends in the Marina we go from time to time to Mark’s on the River, a restaurant/bar in the marina, where regularly you can enjoy live music.

Another Spring event here is going to Sauvie Island, which is just on the other side of the Multnomah Channel, where our Marina is located. There are many farms that grow strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. You may pick them yourself and pay at the farm a reasonable price. They taste delicious, pure and juicy. 

In the Northwest there are many micro-breweries; many pubs brew their own beer and ale using all kind of recipes and the tastes are delicious. At home in The Netherlands Elma hardly drinks any beer at all, but here she really likes it. Mostly at the end of the afternoon we have our ‘Happy Hour’ on the sunny deck of the boat to enjoy these beer and ale with some snacks.

Ed 6: 2014 (under construction)

Ed 5: 2013 October

Our friend Gerard returned on October 2 back home in the Netherlands after an almost 2-weeks stay with us. We had a good time together and did a lot of excursions in the environment. Gerard enjoyed the stay on board and noticed the difference with staying on a sailboat; more comfort and more relaxed.

The next day we sailed the boat to the winter berth location in Scappoose in order to prepare the boat for the winter. We were welcomed in the marina by our neighbors and other marina residents.

The next period we spent on boat preparation for the winter stay and when the weather was nice to do a bike trip in the surroundings. The last week before our return to the Netherlands we had a rental car. Now we could also bring some visits to Portland. We also made an interesting tour to Astoria and to Cape Disappointment to see the Columbia River Bar, that we will pass next year. We also visited the fishing harbor of Westport, WA to see the possibility of a stop-over here on our cruise to the Puget. 

On one of the docks we saw a small colony of see lions making a lot of noise to each others. We had an excellent lunch in one of the local restaurants and tasted their crab cakes and other sea food. On the way back we passed the town Elma, WA.

For the winter period we made canvas covers for the cockpit and the windows of the pilothouse. Our new Sunbrella canvas covers from last year were quite effected by algae during the wet winter period.

Further we ordered at the dealer in Portland a new dinghy and outboard, to be delivered next spring. The dinghy is a Boston Whaler 110 Sport with a 25 hp Mercury outboard.

Our good neighbors Don and Sandy will take care of the boat during our absent, but also other marina residents and the harbor master will keep an eye on her, thus our boat is in best possible hands.

On October 15 we go back home and we look back at a beautiful season on our 'new' boat in Oregon, USA. By working on the boat for maintenance and fitting her out to our wishes, we got knowledge of all functions and by cruising and maneuvering we learned also the practical handling with a motor boat of this size. But by traveling through Oregon and Washington and visiting many of the cities, interesting places and nature parks, meeting their friendly people, enjoying the delicious food and excellent special beers, we came to the conclusion that we fell in love with this area of the USA. We made the right decision to explore the USA by motorboat, combined with land tours by public transport, car, bike and walking, in the same way we did Europe by sailboat. We look forward to the next boating season.

Ed 4: 2013 September

When you enter the month of September you get the feeling that autumn is approaching and thus the end of the boating season. It depends of course where you are and on the local climate circumstances.

Here in Portland we still enjoy nice summer weather. We are still busy with adoptions and improvements on the boat, purchasing spare parts and with a technical check of all installations, wiring, tubing, a.s.o., whereby we found several faults existing since the building of the boat.

On September 2 it is Labor Day and almost everybody starts the month with a long weekend. We pick-up our rental car at the airport and do some shopping. The next day Elma departs for a 2-weeks visit to the Netherlands and at the same day a new board guest arrives, Melanie the girl friend of son Marco, who will arrive two days later.

On September 7 we leave our marina for cruise around Sauvie Island with an overnight stop at St. Helens. The weather is warm and sunny, which makes the cruising very pleasant. The worse part is that the port engine has still has a fault in the electronic control system and therefore we can only run it at low speed. But with the river current in the good direction we still make 7 knots. However, on the return upstream we have of course to deduct this current. St Helens is a nice destination with excellent facilities. 

Before the departure of Melanie on September 10 to family in California, we make a car tour along the Columbia River to The Dalles and to Mount Hood, where we visit the Timberlane Lodge.

Marco stays a couple of days longer on board before he also leaves for a vacation with Melanie in California.

We decide to rent kayaks at the next door Alder Creek firm. In my younger years I had a canoe, but never practiced anymore. The sportive kayaks that we rented were much more unstable as I thought and it took some time and practice to get the good feeling. It was a nice experience, but I prefer now a bit more stable boat.

A Technician of Cummins came on board to examen the electronic fault of the port diesel engine. It took many hours before he concluded that an electronic module had to be replaced. I followed the process and had my doubts, because to my opinion there were indications that this was not the right solution.

Anyhow the part was ordered and I decided to mount it myself after arrival. Before, I did another check in changing the modules from both engines and found the result the same! I informed Cummins that I did not want the expensive new module. Few days later an engineer and technician of Cummins came on board for a new search. After many hours of measuring and experimenting they found finally a malfunction in another and even very expensive electronic throttle control module, that had to be renewed. Indeed the fault was in that module, after I tested the new ordered one. However, the old module could be dismantled and I found some water leakage and condense on the inside, which caused the fault.

On September 17, I welcomed Elma back at the airport. Together with Elma came our good friend Gerard, who liked to experience our life on board of a motorboat in the US. Gerard has always been a sailer like us and still owns a sailboat in the Netherlands.

The first experience he met was tasting the excellent beers of Oregon and to eat a tender American steak. The next days we made various car tours through Oregon. To Mount Helens, where we saw the enormous destruction from the eruptions in 1980 and to Astoria and the Pacific coast. Next was a three days scenic car tour to Bend, where we visited the Deschutes Brewery. We had an overnight stay in the Eagle Crest Hotel in Redmond. The next day we visited the amazing "Painting Hills" and "Sheep Rock" of the of the John Day Fossil Beds. The Fossil Beds are eroded fossil-bearing rocks in a semi-desert environment from the Eocene (44 million years ago) and the Miocene (7 million years ago) and are layers of volcanic eruptions. Then we drove north to the Columbia River to The Dalles and to Hood River, where we had booked our next hotel stay. Of course we visited again some brewery pubs and most of them serve also good food.

The next day we drove back along the Columbia River. At the parking space of the Bridge of the Gods we negotiated with Native  Americans over the price of a 8 lb. Chinook salmon from $45 to $25. We visited the Bonneville Dam & Lock and passed the various water falls on the way back to Portland. You could clearly see the change, since there has been rain fall.

Of course we also brought Gerard downtown Portland, where we did some shopping and visited the Deschutes brewery pub and restaurant. Here we had beer tastings and a good burger as meal. On the way back Sietse forgot his new bought vest at the bus station. When he noticed and quickly returned back he only found an empty paper bag…

At the end of September we made a river cruise to St. Helens and through the Multnomah Channel to the marina in Scappoose for a night stay. The next day we returned to our marina at Tomahawk Island.

The last weekend of September we were confronted with a heavy depression with very heavy rain and much wind. The autumn did really started; also the temperatures went down.

Ed 3: 2013 August

The month of August started with a very unpleasant event, a boat on fire. Just behind us at a distance of 70 feet, was a 33 Ft  motorboat moored alongside the deck of a floating home. Round 2 a.m. the boat got on fire, because something went wrong with transferring gasoline with an electric pump. Within 15 minutes the whole boat was on fire. The Fireboat came and extinguished the fire with a water gun. Also assistance came from the Airport Fireboat. However, the boat was lost and the remaining finally sunk.

The heat of the fire was enormous and we had to cool down our boat with water. We also had to take care of a possible explosion on the boat on fire. There were gasoline tanks and gas bottles on board.

To travel downtown Portland we use the public transport. Sietse got an 'honored citizen card', which gives him almost free transportation. The public transport in the wide Portland area is organized very well and not expensive. Everywhere there are frequent bus lines and further an extensive network of electric railcars. Also bikes can be transported on special racks on busses and street cars.

We use our mountain bikes a lot. But the bike of Sietse got a broken ignition lock of the battery support system, thus until new parts arrive is it a normal bike.

We still do maintenance work on the boat, make improvements and buy spare parts. The whole boat, all mechanical, electrical equipment and electronics have to be examined and tested, cleaned and adjusted, in order to get a boat that you know thoroughly in all circumstances. Already various serious faults were found, which existed since the building of the boat.

In the beginning of August we made a boat trip to St. Helens, 24 NM downstream the Columbia River and moored there in the City Dock for a couple of days. On bike and walking we went around and as everywhere in Oregon we enjoyed the beautiful nature and the pleasant climate. We had excellent dinners at the historical Klondike restaurant.

After leaving St. Helens we cruised back through the beautiful Multnomah Channel and moored for some days in the marina at Scappoose, where our boat stays during the winter period. At the end of the week we returned to our marina on Tomahawk Island. 

In Portland we ordered a custom made steering chair for the pilothouse. From time to time we visit our favorite restaurant Sushi Ichiban on Broadway in Portland.

On August 19 we left our marina for an upstream cruise on the Columbia River. When we approached the nearby Government Island we noticed a beginning forest fire. Soon Fire boats from all directions arrived and started fighting the fire.

Our first destination was Beacon Rock (30 NM). A state park of Washington in the Columbia Gorge National Area. The monolith rock of basalt is 848 Ft. high and has a trail with walkways to the top.

Nearby (3 NM) is the Bonneville Dam and Lock. The first section of the dam was built in 1938 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. A second section was constructed in 1981 and a second larger lock in 1993.

The total hydro-elctrical capacity of the dam is 1,218 mWatt. We planned to pass the lock to experience our first American lock. The dimensions of the enormous lock are: length 676 Ft , lift 60 Ft  (max. 90 Ft ) and width 85 Ft. The transit time is 30 minutes. The dam and lock are 145 MI upstream from the mouth of the river.

We went on bike to the Bridge of the Gods and the Bonneville Lock to see how it works and how to fasten your boat along the tall concrete walls during the lift. Back in Beacon Rock after a 29 MI bike tour, we also wanted to climb to the top of the rock before leaving. So we did and enjoyed the beautiful scenery from above over the river and the Cascade Mountains.

Because of strong winds we stayed a day longer and walked a trail of the National Park. Back on the boat we found the whole boat covered with a layer of grey ashes of a huge forest fire further east in Oregon.

The weather was good for departure on the next day and we sailed to the Bonneville Lock. The locking process went smooth; first you call on the VHF the lock operator at approx. 30 minutes before arrival and ask permission to enter. He prepares the lock and gives info where to fasten. In the lock there are floating mooring bitts, where you fasten with spring lines from bow and stern the boat amidships. After a signal the lifting starts.

Shortly after the locks we passed the Bridge of the Gods and entered the Cascades area. Our next destination was the city of Hood River at the confluence of the Hood River with the Columbia River. The landscaping on the boarders of the Columbia River is fascinating. The river founds its way through the Cascade Mountains  which mainly consists of volcanic stone. Hood River started as a Post Office in 1858 and  the city itself was incorporated in 1885. Nearby lies Mount Hood, the tallest peak of Oregon (11,250 Ft.)

The region is known for the many orchards (apples, pears and cherries), wineries and local beer breweries. It is a world class site for windsurfing and kiteboarding.

We found a mooring at the Ports City Dock and by walking or by bike we visited the city center. Because we like the Oregon beer very much we visited four breweries for tasting, the Big Horse Brew Pub, the Pfriem Brewers (Belgium style), the Full Sail Brewery (employee owned and one of our favorite beers that we drink on board) and the Double Mountain Brew, which also serves good pizza's.

On August 26 we continued our cruise to The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon (192 MI upriver). Here was during at least 10,000 years a major Native American trading center. In The Dalles the Internet company Google built in 2006 a major data center because of the reliable hydro-electrical power source.

Close by is The Dalles Dam and Lock built between 1952 and 1957. At the opening of the project the Celilo Falls, the village Celilo and the many historic fishing platforms were submerged. The hydro-electrical capacity of the dam is 1779.8 mWatt.

We moored again at a City Dock, modern, very clean and well protected at costs of $10/d for each boat.

On bike we went to the Dam and we joined an excursion, which was very interesting. Elma got a flat tire and we forgot to bring a repair kit with us. However, a friendly Park Ranger brought Elma and bike back to the marina with his truck.

We used the good facilities of the dock to clean and polish the outside of the boat. Elma slipped of the boat and made a painful fall on the dock. On August 28 we sailed back to Hood River and continued on August 30 back to Portland. At the departure of the Bonneville Dam we noticed that the Port engine did not react anymore on the throttle and could only run in idle speed. Because it is a digital controller it was not possible to change the situation. We sailed back with port engine at 600 rpm, starboard engine at 1000 rpm and some counter rudder and achieved still 7.5 NM. We have had a nice cruising experience on a beautiful river and are almost ready to go everywhere.

Ed 2: 2013 June-July

After being 11 months at home in The Netherlands Sietse and his best cousin Kees arrived on June 10, 2013 in Portland, OR. Normally, we return already in April or May. Elma will come later (July 22) because of the alderness decease of her mother. She will help her mother to adapt in her new environment of a care home. 

We changed our cruising plans for 2013 and will stay with the boat in Oregon on the Columbia River. We enjoy it very much to see the beautiful nature of Oregon and Washington states and to visit their pleasant cities and villages. It feels very relaxed for us being here and like the friendly people that we meet.

After being back on board of the "Talmar" we found the boat in a very good condition and had mainly to clean the outside of the boat. Herefore we bought a small pressure washer, which was very useful for this job.

By rental car we did touring trips in the environment. We paid a visit to the Saint Helens vulcano and learned about her massive eruption on May 18, 1980, whereby the whole top was blown off in northernly direction and lowering the height from 9677 ft to 8365 ft. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles and the eruption reached a height of 15 miles.

Furthermore, we visited the enormous Bonneville Dam in the "mighty" Columbia River and saw the fish passing the fish traps. We climbed up to the top of the Multnomah Falls and liked the nice view  from here over the river. Of course we also visited the center of Portland several times to enjoy the excellent beer from the many local breweries and the delicious food.

At the end of June we brought the boat from Scappoose to a marina on Tomahawk Island, that is connected to Hayden Island in the Columbia River on the north side of Portland. Here we can use the excellent public transport and don't need a car all the time.

Portland also developed biking lanes and ways everywhere where possible, therefore biking is also a nice way to discover the surroundings.

On the boat we did a lot of maintenance and installation work for the preparation of the boat to our needs. The engine starting batteries and the house bank batteries where replaced by modern AGM batteries, whereby the capacity was increased and the batteries relocated.

Cousin Kees left on July 15 to return home in the Netherlands. We had a wonderful time after not being so long together since our childhood. Almost everything seemed to be the same as in the old days. A week after Elma arrived on July 22 and will stay till September 4, then she will go home for two weeks to look after her mother.

Now we fully enjoy the pleasant life on board of our boat during the nice Oregon summer. Last week we visited the Portland Brewery Festival and tasted the many beers presented. We decided to split it into two visits, because of the enormous variety on beers you had to taste. It was nice to see and meet the many different people from everywhere that visited the festival.

Ed 1: 2013 April

12 (2)

With proud we introduce our renewed website design. In the summer of 2012 we turned our rudder and changed from a sailing yacht to a motor yacht. 

We did not only sold our finest sailing yacht at our final destination in Alanya, Turkey, but this was also the final of our active sailing life. With the last sailing yacht a Bavaria 42 Lagoon, we sailed 17,400 nautical miles.

1 For Sale April 2012

Also in the summer of 2012 we found our new boat in Portland, Oregon, USA. A Meridian 490 Pilothouse motor yacht (my).

Traditional we named the boat TALMAR and we cruise under the Dutch flag with the healing port Haarlem, the capital of our Province in The Netherlands.

With this motor yacht we will explore the North American ocean coasts and inland waters.

In 2012 we used most of the time to adapt and equip the boat to our wishes and standards and to carry out maintenance work.

2 Meridian 490

In Spring 2013 we will finish the preparations of the boat and can we start our cruising in Oregon, Washington State and British Colombia (CAN).

Due to the increasing need for care of her mother, it is currently not possible for Elma to go to Portland, OR.

Since there is still quite a lot of maintenance and installation work to do, only Sietse goes to the boat. From time to time he will be accompanied by family and friends.


It is not our intention to report on the Blog page with daily, detailed information. Only broadly, or when something interesting is to mention. Most information about us can be found in the other pages, Position and Gallery