"The cure for anything is salt water––sweat, tears, or the sea."
Isak Dinesen


About Us

My photo
San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

20 February 2017

❖ ❖ OCTOPUS WEEK ❖ ❖ Seattle until Sunday Feb. 26 2017

Seattle Aquarium until 26 February '17

This antique postcard with a giant Pacific Octopus has no
publisher listed, but includes some out-of-date information
on what was commonly called a "Devilfish" in the Pacific NW.
A highly intelligent Enteroctopus dofleini grows bigger and
lives longer with it's three hearts, than any other Octopus species.
There will be one waiting to see you this week at
the Seattle Aquarium.

18 February 2017


Viewing Lummi Island from Chuckanut Drive,
Bellingham, WA
Photo by Clyde Banks, undated.
From the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
June Burn published this piece in February 1930, from mail she received from one of her readers on Lummi Island. 
One of the lovely views on which the Lummi Islander writes.
Photo by E.I. Jacobson from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
"I would love to tell folks about Lummi Island. On the west one can see the San Juan Islands and Juan de Fuca beyond them. Over this wide strait, our beautiful sunsets that no artist can paint. On the east we can see Mt. Baker robed in white with the waters of Hales Pass and the foothills in between.
      To the north of us lies the Gulf of Georgia, and on clear days, across miles of water, we can see Point Roberts with the Coast Range in the background. The south end of Lummi is mountainous and there people love to spend the day hiking, following trails and climbing through nature's forests. Often they see wild game, that adds to the thrill.
      At night we can see our nearest city of Bellingham all aglow and Chuckanut Drive with the headlights rounding the curves. It is a beautiful sight.
Carlisle Cannery, Lummi Island, WA.
With broadside view of fish tenders moored to
offload salmon catch. Dated 1911.

The bottom photo mailed by Lummi Island's 

Fannie Winslow Granger (1860-1921)
states this view as the boarding house where the
Carlisle Cannery bosses live. (photo undated.)
Click image to enlarge.
Original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      We have three salmon canneries and six families who are engaged in chicken raising as a business, a blue fox farm, a few large and several small ranches. We have an $18,000 school house and a township hall adjoining it. This hall is used for business meetings, basketball and dancing. We also have a Congregational Church, the basement being used for a Grange hall.
      Our roads are good graveled roads and are being widened. In summer the traffic is as bad as on the highways. You will wonder at this, but our summer hotels explain it.
      The Hotel Grange was known years ago as Mother Grange's home, and a wonderful place it was to spend happy days. Since her death, the hotel has been run by her son and daughter, the Austins.
      Then comes the Lodge run by Mr. and Mrs. Granger. This hotel can take care of two or three hundred people. Mrs. Granger does the cooking, and talk about fried chicken and all the goodies that go with it! A four-piece orchestra entertains here twice a week. There are dancing, cards, pool, tennis and horseshoe games with a lovely sandy beach close by where marshmallows are toasted at bonfires.
"The Willows"
Lummi Island, WA. 

Lower photo of three cabins by Clyde Banks.
Original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.© 
From the cosy living room of "The Willows,"
Lummi Island, WA.,
this notation was written on the bottom photocard:
"It was too hot to do anything but lie in the hammock.
Weather is gorgeous."
Both photos by Clyde Banks from the archives of the S.P.H.S.© 

"The Willows", kept by [founders,] Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Taft, is the garden of flowers. Here are a dozen cabins where guests spend the nights, each with flowers of its own, and here every kind of amusement, including a weekly picnic for those who love to spend the day in the beautiful places on Lummi.
Ferry Landing on Lummi Island
for the Gooseberry Point route.

The Post Office was officially named Beach
honoring the first Postmaster, Wade H. Beach,
and not changed until 1946.

Two original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      You can motor to Gooseberry Point and ferry across in about five minutes. The ferry makes nine trips a day, so don't forget the route!"
      Thank you, T.K., for the story. I'll be over on that ferry some of these days just to see one of your sunsets out across de Fuca way! See you tomorrow. June.
Puget Soundings. Feb. 1930
For some history notes about Lummi Island, WA., please click here

16 February 2017


Steam Schooner DIRIGO
Built in Hoquiam, WA. 1898.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S©
"In the Gold Rush days of 1897, as a temporary measure, the Alaska Line joined forces with the Washington and Alaska Steamship Co., each contributing a boat to the Skagway run. The ROSALIE and the CITY OF SEATTLE alternated each week with sailings from the Northern Pacific Dock in Tacoma and Schwabacher's in Seattle. By July 1898, the Alaska line had chartered a second ship, the DIRIGO outright. 
      The DIRIGO was a steam schooner built at Hoquiam, WA. She was 165' x 35' x 13.50' and 843 Gross tons overall. Immediately after completion she was place in the Alaska trade by J.S. Kimball and Co. She was noted for her hard luck. In April 1898, she left Skagway and put in at Juneau because of condenser troubles. When she tried to come alongside the steamer CZARINA at Peoples Wharf, her engine room signals got crossed and she rammed the other vessel, badly holing her side. The CZARINA had to make a quick run for the beach at Douglas.
Undated original photo from the S.P.H.S.©
      On 9 March 1899, the DIRIGO was stranded with 100 passengers off Midway Island, south of Juneau, during a heavy snowstorm. She was on the rocks for 46 hours  before she was re-floated. The steamer was commanded by two well-known officers Capt. George Roberts and Chief Engineer George Lent. On 12 March the DIRIGO was towed to Juneau and was later brought to Seattle. She was so badly damaged she required a new keel and garboard strakes. Repairs ran to about $30,000, more than a third of the vessel's value. Eventually Alaska Steam had her back on the run with the ROSALIE on a regular schedule.
      The DIRIGO figured in a more cheerful news story the same year. The 18 Oct. 1899 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described her return to Seattle with the largest single shipment of gold up to that time, sent by way of Lynn Canal. The metal was valued at more than $1,064,000 and weighed two tons. It consisted mostly of gold bars, melted at Dawson, that were enclosed in wooden boxes bound with steel. Two officers of the North West Mounted Police accompanied the consignment, all together there were six armed guards standing six-hour watches. Also on board were two leather trunks containing $90,000 in gold dust from one bank and another box containing $37,000 shipped by the Alaska Commercial Co. The vessel also brought 7,500 cases of canned salmon and 78 passengers on that trip."
Above text from Alaska Steam. Lucile McDonald & the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. Seattle. 1984.
Some of the officers who served DIRIGO:
Capt. Gus Soderman, Capt. Charles L MacGregor, Capt. George Roberts
Chief Engineer John H. Bragdon
1914, 11 April. Owing to increased activity in the Cook Inlet district, officials of the Alaska Steamship Co., announced they had decided to establish a regular freight and passenger route from Seward to that section of the country. To that end, steamship DIRIGO will be commissioned and pressed into service. The DIRIGO is being overhauled and will begin service in May. 
Above news clip from: The Progressive. Petersburg, AK 11 April 1914.
1914, 16 November.  Foundered while in tow of the CORDOVA off Cape Spencer. The US Merchant Vessels publication lists DIRIGO was lost 40 miles east of Cape Elias.

14 February 2017


24 November 1931
home from a circumnavigation
on his 32-ft ketch SVAAP.
Photo by International Newsreel Photo
Original from the S.P.H.S.©
Here's a nice Valentine's Day kiss for all my history helpers. 
      This was published in November 1931 when author, explorer, William Albert Robinson, 29-yr old Boston sailor was being heartily greeted when he concluded a trip around the world consuming three and one-half years. He sailed out of New London, bound for Bermuda. He liked the trip so much he decided to continue on around the world. In all, Robinson traveled 30,000 miles and visited 435 small villages and ports, at all points of the compass. His entire crew consisted of 'Etera', a native of Tahiti, and himself.
      The news reporter for the day decided this was Robinson's mother, but something makes me believe that might be an alternative fact with the name of Florence Crane.

08 February 2017

❖ SALTY FERRY HIYU ❖ heading for fresh water today

ON 508159
Cost when new: $750,000.
Photo and article below courtesy of Marine Link 7 Feb. '17
Washington State Ferries (WSF) has sold its smallest retired ferry, HIYU, for $150,000 to Menagerie Inc., who plans to repurpose the vessel as a floating entertainment venue.
     “We make every effort to keep our retired ferries operational, instead of being sold for scrap,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “I’m pleased the HIYU will continue to serve Washingtonians on the water in her second life as a floating entertainment locale.”
     At 162-feet-long, the ferry is considered to be the among "cutest and most cherished" in Washington history, WSF said, but with only a 34-vehicle capacity, lack of ADA accommodations and high maintenance costs, HIYU outlived her usefulness to move people and goods across the Puget Sound, making her final sailing on July 23, 2015.
      The 1967-built HIYU, which in the Native American language Chinookan means “plenty”, has served several different routes over the course of her 50-year career, most notably the Point Defiance/Tahlequah and San Juan Islands inter-island routes. After being put in storage in the late 1990s for over a decade, the HIYU reemerged in recent years as a relief vessel and has become known and loved as “baby HIYU.”

     Now the 50-year-old ferry is due to officially change hands Wednesday, February 8, when it will be towed from the Eagle Harbor maintenance yard. HIYU will travel through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Chittenden Locks in Ballard on its way to its new home on Lake Union.
     HIYU is one of two WSF vessels retired and put up for sale in 2016. WSF said it is in negotiation with parties interested in purchasing the second ferry, EVERGREEN STATE, however no firm sale agreements are in place yet.
Type: Auto/Passenger Ferry
Length: 162'
Beam: 63' 1"
Draft: 11' 3"
Displacement (weight in long tons): 621
Max Passengers: 199
Max Vehicles: 34
Tall Deck Space: 12
Auto Deck Clearance: 15'
Engines: 2
Horsepower: 860
Propulsion: Diesel
Speed in Knots: 10
Built: [by Gunderson Brothers,] Portland, OR
Launched: 1967

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