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

About Us

My photo
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.

21 December 2018


Click image to enlarge.
How fortunate we are for the art on
the most important marine chart of all.
Drawn by great-grandfather, Santa helper,
maritime historian, former 15-year
co-editor, and board member
of the highly esteemed journal,
The Sea Chest
(published by Puget Sound Maritime.)
Ronald R. Burke drew amazing charts for
the journal as well as for
several very appreciative book authors.
He gets oceans of thanks all the year through
from thousands of chart-loving readers
for volunteering his talent and goodwill.
Courtesy of the artist and Puget Sound Maritime.
And here is a much loved Christmas classic Fogelberg tune if you CLICK HERE

14 December 2018


This photo was snapped outside
San Francisco as the tug was cast loose.
Photo from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
The spring of 1930, two of the very last of old-time sailing ships which escaped destruction in the movies or degradation to barge duties started on a race from San Francisco to Alaska. No Lipton Cup Race ever held the interest for old shellbacks of the Pacific coast as this race between the square-rigged barks STAR OF ENGLAND and the STAR OF ALASKA. 
      Each year, steamers have been entering the fleet carrying the fishermen and cannery hands to the Alaska salmon waters. To make the last chapter of the romantic age close in true style, the skippers of the two vessels bet a month's salary on the race. 
      "FULL SAIL AHEAD" was the order as the STAR OF ENGLAND unfurled canvas in a stiff breeze for the race to Alaska with her ancient sister ship, STAR OF ALASKA.

Charles Connell, designer.
Launched 6 Dec. 1886; in service 15 Jan. 1887.
Glasgow, Scotland for general trade.
1,689 G.t. 1,614 N.t.
tons burden 2,650
301' x 38.6' x 20.3'
She rounded the Horn 17 times in 13 years.
Rigged with royal sails over double top &
single topgallant sails; 25 sails total.
Artwork by marine artist

Then there is the STAR OF ALASKA (ex-BALCLUTHA) noted for her sailing qualities; in her last fishing season with Alaska Packers Association in 1930, she was ready to race from San Francisco to the Alaska Peninsula with the STAR OF ENGLAND. She flew.
      She made the run in 19 days, beating the STAR OF ENGLAND by 14 days & 4 hours. This race created much comment throughout the US at the time; I do not know the name of the skipper who lost a month's wages.

1902: chartered to Alaska Packers Association. She struck a reef off Sitkinak, AK, near Kodiak Island in 1904. She was renamed STAR OF ALASKA when she was bought for $500 by APA. For the fishing trade, she carried over 200 crew and passengers compared to a 26-man crew as the BALCLUTHA.

1933: the STAR OF ALASKA was sold on 30 Sept 1933 to Frank G. Kissinger and renamed PACIFIC QUEEN. She was used in Mutiny on the Bounty with Clark Gable and Charles Laughton but was later stationed in California for a "show ship".

1976: Added to the list of National Historic Places.

1988: Moved to a mooring at Hyde Park Street Pier of San Francisco Maritime National Park.

2018-2019: The square-rigger BALCLUTHA is closed for viewing at her home at the San Francisco Maritime National Park. She is receiving maintenance and will be returned to her dock in early 2019. As reported on the Park site here. Check out how many beauties are under their care.

W.S. Stephanson, USN. SHIPS, A Collection of Marine Illustrations. Vancouver, WA. Ben Kreis Publisher. 1947. The book is archived in the Saltwater People collection. 

10 December 2018


The unveiling of the monuments at the American and British military camps 21 October was a most notable occasion not only in the history of the county but of the northwest. The day was perfect and not a single incident occurred to detract from the pleasure of the exercises at either camp. Never before since termination of the joint occupancy has there been so large a representation of the army and navy in the county, nor so large an assemblage of prominent people within its borders. If it were possible, or practicable, to assemble all the people of the county together in one place a vote of thanks would be unanimously tendered to the University Historical Society for having erected such appropriate monuments to mark two of the most historic spots in the northwest. To Professor Meany, the society's able and energetic secretary, the credit for the inception of the plan and its notable successful execution is largely due. The monuments are of marble, resting upon granite bases, and are each six feet in height. 
21 October 1904
Photograph by J.A. McCormick,
Seattle-San Juan County photographer;

From the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
      On the monument at American camp are the following inscriptions carved and gilded:
"Erected 21 Oct. 1904,
By the Washington University
State Historical Society."
"As arbitrator William I of Germany 
decided the San Juan Case
21 Oct. 1872."
First officer in charge was
Capt. George E. Pickett
of the 9th US Infantry."
"American Camp

The two first inscriptions likewise appear on the monument at English camp. The other two are: 
"First officer in charge was 
Capt. George Bazalgette" and 
"British Camp 1860-1872."

Last week the Islander, published pictures of the cottage occupied by Capt. Pickett as commander at American Camp. It was removed to Friday Harbor after the termination of the joint occupancy and has ever since been the home of the well-known pioneer, Capt. Edward D. Warbass, who was Capt. Pickett's friend and companion for a number of years. 
      Following is the program of exercises as they took place at the two camps:
March from the shore of Griffin Bay to American Camp.
      Presiding officer––President Thomas F. Kane, of the UW.
      Invocation by Rev. C.C. Pratt, of Friday Harbor.
      Unveiling of the monument; made by the Puget Sound artillery band––Star Spangled Banner."
      National salute by U.S.S. Wyoming.
      Address of welcome by Hon. John S. McMillin, of Roche Harbor.
      "The United States Navy," by Commander V.L. Cottman, of the USS Wyoming.
      Introduction of E. D. Warbass by O.H. Culver, editor of the San Juan Islander.
      "Post Sutler Under Pickett," by E.D. Warbass, of Friday Harbor.
      Music by the artillery band.
      "Memory of American Camp," by General George B. Dandy, US Army, retired.
Letter from Hamilton Fish, son of President Grant's secretary of state, read by H.E. Holmes, of Seattle.
      "The United States Army," by McCloskey, commanding the troops from the Puget Sound artillery district.
      Address by Hon. George H. Williams, present mayor of Portland, read by Prof. Maynard Lee Daggy, of the UW.
      "Music by the artillery band.
Old-timers claim the high portion of the barn
was used as a "Hospital at American Camp"
during the Joint Occupation on San Juan Island, WA.
Date of photo c. the 1950s.
Low res scan from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
Visited by thousands of tourists each year.
A more modern day touch by
photographer Eric Wahleen.

from the archives of Saltwater People Historical Society
British Camp Monument
Erected 21 October 1904.
Photo by James A. McCormick, 
a Seattle-San Juan County photographer
who set up a more permanent 
workshop in the county seat in 1906.
From the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
March from the shore of Garrison Bay to British Camp.
      Presiding officer ––J udge Cornelius H. Hanford, of the United States district court.
      The unveiling of the monument; music by the Puget Sound artillery band –– 'America' or 'God Save the King.'
      National salute by USS WYOMING.
Arriving for the party––
Disp. 3,235 t.
Speed 12 knots.
Armament: two 12-in 40 caliber, B.L.
four 4-in, R.F.;
three 6-ponders; six 1-pounders
two Colts.
Complement 137. Length 252-ft.
Click image to enlarge
Litho postcard from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
Thank you, Ed. B., for the photo of this vessel,
a backward link to some Pacific Northwest history.
Address of welcome by Rev. C.C. Pratt, of Friday Harbor.
      "First US States Customs Officer at San Juan After the Arbitration Decision," by Mr. Frank H. Winslow, president of the WA Pioneers' Assoc.
      Letter from Gen. Hazard Stevens, special commissioner under Present Grant to adjust claims by British landholders on the San Juan Islands, read by I.A. Nadean, of Seattle.
      Music by the artillery band.
      Greeting from Wisconsin State Historical Society by President Robert L. McCormick.
      Address by Hon. Bernard Pelly, British vice-consul at Seattle.
      Benediction by Rev. R.L. Bussabarger, of Seattle.
      March to the shore with music by the artillery band.
Source: The San Juan Islander 29 October 1904.
Looking further back than the monument celebration
here is Capt. William A.Delacombe,
commander of the Royal Marines,
who came on duty in 1867,
and his family on porch of their English Camp home,
San Juan Island, WA.
Low res scan from a photo in the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©

erected long after the 1904 event, 
by WA. State Highway Commission 
in cooperation with the WA. State 
Dept of Parks and Recreation.
Click image to enlarge.
Ellis photo from the
Saltwater People Historical Society© 

1961: Designated as being a US National Historical Landmark District.

1966, 15 Oct.: designated on the US National Register of Historic Places. 
These sites were created by an Act of Congress this year.

07 December 2018

❖ PASSAGE FROM SAIL TO STEAM ❖ With Captain Harold Huycke

By Captain L.R.W. Beavis 

Book Review
Passage from Sail to Steam. Beavis, Capt. L.R.W. Edited by M.S. Kline,
Documentary Book Publishers Corp. Bellevue, WA. 1986 210 pgs.

A long-dormant manuscript has come to light, thanks to the foresight and patience of Capt. L.R. W. Beavis' granddaughter, and the good efforts of editor Mary S. Kline. This autobiography of Capt. Beavis may be one of the last first-person accounts of the age of sail in the Victorian era, where a British boy climbs from apprentice to master, to ever be published, simply because of the obvious fact that the ships are long gone and so are the men who sailed in them before the turn of the century.
      The names of Basil Lubbock, a prolific author, and historian of British sailing ships, and Capt. H.H.Morrison are well ensconced in the archives of maritime history. Both were contemporaries and friends of Capt. Beavis. Basil Lubbock, who died after WW II, used many photos in his numerous books credited to both men. Thus, Capt. Beavis is to be remembered both, for his entertaining and perceptive writing style and his photographic record keeping.
      Born in England in 1864, Lancelot R. Waldron Beavis (he didn't use his first name in later years) joined the old three-decker training ship CONWAY as an apprentice at the age of 12, eventually being apprenticed in the iron full rigger STAR OF FRANCE which took him around the world a number of times until his time was up. From there he went to the full-rigger MICRONESIA in which he served at third mate, followed by the clipper TITANIA, rigged down to a bark; the full-rigged ship EURASIA, ship MYLOMENE and once again as master in the MICRONESIA. In 1897 this big ship was lost to a devastating fire and thereafter Capt. Beavis went into steamships.
      After pounding across the N. Atlantic as cattle steamers for a few years, Capt Beavis moved to Canada, and by 1910 had settled in B.C. with his wife and daughter. Thereafter, for the next twenty years, he continued in a variety of steamers, as mate, master, pilot, and going offshore and coastwise as fortunes allowed. During WWI he returned to sail, for a half voyage, going master in the big, new five-masted JANET CARUTHERS from B.C. to Australia, via Hawaii. But her leaking seams, erratic diesel engines and a measure of other sources of grief burdened him down, and he left the ship in Australia to return to B.C. as a passenger.
      Finally, in 1930 he retired to a remote island, after his wife died, and settled down to a rather simple and primitive existence. He died in Portland, OR in 1940.
      Capt. Beavis was a kind of non-conformist, albeit a life-long professional seaman, if we read his words carefully. But he had a knack for remembering and documenting the humorous side of his life at sea. Besides describing the succession of ships he had served in, their voyages, arrival, and departure dates, he offers colorful observations of the ships themselves, the ports visited––and how they changed over the years––and men of the sea with whom he sailed and conducted his business. The transition from sail to steam was not pleasant, but it was practical, and he made the change much earlier in his life than did many of his contemporary British shipmasters.
    The book is well illustrated with good quality photographs of sailing ships and steamers. For this, the publisher must take credit, and the overall layout of the book, including artwork, arrangement, and clarity of detail elevates it above the ordinary coffee table reader.
      The editing is thorough, if erratic, and Mary Kline provides footnotes which will serve, if not confusing in some cases, the most uninformed land-locked reader. Some of the footnotes and editor's notes are appropriate and others are redundant.
      Unhappily one is left uncertain as to whether the misspelled words in the text are those of the author, editor or the printer. Likewise, the use of well-known photographs are occasionally misnamed and so the wrong identification, coming and going is perpetuated again in this book. Numerous photos were chosen which have no direct relationship to the author's story, and serve only as good examples of the photography of Capt. Beavis' skill, or those persons with whom he traded pictures over the years.'         
      Nevertheless, the book is a good and worthwhile contribution to the preservation of the age of sail. Capt. Beavis' name and his era is well illuminated within its handsome covers. 
Reviewer: Capt. Harold D. Huycke (1922-2007)
The Sea Chest, September 1986. Journal of Puget Sound Maritime, Seattle, WA.
Captain Huycke worked for c. 45 years in the shipping industry, at sea as mate and master and onshore as a cargo supervisor and later marine surveyor. His duties found him in San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, Central America, British Columbia, and Hawaii, working for various shipping companies including Weyerhaeuser Steamship Co, States Marine Lines, Puget Sound Tug and Barge Co and Foss Launch and Tug Co.
      Between assignments at sea and ashore, Huycke was tapped by the State of California to purchase, refit, and deliver the lumber schooner C.A. THAYER. This year-long project culminated in a coastwise sailing voyage from the Puget Sound to San Francisco for which Huycke acted as bosun.
      For 60 years, Huycke's avocation was maritime history. He was part of the first generation of maritime historians on the West Coast. He has written and contributed to several books on maritime history. His largest published project was the book, TO SANTA ROSALIA FURTHER AND BACK, a detailed history of a dozen German sailing vessels detained in a remote port in Mexico during WWI. He researched and wrote extensively on commercial sailing vessels including the Star Fleet of the Alaska Packers Assoc, steam schooners, Liberty and Victory ships, fishing barges and maritime businesses. He served as mentor and editor to many individuals, helping them to write and publish stories that would otherwise not have been told. He conducted oral histories to preserve the stories of seafaring men and the vessels that they sailed.
Captain Huycke died in Edmonds, WA., on 12 February 2007.     

05 December 2018


50' x 13' 
225 HP diesel
August 1952.
Click image to enlarge.
Original photo from the archives of the Saltwater People Log©
"Whether you are a tourist or a permanent resident, one of the highlights of any tour around Seattle is a visit to the waterfront. 
      Headquarters for the WAVE, an excursion boat, and her crew of three is 'Beachcomber's Cove,' at the foot of Spring Street on Pier 55. Joe Boles, Lynn Campbell, and Rudi Becker are the crew.
Seattle waterfront 1954.
Click to enlarge.
      You may think: 'An excursion boat is just an excursion boat.' But likely you'll change your mind after you see the WAVE, for the craft brings something new and different to the city's fleet of water-excursion vessels.
      On the way to Seattle from San Diego, where the boat was purchased, she ran into a storm with waves higher than the boat was long. In Seattle, she underwent a face-lifting job to repair the damage. Some $21,000 and a few weeks later, the boat was relaunched appropriately, like the WAVE.
The sightseeing boat the WAVE
Undated original by J. Boyd Ellis
from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©

      Boles, co-owner with Campbell, says she's the only one of her kind. The hull is conventional in design. The house and frames, like modern railroad observation cars, are of stainless steel. The frames are about eight inches wide. The cabin is surrounded by large, glare-proof, shatterproof panes of glass.
      Inside the boat, the seats are arranged so that each passenger gets the feeling of sitting right over the edge of the water.
      But, according to Campbell, what impresses people most are the Todd drydocks, where you get to see how big a ship really is. Like an iceberg, much of a ship is beneath the surface. Even after his years on the water, Campbell says:
      'A surge of respect flows over you as you look up at the mass of metal all riveted together –– and you wonder how anything so big and heavy can float.'
      All three men like what they're doing. They think the WAVE is really something. 
      There always are persons who ask questions at the end of every trip. Boles told of the day he was asked, at low tide, why the piers were built so high above the water. It took a lot of talking to convince the party that Puget Sound was not a lake, that it was salt water with a 17-ft tide.
Rudi Becker, off the clock but still hanging out with boats.
He named the 1918 model power dory in his backyard the
SALES-TAX STATE to compete with what he termed the
ridiculously unimaginative names which had been proposed
for the new Puget Sound ferries ––
Becker was one of many who objected before the Toll Bridge Authority.
A spokesman agreed to withdraw the proposed names.
Photo by Vic Condiotty.
Click image to enlarge.

Original photo from the archives of the Saltwater People Log©
      But sometimes, the humor is the other way around. One older couple, who looked like prospects for the tour, heard Rudi talking about the tide. When they asked what a tide was, he explained it was the gravitational effect of the moon pulling the earth's water toward it.
      The couple gave him a very unfriendly look and walked away."
Text by Wayne Scott. Seattle-Times. August 1952.

01 December 2018


Bellingham, Washington.
Dated April 1932, with
4-masted COMMODORE
5-masted VIGILANT
Steamer WILLBORO, for New York.

Click image to enlarge.
Low res scan of an original photo from S.P.H.S.©
In 1898 Julius Bloedel founded Whatcom Logging Co with frontier businessman John J. Donovan and Peter Larson, which later became known as Bloedel-Donovan Mills.
      In the 1950s, now under the direction of his son, Prentice, Bloedel's company merged with H.R. MacMillan Co to form one of the largest forest products companies in the world, MacMillan-Bloedel Limited. Often called Mac-Blo, it was eventually taken over by Weyerhaeuser in 1999. Bloedel Hall at the UW, Seattle, was named for Julius Bloedel. The Bloedel Conservatory of Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver was named for his son Prentice Bloedel for donating nearly $1.4 million for its construction in 1967. The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, WA., was created by Prentice Bloedel and his wife Virginia.

      The two schooners in the photo above can be seen under sail below. Unfortunately, the WILLBORO was sunk by a torpedo from U-159 on 10 Sept. 1942 two hundred miles SW of Capetown. Six people lost their lives.
as she is trying to catch a tow off Cape Flattery,
 headed to Bellingham for more lumber.
After all the other sailers were gone, the
COMMODORE and the VIGILANT sailed side by side.
Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©

8 January 1932
On board the VIGILANT after the
much publicized 'race' with the COMMODORE.
VIGILANT was towed into the Strait of Juan
de Fuca after the 38-day crossing ahead

of the COMMODORE. The passage was
2,289-miles across the Pacific.
Low res scan of an original photo from the
Saltwater People Log©

Heading to sea with a full cargo of lumber.
Click image to enlarge.
Original photo from the Saltwater People Log©

28 November 2018

❖ BROWN ISLAND you say

As McCormick spelled the name verso.
c. 70 acres
Located E-NE of Friday Harbor, San Juan Archipelago.
San Juan Channel and Shaw Island
in the center background.
Photo by James A. McCormick,
a professional photographer who set up shop
in Friday Harbor in 1906.
He did studio portraits in town but escaped
to the field in the summer to record on glass negatives,
fish trap workers, the 'Mosquito fleet', civic events,
and scenery shots for travel brochures.
His work was often conducted while camping and
rowing a small craft between the islands.
Original photo from the Saltwater People Hist. Society©
"This name for the island at the entrance to Friday Harbor appears on the Wilkes chart dated 1841. Professor Meany states that 'The honor was intended for John G. Brown, the Mathematical Instrument Maker on the VINCENNES, one of the ships of the U.S. Exploring Expedition. The name was accepted by all later cartographers, and its first Admiralty usage appears to be in the log of H.M.S. PLUMPER, 20 March 1858. On that day the officer of the watch called the island 'ROBERT'S' but it was corrected to 'Brown's,' and the log for 25 March stated the vessel was 'at anchor inside of Brown Island.'

      Originally Brown's Island, the apostrophe was later dropped, as on US Coast and Geodetic Survey chart 6400 (1886). 
       Brown Island offers an interesting case of a name under siege. David Richardson, in Pig War Island, Orcas Island, 1971, perhaps unconsciously raises a fundamental question in stating that Brown's Island has been "renamed Friday Island by real estate promoters." There is an entry in the directory of the Inter-Island Telephone Co (1978) for an individual who is "Caretaker, Friday Island." So far, however, Friday Island has been named only "among" and not "by" real estate promoters. USC&GS Special Report, 1951, states that Brown Island was then in undisputed local usage." 

From the inside shore looking towards Friday Harbor,
including photographer J.A. McCormick on the beach.
A selfie from over one century ago. "Mac" addressed
and mailed this photo card from Friday Harbor
to a customer in Anacortes, WA., January 1913.
Click image to enlarge.
From the Saltwater People Historical Society©
Above quoted text––Wood, Bryce. San Juan Island, Coastal Place Names and Cartographic Nomenclature. Washington State Historical Society. 1980.

In retirement years, Mr. Wood also did some serious summer camping and rowing solo in his small craft among the Gulf and San Juan Islands from his home base in the county seat of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA.

27 November 2018


Troller BLANCO
home from fishing for sole near Tatoosh Is.
Click image to enlarge.
Low res scan of original photo dated May 1949
from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

From the graveyard of lost ships, the BLANCO was prowling. Wreckage from a ship which apparently sank about 40-miles northwest of Tatoosh Island was landed at the San Juan Fishing and Packing Co dock by the fish boat BLANCO.
      The wreckage included a binnacle of a type used by old sailing vessels. A plate on the stand showed that it had been made by Kelvin's & James White, Ltd., of Glasgow. The plate bore the serial number 9011.
      The BLANCO also brought ashore a piece from a ship's bow and a piece from a lifeboat.
      The captain was fishing for petrale sole when he pulled up the wreckage from 42 fathoms of water.

      The lifeboat piece was full of holes made by teredos and because of the size of it, the BLANCO was unable to bring it to port.
      "I think the wreck was an old sailing boat," Capt. Stokke told E. A. Ruthford, vice president of the San Juan Co. "The stuff had been on the bottom a long time." The BLANCO was owned by Capt. Ole and his brother, Martin Stokke. 
      The trolling boat ROYAL sent a wireless to the Coast Guard that a hit and run steamship wrecked the Tacoma troller BLANCO at 3:30 a.m. this day off Umatilla Lightship, killing one man. The ROYAL took the only survivor, Ed Petersen to the Lightship.
1936: The 18-ton fish boat BLANCO was run down by an unknown lightship on 21 August 1936. Two of her 3-man crew were lost.
      The Coast Guard division headquarters dispatched the cutter REDWING and a plane from Port Angeles base and a lifeboat to pick up the wreckage and rescue the body of Engvald Peterson, imprisoned in the debris.
      The ROYAL also requested the Coast Guard to seek identity of the steamship. It said it could not determine whether the vessel was northbound or southbound. 
      The tragedy happened about 6-miles SE by S of the lightship, the ROYAL wirelessed." 
Text from the Seattle Times, August 1936.

17 November 2018


with a detail highlighting
Port Townsend, WA., on Admiralty Inlet.
Click image to enlarge.
Windjammers loading lumber, grain, and 
general freight for world markets.
Location,  Port Townsend
Click image to enlarge.

Photo print copied by Huff from an original.
Archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

Built by Hall Brothers Yard, WA., in 1885
Anchored Port Townsend, WA.
Photo by P.M. Richardson from the archives
of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

Schooner PROSPER
Built by Hall Brothers Yard, WA.
Sailing into Port Townsend, WA.
Click image to enlarge.
Original photo pre-dating 1911
by P.M. Richardson
from the Saltwater People Historical Society©

Barkentine KOKO HEAD
Built 1908 by Hind-Rolph
Sailing into Port Townsend, WA.
Photo by Torka's Studio, Port Townsend, WA.
From the archives of Saltwater People©
Union Dock, Port Townsend, WA. 
Dated 1908.
Litho postcard from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©

"Port Townsend began with homestead claims filed in April 1851, six months before Seattle's pioneering Denny party landed at Alki Point.
      By 1854 the U.S. Customs office moved here.

U.S. Customs House
Port Townsend, WA.

Litho postcard from the Saltwater People
Historical Society©
It had been in Olympia, which forced sea captains to sail the length of Puget Sound before legally going ashore. Isaac Ebey had been appointed customs collector in 1853, and he campaigned for Port Townsend to be designated as the official port of entry. From his home on the west shore of Whidbey Island, he could see ships turning in or out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and cross the inlet to clear them.
      With ships required to stop, Pt. Townsend readily grew as a supply center. Its legal services included banking and merchandising and also consul representation by Great Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the independent kingdom of Hawaii.

Union Dock, Port Townsend, WA.
SS CHIPPEWA on the left.
Click image to enlarge.
Photo by P.M. Richardson from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
Pt. Townsend's 1850s economy at first depended largely on San Francisco's gold rush appetite for Puget Sound timber. By 1858 and into the 1860s it benefited from gold discoveries on the Fraser River and in the Cariboo District of B.C., thousands of miners streamed north. Through the 1870s Pt. Townsend grew steadily but unspectacularly. For a while it expected to be the West Coast terminus of the transcontinental railroad, a vain hope fostered by the appointment of Judge James Swan as Northern Pacific agent. The tracks stopped at Tacoma instead. Nonetheless, Pt. Townsend burgeoned, boosted by the population surge and overall optimism that rode the rails across the entire state in the 1850s.

Gig ashore, Port Townsend, WA., c. 1910
Original photo from the archives of the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©
       Pt. Townsend slumbered without a major industry until 1927, when a pulp mill opened. In one way, the long lull was a blessing: handsome commercial buildings and homes were neither altered nor razed. They remain as a remarkably intact legacy from the past."
Above text: Ruth Kirk and Carmela Alexander. Exploring Washington's Past. The University of WA. Press. 1990.

Waterfront, Port Townsend, Washington
Undated photo.

Point Hudson boat harbor with
entries for the Pacific International
Yachting Association's regatta, July 1957.
Port Townsend, WA.
Photographer unknown.
Original photo from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
1938 Danish Spidsgatter PIA
S38 D14
Aho'i and Maggie
Home Port –– Olympia, WA.
Early departure from Watmough Bight anchorage,
San Juan Archipelago, 6 Sept. 2018.
En route to meet with 300 wooden boats at the
42nd Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show.
Photo courtesy of mariner Jason Hines,
who sailed to the show in his Danish-built, SVANE.

Point Hudson

42nd Annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show
Courtesy of PIA crew Maggie Woltjer©
September 2018.

Our roving reporter/mariner Maggie of PIA©
helps us wrap it up with flowers.
Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show, Sept. 2018.
Wooden Boats Forever.
Thank you to these talented participants;

volunteers, woodworkers, sailors, photographers, florist.

10 November 2018


Captain Halvorsen (L)
and Captain Ole Rindal
Two four–stripers heading for shore –– after cake.

Original, undated photo signed by
Williamson's Marine Photo Shop
from archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

"Back when the Puget Sound ferry ENETAI was known as the SANTA ROSA –– the first time –– one of her captains was Ole Rindal, at right in the above photo at his retirement.

      He may have thought he had seen the last of the boat when he skippered her into retirement.
      But he hadn't.
      When the old ferry, now the SANTA ROSA again, was given a champagne welcome upon her return to San Francisco Bay Ole Rindal was there.
      The SANTA ROSA was towed from Puget Sound to Oakland along with another ferry well known to residents of both areas. The other vessel was the FRESNO, which resumed her original name after plying Puget Sound as the WILLAPA.
      Oakland's fireboat greeted the ferries as they went under the Golden Gate Bridge, the span that ended the SANTA ROSA's service between San Francisco and Marin County. 
      Then the ferries went under the Bay Bridge, which put both of them out of business on San Francisco Bay in May 1940, and opened the way for them to be purchased by the Puget Sound Navigation Co.
      Several hundred people greeted the returning ferries at Oakland, where the SANTA ROSA (ex-ENETAI), was rechristened by Mrs. Don Clair, the ferry's new owner.
Permanently anchored at Pier 3,
adjacent to downtown San Francisco for
Hornblower Cruises and Events.
The former car deck is now a dance floor,
with corporate offices above.
Hornblower Cruises website 2018.

      "Capt. Ole Rindal was there in his Washington State Ferries uniform," Harre Demoro, member of a steering committee which plans to turn the SANTA ROSA into a maritime museum, said in a letter received here today.
      'He was skipper of the ferry when she arrived on Puget Sound and ran for a few weeks as a diesel-electric, under her old name.' 
and Captain Ole.
Click image to enlarge.
Photos from the archives of the Saltwater People Log©
Then he was one of her first skippers when she emerged in 1941 as the ENETAI.
      Then he tied her up for the last time last June. 
      'He was quite the celebrity.'
      Like the ENETAI and the WILLAPA, Capt. Rindal is now retired.
      The SANTA ROSA and FRESNO are tied up near where the KALAKALA, another former Puget Sound ferry, was launched as the PERALTA in 1927.
      About 100-feet from the SANTA ROSA is the bulk of the CHIPPEWA, the first Puget Sound ferry which Clair bought for a museum ship. Workmen have begun removing the charred superstructure of the CHIPPEWA, which caught fire, apparently burned by vandals, while under conversion."
Text by Jay Wells, Maritime Editor, the Seattle Times. May 1964.
Clip submitted courtesy of Capt. Jack Russell, Seattle, WA.
Here is another Saltwater People Log entry regarding a young Capt. Ole.

04 November 2018


Schooner TRANSIT
547 G.t. 508.50 N.t.
165.2' x 37.1' x 13.1'
Launched 1891, Salmon Bay, opposite Ballard, WA.
Builder T. H. Petersen is front row, 2nd from the right,
Mrs. Petersen is at the left.
The schooner was built for E.P. Nissen, a merchant from
San Francisco, CA. where the TRANSIT
was documented in 1892.
Click image to enlarge.
A low-resolution scan of an original photo from
Saltwater People Historical Society©
The schooner TRANSIT, one of the last ships built by Thomas Heinrich Petersen was built at this location on Salmon Bay, in 1891.  
      Petersen was a native of Denmark who left in 1856 when he was 21. He had served a 4-yr apprenticeship in a shipyard and earned certification as a carpenter's mate. 
     Those papers opened doors for the young man; he continued a lifelong career designing and building boats in several yards on the west coast of the US after he left his ship in San Francisco in 1857. Thomas constructed vessels at Mendocino, Little River, Whitesboro, Navarro, Cuffey's Cove, Eureka, Gardiner, OR, Florence, Port Orchard, and Deadman's Island at Port Madison, before he arrived at Salmon Bay in 1890. 
Fishermen's Terminal,
Seattle, WA.

Click image to enlarge.
He was moored there until Commodore Way cut through his property, according to Seattle historian Lucile MacDonald researching some family papers that were donated to the Puget Sound Maritime Society, Seattle, in the 1950s. 
A great bronze tribute to a man who quietly
went about his work until he was 70 years old.
This is placed on the Fish Ladder Landing
at the Ballard Locks, Seattle, WA.
Photo by Donna Gordon in 2009 and
recently submitted to Saltwater People.
Thank you!
Click image to enlarge.

      According to Seattle maritime news journalist R.H. "Skipper" Calkins, the schooner TRANSIT was purchased by the John Backland family in 1908. She was commanded by the well-known Arctic trader, Captain John Backland Sr., delivering heavy shipments to government schools and isolated stations in the Bering and Arctic regions at the time of her loss. She was crushed by ice and lost near Cape Smythe, in 1913. The TRANSIT was departing Barrow bound Seattle with 11 officers and crew aboard along with 100 tons of general merchandise valued at $8,000.
      From the US Customs Wreck Report of 27 Sept. 1913 at Nome, in the words of Capt. John Backland:
      About five miles SSW of Cape Smyth struck lee, filled with water and was beached. Crushed by ice. Strong NW gale with heavy snow and frost. Sails close reefed and vessel got underway but ice crowding in rapidly leaving no room for navigation. 120 natives came on board and both the steam and handpumps were manned but to no avail. The vessel was in the ice from 6 Aug to 25 Aug 1913 and continually using every effort to get out. 
      The TRANSIT had a value of $10,000 with the damage to the vessel listed as $7,500. Her cargo posted a loss of $5,000. The vessel had no insurance but the cargo was fully insured. No loss of life. 
The Customs Wreck Report is courtesy of Alaska Shipwrecks.com
More on the vessels in the life of Thomas H. Petersen for another day. 
      The late Louis A. Hough, the author of A Fleet Forgotten, did an excellent, in-depth  10-page article on the barkentine THOS. P. EMIGH, published by the Puget Sound Maritime History Society for the membership journal, The Sea Chest, September 2014. The THOS. P. EMIGH, launched at Tacoma in 1901 was designed by T.H. Petersen.
Book sourced: Hal E. Jamison Along the Waterfront. 26 Sept. 1912, regarding details of the TRANSIT loss in the ice.
  Another Saltwater People post on the Captains Backland can be viewed here.    

Archived Log Entries