University and museum archives of the salmon industry are great for documenting the economic and cultural influence of canneries, boatyards and fleets over the last century in the San Juan Islands, but the stories that go with the photos are sometimes difficult to access. Then, there is the annoying habit at these institutions of revising their URLs as they upgrade their archival systems, leaving the rest of us with dead links. Fortunately, outfits like Saltwater People Historical Society have seen fit to fill the gap in our memories and official archives by providing photos embedded in personalized stories.
As a former cannery tender captain in the mid-1970s, I found the story A Day On A Cannery Tender by Gordon Jones delightful. Featuring a photo of the tender Petrel, which bears a striking resemblance to the tender Glovina I once worked on, this type of account gives others a feel for the type of life we led. Stories like The Old Cannery Dock from Friday Harbor, allow readers to view a not-so-distant past when elegant wooden work boats plied the local waters year in and year out.
San Juan Journal stories about the people and boats they loved, are great for remembering familiar sights like the tender Nereid, frequently seen in the islands for decades on end. As agencies, tribes and organizations struggle to restore the once plentiful salmon of the Salish Sea, the inspiration of what that abundance once provided economically and culturally is a vital component of keeping up morale. And for that I say a tip of the hat to the Saltwater People and friends.