Where in Alaska? North, West, South? And what location?
She was a floating cannery in the 70's in Port Lions, Alaska. The cannery burned down in Port Lions in March 1975. Soon thereafter, the village corporation purchased the 149-foot floating processor, Smokwa. Although sold in 1978, the Smokwa processed crab in the area intermittently between 1975 and 1980.
I wonder where she is now, I would like to see her in 'A' fleet, not necessarily BCFerries, but maybe Washington State ferries for it to run with the Rhododendron. Or Blackball line, and then run it Departure Bay to Horseshoe bay to take traffic off it when the route has sailing waits.
The Bainbridge in fact did have sisters. One smaller, the Kitsap and one larger the Vashon. The Kitsap sunk in the Gulf of Alaska and the Vashon sunk off of Hollis in Alaska also. I rode the Vashon once as a kid she was a unique old ferry and I was amazed at her wood car deck. Unfortunatly she was pretty rotten at that time and you couldn't go out on her decks so you could only sit in the passenger cabin. The Smokwa didn't have any sisters that I have heard about.
Post by Retrovision on Sept 26, 2006 12:57:54 GMT -8
I'm at a loss for what vessel was used on the Bowen Island route as run by Black Ball. This brochure/map that I have implies that car/trailer service was available on all routes, including to Bowen Island.
I thought you all might like to see this, even though it is a sad photo. This is from the Summer 1987 Steamboat Bill magazine. The photo was taken by Frank A. Clapp on 27 February 1987.
That's the BCP 30 AKA Jervis Queen AKA Bainbridge heeled over and half sunk. It is in the Winter 1987 Steamboat Bill editon that states that she was broken up on the spot the wreckage being hauled away and burned. Actually, the exact quote is:
"During July, 1987 BCP 30 a. BAINBRIGDE b. JERVIS QUEEN was dismanlted in place with the debris taken away on scows for disposal by burning."
Just acquired this postcard size photo of the "Bainbridge" at Horseshoe Bay circa 1928. It looks much better than the scan shows and I love the guy in the bottom corner, appearing to be hauling his catch!
Neat photo! Um, perhaps 1958 instead of 1928?
Last Edit: Dec 11, 2006 14:20:18 GMT -8 by EGfleet
Not sure I understand, did I do a typo?? (See post above)
Tricky...tricky...that's why I quoted you!
The Bainbridge was a neat little boat...about the bathtub toy look of a ferryboat--square box, round smokestack right up the middle, round portholes on the car deck. It's a pity all three sisters had such sad endings.
First let me apologize for the misinformation I had on my website. It seems that the Smokwa did not burn up. I just came across some documents with the DNR in Alaska regarding Port Lions where she'd been working as a replacement for the cannery that had burned down. She then worked off and on as a floating crab processor between 1975-1980. Buried in an appendix in the document was the fact that the Smokwa was no longer operating in Port Lions but "had been moved to the City of Kodiak."
I've sent an inquiry to the City of Kodiak to see what happened to her after that...this would have likely been in the early 1980's.
I often wondered about this as I was fairly certain the Smokwa was steel making it kind of hard for her to burn up...my profound apologies for the confusion. I try to be as 100% accurate as I can be and some how I slipped up the fact that the cannery had burned down and the Smokwa had been set up to replace it.
When/if the City of Kodiak gets back to me I'll be sure to post the information. Meanwhile I'm off to my website to clean up the mistake.
Ah ha! Someone got back to me from Kodiak today! Here's the story on the end of the Smokwa:
The Smokwa was moved from Port Lions to Kodiak in the early 1980's. The owner was Harold Powell. The vessel was moored in Kodiak just outside the small boat harbor at a dock now occupied by Island Seafoods. My brother worked for Harold on the Smokwa during the summer of 1980.The Smokwa processed fish/ crab in Kodiak for a few years then closed down. The owner died and the boat was a derelict at that point. It eventually got towed back to Port Lions in the late 1980's or early 90's and was moored on the inboard side of their ferry dock. It sat there mothballed for about 2 years, then sunk at the dock. Within about one year, Fred Devine Salvage out of Astoria Oregon was hired to refloat the vessel and dispose of it. After refloating the Smokwa, the vessel "Salvage Chief" towed her to deep water to scuttle her, but on the way she sank on her own and nearly took the Salvage Chief down with her.
I do a lot of diving and salvage work in Kodiak. Harold used to hire me to inspect the Smokwa. Her bottom was so bad in the early 1980's you could poke a hole in her with a small hammer. After the vessel sunk in Port Lions, the marine surveyor hired me to determined the cause. I found a one foot diameter hole in the bottom where the hull just collapsed inward, a bad spot previously identified to the old owner.
That's the rest of the story as I know it.
Lon A. White Deputy Harbormaster City of Kodiak, Alaska
I'm sending a special thank you to Mr. White for giving us the end of the story on the old boat.