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Friday, July 10, 2009

"El Tiburon Blanco," The White Shark

Coast Guard Cutter, Steadfast, on the river in Astoria, Oregon 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?

14 comments:

Greg said...

That marijuana leaf must be inconvenient if hey ever did a drug bust lol

Greyscale Territory said...

I just love all the moods of the sky! Always interesting!

And I adore boats! This one is very interesting!

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Love the "shades of gray" comment. Just remember that overcast can make all the color of the manmade POP. Like this coastguard vessel. RED, White, BLUE-- pop, look at me.

Great SWF pic!

Lewis and Clark Trail said...

After following the link to the explanation for the logo, it occurred to me that the most cherished praise is that which comes from ones enemies. I'm pretty sure that there is a famous quote for that.

Babooshka said...

That's a bit bigger than my harbour ships. Beautiful sight.

Don and Krise said...

I followed the link. She certainly has earned her reputation and place in history. Great sky shot too.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I love the contrast of the boat against the water and sky. beautiful!

Hood Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous!!! I am really gonna have to go up to Astoria sometime soon. Every time I log onto your blog it makes me miss it!!!

Jacob said...

You outdid yourself on this one! Just a super shot of a beautiful ship and the colors stand out so well against that blue-grey sky!

cieldequimper said...

Superb colours and thanks! I love all ships but especially working ships like this one!

freegal1000 said...

Love the composition, but especially love the colors! Happy SWF...

SquirrelQueen said...

The clouds are beautiful and they make the perfect frame for the ship.

I worked for General Mills in the late nineties and Astoria was part of my route. I think it may have been the Steadfast I saw a time or two when I was in town.

Great photos and thanks for including the info.

SQ

Lee Spangler said...

Something might be said about the cost and value in this kind of drug interdiction. Does this relate at all to the government conducting legal piracy? Smuggling and running goods to avoid tariff is an ancient activity. So what's new!

Stephen Baird said...

Sheryl,
Thank you so much for your kind comments ... and yes I did love Astoria when I was there about 3 weeks ago. If you scroll back a few hundred photos (ha) you will see many things you recognize.
Will return for sure.
Keep shootin'.
NikonSniper Steve

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