Union Steamships The Fjords Of British Columbia, a 1930’s brochure of the Steamship Catala, sister ship to the SS Cardena. This item was recently sold on ebay by seller canadianpacific77. The cover appears to be signed by H.E. White, but I’m sadly not familiar with their work.
The Catala had a long and storied history on the west coast. From sunshinecoastmuseum.ca
One of the best known steamers that plied the Sunshine Coast was the S.S. Catala. The 218-foot ship was launched in 1925 in Montrose, Scotland, and carried coastal freight and passengers from Vancouver to southeast Alaska. The name Catala derives from the Roman Catholic missionary Father Magin Catala who came to Santa Cruz de Nootka on Vancouver Island in 1793.
After the collapse of the Union Steamship Company, the Catala was sold in 1958 and used as a fish buying boat, as well as a hotel for the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. Apparently, it was one of three such ships used at the World’s Fair, but the only one to make a profit. By this point, the engines had been removed to make room for a theatre, so it lived out its retirement tied up on shores of Washington. According to the Seattle Times, there were some wild times for the ship ahead:
After the fair it was brought to Ocean Shores, where it was tied up at a causeway and used by charter fishermen. Something else fishy was going on, too.
There was gambling and “there were ladies of the evening available, so it was quite a deal,” said Beers.
In 1965, a storm caused the ship to list 30 degrees on the sand, and it could not be righted. Looted, abandoned, and set on fire, it was left to decay on the beach, until a curious explorer fell inside the ship and hurt her back. The State of Washington was sued, and as a result, the bulk of the ship was ordered to be cut up for scrap, with the remainder of the vessel buried in the sand.
Years later, the sands began to reveal the ship, and a curious passerby discovered oil inside the wreck. This resulted in a full scale environmental cleanup, with 131,000 litres of heavy fuel oil removed and recycled, along with more than 10 times that amount of oily water collected. The total project cost for removing the oil and restoring the beach was $6.5 million, and the cost of removing the remainder of the ship’s hull was $0.5 million. From the Washington State Department’s fact sheet:
Ecology funded the cleanup using the state’s Oil Spill Response Account, which comes from a tax on oil that passes through Washington marine terminals. The fund will only pay for cleaning up oil and contaminated sand and for ensuring the old hull is clean. Ecology will seek reimbursement from the federal government for part or all of the costs. The Legislature provided the Department of Natural Resources with funds to remove the hull.