Lin Combs

Dutton in 1976

Posted on 8/05/2007

The second photo with the date and location unknown looks like it may have been taken not too long after the ship was in for a major refit in 1976 in Portland Oregon. That refit was the result of hurricane damage that occurred just as the ship was about to enter the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As I recall we were planning to be in 3 days early and were instead something like 4 or 5 days late. I recall the rough date since it was at the same time as the song "The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald" came out and we kept changing the radio station or turning it off altogether. We ported out of Seattle but because of the severity of the damage we had to pull into Portland for repairs.

I was told while we were in the yard that every fore-aft support (the backbone) had broken in the storm. The main deck cracked during the storm and we had water coming into one of the staterooms. A forward hatch was also ripped off and and all of the topside wiring was ripped away.  

At any rate, I recall there being a perpetual and noticeable amount of rust on the paint before the yard work, but due to the repairs and the new paint job it almost looked like a different ship afterwards from a distance. I imagine that look was sustained for several years after the refit.