Monday, June 11, 2012
Not So EASY
We departed our moorage on the Columbia River on Sunday afternoon to head to the Willamette River on the Portland Waterfront, where we'll be living for the next month in anticipation of the Waterfront Blues Festival. Our boat was provisioned, deck hands on board, when BAM! as we pulled out, the swift current caught us off guard and we drifted into the western dock - sideways. Thank heavens we had those deck hands on board (and they all happened to be buff thirty-somethings) as they basically walked RAPTURE to the end of the dock and Howard gunned the engine to pull out into river (yes, we went back and picked up our passengers at the gas dock).
We enjoyed a leisurely cruise west on the Columbia and took a left onto the Willamette. Once we got into downtown Portland, we were put into a staging area for security reasons due to the Navy vessels in town for Rose Festival. We were boarded by the police and sheriff (looking for guns, cash, bombs), given the all clear, and then queued up into a grouping of ten boats (we were in the lead) to be led through and under the bridges to the other side of the Hawthorne Bridge.
Once we arrived downtown, we needed to wait until the Rose Festival Dragon Boat races wrapped up.
While waiting, all of the boats were held at bay by the Coast Guard, the Multnomah County Sheriff, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary yelled at us. A lot. They were mean. We eventually slipped into the space we wanted on the public dock and got settled.
If you're still reading, here is the post script I promised some of you. The spaces on the public dock are a hot commodity and that is why we go so early in June -- to secure our spot for the 4th of July Blues Festival. For the past several years, there are three or four of us boaters who communicate in the weeks leading up to the festival and then queue up together to move our boats into position. This year there was an interloper. Not really an interloper, he was there last year (let's call him and his woman The Captain and Tennille to keep it nice). The first sign of trouble was when we were in our holding place waiting for the Dragon Boat races to conclude and The Captain began yelling obscenities at a fellow boater, Mike: The Captain even got his bull horn out to yell and swear at him and accuse him of trying to cut him off. For heaven's sake. We all have big boats in a river with a current, police officers telling us where to go, so believe me, Mike was not trying to cut anyone off.
We had dropped our daughter Amy off at the dock (with her crew of buff thirty-somethings) to walk over to the public dock with bumpers and flotation devices in an attempt to secure our favored spot. When we finally pulled around, a particular boat pulled in shortly after we did. Amy said to The Captain and Tennille that if we all work together everyone will get a great spot on the dock. The Captain then said to her: You b----, I'll throw you in the f---in' river. Tennille was in the process of untying our bumper and was about to throw it into the river to drift away. That's probably enough to give you an idea of the kind of encounter we had. Amy's final words to The Captain and Tennille was something to the effect of they weren't so easy after all . . . . She might have said a few other things, too.
I would rather end this post on a positive note. How about a mini boat tour so you have a visual of where I'll be living and playing for the next month.
And then there is art. Always art.