Memories of Seattle’s SS Redwood Christmas in Callao

The REDWOOD first heads to Alaska on the Inside Passage.

“In the middle of August 1919, I shipped as AB on the SS REDWOOD in Seattle and joined her at the Bell Street terminal, where she had finished discharging salmon from Alaska. She was built and owned by Pacific American Fisheries (P.A.F.) in Bellingham. From the terminal, we proceeded to Point Wells for bunkers. ‘Fill her up!’ was the master’s order. The captain was Harry Fletcher, known to his friends and associates as ‘Curly.’ The ‘fill her up’ order meant to also fill up the extra fuel storage by which she supplied the various PAF canneries in Alaska. From Point Wells, we went to Bellingham to load stores and provisions including several truckloads of meat. The next day, off for Alaska via the inside passage. After a flying stop in Ketchikan to clear ship we proceeded out Clarence Strait, south of Baranof Island, across the Gulf of AK and through Unimak Pass to the P.A.F. cannery at Port Moeller on the Bering Sea.

The cannery was closed and only two winter watchmen were there. All the extra provisions and most of the meat was for them. We also filled the fuel tanks and then loaded the remainder of the season’s canned salmon, several barrels of salt salmon, salt codfish, and black cod. Also, some broken down cannery machinery to be repaired in P.A.F.’s shop in Bellingham. After two days at Port Moeller, we left for the whaling station at Akutan.

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