"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.

About Us

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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.

03 January 2014

❖ Bark COLONEL De VILLEBOIS MAREUIL ❖ Columbia River Bar

As she passed in over the Columbia River Bar
October 1912 from tug GOLIAH, 

captured by Captain Orison Beaton!
One of his best-known photos and one
often published in maritime history books,
with Capt. Beaton's name erased.
"I saw this enormous sea rolling up astern, and
from the tug, it appeared as if the bark were being
engulfed. My camera was ready and I ducked
hurriedly out of the pilot house door, snapped the
picture, and got back inside just as the GOLIAH
herself was smothered in foam. Light conditions
were very poor and it was necessary to develop
the negative an extra long time in order to
bring up an image."
Captain's quote caught by H. W. McCurdy.
This print was kindly donated by retired
mariner R. L. Haugland, Seattle, WA.

      "The wind roared loud, and the waves were so heavy that I retreated to my berth and lay down, but I could not keep my mind off the thought of how deep the water was under us. The vessel [at times] seemed as if it were trying to stand on one end. I felt so frightened...
      I spoke to the captain and he did not give me much answer but later came to me and said, 'are you able to go to the forward part of the ship with me?' It seemed almost too frightful to go [but we went and] he helped me to the bow saying, 'kneel down...look under the ship.' It was one of the most beautiful sights I ever saw––such a height of foam and rainbows under it. Then he took me to the other side that was in shadows; and there the water was whirled into the most beautiful shapes, standing out distinct from each other, from the swiftness of the motion. Presently the captain said, 'men don't often speak of these things to each other but I feel the beauty of it. Nights when the vessel is moving fast I come forward and watch here for hours and hours and dream over it.' When I thought of it afterward, I wondered how he could know that the way to answer my fears was to show me what was so beautiful. I was not afraid anymore whatever the vessel did."
Above quote from Leighton, C. C. Life at Puget Sound; Boston. Lee & Shepherd, 1884. 


  1. Thanks for reading the Log and taking time to comment.
    Happy 4th.


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