Visiting relatives in Portland

January 21, 2008   

On Friday I delivered Astra the Farr 40 over to SFYC for the crew to race at the weekend. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to race as I needed to visit relatives in Oregon. I got to SFYC just in time to get to the airport and was very lucky to get into the dock as it was a minus tide and I crept in with less than 6″ under the keel. The crew weren’t so lucky on Saturday they ended up aground. Anyways I digress. It was a cold delivery and was dark by the time I docked the boat and quickly jumped in the car. My brother, sister in law and nephew were meant to come with me but they were sick so decided to cancel especially as the trip was to visit ailing relatives. My parents got to Portland during the day on friday I ended up pulling into the cousins driveway at midnight very tired after a non stop 18 hour day.

 We stayed at our cousins christmas tree farm they have just purchased Kirk Company which is a 90 year old christmas tree wholesaler selling trees throughout the world. The trees come from Oregon, Wisconsin and Nova Scotia. The house is surrounded by fields with rows and rows of christmas trees all neatly pruned. There is also a pond in the back garden. It was typical cold wet weather the sky seems really low in Portland maybe it is from the paper mill smoke. Every time I drive past the paper mills I ask my father the same question – so what did grandpa do there?  He was a very important trade unionist and he led a revolt against another trade union group however, I didn’t experience that side of my grandpa. I just remember him making me eat porridge swimming in milk with little pink sweetner packets – yuk!

 We had a great family dinner on saturday night of BBQ steaks and dessert of birthday cake. On Sunday we had the traditional crab feast that I always remember having as a child – it sure is good. It was sad to see the relatives all growing old and the problems they are having it reminds me to live everyday to the fullest and to try and be less in a rush!

 Monday the alarm went off at 5am and off to the airport to get my parents on the first flight to San Francisco. I was full fare to Oakland as that was where my car was. I made the mistake of booking southwest instead of united and regeretted it when I had to pay more to get on an earlier flight so I could get back in time for work. Yes even after my resolution of slowing down I hit the ground in Oakland running as I needed to be motoring out of CYC on Astra by 12:45 at the latest otherwise I would have a problem with the tide. It was a miserable delivery across the bay really really cold and the rain was blowing sideways even in my musto gear it was not a fun day to be out on the water. I motored into the dock at 2:30pm and after measuring the protector up for new lines that run along the outside of the tubes I went home to a hot ribena and a hot water bottle. Time for bed….

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