"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.

23 June 2014


First, we carve wooden needles.
These finely crafted ones were used in San Juan County, WA.

Winter Work, November 1953.

The Seattle Times.

Poulsbo fishermen wearing rain gear, repaired salmon nets, a typical winter job. From left, Mike Paulsen, who went to Poulsbo from Norway in 1909, Clarence Rasmussen, and Norman Rustad. Poulsbo was increasing its moorage space at this time to boost its fishing business––the town's biggest industry. Forty boats called Poulsbo home port in 1953 and more were seeking moorage space.

Fishermen at Salmon Bay, March 1963
The Seattle Times

A sharp knife and a fishing net had a familiar feel to Louis Zuvich, as he repaired a net at the Fishermen's Terminal at Salmon Bay.
      In the 40 years during which he fished commercially, Zuvich had an uncounted number of nets to repair.
      Such work is only one of many skills the Puget Sound-based commercial fisherman must develop.
      In his trade, he must be a skilled seaman, an expert navigator, an able businessman. He must know the currents, tides, and depths, where and when to find the fish.
      He must be a mechanic, engineer, and carpenter, and must have a feeling for treating the sick and injured. In breakdowns of men and equipment at sea, only a narrow gap keeps an inconvenience from becoming an emergency.
      Zuvich, who learned his fishing from his father at Gig Harbor, and his 60-ft CONFIDENCE, long have been part of the commercial fishing scene at Salmon Bay.
      With a three-man crew, the CONFIDENCE engaged in bottom fishing during the winter––"just making wages," in Zuvich's words.
      The profitable season came during the summer when Zuvich and a crew of seven or eight purse seined for salmon in Alaskan waters, operating out of Ketchikan.

Rehanging Net, June 1993
The Seattle Times.
Gary Sparrow, Fishermen's Terminal, Seattle, WA.
Original photo from the archives of the S. P. H. S.

On shore, the patterns made by hanging fishing nets is not lost on fishermen such as Gary Sparrow, for whom the design is reminiscent of the peaking ocean waves that accompany fishermen during their work at sea. Sparrow and fellow crew of the purse seiner, the VERMONT, are spending four to five weeks at Fishermen's Terminal rehanging their nets, a chore more time consuming than the regular task of mending. "Some guys do it every year," says skipper Bill Blanchard, "but those same guys tinker with their boats all winter. I'm the kind who believes you can do this about once every ten years." The crew is hoping to complete this job, which involves disassembling and reassembling all the net pieces, in time to enjoy a few weeks off before the season begins.

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