Taconite

Taconite as it appeared in 2008 in Maple Bay.

Hot dogs are the new turkeys — at least when it comes to Alamitos Bay YC’s annual Turkey Day Regatta. In a pandemic pivot, the regatta has been replaced with another smaller event. Principal Race Officer Mark Townsend announced in an email blast, the NOT Turkey Day Regatta will be on Sunday,Nov. 22, with one design and handicap racing behind the federal breakwater.

Townsend went on to explain, “The non-traditional turkey dinner will be turkey dogs served from the stern of race committee boat between races.” Oh the glamour!

The Turkey Day Regatta is a tradition with many, who enjoy the full blown Thanksgiving spread on Saturday and the take home trophies of turkey and pies. Unfortunately, this shift is yet another pandemic casualty.

A Boeing Tale

The turkey dogs brought to mind a trip back in 2008, where my husband and I, along with Bill and Joanne Pinner, Ed and Sharon Cox chartered a boat out of Anacortes and set off gunkholing in Canadian waters. (Gunkholing is the art of meandering from one muddy gunky anchorage each night to another the next, taking in the beautiful sunsets and spectacular beauty of the Pacific Northwest with no set plan or schedule).

One of my favorite ports was Maple Bay. There was a beautiful yacht there, and it had a name that reminded us of Tuesday night dinners at home, where we fill tortillas with ground beef, cheese and lots of sour cream.

The boat’s name was Taconite.

Taconite is a 125-foot yacht constructed with teak and commissioned by William E. Boeing, the founder of Boeing Aircraft. Boeing historians have documented her launch in 1930 and the vessel served the family for 47 years. Boeing died onboard in 1956 and his ashes were scattered at sea from her.

Boeing started as a boat-builder and his initial capital came from iron ore (taconite) profits he inherited from his family. In 1909, Boeing purchased a wooden boat shipyard and the land for $10, according to Paul Spitzer in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly. It was there Bill Boeing started the side business of building aircraft.

The last recorded owner and operator of Taconite was Captain Gordon Levett, who used the yacht as a charter vessel and a couple of years ago put it up for sale for somewhere between $1.3 million and $2.4 million, according to a plethora of on-line listings.

But there is no official record of the sale or future plans for the vessel — only rumors.

John Mackie, a reporter at the Vancouver Sun, responded to my email asking where she is; “It’s at the former owner’s place in Maple Bay on the island. It was purchased by someone, maybe from Great Britain, who also apparently purchased another yacht called the Olympus.”

He continued, “The Olympus is now apparently in Newport, Rhode Island, after being rebuilt in Nicaragua. A guy who worked on the Taconite thinks it’s been outside for a couple of years and needs a lot of work… but the new owner can’t come and get it because of COVID."

It seems whoever buys Boeing hand-me-downs likes to keep it a secret.

Last week, it was business news that Boeing’s most recent yacht, Daedalus, had sold for a reported $13 million, and that buyer’s name has yet to be disclosed. The yacht was built in 1997 by luxury builder Delta Marine.

In addition to entertaining customers, the yacht hosted formal dinners, auctioned off at charity events. Some charity auctions fetched more than $10,000 for a dinner party and harbor cruise for 16 guests on board.

Various news outlets reported the mega-yacht sold in October to a California developer, who owns a 112-foot luxury sport fisher registered in Newport Beach, and moored in San Diego, that frequents Puget Sound area waters. The buyer also bought an 80-foot fishing yacht to accompany the Daedalus, sources familiar with the transaction claim.

Armed with those clues, I’ve been doing my best to figure out who the buyer is. All I want is an invite over for hot dogs or maybe tacos.

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