DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: 1930s-era wooden vessel well-traveled, at home in Port Angeles
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The Pelican sits in the slings at the Platypus Marine Inc.’s yard on Port Angeles Harbor. — Photo by David G. Sellars/for Peninsula Daily News

By David G. Sellars
PDN Maritime Columnist

A BEAUTY WITH a rich and well-traveled past is on the hard in Platypus Marine Inc.'s yard in Port Angeles.

Platypus Marine is, of course, the full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles.

The beauty is the wood-hulled Pelican, who was getting her AC and DC electrical systems renewed during her six weeks or so out of the water.

Pelican was built for the Bureau of Fisheries in 1930 by Boat Harbor Marine Railway Yard at Newport News, Va.

The vessel was constructed of East Coast longleaf yellow pine on white oak with Douglas fir decking.

For her first few years of service, Pelican assisted in ocean fishery studies off Maine.

By the mid-'30s, Pelican had been refit with fishing gear and hydrographic equipment and was transferred to New Orleans, where she did offshore deepwater hydrographic and biological surveys in the Gulf of Mexico to gain knowledge in shrimp biology for establishing a commercial fishery in the Gulf.

During World War II, Pelican was in the Army and for some time was stationed in Seward, Alaska, where she was used to service the outer coast lookout stations on Montague Island in the Gulf of Alaska, with personnel and supplies.

At the conclusion of the war, she was returned to the Fish and Wildlife Service and based at Juneau, Alaska.

Beginning in 1958 and for 12 years, Pelican was on loan to Washington Department of Fisheries and used by the department to patrol the various fisheries along the state's coastline.

By 1971, Pelican had been returned to the federal government and removed from federal service. She was sold at a sealed-bid auction in Seattle in 1972 to Walt Masland of Port Angeles.

Walt and his charming bride have spent the ensuing decades painstakingly restoring Pelican with such an eye to detail that the classic wooden beauty could no doubt still do a fair day's work for a fair day's wage.

Marina committee forming

The three Port of Port Angeles commissioners have authorized formation of a Port Angeles Marina Advisory Committee.

Purpose of the panel is to provide a forum of open communication between the port commission, management and all classes of users of the marina's facilities for discussion of issues pertaining to safety, moorage rates, revenues, expenses, capital expenditures, marketing and marina promotion, and coordination of special events.

The committee will include representatives from a variety of organizations as well as the commissioners, city staff and PA Marine (harbormaster).

Anyone wishing to be considered for membership on this committee can obtain an application at the port's administration building at 338 W. First St., Port Angeles; on the port's website; or in the harbormaster's office at the Port Angeles Boat Haven.

The length of service and frequency of meetings for committee members has not been finalized.

Monthly meetings for 2-3 hours during normal business hours for up to one year may be the commitment.

Lighthouse is topic

Chad Kaiser will be the featured speaker for Wooden Boat Wednesday this week at the Chandlery in the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend.

Chad is the general manager of the New Dungeness Lighthouse north of Sequim.

The lighthouse is one of the oldest in the Northwest and one of the very few that allow families to be lighthouse keepers for a week.

It has been in continuous operation, providing navigational aids to ships in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, since its completion in 1857.

Chad will discuss the history of the New Dungeness Light Station from then to the present as well as talk about the Dungeness Spit, which is run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wooden Boat Wednesday is a free event that begins promptly at noon and typically lasts for 90 minutes.

Seating is limited and requires advance registration by phoning the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St., Port Townsend, at 360-385-3628, ext. 101.

Or send an email to chandlery@nwmaritime.org.

Port Angeles Harbor watch

Last weekend, the petroleum products barge DBL 55 moored to the Port of Port Angeles' Terminal 1.

According to Chandra “Hollywood” McGoff of Washington Marine Repair, the topside repair company at the foot of Cedar Street, personnel from the barge's company went aboard and made a minor steel repair.

Hollywood went on to say that DBL 77 and her tug Adriatic Sea moored to Terminal 1 on Thursday morning.

Personnel installed a new exhaust pipe on the tug and replaced a machine bushing on the barge.

In between at Terminal 1, the Coast Guard buoy tender Fir tied up Monday and Tuesday.

I understand she was in port to take on stores and to give the crew an opportunity to have liberty call.

The Fir is the last lighthouse tender built specifically for the U.S. Lighthouse Service to resupply lighthouses and lightships, and to service buoys.

The Lighthouse Service became a part of the Coast Guard on July 1, 1939.

The Fir was commissioned as a Coast Guard cutter Oct. 1, 1940.

Monday tesoro petroleum provided bunkers to the Crowley-owned articulated tug and barge Commitment.

On Tuesday, Tesoro Petroleum had its refueling barge alongside Overseas Sifnos, a 589-foot-long petroleum-products carrier that is now on her way to Rosarito, Mexico, and should arrive in time for breakfast Monday.

Tesoro then moved its barge to Overseas Nikiski, a tanker that is 600 feet long.

She is now on her way to South Korea. However, that voyage will be two weeks in the undertaking.

On Wednesday, Tesoro provided bunkers to Bright Stream, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship with roll-on/roll-off capabilities that is currently in Everett.

Then on Friday afternoon, Tesoro refueled Pyxis Theta, flagged in Malta.

She also is a 600-foot-long petroleum-products tanker.

________

David G. Sellars returns today with On the Waterfront after a three-month hiatus.

Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain's mate who enjoys boats and strolling the area waterfronts.

Items and questions involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome.

Email dgsellars@hotmail.com or phone him at 360-808-3202.

Last modified: March 01. 2014 7:12PM
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