"The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down." A. Whitney Brown.

About Us

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San Juan Archipelago, 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 750, 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.

18 November 2021


Teak figurehead of the Scottish Lady,
 ex-La Escocesa,
ex-Coalinga, ex- Star of Chile,
ex-Roche Harbor Lime Transport
202' x 34.2' x 21.8'
1,001 tons
Iron 3-master
Site: Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA.
The vessel ashore in the background
is the 50-ft steam tug Roche Harbor,
built in Tacoma in 1888. With a crew of 4
she did a lot of heavy work for the
Roche Harbor Lime Company.
Original photo from the archives of the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©

"When the four-masted schooner Scottish Lady, like a nautical phantom out of the past, spreads her sails to the winds of the Pacific and begins a voyage halfway around the world, the picturesque vessel will have a golden figurehead under her bowsprit.
      In a Pacific coast shipyard, where the old windjammer, which sailed as a proud unit of the fleet of the Alaska Packers Association, is being converted from a three-masted bark to a four-masted schooner, the teak wood figurehead has been lifted to the deck of the vessel and will be covered with gold leaf before it is returned to the bow of the ship.
      Built in Dundee, Scotland, in 1868, as the La Escocesa, the vessel became the Coalinga and after her purchase by the APA, was renamed the Star of Chile. Now she has been christened Scottish Lady.
      For ten years, the vessel was ideal at Roche Harbor where she was moored in a setting framed in trees and foliage. Then came the demand for ship tonnage resulting from the war and she was towed to a shipyard to be made ready for sea. Her heavy iron hull, built in Dundee, was found to be five-eighths of an inch thick.
      A.B. McCollum, a Chicago businessman, is the new owner of the old windjammer. He was represented in the purchase of the vessel from the Roche Harbor Lime Co by H.F. Mowry, shipbroker of Newport Beach, CA.
      The Scottish Lady will be taken to sea by Captain John Bertonccini of Seattle, who sailed the ocean lanes before he was 12 years old and survived fourteen ship accidents.
      Captain Bertonccini has had some narrow escapes, but his ship always made port. In 1921 he and his two-man crew drifted for 39 days in the cargo and fishing vessel Baldy which became disabled at sea. The crankshaft of the 57-ft vessel broke while she was 500 miles south of Unimak Pass, AK, leaving her at the mercy of wind and wave.
      The Baldy was sighted by the N.Y.K liner Heian Maru, which notified the Coast Guard by wireless at Capt. Bertonccini's request. A Coast Guard cutter was unable to find the helpless vessel, but the steamship Yaquina sighted the Baldy and again notified the USCG. A cutter was sent to the vessel and towed her into Grays Harbor. The Baldy was repaired and returned to service.
      'I was in the motorship when she burned 500 miles south of Unimak Pass, AK,' said Capt. Bertonccini as he paused from his work on ship tackle aboard the Scottish Lady. 'The Kamchatka was on a fur-trading cruise for Hibbard & Swenson of Seattle. We were 86 hours n a motor launch and finally reached Unga, AK, where we spent two weeks. The Catherine D, of the Pacific American Fisheries took us to Bellingham. I was on the ship Santa Clara for eight years and two years in the Star of Alaska, windjammers sailing in the Alaska cannery trade for the APA. This ship, the Scottish Lady, was the Star of Chile of the APA at that time, sailing out of San Francisco to the Alaska canneries.'
      Captain Bertonccini, a hard-working skipper who dons old clothes and toils long hours getting his ship ready for sea, was born in Sweden of an Italian father and a Swedish mother. He first went to sea in 1884 in the Swedish brig Anna, sailing out of Stockholm."
      The Seattle Times featured several articles about this vessel during the early 1940s. The above is dated Feb. 1942.
      The Scottish Lady had her beautiful figurehead tucked away in the safety of a warehouse in Seattle, when she was undergoing a refit. Owner McCollum planned to return the carving to the bow of the old ship when she again voyaged the sea lanes under sail. Before her planned blue water sailing the government requisitioned her to serve as a barge for hauling supplies to Alaska for the Alcan highway, in June 1942. Did the figurehead survive? (See the update below by H.H. Huycke.)

Below is an early photograph with the Star of Chile stranded in the ice, still in her youth in 1918.

with early rig of three masts, 
inscribed as stranded in the ice of the Bering Sea.
Rescued by the USS Roosevelt in June 1918. 
Tap image to enlarge.
Original photograph from the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©

History of the Scottish Lady was published in the American Neptune in 1947, Vol. 7, No.4. written by the late mariner/historian/author Captain Harold D. Huycke. He extends thanks to Rick James and Bruce Lundin for good assistance in documenting the final segment of the old ship's history. In 2002, the captain submitted the history to The Sea Chest journal, June 2002, (13 pages) a membership publication under the Puget Sound Maritime Society, Seattle. Lots of "bio" of that lady can be viewed there. 
      At that time Scottish Lady was laid up in the lower end of Lake Washington, apparently still owned by Mr. A.B. McCollum of Newport Beach, CA. For the previous five and subsequent seven years, she lay idle, tied to stumps on the lakeshore. 
      "Very little attention was given to Scottish Lady during those postwar years. A moving-picture company in Southern California made inquiries, but they wanted a 'bark' and not a schooner.
      Negotiations were established between Karl Kortum, the director of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, and Mr. McCollum for the acquisition of the fo'c's'le-head capstan and a few other significant, removable items. On 4 September 1954, a work party consisting of Walter Taylor, Gordon Jones, Ed Kennell, Kenny Glasgow, Karl Kortum, and I boarded the schooner Gracie S in Portage Bay and motored down to Kennydale and boarded Scottish Lady. The capstan had originally been fitted to the old down-easter Tacoma, one of the Alaska Packers cannery ships, but in years gone by it had been shifted to Star of Chile. Now it was heading home to the Maritime Museum in San Francisco.
      It was a day's work removing the capstan in sections, unbolting the foundation from the deck, and hoisting it aboard Gracie S.
      Sometime during this period, the figurehead was also acquired by the San Francisco Maritime Museum and shipped to San Francisco. The new sails, cut and manufactured in 1941-42, have not been traced.
1954: The ship was sold to Vancouver Tug and Barge Co of Vancouver and towed out of Lake Washington bound for a shipyard in British Columbia.
1955: Scottish Lady made one appearance in Puget Sound late in this year. She tied up in Duwamish River, but no further details were recorded of her cargo, coming or going."

An incomplete listing of past officers and crew:
David Evans, master, and son D.T. Evans, chief mate.
Olaf C. Olsen, master
Charles Hasse, master
Carl Peterson, master
John Bertonccini, master
Bob Fulton, master


Mailboat Chickawana
Making a stop at Orcas Island, WA.
Tap image to enlarge.
Original photo from the archives of 
the Saltwater People Historical Society©
Photograph by Mr. Geoghagen of Orcas Island.

Chickawana in 1933.

"I had lived above the bay since childhood and was familiar with its beaches and nearby islands, but had never had occasion to venture farther than could be seen from the tallest hill in the city.
      That was to change, however, when I first met the Chickawana, a mailboat that served the San Juan Islands in the 1930s.
      It was early on a cool misty morning in September when we arrived at the dock where she waited.
      She was due to sail at seven, and while we waited I watched in fascination as the freight and produce were loaded, swinging beneath the tall derrick to be deposited on the deck to the hoarse commands of the deckhand.
      I studied the Chickawana, a typical mailboat of the time. Thirty-five feet long with an open deck behind the wheelhouse in the bow, she carried a crew of three.
      Other than a covered engine well in the center of the deck the only part below-decks was the low-ceilinged passenger cabin, line with benches below the portholes, entered by a short stairway at the stern.
      Since there were no other passengers that morning I would occupy it by myself until, getting bored, I ventured forth to view the scenery and to visit the crew on the 
      Eventually, all was in order and I made my way across the gangplank, which was then hauled aboard.
      Lines were cast off, the boat gave a shrill whistle, and we were underway. It would be the first time in my 19 years to live away from home.
      The Chickawana plied the Sound between Bellingham and the San Juan Islands, making three round trips weekly and laying over each second night in Friday Harbor.
      My destination was the next to the last stop, which would take seven hours to reach as we sailed into inlets and harbors among the islands, delivering and picking up freight and mail and an occasional passenger.
      Some of the ports of call were indistinguishable villages above a single dock, but the names linger in my memory like a litany: Eastsound, West Sound, Orcas, Deer Harbor, Roche Harbor. All in exquisite settings.
      Eventually, we rounded a small island and entered beautiful little Prevost Bay, in the most northwesterly corner of the contiguous US.
      As the motors slowed and we drifted up to the dock I could see a small group of curious strangers, some of the thirty-odd residents of Stuart Island who had come to see the new schoolteacher.
      The landing was without incident for the tide must have been just right so that the 
gangplank reached across to the level of the dock.
      If the boat lay a few feet below the dock I might have to perch precariously on the rail and be helped across the narrow gap, clutching strong hands extended for support.
      If the tide was completely out the gangplank could be laid from the roof of the wheelhouse, but I had to clamber up there to get it.
      Sometimes I started the trip in the passenger cabin but was careful not to be caught there after the time we carried a young heifer to one of the islands.
      I watched her being lowered to the deck, her legs dangling below the sling, until she was set down on the slippery surface where her hooves tended to slide out from under her.
      It must have been a frightening experience, for she responded during the long hours by making frequent and copious deposits that spread from port to starboard.
      I was unaware of this state of affairs until I came up on deck and found my way completely cut off.
      I was held hostage below until we reached the report where the cow was to be delivered and the crew had sliced the deck clean enough to walk on.
      I imagine the Chickawana was old in 1933, and probably she has retired now for many years, but she will always have a special place in my memory."
      Words by Esther R. Ditmer. Guest column Friday Harbor Journal, 8 February 1987.

Chickawana was lost to fire in 1948.


11 November 2021

HENRY T. CAYOU, "A Builder of Good Faith and Friendship"

Deer Harbor, Orcas Island,
San Juan Archipelago, WA.
From the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
Click image to enlarge.
A gift from Cliff Thompson,
retired mariner of Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA.

The name Cayou, belonging to a long-time San Juan county resident, has been nominated to the Washington State Board of Geographical Names as a more deserving person to represent the name of the body of water between Orcas Island and Shaw Island, long on the charts as Harney Channel.
      Petitions have been signed and the application made with good words of the success in the life of Henry T. Cayou (ca. 1869-1959). Much emphasis has been made on his fishing career from the age of nine, reefnetting at Flat Point while learning from his uncle Pel Ell, and then his pioneering of trap fishing. He always remained an independent operator of his traps.
      But his life could be judged more noteworthy for his dedication to  serving his community. Mr. Cayou was a San Juan County commissioner for at least 27 years, a long-serving trustee of Orcas Power and Light Company since its founding, and an Orcas Island School board trustee for 33 years, as he stated on his business card. 
      Henry Cayou spoke to members of the Orcas Island Historical Society in 1953 and among other things he told of how he engaged in the island's first agricultural enterprise. The Cayou family grew strawberries and Henry recalled that when they ripened he loaded them into a dugout canoe and set out for Vancouver Island, B.C., about 12 miles north of Victoria to find a buyer. The berries were served on Victoria tables in honor of the Queen's birth anniversary.
      It has been noted recently that he had traveled the channel many times in his lifetime. Actually, it could be said he "survived" the channel in a Christmas Day storm of 1896. He and his wife, baby, and other family members were capsized in a gale off Point Hudson when sailing to Decatur Island for Christmas dinner. Cayou held his baby's head above the cold water until help reached them clinging to the overturned vessel. Lee 
Wakefield and George Fowler of pioneer Shaw Island families pulled hard on their oars and managed to get all the wet mariners safely back to the Orcas landing.
      The last paragraph is sourced from "Almost Fatal Accident," 

the Islander newspaper of January 1896.
Archived by Saltwater People Historical Society

❖        ❖        ❖

"Captain Henry T. Cayou [ca. 1869-1959] was born at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island, where he has built a beautiful waterfront home which is to be the sanctuary of his and Mrs. Cayou’s declining years.

      In the early days when Henry was a young man, he was successful in the fishing game (as he called it,) which eventually developed into an industry of no mean proportions. Being on the ground floor with the coming of the fish traps, Henry secured a pile-driver outfit and tugboats and went about the business of building fish traps for himself, and also for many others.

      He also was a wharf builder, contracting for many of the wharves in and around the San Juan Islands. There were individuals and a small group of home folks in the islands who could ill afford a wharf or boat landing and were forced to use rowboats to meet the mail and freight steamers. By seeing their need and supplying it, furnishing the materials and building them wharves for a nominal sum, then letting them pay for them if and whenever they could. Henry was a builder of good faith and friendship.
      Henry nearly lost his life in an explosion aboard his boat, the Standard, several years ago, which slowed him down for a few tides.

Cannery and trap tender, the STANDARD
In for repair after the explosion in Mar. 1911..
Click image to enlarge.
Digital image from J.R. Paterson.
Williamson Collection; Neg. # 839.

Steam tug built on Decatur Island. 
Oil painting donated to the
Saltwater People Historical Society
by retired mariner/historian, J. Robin Paterson.

80-ft L x 17.4-ft B x 8-ft D
Built by Wm. H.F. Reid, 1912,
Decatur Island, WA.
For Henry T. Cayou,
Source: Master Carpenter Certificate, on file.
from the National Archives, Seattle, WA.

Built Reed Shipyard, Decatur Island, WA.
Location here, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA.
From the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©

Trap and cannery tender
54.4-ft x 11.3-ft x 4.3-ft D
Launched 1905.
One-time owner, Henry T. Cayou
Original photo from the archives 
of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

At one time he and the late Billy Reed [brothers-in-law] built the Decatur Shipyard and owned jointly the following boats: Osprey, Skiddoo, Standard, Helen T, Fearless, and the 78-ft steam tug Mary C, which passed into the hands of the American Tugboat Company and was operated by them for many years. Captain Cayou owned the Hillside and later purchased the Salmonero, better known as the Sammy, later selling her to the San Juan Fish Co. She is now doing duty at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Henry has always been very active both in business and social life, always ready to help a neighbor, and that means anyone in the San Juan group of 172 islands. “They are all my good neighbors,” he has been heard to remark many times. In case of sickness, death, or pleasure he was always ready to go, and if it were not possible for him to go personally, he would send his boat to make the rush trip for the doctor, and for many years the nearest doctor was at Friday Harbor.

      He is an expert navigator and can hit the center of any channel in the islands in a dense fog—one of those pilots who can run up to a dock in such a heavy fog that you can’t see a thing. They tell the story of how one day in a regular pea-soup fog, “Cap” Cayou stopped his boat and shouted to the deckhand to make fast. The bewildered deckhand shouted back, “Yes, sir, but where’s the dock?” To which “Cap” replied, “Put out your hand there, me lad, and you’ll feel it.”
      He is also an expert on tides and always takes advantage of them. One day he was watching two of the crew on one of his boats, with a tow, bucking the tide and making no headway. He stood and watched them for a while and was heard to remark, “If those lads would only feel around a little they would find some water they could travel in.”
      A school director for 33 years and County commissioner for 26, Cayou is president of the Orcas Power & Light Co, a position he has held since its formation in 1937. With all his interests he has never neglected any of these and makes frequent trips to his home at Deer Harbor during the fishing season each summer and fall.
      For a number of years, he was outside manager for the Columbia River Packing Co., at Point Roberts, in charge of the construction and operation of their fish traps. At one time he owned an interest in the George and Barker Packing Co. of Point Roberts. As it is impossible for Henry to be satisfied away from the fish industry and his boats, he moved some of his equipment to the Columbia River about four years ago, where he put in some gear and is supplying the Columbia River Packing Company during the packing season.

A set of reefnet gear moved to this more
southern location for a brief visit  
on the Columbia River.
Click image to enlarge.
Original photo from the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©

He and Mrs. Cayou make their home at present in Columbia City, OR, where you will find him ever on the alert to help someone who is less fortunate than himself.”

Pacific Motorboat, September 1943.
From: Saltwater People Historical Society archives.

02 April 2021


 Notes of Early Days of Tacoma

Tacoma Harbor, Washington
Click image to enlarge.
Postmarked 1913.
Original photo from the archives of the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©

"It comes to my mind that perhaps it would be of interest to Tacoma of today to know something of the past.
      It was my good fortune to have lived in Tacoma since 1891, living for many years on a float home at 11th and Dock Street.
      At that time we found enough pasture to feed a cow, but what comes to my mind now is that the cow really was 'in clover' directly after the Spanish-American war. It is hard to realize that we did not have the trucks, jeeps, and automobiles of today, but then the transportation and movement of material were by mule, and some hundreds of mules were shipped from Tacoma to Manila for use by the American army.
      Accordingly, it was necessary to accumulate these mules and have them ready for shipment, and in so doing they were "warehoused" on the sand track between the Eureka Dock and 11th Street, which area became one huge, wonderful oat field.
      It had been my daily task to take the cow to various places where she could eat grass, but after the oat field came into being our cow was 'living in clover.'
      One sad event, however, was that this good cow and eaten too many 'green oats,' became bloated and died.
      Thus a waterfront man learned something about feeding animals!
      Again going back in memory, Pacific Avenue, of course, was the main street in town and originally was covered with wooden planks. A great improvement came along in that the planks were replaced with creosoted wooden blocks. I might say also that 11th Street hill was 'paved' with wooden planks set at an angle, and the drainage of the rain was taken care of by wooden troughs on either side of the street.
      It appears to me that we had at least double the amount of rainfall during this period than we have at the present time!
      It was my good fortune to attend Central School at South 11th and G Stree, and believe me, it was a great day when we could slide down the hill in these drain troughs to my home on the waterfront at 11th and Dock Street.
      Tacoma at that time was the real shipping center of Puget Sound, and particularly of the wheat that came from Eastern Washington that was shipped in here on the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Loading wheat ships
Tacoma, WA.
At that time sailing ships came from Europe in 'ballast' to receive their cargo.
      Tacoma was really the 'lumber capital' of the west coast, and we had lumber mills from the Smelter all along the north waterfront to the head of the bay, and even up Hylebos Creek.
      In those days we had the 10-hour workday, which really was a rugged existence, particularly with wages of only $1.00 per hour.
      When you realize that the average workman went to work at 7 o'clock in the morning and worked until 6:00 p.m., you can appreciate that one did not have much time at home––and this was a 6-day workweek. He had the automobile, but 'traveled' by streetcar at a 5 cent fare, including transfer.
      I remember when I went to high school I lived at 25th & Cheyenne, and it was 6 blocks from my home to the streetcar by just an ordinary dirt road. I remember well taking the streetcar to 26th & Proctor, which cost 10 cents, and walking the distance to visit my girlfriend.
      During this time to try to make life a little more interesting, my father bought a horse and carriage, and one memorable event was picking up my girlfriend and driving to the Puyallup Fair by this horse and carriage over a dirt road.
       I might say that I do not think anything has changed as far as the fair is concerned, but certainly, there is a change by the now good roads and automobiles!
      In the early days of Tacoma, many Japanese men came to work in the fields in the Puyallup Valley, and also in the mills. When they had become established it was only natural that they would send for a Japanese wife, and the brides arrived in Tacoma on OSK steamships at the Milwaukee Dock. There were no roads to the Milwaukee Terminal at that time, and the only transportation to these vessels was by our small launches.
      I well remember upon arrival of an OSK steamship I would take these Japanese men to the ship where they would go up on the deck and proceed to find their 'bride' in the line-up.
      The Japanese brides would be lined up on one side, fore and aft, with a picture of the man they were to marry carried around their neck. The men would walk up the line, also with a picture of the girl they would claim for their bride in their hand. When they found the right one, off they would go––the bride following close behind her husband. There usually would be between 10 and 15 Japanese brides on each of these ships.
      This system of immigration was prevalent for a number of years, but eventually, the laws of the United States did not allow this procedure, and the law was effected to eliminate this type of immigration.
      However, I must say that of the many Japanese who came to this country by this manner became admirable citizens. Their morals and respect for our government was beyond reproach.
      One of my very good friends and associates in grammar school was a Japanese, Henry Matsumoto, and we remained good friends for many years.
      Like all history, there is an 'inevitable chain of change.' The Panama Canal was built, and the many wheat ships that came to Tacoma in ballast were replaced by steamships.
      One of the great hazards in the early days of shipping was making it around Cape Horn in winter during the bad weather. However, I was very surprised during my early Naval Reserve days when we went around Cape Horn in December 1931. I had looked forward to seeing some really bad weather, but it was dead calm and did not get light until 9:30 a.m. and there was a 'thin' skin of ice on the saltwater. If I remember correctly, I had a 'rate' of Third Class Quartermaster at that time.
      The transportation from downtown Tacoma to the 'top of the hill' was by cable car. This started at 11th & Pacific, went to Kay Street, and then down 13th. The powerhouse in which the cable was activated by a huge drum was a thing of fascination to me, and I well remember watching this cable go into the cable house, then back out again––the mechanics of which was not clear to me until many years later!
      Incidentally, the cost of riding this cable car was 5 cents, and the conductor would collect the money, put it in his pocket and register same by pulling a line that activated the registration of the money by ringing a bell. Students had a special ticket which cost 2-1/2 cents.
      I remember very distinctly walking down 11th Street to Central School, and one day in 1898 I was astounded to hear all the mills blowing their whistle. I was really rather frightened and didn't know what happened, so I ran all the way home and asked my mother. She told me that the Spanish-American War was declared.
      Later the 8-hour day came and really was a 'revolution' not only to industry but also to the working man who had not much time to himself in having to work a 10-hour day. One ordinarily had to walk to a streetcar, then take the streetcar to downtown Tacoma, and then walk from there to his place of employment on the waterfront.
      Accordingly, considering the time involved in going to and from work, it really would end up being a 12-hour day.
      Wages at that time were only about 25 cents an hour, and accordingly, it was a custom to augment the income by taking advantage of having a 'home garden' where one raised their own vegetables. I remember best the potatoes, strawberries, and of course, the raising of chickens.
      We were very fortunate to have a square block of property on 25th & Cheyenne, and so had ample room and good soil to produce much of our food, especially fruit (apples, pears, and cherries.) During my younger years, we also had a cow that had to be taken somewhere along the waterfront out to pasture, before school, and home again after school. However, I never did milk a cow! That was a task my folks would take care of, or possibly one of the hired help would assist at times.
      I do remember the 'cooling' of the milk by setting it in a pan of cold water. Of course, practically no one had electricity.
      One of the great desires of the early immigrants who had come from all over Europe as well as China and Japan were that they felt the necessity of an education for their children. In my case, my father walked one Norwegian mile to school and home again, and a Norwegian mile is equivalent to 7 of our miles. So a student had 
much time to think about that which he had learned in school that day while walking home.
      Accordingly, the immigrants, who were the majority of the population in our state at that time were very adamant that their children should receive an education, and accordingly, they felt that walking was no problem because of the school that was made available to all.
      I went to the old Central School on 11th & G, and 'carried' my lunch. This usually consisted of left-over pancakes that had been prepared for our crew, spread with ample butter and jam. In reality, this was a good lunch, and I have often felt I should like to return home someday and ask for this particular lunch!"

Typed is his customary green ink and signed by Henry Foss, May 1975.
Verbatim for Saltwater People Historical Society.


15 March 2021


Bark Kaiulani
(ex-Star of Finland)
Captain H. G. Wigsten
The last American built square-rigged
merchant ship still afloat, as she sailed 
from Aberdeen, Washington
in this photo of 1941. 
Two Seattle men were members of the crew,
 brothers Paul and Tom Soules.
Kenneth Glasgow was from Aberdeen, WA.
From the archives of the 
Saltwater People Historial Society©

A ship's logbook is a daily journal on the condition and location of the vessel, weather reports, and the daily activities of the crew. In some cases, accounts of a crew's insubordination and jailing are made. Captain H. G. Wigsten kept such a journal for a trip from Aberdeen, Washington to Durban, South Africa to Hobart, Tasmania as master of the Kaiulani, a three-masted sailing vessel built in 1899. The handwritten journal in two volumes as part of the recently donated Capt. Harold D. Huycke collection. Huycke was one of the foremost maritime historians with a special interest in the last voyages of commercial sailing vessels in the late 19th and early 20 centuries.
      The logbooks date from 1941-1942, very late in the century for a commercial sailing vessel to be operating. With the onset of WW II commercial vessels of any kind were in short supply and the Hammond Lumber Co of San Francisco had a load of lumber in Aberdeen, WA., that needed to be delivered to Durban, S.A. Kaiulani was pressed into service after having been idled for several years following a career in the Hawaii sugar trade and, under the name Star of Finland, in the Alaska salmon trade.
      Sailing under the flag of Panama, this was the last American crew to sail around Cape Horn in a commercial square-rigged sailing vessel. The 20 men included two notables who later were early pioneers of San Francisco Maritime NHP, Karl Kortum, founder, chief executive and curator; and Harry Dring, conservator of ships.
      In the logbooks, Captain Wigsten describes inclement weather, repairs to the sails and vessel, and a couple of medical emergencies including the Captain's contraction of a skin infection. He also describes with candor his increasingly acrimonious relationship with the crew that resulted in the men being jailed for desertion. Here are but a few entries from the 1941 log while the ship was at Hobart:

L-R: Tom and Paul Soules
Leaving Grays Harbor they didn't shave 
until they landed at Durban, South Africa.

~August 19, Wednesday, 6:45 a.m. "I went forward to crews quarters and informed them of the situation that ship had to be moved out to anchorage in the stream, which they all refused to do...Navy people came aboard and Navy vessel alongside...Ship's crew in meantime put all their baggage on to the wharf and deserted ship."
~August 24, Monday, 12:30 "All of the deserters taken into custody by the military and locked up."
~September 22, Tuesday "The 10 Deserters released by Court on grounds that I had not reported desertion in writing to Navy Commandant instead of to the military. So therefore it was not desertion, although crew threw all their baggage onto the wharf and walked off the ship at about 7:30 a. m. in front of Navy people and everyone else on the wharf."
~Septmember 23, Wednesday "About 11 a. m. crew with their baggage brought out to vessel by Navy launch."
~October 6, Tuesday 1:30 p. m. "American flag hoisted. all agreement with USA Army representative Major Lindsey signed up." 6:40 p. m. "Anchors away-departure" from Hobart, Kaiulani was towed to Sydney and converted into a barge.

Kaiulani crew members in old stone jail,
L-R: Paul Soules, Gordon Riehl, Harry Dring,
Bill Bartz, Jack Henricksen, 
Jim Walpole and John Newbuck.
Click photo to enlarge.
The jail was one built a century before to 
hold the convicts shipped from England
to populate Australia. 
Photo from the archives of the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©
The collection contains another Kaiulani logbook kept by Capt. R. Kabel during a 1900-1902 voyage from Bath, ME to Honolulu, HI. The logbooks are available for viewing at the Maritime Library in the Harold D. Huycke collection, HDC 1600; SAFR 22224, Series 3.01; files 100, 102. An additional reference source is at the Online Archive of California. Further information for this article was found in HDC 1600 Series 3.02, Kaiulani, Allan K. Hulme records.
The above report is from the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

"A sea-going beauty of another day––a day not so long gone as some might think––is portrayed in these photographs. They show the Yankee three-masted bark Kaiulani (ex-Star of Finland) on a troubled voyage.
      The trim Bird of Heaven was resurrected from her Oakland layup by a second world war. Ships were needed to carry aid to Europe. More ships were needed to carry the normal flow of trade. So the Kaiulani left the dock she had been tied to from 1927-1941, to pick up a cargo of Douglas fir lumber destined for Durban, South Africa.
      She slipped slowly out of San Francisco Bay, in August 1941, her sails filling as her bow turned north. At Grays Harbor, Washington, she picked up her cargo and filled out her crew––eager youngsters and Embarcadero veterans.
      Thus began the year-long voyage, the last made by a Yankee square-rigger in the Pacific trade. 
      The ship sailed south into an equatorial calm that lasted a month. The sun beat down and pitch bubbled from the seams of the deck as the crew above sat mending sails.
      The Kaiulani crept farther south, and on a calm December afternoon, she rounded Cape Horn. There a crew member climbed high on the mainmast to rig an aerial for his tiny radio set. Through the static came the story of Pearl Harbor.
      The crew rigged blackout lanterns and watched for submarines. The ship sought treacherous waters to avoid German raiders. She ran through fogs and skirted icebergs.
      On January 29, 1942, 126 days out, the Kaiulani reached Durban breakwater and blundered through a minefield, disregarding frantic signals from shore, to anchor.
      There the crew exchanged lumber for explosives and sailed for Sydney, Australia, 5000 miles away.
      Midway, she hit gales. The wind lashed up waves 60 feet high. Sails blew out––40 times in all. All hands were set to helping the sailmaker.
      Then in the half-light of the aurora australis, an exciting message came through Sydney––Japanese midget submarines had attacked there and sat ready to ambush inbound ships.
      The crew elected to head for Hobart, Tasmania. They arrived on June 19, 43 days out of Durban, and promptly refused to sail further. They were jailed, then released to work for the US Army Transport Service.
      The Kaiulani, her sails furled, was towed to Sydney for conversion into a motorized cargo carrier. Her spars came down, and she served as a coal barge through the war at Finschaven, New Guinea. Two years later, a Manila firm made her a lumber storage barge."
San Francisco Chronicle. 9 March 1953. p. 11

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