Pacific Graveyard Week 2009

The Admiral Benson, just one of the many vicitims of the Pacific Graveyard.

The Admiral Benson, just one of the many vicitims of the Pacific Graveyard.

Re-printed from the Daily Astorian’s Coast Weekend website:
“Cape Disappointment State Park and the Columbia River Maritime Museum will celebrate “Graveyard of the Pacific” Weekend Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and 25, at locations throughout the Columbia-Pacific area. Activities include a sea shanty camp, maritime programs, maritime music, ranger talks and exhibits”
‘Graveyard of the Pacific’
Sea Shanty Camp of the Pacific
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24

An Evening of Maritime Music
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24

Both at Fort Columbia State Park, U.S. Highway 101, Chinook Wash.

Both free

” The Archaeology of Shipwrecks”

2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24

Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria

Free for museum members and free with paid admission for nonmembers

Bill Hanable Author Appearance

1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Cape Disappointment State Park, Robert Gray Drive, Ilwaco, Wash.

Center admission $5 adults, $2.50 ages 7 to 17 and free for ages 6 and younger

A link to the Coast Weekend article

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fishing boats at dry dock – work wanted

The F/V Ballad at dry dock in Astoria in 2006

This crab boat also fishes in Alaska longlining for Halibut and Black Cod her hull is aluminum and she features twin propellers

Unwieldy-looking out of water, this old tuna boat waits for paint
Unwieldy-looking out of water, silhouetted against a Springtime sky, this old tuna boat waits hopefully for paint

Boats of all kinds:
In dry dock, stored for the Winter, for repair and restoration, or for good:

Another side of the tuna troller - fish out of water

Another side of the tuna troller - a fish out of water

Here, out of the water, surrounded by pavement, they appear as monuments to their trade, sentinels of countless storms of the Pacific Graveyard, and showing the effects of work and weather.

The Raven rests in dry dock a veteran survivor of the Pacific Graveyard?

The Raven rests in dry dock, a veteran survivor of the Pacific Graveyard?

Slated for demolition and disposal, this old hull sits waiting

Slated for demolition and disposal, this old hull waits. A sleek, newer version can be seen in the background.

Some of these may have been salvaged, the remnants of a disaster awaiting disposal.

The ones that didn’t make it won’t be found here…

Gillnetter, troller and charter sit side by side out of the water and in storage

Gillnetter, troller and charter sit side by side out of the water and in storage

…instead swallowed by the surf and consumed by the elements.

A sailboat hull sits up on blocks, the Astoria-Megler bridge is backdrop

A sailboat hull sits up on blocks, the Astoria-Megler bridge is backdrop

A fiberglass crabber's name says it all

This fiberglass crabbers name says it all

A diminutive gillnetter

A diminutive Columbia River gillnetter

The Raven, a wooden fishing vessel, sits approximating her water-borne stance on blocks, the car in the background gives a little perspective for size

The Raven, a wooden fishing vessel, sits approximating her water-borne stance, the car in the background gives a little perspective for size

The Columbia River Gillnetter

We have a little press courtesy of the CRFPU (Columbia River Fishermen’s Protective Union) for our lost fishing vessel list which is featured on Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard.
The Winter 2009 issue has nearly a page on the chart!

NW Limited...History in Vogue has the newest most complete shipwreck chart of the Columbia River Oregon and Washington coast

To have your issue mailed, subscribe or for other questions call 503-325-2702
For more information about the sunken ship chart, call 503-338-6056 or email

Conquering the (Columbia) River

Pacific Graveyard Week is happening now, and “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” is part of

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard  $500 as shown

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard $500 as shown

the happenings.
Bill has loaned the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park a sunken ship chart to be hung in the “Conquering the River” exhibit where there are historic artifacts from the area’s wrecks displayed in rooms overlooking the Pacific Graveyard itself.

Other events throughout the region include tours of North Head Lighthouse in addition to the exhibit at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center which will run through December at Cape D.

Ft. Columbia State Park is hosting a sea shanty camp on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ft. Stevens State Park in Oregon is hosting free, ranger-led talks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the wreck of the Peter Iredale.  The Iredale wrecked Oct. 25, 1906.

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria  will host “An evening of Maritime Music,” featuring the instructors of the “Sea Shanty Camp of the Columbia,” at 7-9 p.m. Saturday. Admission for this event is free.

NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Dead Reckoning slideshow
Tours, displays reveal dramatic “Graveyard.”
Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment
Columbia River Maritime Museum

USCG Pterodactyls come to see the Graveyard

(reposted from The Daily Astorian’s website):
Astoria hosts Coast Guard’s Pterodactyl Roost
Annual meeting brings pilots and other flight-crew members to view the Graveyard of the Pacific

The Daily Astorian

About 200 U.S. Coast Guard aviators descended on Astoria as the annual Pterodactyl Roost began Thursday.

The annual meeting of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, a fraternal organization also known as Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, brings together pilots and other flight-crew members for four days of sight-seeing at the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will also attend part of the event. Second in command in the Coast Guard, Crea is the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. military.

Coast Guard Group Astoria competed against Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii for the opportunity to play host to this year’s Roost, said Lt. Adam Davenport, an Astoria pilot.

“We sold the Pterodactyls on Astoria by showcasing its scenery, charm and high probability of breathtaking search and rescue,” he said, noting Coast Guard members cross the country to train in the rough waters at Ilwaco, Wash.’s National Motor Lifeboat School and at Astoria’s Advanced Helicopter Rescue School. “We are a destination for SAR training and experience for the entire Coast Guard, both afloat and air assets.”

Those attending the Roost will visit historic sites such as Fort Clatsop and the Doughboy Monument and filming locations from the “Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” movies, sample Oregon seafood and wine and explore Washington’s North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment, overlooking the treacherous Columbia River bar.

They’ll also get to check out some of the Coast Guard’s newest and recently updated aircraft: the new MH-60T Thunderhawk helicopter, the HC-144 Casa search plane, an MH-65 helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, Calif., and one of Air Station Astoria’s three HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

The event was coordinated by a committee of Coast Guard Lt. Rob Potter, Lt. Brooks Crawford, Rear Adm. Ed Nelson, Capt. Rod Leland, Cmdr. Ron Larsen and Cmdr. Malcolm Smith under the direction of Capt. Peter Troedsson, Coast Guard Group Astoria’s commander. It ends Sunday with a business meeting.

Davenport said the organization offers numerous benefits for members, mainly by helping them stay connected with Coast Guard aviation, enjoy camaraderie of former and current colleagues, network for future jobs “and promote recognition and historical preservation of all things Coast Guard aviation.”

All 19 pilots at Air Station Astoria have been members at some point. “We get invited to join upon receiving our wings,” Davenport said.

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard at NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Article at Daily Astorian

Mayday; May 3, 1934

What does may day mean to you?
The term “Mayday” as a distress signal originated in 1923.
May Day the holiday is celebrated May 1st, for varying reasons.
In some cultures, it is a celebration of Spring and the coming Summer, times when the elements are less threatening.
Not always so, as proven by these excerpts from “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” shipwreck chart by Bill Brooks of NW Limited…History in VogueTM:
“Tokuyo Maru -5/3/1921- Steamer: Unknown fire 60 miles SW of Columbia river; total loss – 8 die”
“Childar -5/3/1934- Norwegian MS: After a remarkable refloat on north Peacock Spit 4 still drown ”
MS Childar wrecked on Peacock Spit in 1934
MS Childar as she appeared in 1934, photo by Marty Bollinger, used by permission
A southwesterly gale drove the 377′ ship onto the treacherous spit, a grim reminder that even in the first days of May, the Pacific Graveyard could turn deadly.
If the MS Childar used a “may day” to call attention to her situation, it did not prevent the loss of four lives on that blustery May day.

As a side note, the wrecked MS Childar was towed to Vancouver and subsequently rebuilt as the Aakre (click for image), and later as the Sovietskaya Latvia (click for image), which was one of five ships used by Stalin’s KGB to move prisoners to the Kolyma Gulag, only accessible by sea. Many prisoners died en route, as conditions were horrible.
“Sovietskaya Latvia was deleted from register in 1967.” (from and thank you to: Norwegian Merchant Fleet 1939-1945)
To purchase a copy of NW Limited’s shipwreck chart, please call 503-338-6056 or email

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart

The “Pacific Graveyard” has been claiming victims ever since man endeavored to set sail over these treacherous waters. 
Ships, boats, men and cargo have been lost over centuries.
Bill Brooks spent the better part of four years researching this chart, and fine-tuning every aspect. 
There were literally oceans of material to sort through and condense into what you see before you, “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard.” 
Dead Reckoning is a gathering of unprecedented proportions, a gift of local maritime history.

Here is a preview  (click for slideshow and to hear the radio ad currently running) of what you’ll receive if you purchase one for yourself (click on the image and you’ll be able to almost read the text and get a better idea of the infinite detail in these handsome lithographs):

Framed version #3 of 500  “Framed tube” $225 Lithograph-$50

Much of this region’s history revolves around the sea.
Even before Lewis & Clark’s arrival, there are records of shipwrecks, and of their mysterious circumstances; tales of treasure, heroic survival and tragic losses.
Within this one document you will find the stories of hundreds of Oregon and Washington shipwrecks.
Enough to whet your intellectual appetite, and quench your thirst for American history as well as staunch your cravings for a visual feast for they are truly a work of art.

Available now through NW Limited…History in VogueTM
call 503-338-6056 

Wreck of the Lupatia – Jan. 3, 1881

An excerpt from NW Limited’s ‘Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard’ chart reads:
“Lupatia -1/3/1881- British bark: A south-easterly gale throws Lupatia onto Tillamook reef; a dog survives -16 dead”

One can imagine her final hours. A bleak, January night with the wind and surf shattering her against the rocks mere weeks before the Tillamook Lighthouse, a/k/a “Terrible Tilly” was to be lit.
The crew working on construction of that lighthouse saw Lupatia’s running lights as she approached.  In the near-miss incident,  they could hear Lupatia’s crew shouting orders of “Hard apart!” as they scrambled to keep her off the rock which so desperately needed a light as warning. 
 The construction crew kindled fires, and used lanterns to try and assist the captain as he navigated the rock-strewn reef.   Narrowly missing the rock itself, she disappeared into the darkness.
Lupatia’s debris littered the rocks below the nearly complete lighthouse the following morning.  16 lives lost…
 Would her fate have been the same had her captain had that light to use as guide?
 Unlike the Peter Iredale, or the George L. Olson, nothing remains of the Lupatia, no structure to climb and explore, no resting place to visit.
NW Limited’s historic achievement of the most detailed and complete shipwreck chart to date, immortalizes her.
The lithograph alone is a great place to start when looking for shipwreck history, but the framed and matted version  (left) is an adventure of its own with its photographs of shipwrecks, United States Coast Guard insignia and USPS stamp, the lost fishing vessels and more, all displayed within a high-quality, hand-finished frame.

Each chart is custom-built by Bill Brooks of NW Limited in Astoria, Oregon and no two will be exactly alike.
While you can’t take home the George L. Olson,
or the bowsprit of the Peter Iredale, you can
have “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard,” your own magnificent gathering of maritime history in the Pacific Northwest. or 503-338-8215

Fishing for words?

If you’re in town for the 11th annual Fisher Poet’s Gathering, you might come on up to NW Limited…History in VogueTM and have a look at our newest offering of Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, featuring a list of the lost fishing vessels from the region. We are just two minutes from downtown on the hillside overlooking the Columbia River. Call for your appointment: 503-338-6056
The commercial fishing industry is a dangerous one, and while many of the boats on the list went down without a life lost (and often thanks to the heroic United States Coast Guard), there will always be those vessel names associated with the sudden loss of peers.
The list of fishing vessels is featured on handmade paper, and printed using an antique letter press; giving a tactile depth to the dates and the names which are so evocative of a way of life on the edge.
This is just one aspect of this magnificent gathering of maritime history, one which encompasses the lives of those we lost while working on the sea, and the memories we all share as part of this community. 
The list of lost vessels in itself speaks volumes of the ultimate price paid for the living made on the sea.  Where words fail, all that is needed are the dates and the names…most of us know the rest.
Custom tributes within this run of 500 matted, framed charts are more than welcome, since each framed chart is hand-built and assembled right here in Astoria, Oregon.
Call or email Bill to see how we can immortalize your memories. 503-338-6056

Shipwreck Discoveries Continue to Intrigue Beachcombers…

Shipwrecks as history are in vogue, for they are in the news frequently of late. 
Public interest is obvious in the flocks of visitors to see the mystery shipwreck which recently appeared in the Coos Bay area.
  More previously-lost bits of ships are turning up. The unprecedented churning of December’s big storms may be partly to blame.

 In December 2007, a partially-burned shipwreck piece washed ashore near Ocean Shores, Washington.  No identity has been determined for that wreck.  Could it be a vessel previously unidentified, or is it a part of a known shipwreck?

 At left,  one of many featured photos from the framed, matted version of Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, depicting the Frank W. Howe, which ran aground on North Head.  Two lives were lost as well as the ship and cargo of lumber.

On Presidents Day, two cannons were discovered near Arch Cape, Oregon.
They are believed to be from the USS Shark, a war ship/survey schooner which attempted to cross the Columbia River bar in 1846, and sank there.
The ship is listed in her rightful place on Dead
Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard
which is the most detailed, most beautiful shipwreck chart created to date by Bill Brooks of NW Limited…History in VogueTM.

Bill’s contribution to local history, as well as local culture are commendable for the sheer volume of information available here. 
It must be seen to be believed!

(detail below of the mouth of the river portion of Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, showing the USS Shark among the multitude of others)

She may have been wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia, but where the USS Shark’s cannons ended up were a secret which the elements chose now to reveal….
or is it the beginning of another saga, the story of another shipwreck altogether?

The discoveries of these wrecks and their wreckage are significant in that these events are the story of all of us, of communities, places and people.  They are a part of our past, present and future.  History. In Vogue!
This quote from the the Oregonian Oregon Blog Live site illustrates well the concept of how shipwrecks have far-reaching effects:
“After it wrecked, part of the ship’s wreckage came ashore near Hug Point. A trio of carronades was among the wreckage. At the time, a Navy sailor was sent to recover the wreckage but he was able to reclaim only one of the cannons. He moved it to higher ground, but it eventually was covered in sand and disappeared until 1898 when it washed ashore. That cannon later became the namesake of Cannon Beach. ”
Archaeologists are requesting that visitors leave the relics where they lie, and not disturb them so that they can better determine their origin. You can, however, have your very own shipwreck chart, which is even better with all the “extras” you will receive in the framed version. (click this link for a preview of this amazing piece of history)
$50 for the lithograph in a tube, and $500 for the framed, matted, intensively detailed version.  There will be 500 of each available. 
Call 503-338-6056 or email  to find out more.

KGW News: Hands off historic cannons near Cannon Beach, archeologists say
OPB News: Beachcombers Find Cannons on Oregon Beach
Pair of Cannons Found on Oregon Coast Could Be From 1846 Ship
Mystery Ship Revealed in Deep Sand Near Coos Bay, OR