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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.

15 January 2012

S.S. ISLANDER ✪ ✪ ✪ Sails for Mexico

Text from:
The Friday Harbor Journal
7 June 1917
Front Page.
Steamer ISLANDER cruising through Pole Pass.
Original undated photo from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
Commanded by Capt. S.A. Leffingwell, the steamer ISLANDER will say good-bye to Puget Sound in a few days and sail for San Francisco to enter the Mexican west coast trade.
      The ISLANDER was built in 1904 [by J.A. Scribner] for Capt. Newhall at Newhall, Orcas Island, for the Bellingham-San Juan Islands-Anacortes run. She is 162 gross tons, 72-feet long, 18-feet 9-inches beam and draws 9-feet of water. After her sale to the San Francisco firm she was taken to Seattle and given a thorough overhauling, the texas removed and other alterations made which will add to her sea-worthiness for an ocean voyage.
     Commenting on the risk of the trip, Capt. Leffingwell said: 'that is where you're all off. Columbus crossed the ocean in a ship not half as good as the ISLANDER. I'd just as soon take a run over to Australia on the ISLANDER if I could carry fuel enough. In fact, I'd rather take her down the coast than a big steamship. The big ship business is a cut and dried proposition, leaving and arriving on schedule. With the ISLANDER I may make a quick trip, and then again, I may not. That's what appeals to me.'
      Those San Juan Islanders who have traveled on the old boat in all kinds of weather know that Capt. Basford used to take her out on the Island run on days when the regular Seattle steamers remained tied up at the dock in Bellingham, and that while rather slow, she always arrived right side up and on time regardless of rough seas and high wind. While not exactly an up-to-date passenger steamer, she is a well-built and staunch little vessel and a great deal better than the average steamer that has been on the west coast run for the past fifty years or more.

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