Return to Columbia River Bar (place)

The [Columbia River] Bar is one of the [That is its reputation--but it isn't really a contest.|most] [Davy Jones's locker|dangerous] in the world. The [headwater]s of the river start at [Veronica Lake|Lake] Columbia in the Canadian Rockies, with many other tributaries adding to the volume throughout its more than 1,200 mile course. By the time the river churns into the [Lost at Sea|Pacific Ocean] the average flow is 265,000 cubic feet per second.

Most [The Rime of the Ancient Mariner|mariners] consider “The Bar” to be the area located between the North and South Jetties (in [Washington] and [Oregon] respectively) and Sand [Fantasy Island|Island]. As the massive volume of water is funneled between the jetties to disperse into the [She sang of fantastic green islands, and sparkling fish, never telling that she haunted the waters|Pacific], huge waves can be generated. Although the bar can be [treacherous] at any time, during [Sea monster|severe winter storms] when waves can exceed 40 feet it can be [graveyard of the Pacific|harrowing] even to large ocean-going freighters.

To safely navigate the [dredge]d channel, which narrows to about 600 feet wide between the jetties, all vessels engaged in foreign [We're Only In It For The Money|commerce] are required to use the services of one of the Columbia River [Bar Pilot]s. These brave souls have been helping to protect the safety of crews, vessels, cargo—and the [Exxon Valdez|environment]—since the mid-1800s.

[|Video of USCG rescue attempt of the vessel Sea King: ]
[|USCG small boat crews during surf drills on Columbia River]
[|Link to Columbia River Bar Pilots website: ]
[|Info from the Smithsonian on the Columbia River Bar Pilots: ]
[|Link to the Columbia River Maritime Museum: ]


BQ2012: 189 words (223 including links to sites)