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Friday, July 23, 2010

Jetsetters on the Jet Boat

Today we drove to Gold Beach to take a jet boat ride up the Rogue River.  You can take a 64 mile, 80 mile, or 104 mile trip.  We chose the middle option for $65 per person.  It took about 1hr and 45 minutes to drive from Coos Bay to Gold Beach.  We had an early lunch and we boarded our boat.  This picture is  our boat before we boarded it to sit in row 6.IMG_5818

Our Captain was a guy named John.  All captains are Coast Guard certified.

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Once we started up, we came across this bird and Captain John identified it as a Comorant.  It eats fish from the river and just waits on these pilings until it sees one and then dives for it.

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We also rode right by a group of seals lounging around in the sun.

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We saw lots of different kinds of birds including Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and this Blue Heron sitting on this log.  These Herons look really interesting and they seem like they don’t care about the boats.  They appear to have large stringy beards under their beaks.

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We also saw several Osprey and Eagle nests.  They are high up in the trees and pretty easy to spot.

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Here you can see us going upriver in the boat.  With a full 35 passengers, the top speed is about 55mph.  It can do over 65mph when empty.  It takes about a gallon of gas to go one mile!  (at least our RV with 7pmg is better!).  There are three large Chevrolet marine engines, each of 375hp.  The each drive a jet which is actually a pump that sucks up water, compresses it, and expels it in any direction.  There is no rudder or propeller.  The three jets are used for both propulsion and direction.

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It the above picture, you can also see that we had a beautiful day.  A bit cool near the coast and about 80 degrees as you moved inland.  We also came across the turtles below resting on a rock.

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We saw minks, otters and other birds, but they were too quick for Carol to get pictures.  We did many spinouts which causes spray to come up over the boat and wet the passengers.  We actually liked these because it felt so cooling in the heat.  We also rode through and over many rapids.  The boat only needs 6 inches of water and since there are no props sticking down, the boat is very nimble in the rapids.

In fact we did so many of these twists and turns and sudden reversals to spray water that we wore out the boat.  As you can see below, it looks nothing like the clean craft we started with.

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