DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Another log ship due in Port Angeles

WITH THE ATTENTION paid to Saturday’s berthing of the Holland America Lines cruise ship Statendam, many folks have overlooked today’s mooring of the POS Leader.

The Leader, a 574-foot log ship will moor to Port of Port Angeles Terminal 1 North, from where the Statendam pulled out last night.

She is the third log ship in the past two months to come to Port Angeles Harbor to be loaded with timber — much of which was harvested from Merrill and Ring land holdings in Western Washington.

A number of other suppliers also transported their logs by land and sea to Port Angeles, which will also became part of the cargo that is bound for South Korea.

POS Leader left Melbourne, Australia, at the beginning of May and arrived in Port Alberni, B.C., on May 11.

There, she was loaded with the better part of 2 million board feet of logs.

Loading in Port Angeles will begin Monday, and it will take three to four days to top off her cargo, which will ultimately be about 4 million board feet.

In for repairs

Aleutian Isle, a 58 foot seiner that hails from Anacortes, is in the Commander building at Platypus Marine.

Capt. Charlie Crane, director of sales and marketing, said personnel will sandblast the steel boat and give her a new coat of paint.

Voshte Lynn, also a 58-foot seiner, was hauled out of the water last week.

She hails from Bellingham and will have repairs made to her steel hull as well as a new coat of bottom paint.

Charlie said they now have so many projects going that they have temporarily run out of the blocking material used to stabilize boats when they are on the hard — a nice problem to have.

Angela, a West Bay SonShip 58, is sitting in the yard at Platypus Marine.

She was hauled out last week after limping down to Port Angeles from Active Pass — the narrow passage separating Mayne Island and Galiano Island in British Columbia — after hitting a submerged reef.

Her props will have to be replaced and new cutlass bearings installed.

Personnel will attempt to straighten the shafts, and her engines need to be aligned.

True Blue, an 87-foot wooden yacht, is in Platypus’ Commander building as well.

Personnel scraped the old paint off the hull from the waterline to the cap rail and removed all the paint from the Portuguese walkway surrounding the wheelhouse.

After a sufficient amount of time has passed to allow for the drying of the exposed wood, new paint will be applied.

True Blue was built in 1942 by Wheeler Shipyards in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Two hundred thirty of these wooden vessels were commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard operating under the U.S. Navy during World War II for antisubmarine patrol, coastal convoy escort and search and rescue along the Eastern Seaboard and Cuba.

Prior to the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, U.S. Fleet Adm. Ernest King — namesake for the ship USS King (DLG-10) which I served on for 2 ½ years — ordered the Coast Guard to deploy 60 of these boats to the United Kingdom to aid the Allied invasion fleet.

Each boat was transported piggy-back on freighters to Britain, where they were offloaded, formed into Rescue Flotilla One based at Poole, England, and modified for service as rescue craft.

Crews stripped the armaments and excess gear from the decks.

To enable soaked and weary survivors to climb on board, they rigged scramble nets fore and aft on both sides of the rescue boats and installed block and tackle on the iron davits to lift the wounded from the sea.

The boats had one built-in danger that could not be corrected: Because they were powered by gasoline engines, they had to carry several thousand gallons of fuel in tanks that were located amidships.

Since neither the fuel tanks nor the boat’s hull could stop even a 30-caliber bullet, they earned the nickname Matchbox Fleet because one incendiary round could easily turn it into a fireball.

The Matchbox Fleet saved more than 400 men on D-Day alone, and by the time the unit was decommissioned in December 1944, they had saved 1,438 souls.

Today it’s a yacht

True Blue was rebuilt in 1987 to a luxury yacht by the Long Beach (Calif.) Naval Shipyard and refit in 2005 as a high-end Alaska charter yacht.

Clint Cropper and Scott May own True Blue — Clint is the captain and Scott serves as first mate.

The yacht is fitted with three staterooms for up to six guests and is staffed with a private chef and a naturalist.

Six charters in Alaska are scheduled this year from Sitka to Juneau and alternately from Juneau to Sitka during the summer months.

Eight day cruises generally consist of about 6 hours spent under way and evenings in quiet coves and bays.

Along the way, guests enjoy the scenic bounty of Alaska and its wildlife, fishing for supper, kayaking and whale watching.

If you would like to consider booking an excursion with Clint and Scott, visit their website at www.yachttrueblue.com.

Adriatic trip

During a visit last week with Chuck Faires, the harbormaster at Port Angeles Boat Haven, he and I reprised our conversation of the previous week about the recent cruise he and his wife, Linda, took in the Adriatic Sea.

Chuck said he received a chilly reception from the captain of the cruise ship, Silver Wind, when he was introduced as the harbormaster in Port Angeles, Washington.

Apparently the ship’s captain had run afoul of unscrupulous harbormasters who demanded bribes from him for favorable moorage and to keep voyages on schedule.

The captain erroneously lumped in Port Angeles’ estimable harbormaster with that unprincipled lot.

Barging in

Sixty Five Roses, a 403-foot tank barge, was moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 North for three days last week.

The barge was built by US Barge of Portland, Ore., launched earlier this year.

Chandra “Hollywood” McGoff of Washington Marine Repair, the topside ship repair company at the foot of Cedar Street, said the barge’s owners, Harley Marine, had personnel working with the builder’s representatives on warranty issues.

The barge’s unique name comes from children afflicted with cystic fibrosis.

Harley Franco, who owns Harley Marine Services, has been involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for more than 25 years.

Earlier this year when the barge was christened, he said “65 roses” is what some children with cystic fibrosis call their disease because the words are much easier for them to pronounce.

Singapore trip

Last Sunday, Tesoro Petroleum bunkered Alaskan Navigator, a 941-foot crude oil tanker.

When she left Port Angeles, she headed for Singapore to go into dry dock.

According to Anil Mathur, CEO of Alaska Tanker Co., the U.S. Coast Guard requires vessels of this type to undergo a major inspection of their hull, cargo tanks and transfer systems as well as numerous other aspects of the ship’s navigation and life saving equipment every five years.

Mathur went on to say the process takes 30 to 45 days to complete, then the Navigator will head back to familiar waters to resume her duties transporting crude oil from Valdez, Alaska.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the waterfront.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. E-mail [email protected] or phone him at 360-417-3736.

His column, On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday.

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