Search This Blog

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scuffy the Tugboat(s) visit Bell Harbor Marina

Are you old enough to remember the children's book, Scuffy the Tugboat? It was first published in 1946. Scuffy was a toy tugboat who wished for "bigger things" than sailing in the bathtub. A man and his son took Scuffy to a small brook in a pasture, and soon the current carried Scuffy away. At first Scuffy was pleased. But the brook became a stream, and then a small river, and finally a large river, and Scuffy was overwhelmed. Just as he was about to sail off onto the high seas, Scuffy was rescued by the man and his boy and returned to the bathtub, where Scuffy was content to stay for the remainder of his days.

Well, Scuffy the Tugboat sailed into Bell Harbor Marina this weekend -- or, more accurately, several Scuffies sailed into the marina. The occasion was the Lord Nelson Victory Tug Rendezvous, held August 26-28 at the marina.

Lord Nelson Victory Tugs were produced by Lord Nelson Yachts, Ltd., Seattle, Washington, and built in Taiwan. The tugs are no longer in production, with the last hull having been laid in August 1998. All were long-range motor yachts designed in the style of a tugboat. A total of 861 Victory Tugs in three models ranging in length from 37 to 49 feet were built. See

Most of the tugs in attendance at Bell Harbor were 37' models, but we also saw a couple of 49-footers, including Polar Mist, which was polished to perfection for the rendezvous.

If these photos don't satisfy your hunger for photos of Lord Nelson Victory Tugs, go to the LNVT Owner's Gallery at Picasa where you'll find 99 separate albums devoted exclusively to these attractive vessels.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The Blue Angels visited Seattle this past weekend to celebrate Seafair, Seattle's annual summer festival. Although the squadron of six Boeing F/A-18 Hornets performed over Lake Washington rather than Elliott Bay, we caught several glimpses of the team as it took off from, and landed at, nearby Boeing Field.

During Seafair, we had a birds-eye view of the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson, which was berthed at Pier 66.

The Sampson is an Arleigh Burke-class US Navy destroyer launched in Bath, Maine in 2006. She carries a crew of about 370 and is capable of speeds exceeding 30 knots.

Because of space constraints at Pier 66, where the Sampson was berthed, her bow projected a good distance into the entrance to Bell Harbor Marina, requiring private boats to exercise caution when entering and exiting the marina. US Coast Guard patrol boats provided escort and security during the Sampson's visit.

Despite its berthing at Pier 66, the Sampson set an anchor on the floor of Elliott Bay to secure its position. She weighed anchor only a few minutes before her departure at 8 AM Monday morning.

S/V Pallada

Yesterday, the Russian sailing vessel, Pallada, entered Elliott Bay. Pallada left Vladivostok on July 1 on a three-month trans-Pacific expedition. Immediately prior to its call in Seattle, Pallada visited Victoria, BC.

The Russian information agency, Rianovosti, reports that  Guinness World Records lists Pallada as the fastest sailing ship in the world, capable of speeds in excess of 18 knots. However, a search of the Guinness web site fails to support that claim. We could find no reference to Pallada on the site, but we did find a reference to the greatest distance covered under sail in 24 hours (766.8 nautical miles, or an average speed of 31.95 knots), leading us to believe that the agency may be stretching the truth when it comes to Pallada's capabilities.

Speed claims notwithstanding, Pallada is a beautiful sailing vessel and a welcome, if temporary, addition to the Elliott Bay waterfront.