Today we hear more from my interview with Columbia River Bar Pilot Dan Jordan about how to stay safe when you’re in a small boat on the river and a big ship comes by.
Another death by rip current on the Oregon Coast. Learn what to look for and be careful out there. The dangers are real.
Each year in August on the lower Columbia near Astoria, the river fills up with hopeful recreational fishers in small boats, hoping to land that big salmon catch. At the same time, giant cargo ships are also doing their work, carrying goods to and from port. Today begins a 6-part interview with Columbia River Bar Pilot Capt. Dan Jordan, who explains the hazards and challenges that come up when small boats and ships try to occupy the same space.
The Astoria Megler Bridge opened in 1966, ending ferry service across the Columbia between Oregon and Washington from Astoria. The bridge was a real game changer and an architectural feat.
This month I had a request from the USCG at Air Station Astoria, where they asked if one of their personnel could come on the show and talk about safety, just before the 4th of July holiday weekend. They wanted to let people know about the dangers inherent in living in a dynamic coastal area like the Oregon and Wasington coast, and about the laws regarding fireworks use. I learned some things I didn’t know. For instance, did you know it’s a felony to shoot off a flare for fun? Flares on not fireworks and if you shoot one into the sky and a USCG rescue is launched because of it, you could be charged with a felony and get fined big bucks. So, lots to learn here. The Coast Guard does so much for us, let’s not make them work any harder than they have to. Here is some sage and valuable advice from USCG Petty Officer Trevor Lilburn:
I have good news for podcast folk: The Ship Report website is up to date, finally, after a rocky patch where I struggled to keep up with it. Thank you for sticking with me. If you were put off by the lack of posts, I hope you’ll come back.
Within the past year or so, I launched a new Ship Report website, posted podcasts to it, and then did a not very good job of keeping them current, while juggling the consuming duties of being my elderly father’s caretaker in the final phase of his life. His long and well-lived existence came to an end on April 4 of this year. Ninety-eight years of being his own amazing person, and most important to me – my dad.
For people who didn’t know him, he was one of the most intelligent and innovative people I’ve ever met. When I was a kid I looked up to him and thought he knew everything. When I got older, I realized this wasn’t far off the mark, and mot much of an exaggeration. It seemed he really DID know everything, at least everything in my world. When I was a kid he built our first television, built new kitchen cabinets for my mother, built a sailboat when he decided he wanted a boat, and renovated a larger wooden boat later when he wanted a larger craft. He was always building and inventing things. He knew a lot and what he didn’t know, he studied until he got it.
He was a scientist for a living, working among a high end group of professionals at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in New York, during the era of the budding atomic reactor and the creation of the atomic bomb. He used to come home from work in black government-issued sedans with the Atomic Energy Commission logo on the door. When I was little he flew to Los Alamos, New Mexico, as part of the Manhattan Project. He was a computer guy when computers were new, and a math major in college, which he attended on the GI Bill.
To me he was a kind, generous and demanding dad. He always had my back, but he expected a lot. To make a long story short, I loved him dearly and we were very close, and he was always there for me. I always felt like I never quite lived up to his expectations for me, but I would imagine a lot of us feel that way about our parents.
So, in these last couple of months, I have been grieving the loss of a man who has defined my life in many ways, and certainly taught me the strong work ethic, honesty and commitment that I feel today about the things I do. Grieving is a journey, as anyone who has lost a loved one knows.
He taught me to love the sea, and the same salt water that ran in his blood also runs in mine. It’s because I’m Stu Rideout’s daughter that the Ship Report has become such a fascination and long term project for me. I’ve been doing the show for 16 years and I still love it. There is always more to learn and to share. And I still get a sense of happy well-being when I on something that’s floating, whether it’s a kayak, a sailboat or a ship.
The Ship Report website is pretty much up to date now with podcasts, and I hope you check it out. I feel ready now to keep it current, and that’s why I’m bringing it up. There are a few missing reports here and there, and in the ensuing weeks I’ll go through and see if I can retrieve and post them.
On the new site, the most recent posts are displayed in the rotating graphic at the top of the page, and you can click through them. If you just want to see the entire list of what’s on the site, just click any link that says Ship Report Podcasts.
Finally, many thanks to all of you who are on this Ship Report journey with me, loyal through my ups and downs. I have you in mind every time I go on the air, and I am always seeking interesting things to talk about that I hope you find interesting too. Thank you for sharing in this wonderfully nerdy maritime journey we are on together. And, always, always, thanks for listening.