DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Port Townsend maritime center to host vital mariner classes
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The Lady Goodiver, when she was temporarily moored in Port Angeles Harbor. -- Photo by David G. Sellars/for Peninsula Daily News

By David G. Sellars
PDN Maritime Columnist

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THE NORTHWEST MARITIME Center and Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend will be hosting three classes later this month that can make or break an otherwise pleasurable day on the water for recreational mariners.

First up, as part of the Safety and Survival at Sea series, is a class offering first aid and CPR training with a focus on the water world.

This class is produced by Emergency Medical Training Associates and meets or exceeds Coast Guard requirements.

The recreational boater will gain the skills to provide basic lifesaving care in a remote environment.

The two-part class takes place on June 22 and 24 and costs $50, which includes books and materials. The class instructor is Jordan Pollack.

On June 29, there is a class that will teach water rescue skills for the avid boater.

This four-hour program, which will be taught by Erik Wennstrom, covers, among other things, rescue skills including overboard drills, patient transfers from boat to boat and search and rescue skills.

The cost is $25 and participants will need to dress appropriately for cold and wet weather. Bring a life jacket and other rescue devices that you normally carry on your vessel.

Also, beginning on Tuesday, June 29, and for the three following Tuesdays, Crystal Goodner of Dirty Girl Mechanics LLC will be the instructor for a women-only class on diesel engines.

Crystal will discuss with the ladies the basics of how a diesel engine functions, how to change the oil and filters and other practical information related to their maintenance and upkeep.

And there's more.

Carl Allen of Pacific Marine Consulting LLC will hold a coed class on diesel engines beginning on Wednesday, June 30, and for the three succeeding Wednesdays that will cover the same ground as Crystal's women's class.

The fee for either of the classes is $90 per student.

All of the classes will be held at the beautiful Northwest Maritime Center at 431 Water St., Port Townsend.

For more information on any of these excellent classes or to register, contact Rob Sanderson at 360-385-3628, ext. 103 or at rob@nwmaritime.org.

New life for a war hero

About 10 days ago, Lady Goodiver had her bow line lashed to one of the Port of Port Angeles buoys off Terminal 3.

The white, 110-foot boat had the rugged look of being neglected and tired.

Clutter could be seen strewn about her weather decks, and she was listing a few degrees to starboard.

However, beneath that worn and weathered faĆßade there is history and a bit of a story.

Lady Goodiver began life when her keel was laid down at the Peyton Company in Newport Beach, Calif., on May 23, 1942, as an SC-497 class submarine chaser and was commissioned by the Navy on April 15 of the following year as USS SC-772.

She initially did patrol duty in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Astoria, Ore., and the Columbia River basin.

In mid-August 1944, she was deployed to the South Pacific for patrol duty near Saipan and Tinian, and on June 8, 1945, she rescued two survivors from a downed aircraft.

At the conclusion of World War II, USS SC-772 was transferred to the Coast Guard and was commissioned as the cutter Air Mallard (WAVR 437).

She served for a brief two-year period in San Diego before being struck from the records.

A total of 438 of these wooden sub chasers were built by 50 different boat builders on both coasts, the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast.

They were the first line of defense at the outset of World War II against the German U-boats that were having a devastating impact on the shipment of materiel and cargo, especially in the Atlantic Ocean, by the sinking of merchant ships of all nations regardless of neutrality.

Sub chasers, otherwise known as the "Splinter Fleet" -- one direct hit from an enemy cannon would turn the boat into splinters -- were a constant nuisance to the German submarines.

U-boats were only effective when they could be at periscope depth, sighting and aiming at a ship at which to fire its torpedoes.

When sub chasers picked up a U-boat on its sonar, they would be in a position to drop depth charges, forcing the German sub deeper into the water and allowing shipping to proceed unimpeded.

There are currently fewer than a dozen known survivors of the Splinter Fleet. Some of them remain in the Pacific Northwest in private and commercial hands.

There is also one based in Bergen, Norway, that serves as a museum ship and tours the Norwegian coast during the summer months.

Back to the Goodiver.

After World War II, Lady Goodiver passed through a number of owners until she had been converted to a live-aboard dive boat in British Columbia in the 1990s.

In the summer of 2004, she was in Seattle awaiting a new future because of the death of her owner.

The timeworn, weather-beaten lady was facing a bleak and ignoble future until Steve Harrick of Hillsboro, Ore., bought her last December and took her to Gig Harbor.

He traded a Grand Banks 32 for her.

As of this writing, Lady Goodiver is moored in Scappoose, Ore., where she will undergo a refit and be converted to a bed and breakfast inn.

Steve said after he repaints her in a pretty shade of gray, he will rename her Subchaser SC 772.

For those of you who would like to know more about the Splinter Fleet, check out www.splinterfleet.org.

Harbor filler-up

Out in Port Angeles Harbor on Tuesday, Tesoro Petroleum provided bunkers to Nicolaos, a 623-foot cargo ship flying the flag of Cyprus.

She got under way for Vancouver, Wash., shortly after fueling.


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 dgsellars@ hotmail.com or phone him at 360-417-3736. His column, On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday.

Last modified: June 13. 2010 12:22AM
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