Historic Boat To Be Destroyed
The story passed down with the vessel is that it rescued people stranded on an island in Alaska in the aftermath of the great earthquake and tsunami of 1964 .
Then Garfield was approached by the divers who had been working to secure the straps so the crane could lift the boat. He said he could tell the news by the way their heads hung low. They told him the Kodiak wasn’t going to float.
“They did everything they could,” Garfield said. “Bad news is bad news. I had to concur with their decision. They were afraid I would disagree, that I had some tricks up my sleeves.”
As the tsunami collapsed the Crescent City harbor, the Kodiak was badly damaged in the swirling, debris-filled water. Caught between the steel hull of another vessel and one of the pilings, the wooden hull crumpled.
“It looks like I’m going to have to preside over her death,” Garfield said. “All the positive spirit in the world couldn’t keep it floating.”
Tuesday evening, Garfield sent the word out by email: “Although a valiant attempt was made by the Coast Guard and the barge crew, the Kodiak was found to be too badly damaged to remain afloat. She will be officially destroyed between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. our time tomorrow.
“We appreciate everyone pulling for us, but Mother Nature decided otherwise.”
The plan was to place the Kodiak in the shallow water of the Crescent City boat harbor this morning, where the steel clamshell jaws of the crane will break her into pieces to be trucked off to a landfill.
But Garfield said all the work he put into the Kodiak was not in vain.
“I’ve learned so much history of the coast, of old fishing boats, yacking with old-timers, of wooden boats and wood in particular,” he said. “That’s something I keep.”