"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.

19 March 2014

❖ ❖ ❖ ANCHOR ❖ ❖ ❖

The first anchor in our collection; 
not the one lost from HMS CHATHAM,
under command of Capt. Vancouver's 
1792 exploration through this area;
but we are happy.
This donated anchor found under ashes
of a 19th C. pioneer waterfront home, 
lost to fire; once part of the Hans Lee/
Al Wilding farm along the shore of Blind Bay, 
San Juan County, WA.
From ancora, the only nautical word adopted into the Teutonic languages directly from the Latin. The anchor appears in many figurative phrases in both coastal and land speech. To come to, or ride at, anchor is to settle down; to drag anchor means to slip, lose ground; to drop, or cast, anchor signifies to locate oneself permanently. The modern seaman does not drop or cast his anchor––one lets it go.)
      To ride to a single anchor means to have it easy; to swallow the anchor is to give up seafaring and settle ashore. An anchor to windward (sometimes sheet-anchor or kedge-anchor) is the same as a nest egg, something to fall back upon.
      In coastal dialect, to go ashore with both anchors on the bows describes a inexcusable lack of competence."Bring your backside to an anchor" is a hearty, though vulgar invitation to take a seat. 
      In addition to its obvious meanings, this word also means, in coastal speech, to place a weight upon something likely to blow away, or to fasten something firmly at the base. "Be sure you anchor that picnic cloth good and solid."
From: Sea Language Comes Ashore by Joanna Carver Colcord. Cornell Maritime Press, N. Y. 1945.
More information on Capt. Vancouver's exploration and lost anchor click here

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