"Prior to 1946, after the schooners were unloaded and cleaned up, they were towed to Lake Union in Seattle for the winter. The departure of the schooners left the face of the Poulsbo wharf open for the freight boat to Seattle to land to deliver supplies or ship out the finished packaged cod. At the end of WW II, the steamer service to Poulsbo was discontinued and a good auto freight service was in operation.
The moorage in Seattle was closer to Father's office, allowing him to daily supervise the winter activities. Before the Lake Washington Ship Canal and government locks were completed in 1917, the vessels remained at Poulsbo, moored between the end of the wharf and a pile dolphin. This was most difficult for the crew working on the vessels, as in stormy weather the bay was too rough for a small skiff to transport the men.
During the 1930s, there were four schooners in the combined codfish fleet of the Pacific Coast Codfish Co and Captain J.E. Shields. They moored side by side, bow by stern, usually along with several other vessels that operated in the fishing industry. After a towboat brought a schooner and moored it alongside another vessel, the towboat would back under the bow, attach a line to one of the anchors, tow this out several hundred feet, then drop it. Next the tug returned for the other anchor. After both anchors were out, the tug departed and the vessel's captain and another man hove the anchor chain tight, taking care not to pull too hard as the anchor would drag through the mud of the lake bottom. Thus the vessels were secure.
During the layup season, security on the codfish schooners was a continuous problem. People were curious and would come out in a rowboat and go through the entire vessel. Stealing was a problem, nothing of value could be left on board. Father allowed one of the fishermen to live on each schooner in exchange for being the watchman. This worked well. The man had a place to live that he could heat, and the vessel's owner had some security."
Above text, Salt of the Sea, The Pacific Coast Cod Fishery and the Last Days of Sail. Shields, Captain Ed. Pacific Heritage Press. 2001.
- Saltwater People Historical Society
- 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.
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