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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.

08 October 2011


Home waters, Vancouver, B. C.
WESTWARD HO was designed by Edson B. Schock,

and built in 1927 by George Askew, for Walter Cline.
Cline traded her to Barney Johnson for the famous ALEXANDRA in 1930.
"I suspect it was Barney who changed her gaff rig.
He added the first genoa to be seen in these waters.
 He won a lot of races with her during the years he owned her.
It seems he borrowed her on occasion; he won the Beaver Cup with her in 1939.

Photo and quote courtesy of David Williams, Vancouver, B. C.

"At approximately 8:30 this morning, in the swirling narrows and under an overcast sky, Captain Barney Johnson, popular skipper of the WESTWARD HO, dipped his ensign and officially said goodbye for his WESTWARD HO to the Royal Vancouver Yacht club. Ushered out by Tom Ramsey's ARMITA, carrying Skipper Ramsay, Art Jefferd, and Fred Holland, the WESTWARD HO, under power, circled around in the swirling tide, while the representatives on the ARMITA gave three hasty cheers and blew loudly on a foghorn.
      The WESTWARD HO has been sold to a girls' school outside of Seattle. Johnson was delivering her this morning. She was built in Vancouver and has been the property of Barney Johnson for the past eight years during which time she has been the commodore's ship on two occasions. She has always been regarded as the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club's number one sailing vessel, sort of one of the pillars of the sailing craft.
      'She's a beautiful boat,' sadly murmured Johnson. 'I'll hate to lose her. But I have made up my mind. Come on, boys, have another drink with the sun, you have to have a mizzen now you have your topsail set. Can't sail on one wing, you know.'
      Another toast, a few hearty choruses of 'Blow the Man Down,' and the WESTWARD HO was on her way.
      Over the weekend she sailed her last race, the Ballenas Islands race for the Beaver Cup, and was an easy win.
      'We really sailed her on her last race,' said Barney. 'I'll hate to see her go... but maybe we can get her up here for the ladies' race with some of the girls handling her.'
      According to reports Barney Johnson will not be off the sea. The famous old salt plans to get a small boat and do some racing."
News article by Hal Straight 
The Vancouver Sun
Tuesday 22 June 1937.
From the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society

Below notes from Miles McCoy, West Sound, Orcas Island. 
McCoy was the skipper of WESTWARD HO in the summer of 1950 when he was 19-years old. The West Sound sailing scene hooked him on settling in the area.
WESTWARD HO (O. N. 236434)
West Sound, WA., then sailing with Camp Four Winds-Westward Ho campers.
"Turtleback" land formation in background.
Undated photo courtesy of Nick Exton, Orcas Island.

 "The yawl WESTWARD HO was associated with Four Winds-Westward Ho Camps from the late 1930s through the mid 1950s. The camp being named after the vessel; Westward-Ho camp became the boy's camp when Four Winds-Westward Ho became co-ed. The yawl served the camps for many years longer than any other vessel. Hundreds of children sailed and sang camp songs aboard while learning the ropes and the ways of the sea. After WW II ended, Jack and Bill Helsell prepared WESTWARD HO for the 1949 Trans Pacific Yacht Race. The race was a windy one with above average winds over a majority of the course.  [Miles McCoy was crewing.]
      While in Hawaii WESTWARD HO was met and sailed by a bevy of senior campers from Four Winds. They sailed several day sails in Molokai channel and learned about sailing in brisk conditions.
      Later in August after a pleasant voyage from Hawaii to the coast, WESTWARD HO arrived at the Orcas Island camp to a jolly welcome by some of the Hawaii contingent and camp staff. There was much music, singing, and regaling of sea stories.
      WESTWARD HO sailed for the camps for several more years before being sold in the 1950s to sail off to Hawaii and points south. She has not been spotted in the Pacific Northwest since."

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