"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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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.

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.

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