Blessings of the Season

Among the hustle and bustle, here are a few quiet moments I’ve experienced lately. The holiday boat parade on the Willamette River. It is fun to share in the joy of these boaters’ inspiration. Click on image for a larger view.

Some quiet moments with my sketch book to gather myself.




What are you doing to center yourself during these busy days?

Fleet Week and Rose Festival

Portland is celebrating it’s 109th Rose Festival this year. Since the very first Rose Festival in 1907, visiting ships and other fleet-related elements (like submarines) have been coming to Portland’s waterfront — so this is also Fleet Week. One of the purposes of Fleet Week is to celebrate and thank the active and reserve military personnel and all veterans.

The Portland Rose Festival is one of a few U.S. Ports of Call for a courtesy visit from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy. Their arrival commemorates a relationship with the Navy that has lasted more than 100 years. It is a significant commitment by the Navy to make the Rose Festival Fleet Week one of the premier Fleet Week events in the country.

We knew that ships would be departing Astoria, OR, arriving in the late afternoon on June 8th and 9th in Portland. Here are photos that we captured of some of the arrivals. The first arrival is from the Royal Canadian Navy. Click on image for a larger view.

06-08-16 Canadian

The first US Coast Guard ship.

06-08-16 US Coast Guard

A close-up of the passengers and crew.

06-08-16 US Coast Guard 2

A working US Coast Guard ship.

06-08-16 US Coast Guard 313

US Coast Guard Buoy Tender.

06-08-16 US Coast Guard Buoy Tender

US Navy PT 658 — World War II PT-625-class Higgins 78-foot PT boat, 1945. This boat is fully restored and permanently attached to Portland.

06-09-16 PT Boat, restored

Not part of the fleet, but normal work on the river does go on. This is one of our favorite tugs positioning a barge up river.

06-09-16 tug at work

US Navy ship with towed array sonar. A towed array sonar is a system of hydrophones towed behind a submarine or a surface ship on a cable. Trailing the hydrophones behind the vessel, on a cable that can be kilometers long, which keeps the array’s sensors away from its own-ship’s noise sources, greatly improving its signal-to-noise ratio, and hence the effectiveness of detecting and tracking faint contacts, such as quiet, low noise-emitting submarine threats, or seismic signals.

06-09-16 US Navy Sonar Buoy

Close up of the towed array sonar.

06-09-16 US Navy Sonar close up

One of two US Navy destroyers being escorted by tugs to ensure proper positioning in the Willamette River.

06-09-16 USN Destroyer

US Navy PT 658 joining the escort.

06-09-16 USN Destroyer, tugs, PT boat

A Portland Fire Department boat joining the escort.

06-09-16 USN Destroyer, Portland Fire Boat

A local peace activist.

06-09-16 Peace 'escort'

Walking along the Willamette River toward the Steel Bridge, both US Navy destroyers are visible.

06-11-16 Destroyers

This photo is taken from mid-span of the Steel Bridge before free tours of the ship begin.

06-11-16 up close from Steele Bridge

I won’t be viewing the Rose Parade, however, I did go by Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland to see it all dressed up for the weeks’ festivities.

06-10-16 Pioneer Sq 1


06-10-16 Pioneer Sq 2

The Rose Parade with all it’s rituals will be completed on Saturday, June 11; the visiting ships will leave Monday morning.

Willamette River Happenings

The river is alive and bustling. Here is the Portland sternwheel steamboat passing by. This was taken from our balcony.  The Portland was built in 1947 for the Port of Portland. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and currently hosts the Oregon Maritime Museum which owns it. The steamboat is moored at the Willamette River seawall next to Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. There’s not much sound, but have your volume up so you can hear the lovely sound of the boat in the river.