- The hatchery
The Hatchery, also know simply as "The Hatch", is a famous
windsurfingsite on the Columbia River Gorgeabout four miles to the west of Hood River, Oregonand next to its namesake the Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery [http://www.fws.gov/gorgefish/springcreek/] . The Columbia Rivermarks the border between Oregonand Washington state. The launching area at The Hatchery is located on the Washingtonside of the river.
There are several natural phenomenas that make "The Gorge", and the Hatchery itself, an ideal location for windsurfing. The wind is
thermalbased and powered by the pressure gradient between the cool Pacific coastto the west and the warm desert to the east. The walls of The Gorge are quite high and cause a wind tunnel effect. During the summer the wind is strong, easily reaching 30 knots, and constantly blows from the west. The river current, on the other hand, flows swiftly in the opposite direction of the wind. The strength of the river current depends on the amount of water being released from local dams. Because the wind and water current move in opposite directions there are very large rolling waves that come through the river. While the waves are large they do not break.
At the site [http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hood+River,+OR&ie=UTF8&z=16&ll=45.721881,-121.55297&spn=0.009168,0.027809&t=h&om=1] there is plenty of parking and grassy areas to rig. The edge of shore is rocky and slippery. The water becomes deep quickly and the large swell, which can range from 6-8 feet, rolls very close to the Washington shore line. Because of the close proximity of the waves to the shore it is an ideal place to watch or take pictures.
[http://thewindmap.com/wiki/index.php/The_Hatchery-North_America The Hatchery-North America] TheWindMap.com
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