I got a little outdoors time in lately

Last weekend my friend Tim and I went up to the mountains for the weekend. We stayed up at the Grass Valley Sportsmans Lodge, and then helped them close it up for the winter. Every year they board up and drain all the water out of the pipes, so that when the snow comes nothing will freeze or break. They still have one part members can go to during the winter, but access is only by snowmobile or extreme 4×4, so there isn’t as much demand. Maybe someday I’ll be able to join, but lucky for me my friend can bring visitors. The club is a great group of guys.

While we were up there we took our kids fishing and did a little bit of four wheeling. We made it all the way up to Faucherie Lake, but we also stopped at Sawmill Lake and Bowman lake. There was a good time had by all. It won’t be long before there will be 10 feet of snow covering all this area, so it was really the last trip of the year for me. It’s a great place, I’ve been visiting for years, and will try and visit as much as I can for the rest of my life.

I’m half way through my vacation now. I’ll head back to the boat next weekend, and help them get it ready to come out of the water at dry dock. This should be an interesting process, I’m looking forward to it. It’s been nice spending time with my daughter and mom, but I’m already ready to go back to work. Too much idle time is not real good for me, I’m a busy body.

Trouble on the water

Just the other day the owner of the company that I work for announced that there will be a pay cut for every employee and lay offs as well. I ended up with a 10% pay cut, and on top of that I already took a 25% schedule reduction when I took the engineering job. Pretty sad when the world is effected by the economy of this country like it is. I’m greatful to have a good job, and I’m hoping that we can pull out of this as a company, because we are very good at what we do.

There are several people that are predicting rough times for years to come, but I’m of the opinion that if you are smart enough, you can make anything work out in your favor. I’m positive that Lindblad is good at what they do, and I know they can pull out of this just fine.

The rest of the country is who I feel bad for. Especially the cruise line industry. If you don’t have your act together at this point, it’s only going to get harder to survive in this business climate. Good luck to all the boat workers out there on those other lines, I know it’s going to be rough for you.

The good news is, with the price of oil down so much, it may be some relief. I know I enjoyed the opportunity to do a little four wheeling, and it didn’t even cost me half a months savings. Take the good with the bad, right?

Heading south on the Pacific

Today was our second full day at sea, on our trip from Oregon down the Pacific Coast to the San Francisco Bay. Seas have been rough, the winds high and every one has been feeling pretty bad. We’ve been averaging 12 foot swells and 30 knot winds most of the time, so it’s been slow going. The boat is holding up pretty good, we’ve had a couple leaky windows and one or two things go flying that shouldn’t have, but other than that we are doing good. It looks like we will be into Alameda tomorrow around dinner time or so, and I’m not too sure what the plan is for the night. I know that we have a dock out there to tie up to, but I’m not too sure how it will work out with the people that are leaving the next day. I’m pretty sure that we will all just crash out and wake up the next day and head out. I’m ready for my vacation, and I know several others are as well.

We did get to see a little bit of wild life today, first and Albatross (one of the largest wing spanned birds) then a humpback, and finally a bunch of dolphins playing around with us. I don’t know what it is about dolphins that makes them so good at lifting peoples spirits, but they sure do a good job of it. I hadn’t seen any common porpoises since Baja, so it was cool to seem them out here.

I’m really looking forward to my week off, it’s going to be really nice to be on dry land for a bit after this trip. I’m not too sure what the plan is at this point, but I’m sure it will be nice. I was swimming in the river every day I was there last, so it’s going to be a bit odd to have missed a good part of the fall season. Maybe I’ll get to take the truck out for some mud wheeling, that sure would be nice.

Heading out tomorrow

In Portland tomorrow, we will be dropping off our guests, then heading south to the dry dock in Alameda, CA. This is looking like it will be quite a trip, the seas have been pretty rough over this route, and don’t look to be letting up any time soon. From the look of it we may be in for 20 foot seas, which will be quite a bit more than anything I’ve seen to date. The biggest we have seen while I was aboard was 10 feet, and that was moving enough to make most of the crew pretty sick. This should be interesting.

The good news is that we have everything pretty much buttoned up, and ready to go, so all that I’ll need to do it keep an eye on the boat and make sure that everything is running good. Good deal for me.

Once we get to Alameda, I get about a week off, before I start my next 6 week rotation. This is a good deal for me, as I wasn’t quite ready for 6 weeks off financially yet. I’m looking forward to some time with Mia, though!