Graduating From a Different School

 

There are a lot of colleges and universities that confer degrees. Some degrees are useful, and some are not. Some schools and their students are considered elite. “Elite” is a title that many individuals and institutions claim, but naming yourself elite does not make it so.

The National Motor Lifeboat School located in Ilwaco, WA at the mouth of the Columbia River Bar is not Harvard, but its students are elite. The Advanced Helicopter Rescue School, located in Astoria, OR, at the Columbia River Bar is another elite school.

The Columbia River Bar is a challenging campus, and it has earned the name Graveyard of the Pacific. 2000 ships have been lost crossing the bar.

Published in Environment
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  1. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    Coasties are exceptionally professional. Not very military, but very good at what they do. 

    • #1
  2. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    That’s a great video, I’d seen a bit of it before, didn’t know it was at the mouth of the Columbia.  You might enjoy the book Astoria, which tells the story of the founding of Fort Astoria.  

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Wow

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    I recently took a trip on the Colombia.   The reason the inlet is so dangerous is that there is almost no shelf, so all the power of the waves hits the river flow (3 highest river flow in US).   Jetties have been built that make the river accessible these days.  FYI, Lewiston, Idaho is America’s most inland seaport.

    Here’s a picture of the USCG facility in Astoria:

     

    Here’s a picture of a ship coming into the Columbia river.  The long straight black line is the south jetty.  That little black dot in the middle of the jetty is a big dump truck.  That ship is probably a grain ship that will take low-gluten wheat to Asia.

    • #4
  5. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Those guys have real guts. How about those 19th and early 20th Century Coast Guard guys too. crazy brave.

    Can’t believe that yacht owner they saved was out there alone, and without a life jacket!?

    • #5
  6. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Those guys have real guts. How about those 19th and early 20th Century Coast Guard guys too. crazy brave.

    Can’t believe that yacht owner they saved was out there alone, and without a life jacket!?

    There’s more to the story, the rescued man actually stole the boat and was arrested shortly after his rescue.

    • #6
  7. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    I recently took a trip on the Colombia. The reason the inlet is so dangerous is that there is almost no shelf, so all the power of the waves hits the river flow (3 highest river flow in US). Jetties have been built that make the river accessible these days. FYI, Lewiston, Idaho is America’s most inland seaport.

    Here’s a picture of the USCG facility in Astoria:

    Here’s a picture of a ship coming into the Columbia river. The long straight black line is the south jetty. That little black dot in the middle of the jetty is a big dump truck. That ship is probably a grain ship that will take low-gluten wheat to Asia.

     

    You should write a full post about this. BTW, the images are blocked.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    I recently took a trip on the Colombia. The reason the inlet is so dangerous is that there is almost no shelf, so all the power of the waves hits the river flow (3 highest river flow in US). Jetties have been built that make the river accessible these days. FYI, Lewiston, Idaho is America’s most inland seaport.

    Here’s a picture of the USCG facility in Astoria:

    Here’s a picture of a ship coming into the Columbia river. The long straight black line is the south jetty. That little black dot in the middle of the jetty is a big dump truck. That ship is probably a grain ship that will take low-gluten wheat to Asia.

     

    You should write a full post about this. BTW, the images are blocked.

    Since this post is now on the Main Feed, maybe they’re being checked for copyright?

    • #8
  9. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I was a Coastie from 1979 to 1986.  My service was more modest, and one of my regrets is I didn’t follow my original plan to become a boatswains mate (which has more prestige within the Coast Guard than it does the Navy).  If you want to go to surf school, that’s the rate you start at.

    I still benefited overall from my time in.

    But I thought I’d push a book I’ve been reading, The Coxswain, by Geoff Brown, a fictional account of a World War II Coastie who serves in the European theater doing beach landings for infantry troops.  It’s on Amazon.

    It seems well researched and covers the training as well as the combat.

    It’s also different than most war books in that the main character is a devout Christian and it covers how a young Christian man deals with fellows who drink and carouse.

    It’s good to remember that the Coast Guard’s only medal of honor recipient was a coxswain (though not a boatswains mate).

    But something else to note is how many devout Christians I encountered during my service.  They’re a minority, but they are there.  And books about military service, whether fiction or non-fiction tend to gloss over that.

    • #9
  10. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    DonG

    You should write a full post about this. BTW, the images are blocked.

    Since this post is now on the Main Feed, maybe they’re being checked for copyright?

    Sorry about that.  I just did a copy/paste from my Google photos, so it looked fine to me.  I have now edited my post to have uploaded images.  lesson learned.

    • #10
  11. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Steve Fast (View Comment):
    You should write a full post about this. BTW, the images are blocked.

    Concur.  Astoria and that whole area is a neat place to go.  I spent a lot of time on the Columbia in my youth, but further inland, as we had family living in Hood River.  

    • #11
  12. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Spin (View Comment):

    Concur. Astoria and that whole area is a neat place to go. I spent a lot of time on the Columbia in my youth, but further inland, as we had family living in Hood River.

    Hood River, Oregon is a beautiful little town.   We went to church there (St. Mary’s) on our trip.  This picture is the marina with Mt Hood in background.  They do cherries there, much like another favorite place, Traverse City, MI.  

     

    About 30 miles away is Multnomah Falls.   With a 600′ drop it is the second highest continuously flowing falls in the USA (IFIRC). 

     

     

    • #12
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