Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Other Angeles

Use the term Angelenos and most people think of residents of Los Angeles, the City of the Angels. Well, West Coasters, there's another set of Angelenos farther north up the same coast in the Port of the Angels.    

The southerly (California) city, El Pueblo de Nuestra SeƱora de los Angeles, "The Town of Our Lady of Angels" 
 was officially named in 1781. (history link) LA's San Pedro waterfront is one of the busiest in the nation (link), but I think of it more in terms of tourism and sandy beaches than as a working, commercial entity.  

Spanish explorers sailed into the northern (Washington State) harbor in 1791 and named it Puerto de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, "Port of Our Lady of Angels," though it wasn't until 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln designated Port Angeles a federal city. (history link) Port Angeles' waterfront is considerably less busy than LA's, blending an interesting mix of small town commerce and a variety of maritime-linked activities. 

Centuries of development have altered the waterfront for both sets of Angelenos, but I find a connection with recent history whenever I explore the Port Angeles shore. Fishing and logging have long played a major role in the economy of the region. It's easy to imagine acres of log rafts ringing the harbor, waiting for tug transport to sawmill or for loading on a ship.

This old-timer might have more than a few stories to tell, tales of long hours and large catches. She may look neglected and forgotten, but someone still loves her enough to pay her yard fees. Is she a project in the making, or just a reminder of times past? 

Lace curtains still hang in the cabin windows, a reminder that fishing was always about people as much as it was about boats and fish. Did this vessel house a family, or did the fisherman's wife provide this touch to remind him of home?  

Surprisingly the stern, at the apparent end of its useful life, still holds a propeller and rudder... 

...and, not so surprisingly, remnants of the colonies of mussels and barnacles that also hung on this ship.

Dee's Note: this could have easily been posted in Cruise News, but it feels like a road trip when we head to Port Angeles.