The Harbor Days folks did a great job with this years event. The weather couldn’t have been better, sunny and warm. There were lots of people touring tugs, wandering through the art festival and checking out all the great food vendors. The Retired Tug Association was well represented, tugs RW Confer, Joe, Parthia, Thea Belle, Reliable, Atka and Galene all making the cruise down to Olympia to share their tugs with the public. There were working tugs and retired tugs, Manke tugs sent down the Danielle and Dunlap towing was represented by the Port Susan. The Comanche, a retired 1944 navy ATA tug was a popular stop on the tug tour, they had over 4,000 people aboard during the holiday weekend.
A big thank you to Marty and Skip (tug Galene) for once again graciously volunteering to host our traditional Friday evening RTA potluck. Galene was this years logo boat and a big draw during the festival. 1,906 people came aboard to tour the 1943 WWII Army tug on Saturday. There were two celebrities on board, Stan Wood who served aboard Galene during WWII as a deckhand and Lenny Lekanoff, Engineer and deckhand on the Wizard, one of the crab boats on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Lenny was joined on Saturday by greenhorn deck hands Roger and Robbie Schlosstein. The three Wizard crew signed autographs and posed for photos on the back deck of the Galene.
The Skippers Dinner at the Olympia Yacht Club on Saturday night is always a good time. Lucky Eagle Casino always puts on a good spread with a Salmon dinner and Galene Cake for desert.
On Sunday all the tugs headed out for the races. There were three classes, small, medium and large (they have a way of sorting them, has to do with engine size as well as tug size). Galene, Danielle and RW Confer ran the first race in the large tug category. It was an exciting race with the RW Confer getting a bit too close to the Galene’s bow wake and shipping a little bit of water onto their back deck. Confer turned back to pick up their chairs and coolers so was DNF, Danielle came in second and Galene won. The Confer recovered all their gear and the skipper and crew had a great attitude, the back deck is now squeaky clean courtesy of the Galene deck washing service.
The second race was Reliable, Thea Belle, Port Susan and Parthia. Port Susan won, it helps to start at the right marker. The small tugs were last with Joe, Atka, Mary Anne and Sand Man. Little Mary Anne was the winner, she’s hiding quite the power plant inside that little tug.
Thanks to everyone who sent me photos, especially Jon Kent for the Confer photo and David Bowen for the photo of Lenny and Stan. More photos of the weekend can be seen in our photo gallery.