"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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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.

06 February 2011


Shaw Island landing on Harney Channel.
L-R: Darrel Fowler, Max Grubbs, Vern Moe.
It was 1950 and SUNRISE was her name––a sweet Fraser River gillnetter that came up for sale in Friday Harbor––singing a siren call to would-be fishermen. A trio of young "Shawnee" guys, hearing there was a forecast for a good tuna season, took the "bait"; Vern Moe, Mac Grubbs, and Darrel Fowler, were soon packing their seabags for a trip to the fishing grounds.
      Darrel went to the mainland for a crash-course on fishing methods for tuna and came home with a barrel of gasoline strapped into the well, back aft on the 32-ft vessel. 
      The men cast off, enduring a rough trip to Neah Bay. As they approached, they noticed the fishing fleet heading in. Out by Tatoosh Island the land-based Coast Guard crew whistled them down with three whistle-blasts. 

The SUNRISE crew checked their charts and saw they were clear of the rocks so kept motoring onward, not realizing the whistle they heard was a bad weather warning. Two passing fish boats hailed the Shaw Island trio to suggest since they didn't have a radio perhaps they better give it up; they did, and after that one adventure to the edge of the big ocean, as Vern remembers, "that was the end of our tuna fishing."

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