Dressing Ship

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In nautical parlance, “dressing ship” refers to hanging signal flags in a specific order from the waterline at the bow, over the highest mast and down to the waterline at the stern. This is done on special occasions and parades by military and civilian ships and boats.

The Skookum Maru is a classic 40 foot Monk design built in 1956 by Kugge Boat Yard in Kobe, Japan. The Monk boats were designed for extensive coastal cruising and a great choice for Northwest waters. This photo was taken at the the Seattle Wooden Boat Center as she was being prepared for the Wooden Boat Festival.

The boat’s name is interesting as it it is a mix of native Chinook Indian and Japanese. Most people know that maru (circle) is often appended to Japanese ship names. But unless you live in the Northwest you may not know Skookum. It’s a common word around here and can mean big, strong, hearty, good, etc. It can also mean spooky as in skookumchuck (turbulent water or rapids).

The mon, or circular emblem, is interesting as well. It incorporates a Haida design of a Blackfish (Orca) with a replica of the “Great Wave” on Hokusai’s Japanese woodblock print.

As you can see from the overcast skies (what else in Seattle), the ambient lighting was good an presented no challenges. My Photoshop processing consisted of a very small amount of sharpening and a little color and contrast correction. I finished it with NIK’s Tonal Contrast filter to bring out the details, especially in the wood grain.

I really enjoyed the day at the Center and found it hard to tear myself away. When the kids were young we had a 32 foot twin diesel and cruised the Northwest Passage on many occasions. But I had to sell it when I was transferred to Asia.

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