Daylight was rapidly fading and night closing in as our sailboat glided through the calm waters along the upper reaches of the Columbia River, hurrying to reach a safe port before nightfall.
It seemed an eternity since we began our journey – crossing the wide and sometimes treacherous Columbia River bar from the ocean. We crossed at full tide and the water was smooth as glass in the waning afternoon. We considered stopping for the night, but the waters were broad, and it would take time to find a place to berth or anchor overnight.
We knew there was a tiny cove near the headwaters of the river as it began winding its way inland, and there was still daylight. Traveling at seven knots, it took more time than anticipated to get around that first bend into the river proper and nightfall was plummeting fast.