|Tug NEMAH |
Photo image from King County Snapshots,
University of WA Libraries. Photographer and date not listed.
We had just installed a new engine and were doing most of our towing from Olympia to Everett at the time. The first trip with our new deckhand I made him steer a lot of the time and when I gave him a course I gave it to him in degrees so he would understand what I was talking about.
On our second trip out it was a nice evening but blacker than Satan. We were rounding Johnson Point when I gave him a course for Devil's Head. I was working down in the engine room and every so often I would come up and see how things were going. Everything okay, so back to the engine room.
Either I was awfully busy or we were moving as fast as a short beer down a tall Swede (and that's fast) because the next time I looked out we were around Devil's Head and heading for Balch Pass.
Now if you come around Devil's Head pretty wide you steer 32 degrees for the pass. I looked at the compass and this new deckhand was right on course. I asked him how he knew what course to steer. He replied that was easy, he got it off the chart. I looked at him in mouth-opened amazement. Finally I asked him to show me how he arrived at the course. I thought maybe my cousin had more on the ball than had given him credit for.
He taked down the chart table and takes the rules and lays it for Balch Pass. (At one time he had seen me use the rules but hadn't asked any questions so I hadn't told him anything.) It went right through the middle of a 32 fathom mark. There he says, is your course.
Words by Captain Walter (Yobby) Torgesen.
At the time of this writing for Piling Buster Yearbook 1951, Stories of Towboating by Towboat Men Torgersen was master of tug CROSMOR for Olympia Towing Co. Source: Library of the Saltwater People Historical Society.
NEMAH was a 120 HP Diesel built for Nemah Towboat Co of Raymond, WA.
27 G.t. / 18 N.t.
49.9' x 15.2' x 5.4'
Home Port: Seattle in 1935.
US List of Merchant Vessels, published by the US Gov't lists building year as 1925 at Hoquiam, WA.
McCurdy's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Newell, G. editor, lists her date of building as 1929.