The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, June 30, 2006

MHN Calendar: Wooden Boat Festival, Small Ships Tacoma

Here's selected items from the Maritime Heritage Network Calendar for the weekend of June 30 to July 4, 2006. A very busy holiday weekend!
  • June 30 - July 2, 2006: Festival, Small Ships Tacoma, Tacoma Tall Ships Society, Price: Many events FREE, Dock Street Marina, Tacoma, Wash., 253-376-8003,, A classic boat rendevous for small vessels built before 1950
  • July 1-4, 2006: Festival, 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Center for Wooden Boats, Price: $5 donation, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, Wash., 206-382-2628,, Annual wooden boat festival featuring music, displays, artifacts, and sailing ships
  • July 1-4, 2006: Exhibit, 12th Annual Ship Model Exhibit, Discovery Modelers Education Center, Price: Included FREE with $5 admission to Wooden Boat Festival, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, 206-282-0985,, Ship models of every size, vintage and type will be on display at the 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival.
  • 7/1/2006: Cruise, Virginia V Lake Union Tour, Steamer Virginia V Foundation, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Price: $10 adults; $5 children 6-12; FREE children under 5, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, 206-624-9119,, Tour of Lake Union as part of the 30th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
  • 7/2/2006: Presentation, Meet Peter Puget, Discovery Modelers Education Center, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Price: Included FREE with $5 admission to Wooden Boat Festival, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, 206-282-0985,, Lt. Peter Puget, in full British Navy uniform, discusses his role in the exploration of the Pacific Northwest in conjunction with the 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival.
  • 7/2/2006: Cruise, Virginia V Lake Union Tour, Steamer Virginia V Foundation, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Price: $10 adults; $5 children 6-12; FREE children under 5, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, 206-624-9119,, Tour of Lake Union as part of the 30th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
  • 7/2/2006: Cruise, Virginia V Lake Union Tour, Steamer Virginia V Foundation, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Price: $10 adults; $5 children 6-12; FREE children under 5, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, 206-624-9119,, Tour of Lake Union as part of the 30th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
  • 7/3/2006: Presentation, Meet Peter Puget, Discovery Modelers Education Center, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Price: Included FREE with $5 admission to Wooden Boat Festival, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, 206-282-0985,, Lt. Peter Puget, in full British Navy uniform, discusses his role in the exploration of the Pacific Northwest in conjunction with the 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival.
MHN is always looking for more events for listing in its Calendar page. If you know of a maritime-related event in the Pacific Northwest, please send details to

Thursday, June 29, 2006

MHN News: Google Ads and Search

I wanted to let everyone know about two new features that have been added to Maritime Heritage Network. We're pretty excited about them.
  • Google Ads -- MHN's business plan includes strategies to earn revenue to defray operating costs. Our ultimate goal is 50 percent earned revenue, 50 percent unearned, that is, grants, gifts, and so on. Last week, we added Google Ads to the MHN home page. We also added advertisements to the MHN Blog. Google places content-relevant text advertisements on the MHN site and the blog in exchange for sharing revenue with the site when a visitor clicks on an ad. We don't expect huge amounts of money to come from this strategy, but every little bit helps.
  • MHN Search -- MHN has added a search function to the web site, allowing visitors to perform key word searches on the entire site's contents. We've blended Google search technology into MHN in exchange for allowing Google to show its advertisements on the search results page. MHN also earns revenue when visitors click on Google Ads in the search results page. We hope the search feature will keep users on the site longer and help them find the attractions and organizations they seek, ultimately driving more traffic to member sites and raising the visibility of their important maritime history work.
MHN is planning further enhancements in the months ahead. Thanks so much for your support so far. If you have ideas or comments, please post them below.

Former Owner's Daughter Calls for Wawona Preservation

I received this e-mail from Linda Trafton Haakenson and Susan Trafton Carpenter, the daughter and granddaughter of J.E. Trafton, the last commercial owner of the schooner Wawona. They wrote to me out of concern for Wawona's immediate future, given the city of Seattle's recent threat to "demolish and dispose" of the vessel. (See MHN entry for June 14 and following entries, or search on the word "Wawona" in the search box at the top of the screen.) They gave me permission to post the e-mail.

[June 28, 2006]

Our family wants to preserve the history of the Wawona. The Trafton Family of Anacortes who owned the Wawona for over 33 years sailed from Anacortes. The history of the ship is very important to keep alive for generations to come of the hardships of making a living in the Bering Sea. We were very happy to see it had a home in Seattle and was restored by Northwest Seaport. The Wawona and other sailing schooners of that era are a rich history of the Pacific Northwest. This would be a wonderful educational tourist attraction for Seattle.

Please help preserve and save the Wawona and make it a show piece of the Seattle waterfront.

Linda Trafton Haakenson
Susan Trafton Carpenter

If you'd like to write to Linda and Susan, e-mail me at and I'll forward. Otherwise, please comment via the link below.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wawona: Full Restoration Ruled Out; TTSS Needs Volunteers

I was at a meeting yesterday of maritime heritage groups to discuss the future of Wawona, given the city's threat earlier this month to "demolish and dispose" of the vessel. Northwest Seaport, Wawona's owner, and the Museum of History & Industry are pursuing a plan to place the ship on a barge and tow her to another location, as yet undetermined. Costs for the work will likely reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that doesn't include moorage fees for the barge. Long term, Wawona's owners are now leaning toward an on-land display of the entire ship, as opposed to small pieces, as proposed by the city. Full-scale, in-water restoration has been more or less ruled out, because of the estimated $10 million to $15 million cost. What do you think? Please comment below.

The Tacoma Tall Ships Society has issued a call for volunteers to help with its Small Ships Tacoma event June 30 to July 2 (this coming weekend). They need people for Saturday and Sunday to "wear a hat, sunscreen, and a smile" while guiding visitors. They also need people at a booth and elsewhere. For more information, send e-mail to

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pirates May Invade Kalama If Local Has Her Say

A resident of the small river port of Kalama, Washington on the shores of the Columbia River would like some feedback on an idea to create a pirate attraction in the community. Terri Van Matre would like to explore turning the small town's waterfront into a pirate-themed adventure, "something like the pirate area at Disneyland, without rides." She's floating another idea with a Hawaiian theme.

Her query to Maritime Heritage Network was sparked by a recent visit of the Lady Washington, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Hawaiian Chieftain to her neighborhood. Kalama was named for John Kalama, a native Hawaiian who settled in the area. Few people in Washington State know about the critical contribution made to the region's early history by native Hawaiian seamen, who explored the coasts and rivers alongside their European and American employers. The nearby Kalama River is also named for the settler.

What do you think? Terri would like some suggestions on who to talk to about realizing her vision. What about other cities or towns that have tried themes? Leavenworth, Washington comes to mind; it has a Bavarian theme. Winthrop, Washington has a pioneer theme. Communities with other themes, such as the Old West, might have some ideas, agree? Leave your feedback here on the MHN blog or write to me at and I'll pass along the info to Terri.

Monday, June 26, 2006

CWB Founder to Pitch for Mariners

The founding director of the Center for Wooden Boats, Dick Wagner, has been recruited to pitch for the Seattle Mariners pro baseball team. But it's not a multi-gazillion dollar free-agent contract. It's the ceremonial first pitch for the July 3 Mariners versus California Angels game at Safeco Field, and he deserves the recognition. He certainly knows how to pitch for maritime heritage! Post your predictions on Dick's post-pitch ERA below.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Field Trip to WWMM; 2007 Tall Ships Calendar

The Dash Point Pirate blog, named after a landmark between Seattle and Tacoma on Puget Sound (I sometimes fish off the pier there), published some nice photos of a recent field trip to the Working Waterfront Maritime Museum in Tacoma. The blogger is a particular fan of wooden kayaks.

MHN recieved an e-mail from a fellow who has produced a tall ships calendar for 2007 that includes photos of Lady Washington and Zodiac, both home ported in Washington State. Both vessels also took part in Tacoma Tall Ships 2005.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Volunteers Needed for Wooden Boat Festival

Northwest Seaport has sent out a call for volunteers to staff the 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival at South Lake Union Park July 1-4. The not-for-profit, owner of the schooner Wawona, lightship Swiftsure, tug Arthur Foss, and the salmon troller Twilight, needs help preparing for the festival, running the gift shop, docent tours, and more. Volunteers will enjoy a potluck after the festival closes at 6 p.m. July 4, with a front-row seat for the Lake Union fireworks display. For more information, contact Alice Winship,, 206-448-0707.

Seafaring Heritage Partnership in Seattle (SHIPS) will have a booth at the festival promoting its activities, including Seafaring Summer Day Camp, Seafaring Family Fun Days, and generally letting people know about the broad range of maritime heritage activities at South Lake Union Park.

The Association of King County Historical Organizations will have a booth at the festival, which will include a petition to save the schooner Wawona from the city's threat to "demolish and dispose" of the vessel. (I am vice president of the AKCHO board.)

Also at the festival, the Sailing Heritage Society will donate day trips by the schooner Mallory Todd.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Naval Undersea Museum Wins Award; Discussion Hot Re P-I Editorial

The Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport was awarded the 2006 Award of Exhibit Excellence from the Washington Museum Association. “Service and Sacrifice: The Trident Family,” was chosen from entries from around the state. The Northwest Navigator has a story on the award.

The discussion is hot on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website after it published yesterday's editorial endorsing the city's efforts to move Wawona. Click here to read what's being said.

Nickels on Wawona: "Not Beautiful"

As a public service for those on dialup connections or who are otherwise having trouble with online video, here's a transcript of Mayor Greg Nickels' Q/A last week on the Seattle Channel speaking about Wawona.

Question: The Wawona down at South Lake Union Park. That's the subject of this next e-mailer, Daniella. I heard at Folklife that the beautiful old schooner, the Wawona, was considered an eyesore by the city and was in danger of being disassembled and removed from South Lake Union [Park]. Please do your part to save this essential part of our history for this generation and for future ones.

Nickels: This is Danielia? [Daniella.] I'm not going to be able to give her good news. The Wawona, which is a historic ship, unfortunately, is not beautiful. And it's not safe. It has been tied up at South Lake Union for many, many, many years. There's a non-profit organization that has worked very hard to restore it. They haven't been able to raise anything near the kind of money to be able to keep it safe and very frankly, unless they're able to come up with that money very soon, just out of concern of safety...we've already had them take the masts off, because a study showed that those were in real danger of potentially coming down and hurting people. So we're not looking for that to be a permanent part of the park unless its restored, and given the last 2o years of experience, we don't think that they're going to have the capacity to restore it.

The "study" he's referring to is the "Wawona Summit" report (summarized here), commissioned last December by Northwest Seaport, Wawona's owner. A panel of nationally recognized experts recommended that the masts come down as a safety precaution, a recommendation which was followed within weeks. The panel also recommended a three-step approach to saving the vessel: immediate stabilization, intermediate preservation on land undercover, and the development of a long-term plan for ultimate preservation and interpretation. (A second panel of local experts was split on options for Wawona.)

Photos of Wawona's current condition are on the Seattle Times website.

What do you think? Is Wawona "not beautiful?" Does its physical beauty matter? What about safety? Is it still unsafe, even though the masts are down and no one is allowed on board? Click the comments link below to express your view.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

P-I: Boot Wawona; MHN Calendar: Duwamish Stories, Pirate Festival

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an unsigned editorial today agreeing with the city that the Wawona should leave South Lake Union Park, and failing that, should be cut up into pieces, saving some and destroying the rest. I'm told the editorial contains several innaccuracies and incomplete statements. Please tell us your views via the comment link below, e-mail to, or make your views known on the Sound Off feature on the P-I's editorial page. Several people have already done so. We need everyone's voice!

Here's selected special events from the Maritime Heritage Network Calendar for the June 23-25, 2006.

MHN is always looking for more events for listing in its Calendar page. If you know of a maritime-related event in the Pacific Northwest, please send details to

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dialog Needed on Wawona Question: What Should We Do?

It's been almost a week since I published Tim Ceis' letter threatening to "demolish and dispose" of Wawona, and I've received a few comments, both on the blog and privately by e-mail. Some have expressed sadness about the recent events, while recognizing what they view as a preservation failure and a need to move on. Others have attacked the city as insensitive and destructive. In short, people have agreed with me and disagreed with me. Bravo to you all!

This is extremely healthy, and we need more of it. The purpose of the MHN Blog is to provide a forum for dialog, as well as news and information. If you have strong, or even weak, feelings about what is happening with Wawona or maritime history preservation, please use the comments link below. Anonymous comments are discouraged, but I may publish ones that are thoughtful or provide good information. I've done so in the past. Comments using a real name or a handle are almost always published, provided there's no name-calling or other juvenile rhetoric.

If you feel uncomfortable with using the comments feature, e-mail me directly at or Let me know if it's ok to use your comments, name, and so on, or not, on the blog. I vow on a first edition of Bowditch's American Practical Navigator to protect your anonymity and privacy.

Now is a great time to comment, because important meetings are coming up in the next few days to discuss Wawona's fate and you have a chance to influence the outcome. The important thing is that we need your views. So post!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mayor Uses C/ID Preservation Announcement to Cover Wawona Debacle

The timing of Mayor Greg Nickels' announcement today of money for preserving historic buildings in the Chinatown/International District suggests an attempt to distract preservationists from his proposal to "demolish and dispose" of the historic schooner Wawona. Today, Nickels' office said a $12 million pool of loan and grant money would help rehabilitate the Alps Hotel and the Hong Kong Building. The announcement comes less than a week after revelations that Deputy Mayor Tim Cies threatened Northwest Seaport, owner of Wawona, with destroying the vessel if it is not moved by September 30. (See Wednesday, June 14 MHN blog entry and following entries.) The vessel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Washington State Historic Register, and it is an official City of Seattle Landmark.

While I applaud any progress in the preservation arena, today's announcement lays bare the two-faced attitude of the mayor's office toward historic preservation. If preservation somehow fits the mayor's agenda for density and downtown ecomomic development, he will work for it. If there is something in the way, even if it is recognized by the nation as historically significant, he will brush it aside. He demonstrates his attitude toward the vessel clearly in his comments on the Seattle Channel on June 14. (Click here to see the video. You will need RealPlayer.)

Fortunately, preservationists have at least one friend on the city council willing to speak out. And we know that others on the council are sympathetic. Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck raised the Wawona issue before the council this morning, saying to me in an e-mail that "the mayor cannot simply and unilateraly destroy a national historic landmark like this." Steinbrueck also urged Councilmember David Della, chair of the council's Parks Committee, to ask Parks Superintendent Ken Bounds to explain his departments' actions and policies regarding Wawona. I hope Bounds, Ceis and the mayor are called to account on this issue and other examples of mismanagement of Seattle's singular and irreplaceable history.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kalakalamania; Virginia V Tours of Lake Union

The MHN Blog received a comment to a May 7 entry on the Kalakala that announced "Kalakalamania," a new website for fanatics of the 1935 art deco ferry now moored in Tacoma. "The ship has left Seattle," says the writer CKD, "but it´s not gone (yet) and it´s by far not forgotten." The not-for-profit site has photos, postcards, memories and much more.

The 1922 mosquito fleet steamer Viriginia V will offer several activities as part of the 30th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival in Seattle over the 4th of July weekend. (See Maritime Heritage Network Calendar.) Free dockside tours of the national historic landmark will be held daily throughout the festival. On Saturday, July 1, the ship will head out at 1 p.m. for a one-hour scenic tour of the lake's houseboat communities. The vessel will host two cruises on Sunday, July 2, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tours are $10 for adults, $5 for kids with the under-5 set free. The annual boat festival is organized by the Center for Wooden Boats.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Media, Blogosphere, Elected Officials Erupt Over Wawona; The Mayor's Historic Power Play

The Seattle media and blogosphere are all over the Wawona story and the mayors office's threats to demolish it: Seattle P-I, Seattle MetBlogs, Livejournal,, and KIRO-TV. I was interviewed by KOMO 1000 AM (can't find the story link, tho), and I was contacted by KCPQ, Channel 13. (If you know of any more links, let us know via the comments link below.) King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson e-mailed me. His district includes South Lake Union Park. I was also called and e-mailed by Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, who called the threats "appalling," and vowed to use his council powers to call Tim Ceis and Ken Bounds to account. He said this was just another example of bullying tactics by the mayor's office.

But now it appears this goes far beyond mere bullying and an old boat, because it involves the future of one of Seattle's most venerated institutions, the Museum of History & Industry, and a highly visible piece of Mayor Nickels' urban ambitions, South Lake Union Park. MOHAI has now decided to move to SLUP, a decision that's been in the works for several months. It appears that the city has decided to hand the Wawona problem to a prospective tenant as both parties prepare to negotiate a sale or lease of the Naval Reserve Building. I speak only for myself, but this is a political tactic by the mayor worthy of Machiavelli.

I'm only speculating, but I would think that MOHAI must feel it should show good faith to Nickels by solving the Wawona problem for him before he is willing to sign a deal. Wawona is now a pawn in a larger game about a key amenity at South Lake Union and Allentown that could affect the future of a beloved Seattle museum (which will do all it can to save Wawona). I have lived in Seattle almost all my life, and I have never seen such cynicism on the part of a local elected official.

Wawona Threat Unprecedented; Could She Suffer the Same Fate as SS Nobska?

I contacted the National Trust for Historic Preservation on Friday to ask about any precedents to Wawona's case. It appears that the threat by the City of Seattle (see Wednesday, Friday entries) to demolish a vessel on the National Register of Historic Places is unprecedented. They couldn't think of a single case where a local government tried to bully a volunteer-run maritime history preservation organization by threatening to destroy its property.

However, there is a case this month in which the National Park Service decided to demolish an historic ship for national security reasons. According to NTHP and a Martha's Vineyard, Mass. newspaper, the NPS let loose the wrecking ball around June 1 on the SS Nobska, a vessel eerily similar to the Virginia V, a mosquito fleet steamer not a hundred yards from Wawona. The NTHP tells me that the federal government wanted the Nobska removed from a drydock, which might be needed in case of a terrorist attack on other historic vessels at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. The Nobska is in a similar situation as Wawona: a 30-year fundraising and restoration effort that came up short, and a landlord that had had enough. It could be an ugly foreshadowing of Wawona's fate.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ceis Uninformed About the Needs, Costs Related to Demolition and Disposal of Wawona

I've had several discussions and e-mails related to my previous post (Wednesday, June 14) on Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis' threat to "demolish and dispose" of Wawona. The Seattle Times ran a story today. It's pretty clear the fellow has no idea what he's talking about. He suggests in his June 8 letter that the city will work with the Museum of History & Industry to develop a plan for removing parts of the vessel for display and dispose of the rest. First, the idea needs careful planning, and he only gives Northwest Seaport four months to do it. This is a 165-foot, 468-ton vessel, and NWS is staffed exclusively by volunteers. They don't have the capacity to create a detailed plan. Does he think MOHAI, neck-deep in its own projects, can come up with a viable plan in 90 days or so?

Second, he probably has no idea how much money such a project would cost. I called a local marine salvage consultant and he says a demolition project such as Ceis describes would cost in the "mid-six figures." And that doesn't include environmental mitigation related to removing tons of wood debris, some of which may be contaminated with lead paint. You can't just dump it into a landfill. And what about permitting? The various agencies with responsibilities for water quality aren't just going to wave their hands and say, "Go ahead." Furthermore, is this a good use of public money, destruction of our country's maritime history and heritage? I think not.

So Ceis' letter makes no sense to me. He's willing to spend maybe a half-million dollars on destroying the vessel, when the same amount of money would do a lot to stablize it and perhaps allow visitors aboard. If he could see past his nose, he would notice that the latter makes him a hero for saving our maritime history, instead of something less.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

City's Deputy Mayor Threatens to "Demolish and Dispose" of Wawona

Deputy Seattle Mayor Tim Cies has threatened to "contract for [the] demolition and disposal" of the historic schooner Wawona, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a city landmark, if its owner, Northwest Seaport, does not move the vessel by September 30. In addition, Cies ordered NWS to "clearly and convincingly demonstrate" it can raise several million dollars by July 7 in avoid destruction of the ship.

Wawona is currently at South Lake Union Park in Seattle, where she has berthed since 1980. Northwest Seaport has cared for the ship since 1963. The vessel is one of only two remaining examples of lumber and codfishing schooners on the west coast, the other being the C.A. Thayer, now nearing the end of a complete restoration in San Francisco. A panel of maritime history experts recommended last month that the Wawona be removed from the water for further restoration work.

Below is an excerpt of Cies' letter, addressed to Joe Shickich, president of NWS, and dated June 8:

The Wawona is extremely deteriorated; significant funding for her restoration or preservation has not been forthcoming for some decades, and there is currently no evidence the the support exists for this situation to change. The vessel and associated workshops and outbuildings have been located on City property at minimal or no cost since the 1970’s, yet the vessel is far more deteriorated now than she was twenty years ago. Despite the efforts of a committed group of dedicated supporters, the restoration of the Wawona has not been supported by the larger philanthropic community.

We have, however, made a clear commitment to the Seattle community to move forward on the development of South Lake Union Park. The Wawona must be moved from her current location to allow that to happen, and she must be moved soon. Therefore, Northwest Seaport has until July 7, 2006 to clearly and convincingly demonstrate that it has the capacity to raise the funds necessary to relocate and restore the vessel. The vessel should be removed from its current location by September 30, 2006.

If Northwest Seaport is not able to demonstrate this capability, the City, in consultation with the Museum of History & Industry, will proceed with planning to commemorate the vessel in an appropriate and affordable manner, and will contract for its demolition and disposal of portions of the vessel we decide to keep for display puposes.

All maritime history and heritage supporters should contact Mayor Greg Nickels' office to protest this action and urge another solution that would not destroy our city's history. Contact Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis at 206-684-8106, Also contact Parks Superintendent Ken Bounds, 206-684-8022, You should also write to the Seattle City Council members.

To express support for NWS, contact Joe Shickich at 206-389-1772,, or Wayne Palsson, 206-447-9800, You may also want to contact the Museum of History & Industry.

Comments are welcome. Click the link below to express your opinion.

Hawaiian Chieftain Welcomed to Aberdeen; Musicians Added to Maritime Music Concert

The tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain was welcomed to Aberdeen in Grays Harbor yesterday as the newest addition to the fleet that includes the brig Lady Washington. The replica of the 1750 trading ship, built in Hawaii in 1988, is a 103-foot topsail ketch. It was purchased last year by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, which teaches sailing and the region's maritime history. The two vessels are used for educational trips along the west coast. And the Lady has appeared in several movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean. The Seattle Times has a story and photos.

Northwest Seaport has announced an addition to the July 29 maritime music concert. Tania Opland and Mike Freeman will join headliners William Pint and Felicia Dale in a concert featuring sea chanteys and nautical ballads. Opland and Freeman specialize in traditional and contemporary material from many cultures as well as original compositions. Visit the Maritime Heritage Network Calendar later this month for more details, including location and ticket prices.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

CWB Offers Boats for Sale

The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle is offering several boats for sale via its website, including a 28' Monk Cruiser, a 21' Cruisers, Inc., a 24' Copper River skiff built for salmon fishing, and a 12' foot cedar strip dinghy. For photos and more information, visit the CWB website's Boats for Sale page.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Snagboat W.T. Preston Now Open Daily for Tours

The 163-foot, wooden hulled W.T. Preston pulled snags, performed light dredging, and otherwise worked the waters of Puget Sound until 1981. The boat is now permanently dry berthed on the Anacortes waterfront. It's cared for by the Anacortes History Museum. Admission to the W.T. Preston is $2 for adults, $1 for children 8-16, and $1 for seniors 65+. Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The first floor of the snagboat is handicapped-accessible. Special tours may be arranged by appointment. For more info, please call the W.T. Preston Heritage Center at 360-299-1984 or the museum at 360-293-1915.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Tall Ships Tacoma 2008 Manager Selected

The Tacoma Tall Ships Society says that the Seattle firm One Reel has been chosen to manage Tacoma Tall Ships 2008, a repeat performance of the successful Tacoma Tall Ships 2005 event, which brought dozens of large sailing vessels to Commencement Bay. The decision was made Wednesday by the Foss Waterway Development Authority. According to an e-mail from Skip Anderson, TTSS' founding director, the Tacoma Events Commission and Festivals, Inc. also bid for the job. The FWDA awarded the contract to the organization that manages Seattle's Bumbershoot and other large scale events. Anderson says he will discuss with One Reel how his group can work with the event producer, perhaps as the "in-water" team.

Friday, June 09, 2006

MHN Welcomes Tacoma Tall Ships Society

Maritime Heritage Network is welcoming a new member. The Tacoma Tall Ships Society was formed after Tall Ships Tacoma 2005, an event which brought many large sailing vessels to Tacoma and Commencement Bay. Many participants and businesses along the Thea Foss Waterway, where most of the vessels were moored, recognized a need for continuing these activities for the enjoyment of Tacoma's citizens and visitors, for the health of the waterway business community, and to develop and sustain a ready core of volunteers to help handle future major in-water events. TTSS will spearhead new events and support all of those groups that would like to hold events along the waterway and on the bay.

If you would like Maritime Heritage Network to list your Pacific Northwest maritime heritage organization, write to

Thursday, June 08, 2006

MHN Calendar: Chantey Sing, Disaster Lecture, More...

Here's selected special events from the Maritime Heritage Network Calendar for the June 9-11, 2006.
  • 6/10/2006: Music, Northwest Seaport Chantey Sing, Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Ctr, 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Price: FREE, Elliott Bay Marina,aboard Adventuress, 2601 W. Marina Pl., Seattle, 206-448-0707,, Chantey sing-along aboard the historic schooner Adventuress. This event is rescheduled from the regular monthly June 9 chantey sing at South Lake Union Park.
  • 6/11/2006: Lecture, Sinking of the Steamer Dix, Bainbridge Island Historical Society, Noon to 5:00 PM, Price: Contact BIHS, BIHS Museum, 215 Ericksen Ave. NE, Bainbridge Island, Wash., 206-842-2773,, The BIHS Annual Old-Timer's and Storyteller's Picnic will feature a lecture on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the passenger steamer Dix.
  • June 10-11, 2006: Race, Annual Classic Mariners' Regatta, Northwest Maritime Center, Price: Contact NWC, Port Hudson, Port Townsend, Wash., 360-379-2629,, The largest sailing race of wooden vessels in the Pacific Northwest.
  • June 9-11, 2006: Cruise, Puget Sound, Beginning to End, FiberGlassics Northwest, Price: Contact FGNW, Puget Sound, Begin at Port Townsend, 360-385-5038,, FGNW members cruise the entire length of Puget Sound from Port Townsend to Olympia.
MHN is always looking for more events for listing in its Calendar page. If you know of a maritime-related event in the Pacific Northwest, please send details to

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

City Council Hears Call for Pier Historic District

I made a brief presentation to the Seattle City Council yesterday in support of the Department of Planning and Development's Central Waterfront Concept Plan, their grand vision for the post-viaduct waterfront. I spoke on behalf of the Association of King County Historical Organizations, and I expressed support for the plan's provisions that call for the creation of a city landmark district around piers 54 to 59 on the waterfront. My remarks to the council also called for creation of a National Historic District as a further step. Two other historic district supporters also spoke.

Council reaction to the city landmark district proposal was very positive, although discussion was limited. They are focused on the transportation aspect of the plan, but those who mentioned preservation clearly recognized that retaining the historic character of the wooden piers is vital to the vision of a walkable, "vibrant" central waterfront experience. A member of the city planning commission also remarked on the need for an "authentic" waterfront experience that includes the wooden piers.

The next steps include giving permission to the city bureaucracy to make more detailed plans. That should come in the next few weeks. The city is already conducting a survey of the piers and surrounding properties in preparation for recommendations to the city landmarks commission. My guess is that concrete action on an historic district designation won't happen until sometime next year.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Plans for Whidbey Island Steamers Sought; CA Thayer Update, With Correction

The Island County Historical Society on Whidbey Island, Washington, is looking for plans to several steamers built on the island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Whidbey and Calista. ICHS Operations Officer Al Smith has checked with several local sources, such as the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, the Sand Man Foundation, and the Bainbridge Island Historical Society, but has turned up nothing substantive. If you have information or sources to suggest, including historical photos, please contact Al at

The San Francisco Chronicle published an update of the restoration of the C.A. Thayer, the lumber schooner which is owned by the San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park. Restoration is nearly complete and she is scheduled to be moved from Alameda to her dock at the park this summer. Some of the information in the story, as well as briefs that are floating around the media based on the story, is incorrect. Thayer is, in fact, not the last of her kind. She is one of two remaining lumber schooners, the other being the Wawona, at South Lake Union Park in Seattle.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Three-Hour Cruise Aboard the Yankee Clipper

The Sea Scout sail training ship Yankee Clipper hosted my elder daughter's Girl Scout troop for a three-hour cruise in Elliott Bay yesterday. My wife, my other daughter, and myself accompanied the troop aboard the 44-foot gaff ketch. We started out at the Harbor Island Marina at the southern end of Harbor Island, motored down the Duwamish River, Skipper Dan Joram keeping us out of the way of the container ships at Terminal 5. Once we were in the bay, the crew of five Sea Scouts (three teen boys and two adults, besides Dan) were kept busy tacking and jibing and trying to stay clear of the landlubbers, such as myself. It was great fun.

The Clipper recently made a bit of history, returning to the Swiftsure race after a 43-year absence. Billing itself as the only year-round big boat sailing program for youth in Seattle, the vessel is recruiting new members and sails every Monday evening from six to nine from its Harbor Island Marina berth. This month, the Clipper is offering four ecology cruises of the Duwamish River, Seattle's main industrial waterway. Most people only see the waterway from the street, but seeing it from the water gives a whole new perspective on the environmental challenges of the waterway and the importance of maritime industry to the Seattle economy. (Photo courtesy Yankee Clipper)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Catala Oil Leak Update; SF Maritime Museum Job

Washington State environmental scientists are investigating reports of oil leaking from the wreck of the Catala, which resurfaced at Ocean Shores after storms in November, 2005. (See MHN Blog posts of Feb. 10, March 13, March 22 [with photos], and April 14.) A report in the Seattle Times says as much as 20,000 gallons of bunker oil could remain in the wreck, although investigators have found no severe leaks.

The San Francisco Maritime National Park Association is looking for a development director to oversee individual giving, donor cultivation, membership, special events, corporate giving, and grant writing.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

MHN Calendar: Edmonds Festival, D-Day Commemoration, Anacortes Maritime History Film

Here's selected items from the Maritime Heritage Network Calendar for the June 2 through June 6, 2006.

  • June 2-4, 2006: Festival, Edmonds Waterfront Festival, Edmonds Rotary Club, Price: FREE, Port of Edmonds Marina, Edmonds, Wash., 425-771-1744, , Annual waterfront festival
  • June 2-4, 2006: Festival, Lake Coeur D'Alene Steamboat Meet, Northwest Steam Society, Price: Contact NWSS, Harrison, Idaho, Lake Coeur d'Alene, 509-443-1825,, Historic steam craft meet on Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • June 2-6, 2006: Meeting, Coast Guard D-Day Rescue Flotilla Anniversary, Combatant Craft of America, Price: FREE, South Lake Union Park, Seattle, Wash., 360-437-0125,, Recognition of Coast Guard contribution to D-Day action.
  • 6/6/2006: Film, The Perfect Port: Anacortes Waterfront Legends and Lore, Anacortes History Museum, Two showings: 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM, Price: FREE, Anacortes Cinemas, 4th and 'O' Avenue, Anacortes, Wash., 360-293-1915,, Filmmaker John Sabella screens his documentary about the history of the Port of Anacortes. Reservations required.
MHN is always looking for more events for listing in its Calendar page. If you know of a maritime-related event in the Pacific Northwest, please send details to