For a better account, check out what Ben wrote up.
Well then, that was a fun little trip.
I actually hadn't planned on going at all in the first place until I found out I could actually piggy back the whole thing on top of a business trip, which worked out great. I flew out on Thursday, routing through Chicago, unfortunately. I hate flying east to go west. But it worked out mostly fine in the end. Got into Portland late, opted to eat at a Buffalo Wild Wings by my hotel instead of going downtown, which may have been a mistake. Not that anything was bad (for the record, Thai curry wings are excellent), but I'd later learn that downtown Portland was awesome.
Also, apparently, there was some sort of convention in town and no hotels to be had anywhere, so I was sort of stuck out by the airport. The good news was, they were overbooked and had to stick me in a three room suite. Oh the horror.
So Friday. Woke up very early. Like, 4:00 AM early. 6:00 AM Central, true, but even with a new kid I can usually make it until at least 7:00. So I sort of forced myself to lay in bed, with mixed results, but I was up and wide awake, so I made my way out to the harbor. This trip was scheduled real well actually, as the Dred Essayons was actually in port. We do a lot of the harbor and channel work along the West Coast, and let me tell you, the Essayons is a really impressive vessel. Bigger than I thought, even, and in great shape for something that works as hard as it does.