Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raising The Lion's Whelp - Port Clean Up Part 2

In case you haven't been following along you can find my post about the tsunami aftermath here and part 1 of the clean up here.

On day three of working to raise the Lion's Whelp I got one early message....really still dark out early... that this would be the likely day that she would be floated to the surface.

The next message I got was that she was up ...

I know.

I'm gonna have to dock his pay for that.

Soo I don't have the part when she came up but there was plenty of other interesting stuff....

She had some good sized holes in her hull that hampered the floating a bit.  The crew had to find all the holes so that they could be closed off and the pumps could be effective.

With some constant pumping they were able to keep her afloat.

There was a little timing involved.

The plan was to utilize the hoist at high tide.

Sean was in a dive suit as well since he had helped to find the last of the holes that needed securing.

I came back later when the tide was right for the hoist.

It was pretty interesting.

So I shifted to a better vantage point.

Once everything looked like it was in place they began to raise her.

The range of colors in this one blows me away.  92 feet of Gor.geous.ness.  Who knew?

Sooo about this time the boat was raised up pretty well and they seemed to reach a resting point.

My ADD kicked in and as I waited for the progress to renew I looked around at interested bystanders.

Both sides of the basin were lined with fellow watchers of interesting things.

Then all the watchers and I heard a SNAP.

About then I saw the wave headed my way....

And Mama didn't raise no dummies...

I sprinted (Dylan will debate my definition of a sprint but it was as sprintly as I get) to get off the end of the dock.

You all know I love ya more than my flip flops ....

but after the recent battering from the tsunami I wasn't real secure about how much more they could take.

Plus I'm kinda wimpy.

So we will now pick up after the sprint :).

From a safer angle.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for the old girl...

And the Port officials...

And the work crews.

They will continue to get the thing done.

I have no doubt.

In order to make the most efficient use of the  resources currently available the Port has opted to reduce the crews so Sean's dive boat job is done for now and I won't have the tip line but I'll try to keep my eyes open. 

I find it all to be so amazing.

The everyday gift of seeing something extraordinary on an ordinary day.

Lookin around for the extraordinary,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dismasting the Lion's Whelp - Port Clean Up Part 1

Remember this from my last post?

Our oldest son, Sean, got the opportunity to be a part of the crew working to clear some of the sunken vessels in our port.

The design of his boat makes a particularly good working boat for dive crews.

It's deck gives easy access to equipment and convenient places for divers to load and unload.

Radon boats are frequently used as dive boats.

After the hazmat crews did their thing to clean up the area around the Lion's Whelp, the dive and salvage crew got to work.

The first step was to dismast her.

The more I learn about the history of this ship the more bittersweet the process seems.

As I hear the stories of her history and the lives she has touched....

The adventures she has seen....

The places she has been...

It has all made me stop at take a better look.
But it had to be done.

The wreckage needed to be cleared.

Our Port officials and work crews have accomplished an amazing amount in a really short period of time.

They've been working really hard and doing the best they can under some really long hours and unfavorable weather conditions.

I'm pretty proud of them all.

And this is all sort of fascinating.

But it's painful at the same time.

I'm pretty sure Sean feels the same way.

Glad for the opportunity...

But sad to see this beauty go.

As a very small child he would drag books of wooden boat designs (courtesy of his sailboat loving dad) into his bunk bed at bed time and build models of sailboats from whatever he could find.

I'll post a photo some time soon of one of my favorite things...a model he made from balsa wood, a metal keel and fabric for sails.
It's been one of his lifetime interests.

It's funny how when you look back you can see the path so clearly but when you try to look ahead it all seems so mysterious.

There's no places he's happier than on a boat.

Robert made him wave for me.

He looks thrilled huh?

More to come,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Aftermath - Tsunami 3/11/11 Brookings Edition

At 4 a.m. on Friday morning I was awakened to the sound of sirens.

They ran on and on.

On the south Oregon coast that long ongoing set of sirens means a tsunami warning.

On the first of every month here at 5 p.m. they test the system so we all know what it sounds like.

At 4a.m. though it takes a while to compute.

I rolled over after a bit and said "Tsunami???".

Still it took a few minutes more to think to grab my phone and check the local news.

And then of course I saw it.

The awful thing happening in Japan and the ensuing warning for Hawaii and the West Coast.

We've had these before and they never pan out.

Our house is high enough on a hill not to be in any danger.

I couldn't go back to sleep though and went to watch the news report paying special attention to what was happening in Hawaii since that can be and indicator for us about what the swell might be.

Around 6  I took a quick roll call of my kids.

Sent Sean a text message to make sure he had heard the sirens and wasn't planing to head out on the ocean for a day of fishing.

Got the reply that he was out of town...inland for the day and his boat and gear were safely stored at his house.

Arik, fishing in Alaska didn't reply at first and I was uncertain of the forecast for them which left me feeling a little uneasy.  I heard from him later in the day and discovered that they didn't feel a thing.

Strangely, fishing in Alaska felt like a relatively safe thing that day.

Collin, I knew was on his way to work in Eugene and well out of harm's way.

Dylan had a day off from school and was safely tucked in bed.

It looked as though Hawaii didn't get much as the first surges were scheduled to come through so we thought it would be another uneventful warning and went about our morning rituals.

As I grabbed my work stuff and headed for the office a call came in from Rich who had been about half an hour ahead of me.

He said he was watching the port from an upper vantage point and had never seen anything like it.  The ocean was swirling and the river was sucking out and surging in. 

Rich is a waterman. He's been on the ocean in some way most of his life. He knows it well.

In all the strangeness I did something I rarely do.

I left my camera gear at home.

So the few that I have here from Friday are from my phone.

The port was closed early on to all but essential personnel so we all had a distant view.

I still don't really have words for what I saw.  I've never seen anything like it my life. 

Watching our river suck out to a such a shallow level that we could almost see the bottom and then rushing in a rapid surging rate.

The confused swirling waves.

Here you can see some of the rippling toward the mouth of the river as it sucked out.

The rocks you can see here are not normally visible
Several really good videos have been posted on YouTube and facebook so if you are curious you can do a search and find them.

Banks, post offices, and even the UPS office closed. 

Many people here either work in the fisheries or know someone who does so there was a lot of interest and concerned spectators who had been sent home from work as their places of work either closed or asked their employees not to report that day.

We spent the day as a community watching, listening to local radio and praying for the safety of the local fleet and emergency workers.

The surges lasted until evening and made for a very long day for most of the locals who had been up since the blaring of the sirens.

Friday evening after the tsunami threat was lowered to watch status the boat owners who had spent the day out at sea to keep their boats from getting battered in port were able to come back in.

This morning I went to take a look at the aftermath and have these images to share with you.
One of the concerns in our port is that there is a campground and a hotel beachfront.  Both were evacuated at 4 a.m. along with any residents in low lying areas.

It looked as though the surges did breach the usual beach area into the campground and parking areas.

The back side of the Chetco River Coast Guard Station...some docks missing.

The crazy tangle of angles where there once was order.

This is for Arik.  When talked to him he said he was glad to hear that their parking spot was still intact.

Well...yes it's there Arik.  But you might want to called ahead for a reservation when you head back from Kodiak.  There's a tiny bit of a lineup of displaced vessels in your spot.

And so we begin to face the clean up.

There's a whole lotta mess out there.

The fuel and oil aboard the sunken and battered boats requires some special teams.

And they were already arriving early this morning.

Just a couple of months ago it was a very different place.

Heck a couple of days ago really.

One day it will look like this again.

For now....
It's kind of a big ol mess.

And yet when we compare it to what the people of Japan are dealing with it seems very small.

Sean got called in this afternoon to be a part of the dive team clean up crew.

He won't be diving but his particular boat makes a really good dive boat due to the flat deck. 

He'll be running his boat for the dive crews to use.

It will likely be a long rainy night for them all again and he's happy to have the opportunity to be a part of it

Counting our blessings,