The Bellingham Maritime Museum is very gratified to have received a surge of new sponsorship which will allow it to expand its’ existing floorspace. The individuals, businesses and foundations who have come forward in support of the maritime museum all have remarked on the tremendous value that the maritime museum brings in keeping alive the great maritime heritage and culture which has formed the character and content of our seaport community.
Of particular value is the Uniflite exhibit which features the iconic Vietnam era “PBR”, the River Patrol Boat, which draws military veterans and their families from all around the country. The Bellingham Maritime Museum has no paid employees, and has received no taxpayer dollars over the years in the formation and operation of this community based organization.
The museum looks forward to continued development of sustainable programs, exhibits, and events which will lead to a permanent presence on the shores of Bellingham Bay.
This increase in leased space was made possible by generous new local funding from individual and company donors resulting from media coverage of recent negotiations and the possibility that the Maritime Museum might be forced to leave Bellingham or be closed down.
Although the footprint of leased space will double, the actual size of the museum will shrink, as the popularity of, and community support for our many exhibits, has resulted in growth which occasionally has impinged on empty contiguous space in the building belonging to the Port.
Changes going forward will include a significant downsizing of floor exhibits, reduction in the size of the Radio Controlled Model Boat Tank, elimination of several exhibits, and consolidation of others.
The museum will continue to focus on three principle areas of importance:
1: The Bellingham built PBRs (Patrol Boat River), the legendary Vietnam era combat craft produced by Art Nordvedts’ United BoatBuilders (Uniflite) in Fairhaven for the US military. The annual reunion of the Uniflite Workers and Brown Water Navy Veterans will occur every third Saturday in August. This will bring together members and family of “Gamewardens of Vietnam”, “PBR Force Veterans Association”, “Mobile Riverine Force Veterans”, “HA(L) 3 “Seawolves”, and other veterans from around the County, the State, and the Country, to meet the many members of our community who proudly crafted the iconic and much loved combat vessels which served with great honor and distinction at that difficult time in our history.
2: The continuing saga of our “Search for Vancouver’s Lost Anchor”. On June 9th 1792, the “Stream Anchor” from the Armed Tender HMS Chatham, which accompanied Captain Vancouver’s flagship HMS Discovery, was lost in Bellingham Channel. BMM has been deeply committed for years, to finding and recovering this only known lost artifact from Vancouvers’ Voyages of Discovery (1792). BMM has conducted extensive academic studies, a magnetometer search, and most recently a sidescan sonar search of the target area. Next will be an ROV deployment to ‘eyeball’ discovered GPS positioned contacts.
3: Coast Salish: ”The First Mariners of the Salish Sea”. BMM recognizes, honors, and celebrates the nations, tribes, and peoples who first sailed these waters. We appreciate the opportunities we have had to work with, and learn from, the gifted carvers who continue the creative traditions of their ancestors. Our goal is to continue to build bridges of friendship, understanding, and appreciation between our cultures.
These are challenging economic times for museums and other non profits. If the history, boatbuilding and fishing tradition, and ‘working waterfront’ culture of our seaport community are important to you, and to following generations, then we invite your support for the Bellingham Maritime Museum.
This coming Saturday, 23 February, 2013 between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm the Bellingham Maritime Museum will feature the last showing of the David Berg Classic Wooden Boat Collection. These craft were built by Mr. Berg from drawings which appeared in boating magazines from the 1920’s and 1930’s and are considered by many as true works of art. “Dave Berg is a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci, who creates not only masterpieces of wood construction, but also casts all the metal pieces and fittings, and even builds the trailers” says museum Director Mike Granat.
The Bellingham Maritime Museum is located at 800 Cornwall Avenue. This event is open to the public. Admission is by donation.
Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy a Radio-Controlled and Scale Model Boat Show at The Bellingham Maritime Museum, Saturday, September 1st, and Sunday, September 2nd 2012, from 11am to 4pm, at the Bellingham Maritime Museum. Boats will set sail in the new 10,000 gallon water “pond”.
Bring your radio-controlled boat or try your hand with a museum craft. The event is open to the public and admission is by donation.
The Museum is hosting a reunion of Uniflite and PBR Vets on Saturday, August 18th, from 12pm to 3 pm. This is a homecoming and gathering for the many former Uniflite workers and sub-contractors as well as Military veterans who served on the broad range of boats built by Uniflite in Fairhaven. Art Nordtvedt, founder of Uniflite will be the featured guest.
Ahoy Mate! The Radio-Controlled and Scale Model Boat Show this past Saturday was a GREAT SUCCESS! The 10.000 gallon ‘pond’ will be available every Saturday, noon to 3 pm. So bring your boats and enjoy a few hours on the water!
Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy a Radio-Controlled and Scale Model Boat Show at The Bellingham Maritime Museum, Saturday April 21st, and Sunday April 22nd 2012, from 11am to 4pm, at the Bellingham Maritime Museum. Boats will set sail in the new 10,000 gallon water “pond”. Bring your radio-controlled boat or try your hand with a museum craft. This is the first museum event of the spring season and is always popular among kids and grandparents, alike. The event is open to the public and admission is by donation.
Somewhere on the ocean bottom among Washington’s San Juan Islands lies a piece of maritime treasure so rare and precious that Mike Granat is nervous even talking about it.
“I don’t want to get into too many details,” the executive director of the Bellingham International Maritime Museum said in an interview. “It’s very interesting and very important historically.”
The treasure is an anchor lost in June 1792, by the Chatham, the smaller of two ships on British Capt. George Vancouver’s epic voyage to chart the west coast of North America. “As far as we know, it’s the only physical artifact that would have remained in U.S. waters,” Granat said
People have been looking for the anchor for years, but today, as special events here and in England celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of the British explorer, Granat believes he is getting close.
“We’re actively working on it,” he said. “I’m hoping it reaches a happy conclusion in the next few months. ”
The Vancouver Maritime Museum (www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com) will be the focus of Captain Vancouver birthday celebrations starting at 11:30 a.m. today. Vessels in the harbour will sound their horns in a maritime salute to the city’s namesake shortly past noon.
The U.S. expedition involves numerous individuals and organizations, including Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Western Washington University, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is assisting with colour, three-dimensional ocean-bottom imagery and the provision of deep-sea divers.
The effort is generating excitement north of the international boundary, too.
Kim Davies is a West Vancouver electrical-equipment salesman, amateur historian, and competitive sailing enthusiast who hopes to participate as a volunteer in the anchor-recovery effort through his friendship with Steve Mayo, a Bellingham marine artist, a key player in the expedition.
Davies’ goal is to some day visit the coastal places that Captain Vancouver wrote about in his journals. “He was the quintessential chartmaker for Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia.”
Chatham lost the anchor while trying to enter Strawberry Bay on the west side of Cypress Island, part of the San Juan Islands near Bellingham, during light winds and a strong flood tide.
The expedition hopes to find the anchor in Bellingham Channel on the east side of Cypress Island in 35 to 60 metres of water. “It’s fairly deep and difficult because of fairly nasty tides,” Granat said. “Technically it will be a challenge.” It’s hoped that the encrusted anchor is still in one piece.
Capt. Vancouver writes in his journals that on June 9, 1792, “I received from Mr. [William] Broughton [commander of the Chatham] a letter acquainting me that, having been obliged to anchor on a rocky bottom, on account of the strength and irregularity of the tide, their stream cable had been cut through by the rocks; and that, after several attempts to recover the anchor, the rapidity of the tide had rendered all their efforts ineffectual . . . .”
Four days later, after anchoring the ships Chatham and Discovery in Birch Bay, Wash., crews in small boats became the first Europeans to enter what is now the City of Vancouver’s inner harbour, Burrard Inlet.
The Chatham carried multiple anchors — the streamer anchor was smaller and used for temporary anchorage — but the crew hated to lose any on a five-year voyage.”Vancouver was a little ticked off,” Mayo said. “But these things happen.”
The expedition plans to throw everything it can at the task of finding the anchor, using charts, photographs, a remotely operated vehicle, side scan and magnetometer survey techniques, and, if necessary, human divers.
“This isn’t a go-after-the-Titanic thing, just a fairly small community-based effort,” Granat added. “We don’t have any funding whatsoever. Everything we do is catch-as-catch-can. Fortunately, people are interested in the history. It’s a nice adventure. Everybody gets goose flesh about the sheer joy of the history of the thing.” The expedition conducted a rehearsal of sorts last month, locating the anchor from the Union, a three-masted ship that hauled coal from Nanaimo to San Francisco before being wrecked in 1875, near Orcas Island.
A private diver moved the Union’s wrought-iron anchor to waters off his Lummi Island home. It measures 2.5 metres tall by 2.5 metres wide and weighs 350 kg.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum has its own artifact from Captain Vancouver’s voyage — a chronometer, then a state-of-the-art timepiece used to accurately determine longitude. The chronometer was purchased at a Christie’s auction in London in 1981 for about $89,000.
Capt. Vancouver meticulously mapped the west coast of North America and negotiated with the Spanish during his 1791-95 voyage around the world.
The B.C. legislature incorporated the City of Vancouver, the name chosen by William van Horne, a Canadian Pacific Railway executive, to honour Captain Vancouver, on Apr. 6, 1886.
The Vancouver Sun, Fri 22 Jun 2007, Page: A1 / FRONT, Section: News, Byline: Larry Pynn, Source: Vancouver Sun
The Bellingham International Maritime Museum today announced the election of Captain Steve Mayo to the Museums Board of Directors.
In announcing Capt. Mayo’s election, BIMM Director Mike Granat commented, “We are honored and gratified to have Steve officially on board with us. He has been a longtime good friend of the museum and brings a wealth of experience, talent and good will to our organization. As an experienced professional boat Captain who has spent his working life operating a wide variety of vessels on Puget Sound, Steve has developed a deep affinity for our local waters and a profound devotion to the history of the region. That, in combination with his remarkable talent as an artist, has thereby enabled Steve to become regionally, nationally and internationally acclaimed in his special field, Northwest Historical Marine Art.”
Upon his election, Capt. Mayo remarked: “I am very pleased to join a team of avid historians who are so enthusiastically dedicated to the past, present and future of our community’s “Working Waterfront”.
Until his retirement, Steve was the Officer in Charge of the Bellingham detachment of the Marine Spill Response Corporation ‘flotilla’. He is a member of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Association, the Nautical Research Guild, the US Naval Institute, the San Francisco Maritime Museum and the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
The Bellingham International Maritime Museum today announced the election of Dr. Clyde W. Ford to the Museum’s Board of Directors.
In announcing Dr. Ford’s election, BIMM Director Mike Granat commented, “We are delighted and proud to welcome Clyde, a longtime museum friend, as a formal member of our dedicated team. He is a nationally respected figure in academic and cultural communities, an inspirational leader in humanitarian causes, the recipient of Bellingham’s 2007 Mayor’s Arts Award and is the founder and principal of his own software development company. As a BIMM board member, Clyde will continue to focus on public, cultural, and community affairs projects for the museum.”
Regarding his election to the BIMM board, Dr. Ford stated: “I’m proud to be part of the Museum’s efforts to protect, preserve, and celebrate the rich maritime heritage of this area that reaches back to its first inhabitants.”
Clyde, a board member of the literary and cultural SonEdna Foundation in Charleston, Ms., is the award winning author of nine books, four fiction and five non-fiction, several of which feature Bellingham, the San Juan Islands and the waters of Puget Sound as backdrops for the popular Charlie Noble nautical mystery series. He writes aboard and cruises Northwest waters in his Bellingham based, single engine, bio-diesel trawler. Learn more at: www.clydeford.com.