Thursday, December 11, 2008

Activity on the Columbia River, Astoria

I don't know what was going on out on the river today, but there was a lot of activity within the space of a few minutes (and a lot of color!). I looked up from my desk and the beautifully bright orange Al Jabirah was passing quickly upriver with the pilot boat alongside like a mother and calf.

There goes the Al Jabirah. The smaller red and gray Aurora Ace has been anchored there for a couple of days.

I like this photo, so I left it in. I was actually trying to get a shot of the ship's name. It was a happy accident, I think, with the colors and textures.

There's the Al Jabirah again. It's rare that I get the wheelhouse exposed right without messing up the rest of the picture, because it's usually white or cream against the darker colors. This time the house was in-your-face central to the image, and the exposure is OK. You can see more details than usual.

Next came a couple of Coast Guard helicopters. It's just a coincidence that they matched the ship.

Here's another Coast Guard boat - small and farther out in the river.

Here's the Aurora Ace again.

. . . and again. This time you can read the name if you click on the photo.

The radio tower and clouds. We're supposed to be in for a storm this weekend with winds up to 70 mph, and then very cold weather for a few more days. Highs not above 20 degrees, and probably ice on the roads from the storm. Last year we had the huge storm in December, and people are still nervous from that. We also don't get a lot of days with snow and ice, and Astoria is built on a hill, reminding people of San Francisco, so we'll see. You can usually get around here one way or another, although we're not used to anything but pretty mild winters. We don't have the sand trucks at the ready, and most people and buildings are not prepared for super cold weather. We had a freeze in 2004, and have not been as cold since that one. Barbara said she remembered it, but it must not have affected me that much because I can't recall what happened. I do know that's the December I stayed at the computer all month day and night fixing our web site after some disastrous things happened to it, so I probably wouldn't have noticed five hurricanes in a row. It's ironic, though, because this place used to freeze such that horses and teams (and later, cars) could drive right onto the river. Now we don't even get an edging of ice in the Columbia. I said I'd try to find some pictures of the old-style winters. I'm still looking.

Next the Oregon Responder charged downriver, maybe heading back to its mooring. I don't know if everyone was out on drills and exercise, or what.

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