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

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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 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.

26 May 2018


Captain Louis Knaflich
Schooner RUBY 
Low res scan of an original dated Mar. 1941
from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©
Determined to aid the United Nations in their war against the Axis powers, four members of the Knaflich family of Seattle are serving America on widely separated fronts.
      Capt. Louis Knaflich, veteran Alaska mariner, and the trader is sailing in Army Transports carrying troops, supplies munitions to the northern battlefront. 
      Louis Knaflich Jr., 23 years old, a graduate of the YMCA navigation school in Seattle, is the second mate of a War Shipping Administration ocean-going tug.
      Hanley Knaflich, 21 years old, a graduate of the Maritime Service Officers' Training Schoo at Alameda, CA, is the third mate of a Maritime Commission freighter sailing to the South Pacific war zone.
      Miss Donna Knaflich, 18 years old, the pretty daughter of the colorful Alaska mariner, is employed in the offices of a Los Angeles architect and recently made all of the blueprints for a Navy tug, built in southern CA.
      "Hanley graduated from the Alameda officers' school with high honors before he was 21 years old and now has second mate's papers for any ocean." Captain Knaflich said.
      "Donna attended the drafting school of the Seattle YMCA, where she laid the foundation for a career as an architect. She went to Los Angeles a year ago.
      The Sea Takes Hold
From the time they were quite small, the Knaflich children hard their father tell of his adventures while making cruises to Siberia, Banks Land, and to Herschel Island, far to the eastward in the Arctic, and it was not surprising that they were determined to follow a maritime career when they grew up.
      Donna loved her father's ships, the sturdy schooners that carried him to remote districts, including the storied Kuskokwim River of AK, where she was born. In Seattle, she received instruction in mechanical drawing, preliminary to a course in ship drafting. In L.A., she has been working on plans for Maritime Commission tugs and hops to be able someday to design a deep-sea ship.
      Capt. Knaflich opened the Kuskokwim River trade with Seattle in 1911 while operating the schooner DUXBURY. At that time there were no charts and he threaded his vessel up the river by making constant soundings. He also operated the schooners BENDER BROTHERS and ANVIL to the Kuskokwim, but his most famous vessel was the schooner RUBY, a trim, white three-mast vessel in which he made a voyage from Seattle to Maracaibo, Venezuela, with a cargo of lumber in 1926.
Auxiliary Schooner RUBY, 1941
Seattle, loading up for Mexico.
Original photo from the archives of the Saltwater People©
Offered $100,000.
Capt. Knaflich was offered $100,000 for the RUBY in Callao, Peru, while on his way to Maracaibo, but refused it as the vessel was one of the most successful schooners of her rig and type operated in off-shore trade.
      The RUBY made voyages to Banks Land, Herschel Island, and Beatty Island, far to the eastward in the ARCTIC, to Siberia, Valparaiso, Chile, and Callao, Peru, and in 1941 she was sold to Productos Maginos and went from Seattle to Guaymas, Mexico, flying the Mexican flag and manned by a Mexican crew.
      In the service of the Productos Marinos of Guaymas, the RUBY became the mother ship of shrimp fishing fleet operating off the coast of Mexico.
Source: The Seattle Times. Nov. 1943.


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