Category Archives: Nautical History

Death of the Antarctic Ship Hero

How a Notable  Vessel Met Its End on Willapa Bay Fifty years ago, the 125′ X 30′ expedition ship Hero was taking shape at the Harvey Gamage Boatyard in Maine. Designed by Potter & M’Arthur, Inc., naval architects of Boston, … Continue reading

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After 70 Years, Katie Ford Sails on in B.C.

In the summer of 2016, I received an email from the Canadian owner of the 44′ cruising yacht Katie Ford, inviting me to its 70th birthday party in Victoria B.C. This classic old sailing yacht was built in in 1946 … Continue reading

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The Cutty Sark Sails into the 21st Century

In 2008, the world’s only surviving clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, suffered a disastrous fire that came close to destroying the entire hull in its permanent drydock beside the River Thames in Greenwich. This news was especially shocking for me … Continue reading

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How the Taste for Tea Created the Tea Clippers

Tea reached Europe from China around 1560 on Portuguese and Dutch ships, but it was a latecomer to England. In London, coffee was the drink of choice among businessmen and Edward Lloyd’s coffee house became the center of shipping insurance. … Continue reading

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2017: Old Astoria Pilot Boat Arrow 2 Returns

The pilot boat Arrow 2 disappeared from the Astoria waterfront in 2012 and has been greatly missed by the seamen who admired its unique traditional hull shape and general low-tech appearance. There was much speculation about its final disposition: would … Continue reading

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WW II: Astoria’s Epic Minesweeper Years

Astoria Shipyard’s Minesweeper (YMS) Production Remembered The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor last December gives us a chance to review the incredible history of the “war at home” in Astoria—a time when thousands of ordinary women performed … Continue reading

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WW II Minesweeper Tradition Continues in Seattle

History Repeats Itself at Pacific Fishermen Yard Almost every kind of boat imaginable has traveled up and down the Seattle Ship Canal and through the locks over the last 100 years, but few of the thousands of crew or passengers … Continue reading

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Salmon Tender Duke–Oldest Boat on the Columbia River

After 112 Years Afloat, the Duke Retires to Museum in Astoria The older a wooden boat gets, the more work it takes to keep it seaworthy. That’s a lesson that many boatmen learned the hard way. On the lower Columbia … Continue reading

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One Frenchman’s Obsession with Slocum and the Spray

In the Wake of the Spray Guy Bernardin is a French racing sailor who had an impressive racing career in the 1980s sailing in the new Open 60 class in the OSTAR, the Route du Rhum, two BOC round-the-world races … Continue reading

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Salmon Fishing on the Columbia–CRFPU, CRPA, Bumble Bee

Note: I compiled this history from many online sources. Salmon was a dietary staple of Northwest aboriginal people. Large, tasty, and available at predictable times and places, the fish were an ideal source of protein, easily caught with basic fishing … Continue reading

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