DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Classic beauty spruced up in Port Townsend

THE ORION, A 64-foot Sparkman and Stephens yawl, is on the hard at the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-Op, reports Brooks Townes of Port Townsend (who get a big tip of the bosun’s cap for his heads-up).

It is there that Pete Rust and Chris Chase are replacing the deck and reconfiguring below-deck spaces into berthing compartments.

Work should be complete and the yawl back in the water by the middle of April.

Orion is owned by Capt. Kevin Campion, a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest and founder of Deep Green Wilderness, an educational organization that uses the boat as an educational tool to expose students from 14 years to 17 years to the marine and coastal landscapes of the Northwest.

During the summer months, students have an opportunity to spend two weeks aboard the sailing vessel, exploring the San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Gulf Islands.

Each student will design and conduct their own research project, learn traditional sailing and navigational skills and spend time under sail looking for orcas.

There will also be opportunities to moor in remote, out-of-the-way coves to get in some hiking, swimming and beachcombing.

The Orion is also available for private charter in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and coastal British Columbia. One-day cruises can accommodate 25 guests, and cruises for up to a week can be arranged for six guests.

Built as the Edlu

Orion was designed by Olin Stephens and built in 1934 by Henry B. Nevins for Rudolph Schaefer, an East Coast brewer.

The boat was named Edlu, an acronym for his daughters, Edmee and Lucy.

Edlu immediately received international acclaim for her speed and grace of lines by winning the 1934 Bermuda Race, an open ocean race of 635 nautical miles from New London, Conn., to Bermuda.

For much of World War II, the classic wooden boat served in the “Hooligan Navy,” patrolling the East Coast with other yachtsmen in search of German U-boats who sought to sink merchant ships.

By 1958, Edlu was on the West Coast, sailing under the name Wynfred.

In 1961, she hailed from Newport Beach, Calif., under the name Roban when she was sold yet again and moved to San Francisco, where she acquired her present name, Orion.

For more information or to make reservations on this storied vessel, visit www.deepgreenwilderness.com.

Boat Haven work

Wilson Construction of Port Angeles began working at the Port Angeles Boat Haven this week, installing sheet pile on the east side of the Boat Haven where the marine ways once were.

According to the harbormaster, Chuck Faires, the company will make repairs to existing piles and install about 30 feet of new ones.

The job will be completed by Feb. 15 and will create a larger footprint for the local boatyard.

On Thursday, Todd Ritchie, operating the hydraulic crane at the finger pier adjacent to the Boat Haven fuel dock, unloaded tubs of sea cucumbers that had been collected in the waters off Sekiu.

Tri State Seafood of Kent and Orient Seafood of Fife were standing by to receive their share of the roughly 1,800-pound harvest and whisk them off to be processed.

The sea cucumbers will then be shipped to distributors in Korea and China for consumers who consider this treat a delicacy.

Sea cucumbers are related to the same family as sea urchins, starfish and sand dollars.

Divers harvest them from the sandy sea floor into which they burrow for feed. Often referred to as sea slugs, they are harvested in 40 feet to 80 feet of water along our coast up into Alaskan waters.

Pipe repair

Washington Marine Repair, the topside repair company on the Port Angeles waterfront, had a small crew onboard the anchored Alaskan Legend on Thursday, working on a ballast pump pipe.

The crew returned Friday morning and finished the job well in advance of the ship’s departure for Valdez, Alaska, in the early evening.

Before sunrise Saturday, a sister ship, Alaskan Frontier, anchored in Port Angeles Harbor for a short two-day stay.

According to Chandra “Hollywood” McGoff of Washington Marine Repair, two mechanics were sent to board the ship in Long Beach, Calif., on Jan. 23 to fabricate and install CO2 piping as the ship made her way up the West Coast.

Filling up

Tesoro Petroleum in Port Angeles on Tuesday refueled Golden State, a 600-foot petroleum products carrier on her way from Cherry Point to Richmond, Calif.

On Friday, Tesoro refueled American Progress, a 575-foot tank ship, and the 576-foot petroleum products carrier, Overseas Los Angeles.

On Saturday, Tesoro will bunker Magnum Energy, a 623-foot bulk products cargo ship that is flagged in the Marshall Islands, and Stena Conquest, a 590-foot petroleum products tank-ship.

________

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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