The Ship Report is All Things Maritime!

Ship Report podcasts take you to a special corner of the world: the Mighty Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. Nautical lore, news and info, mariner interviews, daily international ship traffic, and the inside scoop on our formidable marine weather. Join maritime journalist Joanne Rideout on the Ship Report, as we explore the fascinating nautical world, on the Upper Left Edge of Oregon and beyond.  The Ship Report is proud to celebrate 20 years on the air!

Thermal troughs are influencing our weather, but what are they?

Today we talk about a weather term that's bandied about but I bet hardly anyone knows what it means: thermal trough. It's influencing our weather this weekend. It has to do with heat and wind, and the natural inclination of our world to seek balance in all things.

Cruise ship hits an iceberg off southeast Alaska

A cruise ship that has visited Astoria before was cruising the waters off Hubbard Glacier in the southeast area of Alaska waters, an area common for cruises, and hit an iceberg. It's an odd story, but maybe no longer quite so odd. Experts have warned us for years now...

The Pacific Tracker heads downriver today

The Pacific Tracker is a US Department of Defense missile tracking ship, homeported in Portland at the shipyard at Swan Island. She carries big rafar arrayson deck, hidden under covers that look like giant golf balls. So it's hard to miss her as she goes by. Photo...

The infamous Columbia River Bar

I was reading, in a sailing Facebook group that I belong to, about a person who just bought a new sailboat and is contemplating making the trip down the coast from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Astoria in the ocean. They were asking the group for advice. That got me...

Turning basins on the Columbia River

Today we talk about "turning basins" on the Columbia River: what they are, where they are, and why a ship might need one.

Columbia River Ship Traffic

Approximate Vessel Travel Times
  • Portland/Vancouver -Astoria: 6-8 hours
  • Kalama -Astoria: 5 hours
  • Longview -Astoria: 3.5 hours
  • Columbia River Bar – Astoria: 1.5 hours
Times vary according to tidal conditions, current, weather, and individual vessel horsepower.
Water Speed & Currents

Curated Links

Arts
Tides

When’s High Tide where you are?  Find Tidal info at www.saltwatertides.com

Tide times are often listed in 24 hour time.  For times after noon, subtract 1200 from the time to get regular clock time. Ex: 1300 hrs – 1200 = 1:00 pm)

MLLW:  Also, tides are referenced to Mean Lower Low Water, a reference point for depth on many nautical charts. MLLW is the average of the lower of the two low tides in a day, over a 19-year cycle. Minus tides are lower than MLLW.

Adjustments: If you’re right on the coast, subtract an hour from these times. Upriver, highs and lows happen later. For instance, in Knappa, add an hour. In Clatskanie, add 2 hours and 15 minutes.

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Ship Report Podcasts

Thermal troughs are influencing our weather, but what are they?

Today we talk about a weather term that's bandied about but I bet hardly anyone knows what it means: thermal trough. It's influencing our weather this weekend. It has to do with heat and wind, and the natural inclination of our world to seek balance in all things.

Cruise ship hits an iceberg off southeast Alaska

A cruise ship that has visited Astoria before was cruising the waters off Hubbard Glacier in the southeast area of Alaska waters, an area common for cruises, and hit an iceberg. It's an odd story, but maybe no longer quite so odd. Experts have warned us for years now...

The Pacific Tracker heads downriver today

The Pacific Tracker is a US Department of Defense missile tracking ship, homeported in Portland at the shipyard at Swan Island. She carries big rafar arrayson deck, hidden under covers that look like giant golf balls. So it's hard to miss her as she goes by. Photo...

The infamous Columbia River Bar

I was reading, in a sailing Facebook group that I belong to, about a person who just bought a new sailboat and is contemplating making the trip down the coast from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Astoria in the ocean. They were asking the group for advice. That got me...

Turning basins on the Columbia River

Today we talk about "turning basins" on the Columbia River: what they are, where they are, and why a ship might need one.

10-Minute Ship Reports: Monday through Thursday, featuring  Daily Ship Traffic, Marine Weather, News and Interviews Ship Report Minutes:  On Fridays, where we answer listener questions. Short and sweet!

The Ship Report is also broadcast  Weekdays at 8:49 am on  KMUN Radio Astoria, Oregon

Columbia River Bar
“Pilot transfer” is when a pilot disembarks or boards a ship. Ships generally must by law have a river or bar pilot on board when they are on the Columbia or Willamette Rivers. The bar and river pilots have separate pilotage grounds defined by the Oregon Legislature.

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Meet Joanne Rideout
Producer Joanne Rideout is a journalist and photographer who created The Ship Report in 2003. Since then Joanne and has been interviewing, writing and photographing the maritime world and its interesting people as much as she possibly can.
Ship Horn Signals

Commonly Heard off Astoria

One prolonged blast every two minutes or less: vessel operating in fog.

Five consecutive horn blasts: warning signal that means literally “I do not know your intention.” This generally means another vessel is in the way of a ship in the channel, and is being asked to move before they collide.

Three short blasts: Vessel going in reverse

One long blast followed by three short: signal for the change of pilots. Soon after this signal, you’ll see the pilot launch Arrow II head out to a passing ship, to facilitate the transfer of bar and river pilots.