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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.

12 June 2015

❖ RACE from ALASKA ❖ with Schooner NANUK

As the R2AK sailors out of Port Townsend, WA, near the finish of the Race to Alaska, for a chance to survive the challenging coast of British Columbia, without using a motor, and perhaps taking home the $10,000 prize, we salute the excitement they have showered on the world of sailing. 
    This is a post of another coastal race that earned the master no glory but a large sum. From the archives:
Schooner NANUK (ex-OTTILLIE FJORD)
Home from Alaska, 16 October 1925.

Blt by Hans D. Bendixsen at Fairhaven, CA.
Original photo by Cleve and Acme from archives of S.P.H.S.©
Captain C. T. Pederson, master NANUK
16 October 1925, San Francisco.
Pederson was one of the last, if not the last of the 19th c.
Arctic whalers, fur traders and navigators.

Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S. ©
Auxiliary schooner NANUK, winner of the annual fur-traders race between Alaska and San Francisco.
      During this time period NANUK was owned and skippered by Capt. C. T. Pederson, whose wife always sailed along with him. His 1925 cargo was worth $270,000––the largest cargo of furs ever brought to San Francisco to date, it was said. (That sum converts to c. $3,650,000 for today's date.)

1927: The NANUK was sold to the well known Olaf Swenson of Swenson Fur Trading Co of Seattle. He was one of the world's largest dealers in furs. 


1933: Nanuk was purchased by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for filming the Eskimo with Capt. James A. Hersey in command.


"Making a Movie in the Far North",
from the NANUK, 1933.

The upper photo shows the expedition 
approaching a walrus on an ice pack.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©


NANUK is cruising northern waters to find  territory 
for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 
filming 
of the hunting and drama scenes.  
The small and not particularly comfortable vessel 
carried fifty tons of general equipment, including heating
 and food for the men during their nine-month stay in AK.
"Eskimo" after the novel of the same name by Peter Freuchen,
was directed by W.S. Van Dyke, remembered for "White Shadows 
in South Seas" and "Trader Horn."
Original photos, dated 1933, from the archives of S.P.H.S.©


Biblio: Movie reference and Swenson purchase data from H. W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW, edited by Gordon Newell.

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