Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fireboat Duwamish

In 1909, in Richmond Beach Washington, construction started on Seattle's new fireboat. Designed by Seattle architect Eugene L. McAllaster and named the Duwamish, the Richmond Beach Shipbuilding Company equipped her with three American LaFrance steam piston pumps that were rated at a capacity of 3,000 gpm each. This gave the Duwamish a total delivery of 9,000 gpm and when launched, it was the world's most powerful fireboat. Her twin screws were powered by vertical compound marine steam engines with 4 Mosher watertube boilers. This gave her a maximum speed of 10 1/2 knots. The Duwamish was accepted by the fire department in 1910 and went into service while Seattle's first fireboat the Snoqualmie, built after the Great Seattle Fire, was put into dry dock to be converted from coal-burning to oil-burning like the Duwamish. The Snoqualmie returned later that year and the two boats served side by side from Station 5. In 1927, the Seattle fire department brought the Fireboat Alki into service and retired the Snoqualmie 5 years later. Although the Alki was newer, the Duwamish was more powerful and she remained the mainstay of Seattle's marine firefighting fleet.

Was not sure what I would see on my Self Guided Tour

Went to the Wheel House first, pretty Sparten.

I was thinking this must be one of the oldest vessels in the Work Boat Fleet

Did not find a big wooden wheel here and the same red/Green on each side of the compass?

I wonder if something like this existed here when it was a steam ship?

Samae type of communication controls for the pumps for fire the water cannons.

Major windless, I wondered if they anchored the ship when fighting fires?

Down into the biggest engine room so far

Port and Starboard Diesel engine controls

Two Huge Deisels

There were Three big deisel pumps as well, 1 really big one and two big but smaller ones, This pipe shows how powerful the pump is aas it pumps water to the main deck water cannons. 

Port and Starboard water lines to the water cannons. 

Not sure how fare they would shoot a stream of seawater?

Seattle Fire Department

There was just one guy aboard when I went to checkout the Duwamish Fireboat. He said to feel free to go anywhere on the vessel so I did. What I found amazing was she remained a Steam powered vessel well into 1950's when she was converted to Diesel. The Duwamish served in the Seattle fire department until her retirement in 1985. She remained the most powerful fireboat till a new one built  in 2003. Checkout the whole story of this 120' vessel at http://www.fireboatduwamish.org/ , even better to visit her for free at the Center for Wooden Vessels the next time you are in Seattle.

Monday, October 28, 2013

1889 Tugboat: Arthur Foss

1889 Tugboat: Arthur Foss : http://nwseaport.org/historic-fleet/tugboat-arthur-foss/

This Wheel came up to my neck

I have always wanted to operate one of these.

Heavy steering Gear behind the wheel

Ist time I have seen the Red and Green besides the compass, is this functional or is it just a reminder?

Communication to the engine room

Steam Heater in the Wheel House

Captains Quarters located just aft of the Wheel House

The lastest Technology Radar was added on what date?

You had to put your face down on the view finder to see the radar screen

Was converted from Steam to this Huge 6 cylinder Diesel
Guages for everything but what about the missing 2?

I hope Yanmars run as long.

Notice the RPM

Just one of the 6 cylinders

A long narrow catwalk between the engine room and crew quarters in the bow. 

Always Ready!
1889 Tugboat: Arthur Foss

The Center for Wooden boats has several work boats that either the last one of it's kind on the planet or one of the last two remaining with the sister ship somewhere far away.

The tugboat Arthur Foss is a heritage vessel, museum ship with public programs, and platform for public service.  In 1989 the vessel was declared a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.
Steam Tug: Built in 1889 as the Wallowa to tow sailing ships across the Columbia River Bar and into the Columbia River, the Arthur Foss enjoyed a long and storied career before making her way to Northwest Seaport. In 1898, she joined the flotilla of vessels bringing miners and supplies to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush, then came to Puget Sound to tow logs to sawmills.
Just thinking that these old Wooden tugs performed the same type of work as all the modern day Steel and Highly powered Tugs with all the electronics and technology 2013 has to offer is amazing. I am sure the men crewing aboard these vessels were pretty damn tough. Sometime in the Mid 30's she was converted to Diesel. Each of these vessels the Wooden Boat Center has taken on to restore and maintain in there living museum has a foundation set up to raise the necessary funds and recruit volunteers to keep the history of these vessels very much a part of the PNW boating and Maritime culture. See the whole story at http://nwseaport.org/historic-fleet/tugboat-arthur-foss/ .
Currently the Tug is used for several kids programs like Tugboat Storytime. I watched as dozens of young kids and parents filled the aft deck to here tugboat stories read aloud by a Volunteer. This week they are having a Pumpkin Patch on the aft deck. The Center for Wooden Boats has fun for all ages.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seattle Fall 2013, Not "Normal"

We started out with what the locals say was a pretty average Fall: Lows in the 40's some rain, some sun, highs in the 50-60 range. I would rather take a 40 minute fast walk on the water front than 30 minutes on a Elliptical trainer in the Gym any day, so this after noon the sun came out and I got this shot with Mt, Rainier in the background

Then after the first several days of Fall we got this, here the tops of the fog are well below 1000', but it is often over 1000', the tallest building in this pic is the Columbia building and has the highest observation deck on the West Coast at 1000'. 

This is the Columbia building, my son in Law Russell used to have his office here. I thought it would be a great idea to go up to the Observation deck and try to get a pic of the fog over Seattle but he advised to call down there first since often the whole building is buried in the fog. 

Well, come to find out Fog like this is not NORMAL here, it usually comes and then goes, it does not camp out for 10+ days straight. 

The fog is restricted to the Gray areas you see along Central and South Puget Sound on this fog map

We broke through the fog one day and walked to the International district AKA China town just South of Downtown Seattle.

This Square had a musician playing a Chinese Fiddle by the Pagoda.

Wisdom in the Square

Fall leaves were changing colors everyday in all of Seattle

We waited our turn, of course the Admiral beat me. I was only interested in losing once. 

All the signs are bi-lingual in this neighborhod

If I see a sign like this I have to go in there. 

The Asian girl eating next to the Admiral had three of these
Chicken Feet....Yum!

These pics are taken from Baby Drew's Room where we spend a lot of time, his rocking chair looks out this window Here the Gray sky's and fog are heavy but at least you can see across the sound to West Seattle. 

within a Few moments the fog creeps across Elliot Bay and you can barely see the Ferry go by.

Window Washing goes on Year round. These guys do not use scaffolds, just two climbing ropes hanging from 14 stories up, anad he is sitting in a bosun's chair. Yikes I get Nervous just at 61' up our mast!

Now the fog has the Bay completley socked in, with less than  2 blocks of visability. 

That afternoon the fog receeded and the Sun came out.

We left our Grandparent duties to run up to Seattle Center to take a Free Walking Tour of Seattle, again here are the Fall colors.

The cool tour guide believes this to be the best vantage point to get a pic of the Space Needle since yu can get the International Fountain going off in the foreground...Whoops, I think the fog is returning? 
The EMP or Experience Music Project Museum inspired by my favorite Jimmy Hindrix, look at the sun shine against the colorful building shaped like a melting Hendrix Guitar http://www.empmuseum.org/ We were lucky to have this hour of sun for the Walking tour. 

Our Tour ends at the Front door to the Armory, the Center piece and Cultural Center of Seattle Center. 

Seattle Center was built for the 1962 World's Fair but the Armory has been here since 1939. 

Seattle Fall 2013, Not "Normal"

Well how could you expect to have a Normal Fall when Seattle had just experienced the Best Summer ever with a record number of sunny and record breaking warm days?. The Rainy fall has not materialized yet, but the Foggy Fall has. They expect 20 days straight with no rain....but you have to deal with a Fog that is definitely a living organism. The Fog moves around, you can see it clearly from 11 or 12 stories up where we live and where we care for Baby Drew. You can see it moving about South Puget Sound and Elliot Bay, sometimes it completely envelopes you and you can just see the closet building 20 feet away across the alley. Sure glad we walk everywhere, driving in this would be not fun. In Texas the Fog comes in late in the evening or overnight and as the Sun heats up the morning Air the Fog goes away since everyone knows that fog exist only when the Temperature and the Dew points match. Well Puget sound has it's on Temperatures since the water is 46 degrees in the winter and 56 degrees in the Summer. The normal weather patterns usually of wind and rain blow away the fog after a while and then it may return later but it's not "Normal" and this  Inversion layer has set up shop for a couple of weeks so if you want to see a full day of sun you have to drive to an elevation of 1500'. We live around a Elevation of 167' so we would have to find a pretty big hill to climb if we wanted to enjoy a few rays.It is already 1300 here and I can just see the edge of the water in the Bay and what looks like 4-5 block visibility, We might have some sun this afternoon but No One Knows.That is why you just put on a jacket, and if you are a Texan you add gloves and a knit cap, perhaps a scarf to protect your neck from the 40-50 degree damp a bit windy temps and just get out and Do It!
I'm wondering if anyone is having Normal Weather?
The Seattle Weather bloggers have called this "Fogtober" and

'Fogmageddon' grips Seattle: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/fogmageddon--grips-seattle-194612028.html