- 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.
1960 ❖ CAPTAIN EIKUM'S CAKE ❖
Forty-nine years of smooth sailing for Captain Jacob Eikum deserves a fat cake!
Capt. Eikum who reached the mandatory age of retirement of 70, eased the ferry Illahee into the landing at Winslow at 1:55 o'clock yesterday afternoon for the last time.
Eikum and his wife, Kristiana, who was part of the 100 friends and relatives to make the last voyage with the skipper before they got off the ferry and went to their home in Poulsbo.
Thus ended the career of the senior pilot on Puget Sound ferries.
Capt. Eikum arrived in Seattle from Norway in March 1911. He went to work on the boats in April. He started with the Kitsap County Navigation Co. When that firm was taken over by Puget Sound Navigation Co, he went along. And when the State took over the ferries, he still went along.
During those years the skipper has worked aboard the steamers HYAK, BURTON, RELIANCE, and MANITOU, which carried freight and passengers to Puget Sound ports. Some of the ferries he has skippered, besides the ILLAHEE, are the LIBERTY, KITSAP, SEATTLE, OLYMPIC, KLAHANIE, and KEHLOKEN.
He has been a captain since 1917.
Crew members gave a farewell party for Capt. Eikum where they presented him with a set of lawn furniture.
Yesterday, Capt. Les Welle, who skippers the ILLAHEE on its afternoon and evening runs from Seattle to Winslow, took over for his fellow skipper on his last run, leaving him free to be feted in the boat's salon by relatives and other skippers and boatmen until just before the landing at Winslow.
Nancy Davis of the Seattle Convention & Tourist Bureau, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, presented Capt. Eikum a letter of appreciation. I.D. Birse, general manager of the WSF, representing the shoreside personnel, gave him binoculars and a clock and barometer set.
Capt. Eikum seemed a little overcome by all the fuss.
I can't talk," he said.
Later, recalling his many years on the boats, Captain Eikum said:
"I have been lucky. It's all been smooth sailing."
Besides his wife, those making the last run with the skipper included his sons, Arnold, 42, himself a skipper, and assistant to Birse; James, 40, of Poulsbo, and Stanley, 32, Seattle, both members of the maintenance crew for the ferries. Oren, 39, Port Angeles, and Mrs. Thelma Walin, Poulsbo, and nine of his eleven grandchildren.
Another son, Alf, 26, lives in Los Angeles.
Captain Eikum said he and his wife will travel a bit. They may revisit Norway, which is also her birthplace.
And if the skipper misses the boats too much, he can always take a ferryboat ride. He has a lifetime pass.
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