After a nice refreshing 44 days off, I got dispatched up to Portland to the tug Chinook that was doing the lumber run from Rainier down to Long Beach. I checked onboard Thursday afternoon and we got underway Saturday to head down the Columbia and grab our two barges in Rainier. I guess the lumber we haul is mainly for Home Depots in Southern, CA.
So, we are currently just off the coast of the Oregon/California border and heading south at a whopping 6 knots. We are scheduled to get into Long Beach sometime around Sunday or so. From there, we will tie up at the Sause docks for a short spell and then head back north with a couple empty barges in tandem.
The crew onboard is great, including the cook that is providing me with endless reasons to get fat. Every meal so far has been excellent and hard to pass up. We picked up a PMI cadet on Saturday before departing. Good guy, eager to learn and a hard worker. I remember those days and it seems like yesterday. I've been doing my best to give him a good overall introduction to the job of a Mate while at the same time, giving him some good navigational ammo for his TCNav classes next month.
The Chinook is an older boat, built in the 70's, but quite roomy, fairly quiet and has a pretty good ride. So far, most of the winds have been at our backs, but she handles it well and smooth. The quarters onboard are more than roomy and the overall layout seems pretty well thought out.
Anyhow, we'll be down there in a few days and then back up to Rainier. I've been told that the boat will be heading into the yards after this round-trip, and I'll probably depart at that point and head home for Meg's (my daughter) high school graduation.