Nathaniel Howe | New Life for the Tordenskjold

May image_Tordenskjold

For more than four decades, each month CWB has presented a speaker of wit and experience to talk about his or her special knowledge. It is also an opportunity for CWB members to meet one another and the staff. The program runs from 7pm to 9pm, with opportunities to ask questions. This month’s 3rd Friday presentation will be held on May 19th.

After more than a century of hard fishing in the North Pacific Ocean, the 1911 halibut schooner, Tordenskjold, has retired – well sort of. She’s joined the fleet of historic ships of our neighbor, Northwest Seaport. Tordenskjold’s new home is the Historic Ships’ Wharf at Lake Union Park, where she will serve as an operational museum ship and education platform.

The Seaport’s Executive Director, Nathaniel Howe, will present a behind-the-scenes look at how this 106-year-old vessel came to Northwest Seaport and what’s in store for her future.

Tordenskjold was built in Ballard in 1911. She was named after the famous Dano-Norwegian naval hero, Peter Janssen Wessel Tordenskjold, and was one of the new breed of 20th century fishing boats that were equipped with engines, although she still carried sails on two masts. The halibut schooners, as these boats came to be known, could get their catch back to Seattle faster than sailing vessels and were much more economic to operate than bigger steamships.

Today, only a handful of halibut schooners remain, although they still are very profitable fishing platforms. Tordenskjold primarily caught halibut and black cod, but also fished for king crab, shrimp and sharks during her career.

Nathaniel Howe is one of our most popular 3rd Friday speakers. He joined Northwest Seaport in 2012 as their Nautical Archaeologist and Vessel Manager. A Seattle native, he has a B.A. in history and museum studies from Wisconsin’s Beloit College and a M.A. in nautical archaeology from East Carolina University. He trained at Mystic Seaport, sailed tall ships, and later received a Fulbright Scholarship for two years of study at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

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