Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kalakala's Artifacts Sale

The ferry "Kalakala" was a Pacific Northwest icon. Built originally in 1927 in San Francisco as the "Perlata". The "Perlata" burned in 1933. Purchased by Captain Peabody of the Black Ball Line, the remains were towed to the Lake Washington Shipyard at Kirland for renovation. Many new techniques, such as welding, were used for the first time during the rebuild of the "Kalakala". The "Kalakala" also had a two stroke diesel engine installed that at 3000 hp was the largest ever installed in a ferry. The decision was made to build the super structure in the art-deco streamline appearance. And the overall layout was to be one of luxury and uniqueness In service from 1935-1967, it mainly serviced the Bremerton to Seattle run but was also shifted to the Port Angeles to Victoria BC run for short periods. During its time on Puget Sound, in 1946,  it was installed with the first commercial radar ever licensed. After life as a ferry, "Kalakala" was towed to Alaska and converted to a seafood processor. Eventually it ended up beached in Kodiak. In 1998, a Seattle artist bought "Kalakala" refloated it and managed to get it towed to Seattle. Unfortunately, funding for restoration was never obtained and "Kalakala" fell into a deteriorated state and was condemned and scrapped in early 2015.

Following the scrapping of "Kalakala" by Rhine Demolition, many large pieces were purchased by museums and businesses for display. Smaller pieces were collected and offered to the public for a two day sale on March 13 and 14. I drove down to Parkland early on the 13th. Arriving at 0650 for a 0800 opening, I did not have any problem finding a place to park on the street. Later I found out that when the gate opened, we could park in side the fence near the warehouse. I joined about  a dozen people at the gate. Rumors started  that the sale would actually start at 0700. Sure enough, at 0715, the gates opened and the rush was on to get into the warehouse and grab something. The local news talked about "hundreds" and "scores" of people, but it did not seem to be that many there. Also, there was not all that many pieces being offered for sale. And some pieces were just too big to easily handle. The workers helped load the bigger items. Most of the "artifacts" was just scrap that had no name or tie to really say that it was part of the "Kalakala". The news said that everything was sold out in an hour and the rest of the sale dates cancelled.

I elected to buy a couple of paperweights cut from brass bar stock riveted to copper pieces. Rhine had them polished, stamped them with an image of "Kalakala" and clear coated them. Overall, it was a fun outing and I suppose I picked up some pieces of history.

This is the ferry Kalakala during one of it's runs from Bremerton. It spent most of it's life on the Bremerton/Seattle run. A lot of Shipyard workers rode this ferry to and from work. 
 Lots of covers, some ROG's and big bolts. I missed the valve handwheels, they went fast. You could buy a big rusty bolt for $10.
 Pistons and rods from the auxiliary engine. About $500. 
 These railings were really neat and the price was not bad at $300-500.
 This was just miscellaneous pieces of steel. One guy did find a piece that had either the "Kalakala" name or the hull number engraved.
 This is a main engine piston and connecting rod. I was told that it weighed two tons. It was going for $1500. In the foreground is an engine cover. It was cast with raised text. They only wanted $2500 for it.
 Pistons and connecting rods, some with cylinder liners. These were from the auxiliary engine. 
 This is a crankshaft from probably the auxiliary engine. The main engine crankshaft was 38 feet long and held the record at the time for the longest crankshaft. Comment on the news was that you needed a crane to move it. No kidding!
This is what I bought. They are brass pieces riveted to two copper pieces on the back. The Kalakala image was inked on with a rubber stamp and then clear coated. One of the guys from Rhine Demolition said that it was a splice piece from some trim. With the copper, I wondered if it was from a switch gear. They had a box of these and some smaller paperweights made from brass barstock and half round material. Paperweights are showing up on Ebay already for many times the original price,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Port Madison Jim DePue Memorial Race-WSSA #1-It Does Not Get Better Than This

The Jim DePue Memorial is the first race of the seven race West Sound Sailing Association (WSSA) series. It is also the first race of Pt Madison's eight race Big Boat Series. It is a 16.5NM race run in the waters of Puget Sound, starting at Point Monroe and sponsored by Port Madison yacht club. All week before the race, the predicted wind were reported to be very favorable in the mid teens. Furthermore, as the weekend drew near, the weather forecast started predicting clear sunny skies. The prediction was pretty close as we saw winds at 12-20 knots all day and sunny, cloudless skies.

The winds at the start was blowing out of the northwest. We got a good start in the middle of the line on starboard. We soon tacked to port and our heading was straight toward the weather mark location. As we approached the weather mark position, it was soon apparent that there was no buoy at the weather mark location. The lead boats headed right to where the photographer boat was holding position. Since we were farthest to the left, we lost a lot of ground reaching down too the substitute "mark".

We set the spinnaker on port and with the westerly winds blowing out of Pt Madison, we soon found ourselves in the middle of Puget Sound. One jibe to starboard, and we were headed toward the next mark at West Point. The winds stayed strong and we were sailing at ten knots and more. As we got closer to West Pt, we could see a boat in trouble ahead of us. "Dos", a Sierra 26, broached while jibing and was capsized. The photo boat was standing by and by the time we got there, they had there sails down, the boat righted and the engine started. 

At West Point, the course is a reach across the sound to the red nun buoy off Eagle Harbor. I made the decision to take the spinnaker down and jib reach across the Sound. The two boats ahead reached with their spinnakers and gained on us and one J80 sailed up to us flying there spinnaker. We rounded the buoy in fourth just behind  a larger boat.

We started the beat back to the finish at Pt Monroe. The winds on the beat were 15-18 knots. We had a great beat. We pointed higher and sailed faster than a couple of larger boats behind us and gained on one boat ahead of us. It was a sloppy beat with short chop made for a wet ride. Some waves we sailed over and some we went through. At the finish, we were the third boat to finish. 

This race was scored using Time on Time(TOT) instead of Time on Distance(TOD that was specified in the sailing instructions. As a result we placed 5th in class and overall. TOD would have scored us 3rd.

It was a great day for a race. After the previous week at Toliva Shoal, I did not think it could be any better. But it was!

Thanks to my crew of Jim, Rainer and Tim for working hard and getting us to the finish line.

 Right after the start. The winds were great all day.
Photo: Jan Anderson
 Fun day for sailing.
Photo: Jan Anderson
 The crew of "Dos" working at righting the boat by standing on the keel.
Photo: Jan Anderson
Unfortunate that "Dos" broached and capsized. They were in the lead at the time. Fortunately, no body was hurt and they did get the boat righted.
Photo: Jan Anderson
Our course for the day. We started at Pt Monroe and sailed clockwise around the course.