Tag Archives: Port Townsend

Port Townsend: Haven Boatworks expands their wake

The team of shipwrights at Haven work on all types of boats, from upkeep on commercial fishing boats to repairs on yachts and wooden sail boats. At any given time, they may have more than a dozen boats in the yard. They stay busy from mostly word-of-mouth referrals from delighted customers. Blaise Holly says that whether commercial or private, captains have a relationship with their vessels. For commercial owners a boat is their livelihood where they spend the bulk of their time. Every year or two most boats need some type of routine maintenance, like cleaning off buildup of seaweed and barnacles from the hull photos, >click to read< 15:01

Western Flyer sails again

The Western Flyer left for Seattle after seven years of intense restoration and rebuilding in Port Townsend, but she will make a detour on the way to her final destination for one last visit to the town that returned her to the ocean. The boat, known most famously as the vessel writer John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts chartered for a research trip to the Sea of Cortez in 1940, had been in Port Townsend undergoing restoration since 2015. On Wednesday, the Western Flyer embarked on stage two of its rehab when it was towed to Snow & Company boat builders in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. There, over the course of the next four or five months, it’ll get a new engine, rigging, hydraulics and mechanical systems. >click to read< 12:14

A piece of western Washington literary history heads back to sea

The boat John Steinbeck was on while writing The Log from the Sea of Cortez is embarking on a new chapter. The Western Flyer has been being refurbished in Port Townsend for the past nine years. Now, the 85-year-old boat is launching into Puget Sound once again. The painstaking voyage back to the sea begins with a bulldozer noisily hauling the 77-foot seiner out of drydock, inch by inch. It’s part of a journey Rom Welborn has been on since he first learned about the boat when writing a high school paper. “It changed my life and it still feels like it’s changing my life,” he said. >Video, click to read/watch< 11:27

Alaska Commercial Fisherman Paul Richard Harder has passed away

Paul Richard Harder died unexpectedly at home in Hawai’i on Dec. 13, 2021 of a heart attack. Paul was born Aug. 22, 1951, in Seattle to Ole and Mary Harder. Paul started commercial fishing in Alaska with his father at 12; they were shipwrecked four days his first season but that didn’t deter him. He was a successful fisherman throughout Alaska. One of his Kodiak seining highlights was making a set of more than 40,000 pounds of red salmon; he had to radio his dad to load both of their boats. Paul’s big smile and sense of humor will be greatly missed. Paul’s Celebration of Life is deferred to a later date. >click to read< 21:15

Western Flyer takes another step in restoration

The first phase of restoring the Western Flyer fishing boat is nearing completion in Port Townsend, Washington, The 76-foot purse seiner was chartered by author John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts for a biological collecting trip to the Sea of Cortez in 1940. The nonprofit Western Flyer Foundation plans to base the boat in Monterey and use it as a floating classroom for scientific studies. On Dec. 4 the cabin, or wheelhouse, of the Western Flyer was reattached. >click to read< ,,, From 2013, John Steinbeck boat rusts in Anacortes – Time has been less kind to the Western Flyer. The battered old tub, which has been called one of the most famous boats in American nonfiction, has sunk twice in the past six months and was still underwater off a dock in Anacortes as of two weeks ago. >click to read< For everything in between, >click here< 14:47

Tough times felt by renowned Port Townsend lutefisk business

Scott Kimmel, owner of Port Townsend’s New Day Fisheries, says COVID-19 has caused his lutefisk operation to take a nosedive. But the pandemic isn’t solely to blame for a downward trend,,, Lutefisk is dried cod that has been rehydrated in a lye solution before being boiled or baked,, It is perhaps more-aptly described as a traditional Scandinavian dish which either strikes mortal fear into the hearts of those who’ve known it,,, It just depends on who you ask. But as Kimmel’s lutefisk sales show, most folks these days probably fall into that former category. “Our sales have been declining for years and years just because our customers have been passing away and the younger generation’s not picking up the slack,” Kimmel said. “So, it’s a dying business, is what that is. >click to read<13:19

Summer season a mixed bag for Port Townsend fishermen

With the summer season now well astern, many vessels of the Port Townsend fishing fleet have returned to Boat Haven to undergo routine maintenance and repairs. Joel Kawahara stayed in Washington waters for the summer season, aboard his 42-foot salmon troller, Karolee, based out of Quilcene. Jonathan Moore and his family recently returned to Port Townsend along with their 46-foot Little Hoquiam troller, Ocean Belle, following the close of the summer troll season in Alaska. Mike Carr and his 32-foot gillnetter Miss Melito also just hauled out in Port Townsend,,, >click to read< 10:42

Working Waterfront: Fifth-generation fisherman counts on sixth generation to take his place

Greg Veitenhans was destined to be a fisherman. His father fished, as did his father, going back five generations. And growing up in Gig Harbor, Veitenhans was surrounded by fishermen. “Back then everybody fished,” “When I was a kid that’s what you did; either you fished or you were too young to fish or you were too old to fish.”,,, He’s also fished up and down the West Coast for salmon, halibut, sardines, and squid, among other fish. Alaska has always been the go-to, however. “You can go to Alaska broke and you know you’re gonna come back with something. But you go to California broke, you may never come back; you may not have enough to even get home on,” Henry, now 20, first accompanied his father to Alaska at age 8, and has done so every summer since. Joey, now 18, began fishing at 10.  At first, the Veitenhans boys were under the impression that they’d be going off for a fun family vacation with their dad, before realizing that it entailed hard work in the wet, cold Alaska weather. Excellent story!!  >click to read< 15:42

Port Townsend: Captain Kat Murphy fishes to feed her community

She likens it to “chasing wild herds of buffalo.” On her 38-foot wooden power troller, “Grace,” and with one other crewmember, Murphy spends her days trolling for salmon—a fishing method that leads her through sparkling waters buffeted by Alaska’s rocky coastlines and small towns. “We’re the wandering trollers,” Murphy said. “Because of our gear type, we’re not limited to these tiny areas.” Off the coast of Baranof or Kruzof or Coronation islands, in the offshore waters of Southeast Alaska, power trollers like Murphy’s “Grace” run high-tension wires weighted with lead balls off hydraulic gurdies from various locations on their boats. The four lines on her boat are interspersed with glittering lures and hooks to attract the wild salmon. >click to read< 10:30

The Fishing Fleet: An invisible cornerstone of our economy

Hundreds of people who drive by on their way to and from wherever probably don’t notice, but you might, or at least you could. Look seaward when you pass Safeway and you’ll see a boatyard story that goes beyond the wooden boat identity Port Townsend is famous for. Below the tall masts of schooners and square riggers are the troll poles, gurdies and net rollers of the fish boats that call on Port Townsend for their winter’s maintenance. Some of their owners live here, and the vessels’ names are better known (Chichagof, Duna, Cape Cleare). Many come from distant ports, employing and trusting our community to keep their boats afloat. The marine trades constitute the third-largest employer in the county. This is big business for us. Tim Hoffman of Lowest Hadlock Shipwrights put this way: “Ninety percent of my business is fish boats, and they really don’t get the credit they deserve for what they’ve brought to this place, and I’m talking since the mid-’70s.” click here to read the story 08:51

The Western Flyer is about to be uncloaked – getting $2 million renovation in Port Townsend

Three months after the beginning of a $2 million renovation to transform the battered hulk of a boat once used by author John Steinbeck into a floating science center, those working on the project are lifting the shroud of secrecy and allowing the public to look but not touch.  “There have been no surprises on this project so far,” said Shipwrights Co-op member Chris Chase, who with Tim Lee is overseeing renovation expected to take 2½ years. “The biggest surprise is the level of public interest,” he said. Read the rest here 11:35

The past-due rent of wrath: Boat linked to John Steinbeck becomes $7,978 Port of Port Townsend liability

As of Friday, Gerry Kehoe, the owner of the Western Flyer — which was brought into the Boat Haven covered in mud and barnacles earlier this summer — owed the Port of Port Townsend $7,877.73 in fees and has not responded to any communications about the bill, according to port executive assistant Jean French. Kehoe, a businessman and developer in Steinbeck’s old stomping ground of Salinas, Calif., purchased the Western Flyer in 2010 with the intention of using it as a tourist attraction. more@peninsuladailynews  09:31

WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL — The historic schooner Adventuress ‘belle of ball’

PORT TOWNSEND — The centennial celebration of the Adventuress has turned the historic schooner into a centerpiece of this year’s Wooden Boat Festival. One hundred is a big number for the Adventuress. Not only is it 100 years old, but it also is a little more than 100 feet long and weighs 100 tons. The schooner as built in East Boothbay, Maine, in 1913 for John Borden, who wanted to sail it to Alaska. A year later, it was sold to the Port of San Francisco as a pilot ship. more@peninsuladailynews  15:13

WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL — Boats, music, sailing adventures in Port Townsend this weekend

Some 300 wooden boats are expected at the three-day festival that begins today at the Point Hudson Marina Festival Grounds at the end of Water Street. Schedule of events more@peninsuladailynews  14:38