Category Archives: Worth Reading

Cleveland Rockwell–NW coast surveyor & artist

Cleveland Rockwell had a successful 19th-century career in the military and the federal Coastal Survey. Educated as a cartographer and mechanical engineer, Rockwell started his professional life with the U.S. Coastal Survey, collecting survey data and drawing maps. In 1861, … Continue reading

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1958: Lituya Bay, AK. Hit by 1700′ Mega Tsunami

When I moved to Astoria almost a decade ago, I began to enjoy the pleasures of living on the edge of the continent, like the short trip to the beach, and the ever-changing weather. But when I attended a community … Continue reading

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10 Reasons Not to Fly with a Full–Size Bike

The plan was simple: I would give my Bike Friday a year off from the wear-and-tear of another journey in Latin America and instead take an old mountain bike that I would donate to some worthy person when I flew … Continue reading

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Groote Beer’s Goering Fraud Finally Exposed!

Back in the 1990’s, I wrote what I assumed would be the final American story about the Groote Beer, the 52′ Dutch botterjacht that had spent many years on the west coast, especially on the Columbia River in the 1950s–when … Continue reading

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Fred Wahl’s Second Yukon River Tug

The shallow-draft push-tug Tenana is the second boat built by Fred Wahl for Ruby Marine, which was established by Matt Sweetsir and Amy Zacheis in 2006 in Nenana, Alaska to provide fuel and freight transportation service along the Yukon River. … Continue reading

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US Coast Guard 1934 Wooden MLB

Restoration of Wooden Lifeboat Is One Man’s Dream The Port of Astoria’s haul-out yard may not sound like a great place to find a boating story, but there is always a variety of working boats and yachts on the hard–and … Continue reading

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Ice Bird, Hero, Calypso at Palmer in 1972

Three remarkable craft made an unplanned rendezvous on the Antarctica Peninsula at Palmer Station in the summer of 1972.  The 125′ American research vessel Hero and the 154′ ex-WW II minesweeper Calypso were both traditional wooden vessels while the  32′ … Continue reading

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Harbo & Samuelson “Hitch-Rowed” the Atlantic

First Atlantic Row: Harbo and Samuelson in 1896 The bizarre and risky activity of “ocean drifting by rowboat” has its origin in 1896 when two Norwegian fishermen departed Manhattan in an attempt to row the North Atlantic. Their boat was … Continue reading

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Astoria Yard’s WW II YMS Minesweepers

AMCCO 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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In Praise of My Own “Retro” Bikes

The frames of all my bikes were designed 20+ years ago, so qualify as “retro.” Several of them are based on the early mountain bike, so here is a brief introduction to that design,followed by four of my “variations on … Continue reading

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