Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm On A Boat

I am a logistics coordinator so it is my responsibility to get product from production to our customers as efficiently as possible. Many of our customers require that I use their logistics programs and carriers but we also ship to other customers as prepaid freight so I shop rates and chose the carrier. We like to use brokers, that way we know the drivers are certified, licensed and insured.

One broker has worked with our company for years and offered to take us out fishing Friday. How could I say no, I've never been out to sea other than the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria.

The broker made all the arrangements to charter a 43' boat and have 3 of us to go salmon and halibut fishing off the coast of Newport. We figured that an hour drive to the coast to catch the boat at 5:30am was a little much so we decided to go Thursday night, get a motel room and grab some dinner. We would be well rested and catch the boat bright and early in the morning in plenty of time, right?

We went down to the Rogue Brewery for dinner, this was not one of our better ideas.

We just made it to the boat on time and it was good thing they had coffee on board as we didn't have time for breakfast. Why we paid for a motel room I don't know, we certainly didn't use it. No sleep then eight hours on a boat, can't be that bad can it?

Buh bye land, I'll miss you.

The ride out wasn't too bad, the water smooth with only 2 foot swells and within an hour we were fishing for salmon. Our broker friend/host insisted the fishing would be better if he chummed and proceeded to grab the rail, he then took an hour nap on the bench in the cabin. Good thing I took Dramamine, it's the only thing that kept me from following his lead. The rest of us were all doing well with the boat under power and fishing for salmon but just when we finally found a hot spot and had two on our lines the US Coast Guard showed up.

There was some chatter on the radio but I guess that wasn't good enough, they wanted to come aboard. We had to stop what we were doing, the salmon spit the hooks, the Captain shut off the motors and we had to bring in our gear.

I don't know why they came aboard or what they wanted but they checked the safety gear, life jackets and all the paperwork while the Captain was on the phone to the Oregon State Police, the dock house and the Coast Guard. Everything was handled very well and amicably by both the Captain and the Guard. The radio chatter continued among other fisherman throughout the day, I guess the USCG overstepped their boundaries and were in big trouble.

The Captain was very apologetic for the delay and offered to extend our time and we were back to fishing. Another hour or so went by without a bite, we didn't catch anything and decided we'd switch to halibut fishing.

Pulling up our gear, the 1st mate went to work to switching all our rigging from flashers and spinners to a 2 lb. weight and bait fish. Turns out I do better trolling for salmon with the boat under power than I do drifting for halibut. The wind had picked up, swells increased to 4 and 5 feet all while fishing off the side of the boat. Where did I put that other Dramamine?

I did pull in the first fish of the day, a yellow eye rock fish but had to toss it to the birds as we weren't allowed to keep it.

Capt. Dick with my catch

Another hour and we were finally bringing in some halibut.

My co-worker with the first halibut.

My co-worker brought in two smaller fish while the Admiral hooked a bigger one and handed it off to our broker/host.

I was done for the day, my knees were aching from the all day aerobic workout not to mention being bashed up against the rails all day. My stomach wasn't doing well with the motion of the ocean and lack of food so it was my turn to sit it out.


Back in the marina.

The captain and crew treated us very well but a 10 hour fishing trip is too long, I'd be up for another trip but I'd limit it to 5 hours and make the hour long drive to the dock in the morning.

We did land some nice fish, not bad for a group of four guys who could barely see straight at 5am.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Glad I'm not a father day ride 6/19.

The great thing about not being a father, let me rephrase that. One of the many great things about not being a father is that I can do whatever I want on Father's Day. Now this is where fathers everywhere are attending brunches, lunches, dinners, barbeques and pool parties set up by their wife and kids to keep them from the golf course, the fishing hole or the TV to watch the ball game, the race or whatever and basically from the peace and quiet relished by those of us who enjoy such moments every weekend.

A friend was flying home from work for the weekend and sent me a text message Friday asking if any rides were planned for Sunday. As with many in our riding group he doesn't have any kids either, so I posted up a group ride on the other side of the valley, close to his home to accommodate his tight schedule. The poor bastard still got roped into one of the many obligations I listed above and bailed on me. While his bike sat in his garage, the weight creating flat spots in his tires I went for a ride.

This is the same route Rick, Trobairitz and I took last year, but this time Trobairitz wanted me to go without her and to enjoy the ride without a newbie... so I did.

I took my usual route across the valley, which is the same route I take to work but this time I was a bit ahead of schedule to meet the guys so I stopped to smell the flowers. Normally I ride past fields of grass seed and through clouds of pollen but this year a company in North Carolina has planted several fields of Meadowfoam to use in perfume and cosmetics. Much more pleasant and aromatic to ride past than grass pollen.

Good thing I am not afraid of bees as these hives were quite active.

I was on my way and still arrived early so I went past our old house in Lebanon to see how the landscaping was coming along. We chose the design and layout of the house and had it built for us so the yard was a blank slate.

I can sure tell which plants are hardy and which ones weren't. Where's the...and what happened to the...?

Obviously, the new owner doesn't own a pair of pruners or shears. Too bad everything is overgrown, it was perfect when we sold it 5 years ago. Meh, I took the money and run.

I met the guys down the street, a fellow Tiger rider and another friend on a nicely detailed GSXR (justa750) whom I hadn't ridden with in some time. We met at an old corner store and I discovered this old time machine and costume changing room. I donned my helmet, checked my watch, stepped inside for a bit and sure enough when I stepped out it was the future.

We hopped on our bikes, rode out to Sweet Home for gas then it was across the dam... oops I missed that turn, across the bridge to Quartzville Road. We had to watch for campers along the roadway as it meanders along Green Peter Lake and camp spots are right along the narrow road.

The road was twisty with a few mossy spots, fallen rock had littered several sections and last winter's frost heaved the pavement but it was nothing the Tiger didn't devour as I pulled away several times from the track bike. I felt like a Jackal out running the GSXR.

Until the elevation got the best of us and we ran into snow at 4135 feet, the same elevation I froze my ass off on Memorial Day weekend. At least today was sunny and 20 degrees warmer.

We had to stop Andy from making an attempt and got him to turn around.

We stayed awhile, soaked up the sun and BS'ed when Kenny rolled up on his Buell Ulysses. It is sure great to know other riders in the area from bike nights.

We were stopped a mere 10 miles from Hwy 22 and had to ride back the 40 miles of twisty roads, oh darn.

It was a fantastic ride down the hill and I played in the corners all the way down. A great day, a great ride but it was getting late and we didn't make it to our lunch spot so we were getting hungry.

There are no flat spots on our tires or new neckties in our drawer.
Happy Father's Day....


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear diary:

It is June 12th and it is still raining. Not a sunny sky, warm, bright double rainbow producing rain but dull, gray, cold, miserable, nothing nostalgic or romantic, 8 months of I'm about to kill someone rain.

And when it does stop, it stops just long enough that I get to mow the lawn before it starts to rain again.

On the bright side, ever the optimist, in another week or so the days will start getting shorter.