Tag Archives: History

Paul Harvey and the story of an old Buckinghamshire Barn – Amazing Nautical History

The great Paul Harvey tells the story of an old barn in Buckinghamshire, England.  This old barn may have an incredible past:

 

To all of the sailors at sea and military personal on duty around the world: Merry Christmas!

 

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Seattle’s Ballard Locks & Ship Canal: Entering from sea

We came through through the Ballard Locks and ship canal to the University Of Washington today. I decided to take photos along the way and show some of the sights and ships along the way.

To enter the channel you aim just to the right of Shilshoe Bay Marina. There are a lot of sailboats in this marina. When the wind blows, there is one hell of a lot of clanking going on:
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Just inside the entrance of the channel on the left side is Ray’s Boathouse Restaurant and to the left of that is Anthony’s Restaurant, both very good seafood joints.

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You will then pass many waterfront homes and soon see the Burlington Northern Rail Bridge in the distance. The Ballard Locks are just on the other side of the bridge around the corner to the left:
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If you are in a large vessel, you will have to get the bridge open. Today we didn’t need an opening on the Clifford A. Barnes Research Vessel. The bridge was already open for a tug and barge ahead of us that went into the large locks:
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Just as you turn to go under the rail bridge, you will see the locks up ahead. The large locks is on the left and the small locks are on the right. Just before entering, there is a waiting wall on the right. Being that we were in a government vessel, we went in first:
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Often they will pack several vessels at a time in the lock. Once everyone is tied off, the gates will shut and the level will rise or fall depending which way you are going:
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The fish ladder is over in the corner by the yellow pipes, just below the condos:
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The small locks couldn’t be more easy. You loop your dock line over the button and make it fast. The buttons are on large floats that stay the same level as your vessel when the levels change. In the large locks, you heave your lines over to the attendants and then you manage your lines and you rise or fall.
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Once the water has risen and the lock opens, you are now in fresh water of the ship canal / Lake Union / Lake Washington. This is the home to many tug companies, commercial fishing vessels (many of them are based in Seattle but fish in Alaska), tour boats, private boats, houseboats, yachts, etc.
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Here is the Army Corps of Engineers “Puget” that collects logs and sunken vessels from the locks and nearby channels that would otherwise restrict vessel traffic:
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A tug waiting to enter the large locks outbound:
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Looking back into the locks where we just came from (looking West):
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The emergency lock gates and crane. If the lock gates were to fail, the Army Corps would place these emergency gates to keep all of the fresh lake water from flowing through the locks until repairs could be made.
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The Highland Blight, officially named the Highland Light, has been stinking up the place for a long time. It’s probably good for scrap now, but someone is living the dream of one day sailing this tub back to sea.
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Kirby Tugs (formerly K-Sea):
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This is Ballard. Ballard was once a working man’s town but is almost completely yuppified now. Other than a little industrial area and some working waterfront it’s all shops, condos, coffee, bars and thick black frames glasses.

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The Stabbert’s built a marina for yachts with condos above:
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Starting to see the Ballard Bridge in the distance:
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Just before going under the Ballard Bridge, Fisherman’s Terminal is on the right:
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Just after the Ballard Bridge on the right hand side of the channel is Coastal Transportation:
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On the left side is the Bold. Another ship that rarely moves. If it does, it’s just to a new berth.
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Then you come to Trident Seafood’s yard on the left and Ocean Beauty Seafood’s on the right:
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Redden Marine Supply is next on the right:
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Foss Shipyard is next on the right:
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A few more fish boats on the left and then….
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Western Towboat’s Yard is on the left. Their tugs always stand out in yellow and blue!
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Just after Western Towboat is Kvichack (pronounced V-Jack). Builders of aluminum vessels:
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Then some more small boats on the right and Lakeside (Sand & Gravel) on the left:
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Turn around and look where we just came through:
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Then you enter the Fremont Cut. The area is lined with trees and bike / walking paths on both sides. Many large tech firms are on the left side and Seattle Pacific University is on the right. At the end of the cut is the Fremont Bridge (short) followed by the Aurora Bridge (tall):
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After going under the Aurora Bridge, you start to enter Lake Union. Once in Lake Union you will see the big grassy hill on the left called Gasworks Park. This is where Seattle’s 4th of July Fireworks are launched each year. It just was redone and new grass seeded. On the right as you enter into Lake Union you will see downtown Seattle.
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There is Fremont Tug on the left:
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As you round the end of Gasworks Park at the North end of Lake Union you start to see the Interstate 5 bridge:
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A dry rack for ski boats. This isn’t all that old. It is soon to be torn down so that new condos can be built. The working waterfront is disappearing.
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Just before going under I-5 there is an Ivar’s Salmon House on the left. Keep Clam!
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Just as you go under the I-5 bridge (tall) you make a sharp right and pass under the University Bridge (short) and enter Portage Bay. On the left side of Portage Bay is the University Of Washington (where my other ship, the Thomas G. Thompson is berthed) on the right are a bunch of houseboats. At the SE end is the Seattle yacht Club:
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This transit ended for me at the U of W dock. If you were continue just around a slight left turn and go through one more cut, you’d pop out into Lake Washington right near the Husky Stadium. The transit from the Locks to the U of W takes about 45 minutes.

The Western Flyer a.k.a F/V Gemini

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The Western Fyer / FV Gemini just after being raised in the fall of 2012

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Here she is as of March 3, 2013

The wreck of the Fishing Vessel Gemini in Swinomish Channel (A narrow channel near Anacortes, WA connecting Skagit Bay in the South to Padilla Bay in the North) has been identified as the Western Flyer. The Western Flyer has a long a storied past, most significatly, she was chartered in 1940 by author John Stienbeck for an extended trip to the Sea of Cortez. From this trip, Stienbeck authored “The Log of The Sea of Cortez”.

Stienbeck’s 1940 Trip Through The Sea Of Cortez:
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This trip was just a few years after he wrote “Grapes of Wrath” and “Of Mice And Men”. Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

The Western Flyer later was used a king crab boat out of Dutch Harbor, Alsaka with a very young deckhand from Norway aboard as cook / deckhand named Sverre Hansen, father of Deadliest Catch Stars Sig and Edgar Hansen.

The Western Flyer had been sitting along side the Swinomish Channel for several years and everytime I passed her, I thought that it was a old tribal derelict vessel. It is amazing to read the stories of some of these old girls and the adventures they have been part of. She first sank in the fall of 2012 as noted in the link below, but she also sank a second time earlier this year. A friend of mine recently snapped the photo above on March 3rd.

To read more if this vessel’s history, please follow this link:
The Western Flyer

1927 Historic Seattle Fireboat, Alki, Up For Auction

1927 Fireboat "ALKI"

1927 Fireboat “ALKI”

Here is your chance to buy a fire boat.  Currently selling through seattle auction company Bidadoo on ebay.

Here are some details:

You are bidding on the City of Seattle’s Historic Fireboat Alki.

This boat has a long history with the City of Seattle. Built in 1927 in Oakland, CA, the Alki was Seattle’s third fireboat, and was originally gasoline powered. At that time, it was dubbed “The world’s largest fireboat” and “The most powerful firefighting vessel of its kind”. In 1947 it was repowered with two GM 500 HP supercharged diesel engines that remain today. When it was repowered, the original pump capacity was increased from 12,000 GPM to 16,200 GPM.

It currently acts in a reserve firefighting role for the City. Due to its large pumping capacity, the Alki can also provide fresh water to the City in the event of major disaster, as well as act as a floating fuel point to resupply land-based emergency apparatus – it carries more than 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

This item is being offered by bidadoo auctions – The largest and most trusted online equipment and industrial auction service in the West. We have two great eBay stores to better serve you. View our construction and transportation equipment auctions for construction machinery, fleet vehicles and heavy equipment. View our industrial, tools and equipment auctions for industrial equipment and tooling, general rental tools, and small equipment.

Overview:

• Vessel Name: Alki
• Official Number: 231095
• Year Built: 1927 (repowered in 1947)
• Gross Tonnage: 196
• Net Tonnage: 133
• Draft: 9 ft
• Length: 123′ 6″
• Beam: 26′
• Height: 27′ 4″

Terms and Conditions:
• It is the intent of the City to pass ownership of the Alki to a responsible party.
• The sale will not be allowed unless insurance coverage is in place and there is reasonable representation from the buyer of legal moorage for the vessel. The objective is the Alki not become an abandoned and derelict vessel, thereby causing a liability for governmental agencies and the environment.
• The Alki is a documented vessel with the U.S. Coast Guard. Documentation of the transfer of ownership to the new owner is a requirement of the terms and conditions of the auction sale. The auction company may assist in that requirement for an additional $400 fee, if needed to complete the transaction.

Specifications:
Boat Specifications
• Fuel Capacity: 8,290 gallons of diesel
• Pumps
◦ (6) Byron Jackson 4-stage centrifugal pumps, powered by GM twin 6-71 diesels, 380 HP, capacity of 16,200 GPM at 120 PSI
◦ (2) Byron Jackson single stage centrifugal pumps, 100 GPM, powered by 20 HP Westinghouse DC motors
• Generators
◦ (1) 45 HP GM 3-71 3 cylinder diesel, driving 20 kW generator
◦ (1) 128 HP GM 6-71 6 cylinder diesel, driving 60 kW generator
• Propulsion
◦ (2) 500 HP GM 8 cylinder supercharged diesels
◦ (2) Propellers, 48″ diameter
◦ (4) Underwater maneuvering jets/thrusters
• Electronics
◦ (1) Furuno primary radar (color display)
◦ (1) Furuno secondary radar (monochrome display)
◦ (1) VHF radio, Depth sounder
• Hull Type: Riveted steel plate

Firefighting Equipment
• (8) Monitors
◦ (1) Pilot House monitor with 6-1/2″ barrel w/3″ & 3-1/2″ tips
◦ (6) Trunk deck monitors w 2″ to 3″ tips
◦ (1) Stern monitor
• (16) 3-1/2″ deck hose ports
• (1) Under dock magnum size fog nozzle rated at 2,500 GPM

Resources:

For more information on this unit including full specifications, view the specification sheet

Condition:

• The vessel is being sold “as is”
• Vessel and equipment maintained in ready reserve fire fighting capacity and is operational
• Regular periodic inspection and maintenance performed, last haul out was performed roughly two years ago
• See video for engine and pump operation demonstration

Inspections and Previews:

Results of the last inspection can be made available for qualified bidders by addressing bidadoo. Further inspections of the vessel prior to close of the sale may be available by special request and appointment, but must be approved and scheduled by the auction company and the fire department. Access to the vessel without qualifications will not be available. The auction company will make all attempts at auction close to transfer and impart operating history and operational instructions to the new buyer that are available. Log books of the vessel that exist will be included and transferred to the new owner.

We encourage you to bid to own a piece of Seattle’s heritage. Questions can be directed to bidadoo at 206-442-9000 or the “ask a question” eBay feature.

Items Not Included in Sale:

• Under canopy cover on the deck are AFFF foam pumps and tanks. They will be removed upon close of the auction.
• Any specialized or personal firefighting equipment present in the photos will not be included in the sale, such as air tanks, turnout gear, specialized nozzles and hoses.
• Firefighting communication radios will not be included and will be removed prior to close of the sale.
• Navigation instrumentation shown will be included.
• Spare parts specialized to the maintenance and operation of the Alki on board the boat will be included as part of the sale.

Note:
• If the reserve price of this auction is not met, the vessel will be auctioned at no reserve on Thursday March 14th, 2013.