Townsend's Across the Rockies to the Columbia


Chapter XI and part of XII omitted - they deal with voyage to Sandwich Islands. Resume narrative on April 15, 1835.


CHAPTER XII

. . . Arrival at the Columbia.

On the 15th, the wind, which had for several days been light, began steadily to increase, until we were running ten knots by the log. In the afternoon, the atmosphere became thick and hazy, indicating our approach to the shores of the continent. In a short time, a number of the small Auks, - of which we saw a few immediately after leaving the Columbia, - were observed sporting in the waves, close under our bows; then several gulls of the species common on the river, and soon after large flocks of geese and canvass-back ducks.

The sea gradually lost its legitimate deep blue color, and assumed a dirty, green appearance, indicating soundings. Upon heaving the lead here, we got only eleven fathoms, and found that we had approached nearer than was prudent, having been misled by the haze. Wore ship immediately, and soon saw land, bearing east, which we ascertained to be south of Cape Disappointment. Stood off during the night, and the next morning at 4 o'clock, the wind favoring us, we bore up for the cape, and at 7 crossed the dangerous bar safely, and ran direct for the river.