Had a chance to check out the new Green Diamond Chip Export facility. I worked there a little bit when it was owned by Louisiana Pacific and had in fact successfully union organized the plant back in 1999. Looks pretty much the same but very newly retrofitted and clean. Seen people I know from the past. Kinda a melancholy nostalgic memories of working with wood chips. I am conflicted with sending raw materials abroad, especially when the byproduct will probably be pulp products. But we send out logs by the hundreds and it is creating commerce for the Harbor District and jobs in the County in the immediate.
I was invited to take a tour as Harbor Commissioner of the Crimson Polaris which was built in 2008 and she is a beautiful ship. I had to hold my hard hat on while walking up the gangway because of the winds that were blowing pretty good. When we gathered in one of the conference rooms the Captain stepped in and was very serious. "I need a pilot and a tug." The gauges in the room showed that there was 25 Knots (KTS) of North Western wind on the ship, or nearly 30 MPH. The Captain was not able to use winches to move the ship into proper placement to convey ships to the holds. Humboldt Bay Harbor Pilot Tim Petrusha just so happened to be with us and all of the sudden was on the job. Leroy Zerlang was also on the ship and was called on to run a tug boat immediately. We were able to check out the bridge before we needed to depart for the change in operations.
So the story? It takes many people to successfully load one of these ships and lots of teamwork. And it sure was good to see people working on the bay once more. I hope for many ships to come to our Port in the future. I will continue my tour sometime in the future.