The University of Washington faculty members, T.M. Reynolds, and Frank E. Strickland, the designers, were among the group of 22 passengers that sailed from the Lake Union Drydock 11 June 1932 on the UW Oceanographic department's new survey ship CATALYST.*
The new 75' diesel motor cruiser design was the first oceanographic research vessel for the University. It was based on the experiences of the University scientists who had suffered through many expeditions aboard poorly equipped converted fishing boats. Every aspect of her construction, from the location of the engine to the size of the vessel, was centered around the needs of the laboratory students.
In these early years in her history, she wintered over in Seattle.
Her power was and still is a 6-cyl WA Estep, 120 HP at 450 rpm. The present owners** in 2019 write that the original engine was rebuilt and is maintained.
After the launching celebrations, she was to undergo her builders' speed trials in the vicinity of Haro Strait off Friday Harbor for two days and then return to her home port of Seattle.
Capt. Chris Larsen, veteran Puget Sound skipper was to handle the CATALYST on her maiden voyage.
On 15 June the Oceanographic Laboratory at the U of WA was dedicated with impressive ceremonies. The Rockefeller Foundation donated $200,000 for the Laboratory building as well as funds for the vessel. Dr. Thomas G. Thompson, the director, recited his 29-year history of marine study at the University. She took her first experimental cruise to Alaska that summer.
*This paragraph from the Seattle-Times. May 1932.
** More of her history can be viewed on the Pacific Catalyst site HERE.
- Saltwater People Historical Society
- 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 650, 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.
17 January 2019
12 January 2019
sailing at age 16;
San Francisco to Vancouver,
then to Australia and New Zealand.
Photo from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
The name came from the wide-brimmed, white Stetson he always wore. He also was called "the Mayor of Third Avenue," where his business ventures had centered for 60 years.
He always said he'd like to die on the corner of Third and Union. He had a heart attack as he walked along Third Avenue near Union St [1978.]
Born and reared in San Francisco, he went to sea on one of the last three-masted windjammers when he was 16.
Photo courtesy of the Western Australia State Library
"Scab Johnny, a 'Frisco character whose job was to recruit men for sailing ships, talked me into sailing on the W.F. BABCOCK, one of the last three full-riggers to fly the American Flag. We sailed from San Francisco to Vancouver, B.C., then to Australia and New Zealand.
We were gone 11-months, 21 days. I learned all about black beans and plum duff, a sugarless pudding. We had black beans and plum duff twice a day for 45 consecutive days. Part of the skipper's graft was what he could save on meals, plus what he could get for the deckload.
He was a real belly-robber. Every time he would go below, we would shove off a few of the 2,000 barrels of tar that was his precious deckload.
After being gone 11 days short of a year, I was paid off $120. I hit some joint and ordered a couple of drinks. I doubt whether I ever finished the second drink. When I woke up I was as free of money as a cat is of feathers.
I bummed ten cents, bought a nickel glass of beer and used the other nickel for carfare home. I sure was ashamed of myself. Later, I shipped out on the USS UNALGA for a year. She was part of the old Revenue Cutter Service. Seattle was her home and I was discharged here in March 1915.
Mr. Cruickshank worked as a deputy in the King County assessor's office from 1919 to 1933, leaving his post as chief deputy assessor to help establish the Longacres Race Track.
When George and Seattle both were young, he was known as a speculator, horseplayer, prizefight manager, and power behind the scenes of Republican Party politics. But all of that, he reminisced in the Seattle Times a decade ago, was once upon a time and long ago. Like the city, he grew more dignified with age." Text published by the Seattle Times. 1966.
09 January 2019
|M.V. EVERGREEN STATE |
& her unidentified friend.
Packing seabags for a trip
out of state.
Click to enlarge.
Photo by M. Woltjer
27 December 2018
Submitted by Aho'i & Maggie, spidsgatter PIA, Olympia, WA.
01 January 2019
|HELEN B. STERLING|
2,526 G.t./ 2,350 N.t.
267' x 49,6' x 25.2'
Launched 1920, Portland, OR.
Original photo from the archives of
the Saltwater People Historical Society©
The OREGON FIR was built at the Peninsula Shipbuilding yard in Portland, OR, for Grant-Smith-Porter & Co, for the offshore lumber trade. She ended her career in Australia in 1934.
1927: She was purchased by Capt. J.C. Brownfield of WA Tug and Barge from the Schwabacher Hardware Co and resold the same year to Portland Pacific Export Lumber Co of Portland, OR.
She arrived off the Northwest coast in Jan 1927 under Capt. F.G. Nelson, 81 days out from Shanghai with sails and gaffs lost in a series of heavy storms and drifted into Queen Charlotte Sound. She was within 300 yards of the beach before she was towed to safety. Arriving at Astoria 18 Jan, she was sold to Capt. E.R. STERLING, receiving her new name. As the HELEN B. STERLING, she made only one voyage under Capt. Sterling's ownership. She made two more voyages to Australia with lumber.
1930s: The second photo is dated 1930 with notation she is off Sydney, Australia. She was libeled for debt that year. Capt. Henry Oosterhuis stayed with his ship for almost two years, finally returning to the Pacific coast almost destitute. The vessel was eventually dismantled at Sydney in 1934.
|HELEN B. STERLING,|
Sydney Harbor, Australia,
where she ended her life.
Courtesy of the Australia National Maritime Museum
H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the PNW. Newell, G. editor.
The Australia National Maritime Museum.
21 December 2018
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