Author Archive | Bruce Bateau


Glow in the dark: The joys of bioluminescence

Describing bioluminescence with words is like holding water in your hands — insufficient. Descriptions abound: the glowing trails streaming behind a boat, the “fairy dust” surrounding a midnight swimmer. These aren’t bad analogies, but they’re all a form of shorthand, the inevitable result of attempting to capture such a magical experience in writing. It’s what […]

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Believe in beavers

Sticks and branches are a common sight where I boat on the Columbia River near Portland or off Anderson Island in the Salish Sea. To the untrained eye, they may all look the same. But a closer look reveals that some have been denuded of bark, and their yellowish hue and rough texture differ distinctly […]

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Tale of Terrapin

“I thought you loved that boat,” my wife said when I mentioned that I was thinking of selling Terrapin. “When I looked in her log book, I realized that I haven’t rowed her since April.” My wife looked on, still surprised. “And, Terrapin is a great boat, but she’s not the most comfortable thing to […]

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One of the mooring facilities for larger craft.

Portland’s play island at its best

On a hot Saturday afternoon in August, the cluster of islands collectively known as Government Island resemble a Pacific Northwest version of Coney Island. Heat rises from acres of sand. Waves lap on the shore. Sizable dunes beckon young climbers. Women in bikinis lie on blankets, guys man barbeques and kids splash in the river. […]

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