The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast is usually docked about one block from my office along the River Walk at the Maritime Museum, so I was pleasantly surprised to see her out of dock and floating just outside my office on July 5th. She was barely moving - in fact, was moving in a slow circle rather than making much headway. I saw a cluster of orange life jackets on deck, but since nobody seemed overly excited and in fact the mood seemed relaxed (what I could tell of it), I assumed this was a training exercise. Although I zoomed the pic a bit to frame the ship, it's not that far away. Even fishing boats don't usually come this close to shore where we are, so it was a novelty and a treat to see her up close. (Note the railing of the catwalk in the lower right of the photo.) You can get nearer to the Steadfast in the dock, but it was interesting to see her on the water with the crew out and active.
Note: As it turns out, a friend of a friend is deployed on the ship, and it was just returning from two months on active duty. As home port was only one block (landlubber talk, I know) up the river, friends and relatives were no doubt gathered, and the mood onboard seemed light and even jovial (did I hear laughter across the water?), were they teasing as they delayed their last short distance into dock? Last-minute prep for going ashore? Mystery unsolved!
I knew a few things about this ship, but I'd never heard the full explanation. She bears a large logo of the name "Steadfast" in the shape of a great white shark, and wears a gold marijuana leaf painted on the mast. The ship's notable history is described briefly on her own web site and explains both the logo and the leaf. I think I actually remember this ship in the news from years back, before I moved to Oregon.
I also love the delicate wisps and shadings of the gray clouds in the background. As this is Skywatch Friday, I wanted to bring special attention to them. We've been having days of clouds, rain, drizzle, haze, and more clouds with patches of blue sky. I love all of the colors on the river, including the gray. I'd like to borrow from and link to Sara Chapman, who blogged, "I know I've lived in Seattle a long time when I begin to get excited about shades of gray in the clouds." Sara, I feel the same way. Isn't the sky magnificent?