Monday, February 8, 2010

Everyone and their dog was there

I've heard that expression many times before but I'd never actually seen it so perfectly displayed as I did on Friday. Our friends Mr. & Mrs. F live in South Waterfront, which Mr. W calls Caprica City, and suggested we take the boys to see the launch of the largest barge built in Portland. Zidell Marine built the boat which will be used as an oil tanker. Mrs. F had read that the launch would be accompnied by fireboats with colored water displays. What better way to burn off some toddler boy energy than a walk along the river to see boats in action? It was a gorgeous day too! So at the appointed hour we walked over with the boys and their dog. All the other residents of Caprica City seemed to be there too, all with dog on leash. Maybe it is because I am NOT a dog person, but I tend to avoid majorly dog friendly events so the amount of dogs there made me laugh. (Better than sending waves of fear through my body.)The launch was behind schedule so the littlest W was busy throwing rocks into a mud puddle and I had my back to the boat. I heard a faint whistle and wondered it it was related to the launch. Then Mrs. F shouted my name and I turned to see the barge rushing into the Willamette. Holy smoke that boat moved fast! We aren't sure if it was just gravity pulling it into the river but we were expecting a much more gradual decent. We were all kinds of impressed!Once the tanker was in the river the fireboat started up with their spray and the boys were pleased.There were several private boats that were upstream watching the launch. Suddenly a boat started racing full speed toward the barge. The patrol boat sound its horn over and over again and the boat didn't slow down so the partol boat maneuvered into its path and it finally slammed on its brakes. Do boats have brakes? I don't know, but it stopped short. Mr. F mused that the pilot was either completely unaware joyrider from Lake Oswego or someone from Greenpeace trying to save the earth from another oil tanker. We were glad that our outing did not include a massive boat collision.
Another beautiful winter day in Portland!

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