Built: 1924 Length: 110' Beam: 36' Gross tonnage of 95.
Propulsion: 320 HP Atlas-Imperial diesel engine. Autho capacity: 20 cars Passenger capacity: 155
Cliff West snapped this photo of the Tourist #2 approaching the dock in the twilight years of the ferry system's run on the Columbia River.
Built in 1924, the Tourist No. 2 was a larger improvement on the Tourist
No. 1 and worked th Astoria-Megler run quiet uneventfully until 1941. That
year, after the attack at Pearl Harbor, the little ferry was taken over by the
U.S. Army. Painted gray, she commenced laying mines in the lower
Columbia River as the USAMP Octopus.
Her mine-laying duties completed, the Army used her in her intended
purpose as a ferry, running between Fort Canby and Fort Stevens. At war's
end, the Army sold the Tourist 2 back to Elfving for $36,000. The State of
Oregon took over the ferry in 1946.
After the Astoria Bridge was built, the ferry was moved from Oregon to
Pierce County, Washington in 1967 and renamed the Islander. The ferry
worked on Puget Sound between Anderson Island, Ketron Island and the
mainland for many years, but eventually it became too small for the route and
the ferry was retired and sold.
She was purchased by Argosy Cruises of Seattle in 1996 and
extensively refurbished. Renamed the Kirkland, the ferry was a popular
cruise vessel for Argosy.
Sadly, on 28 August 2010 an electrical fire was sparked below decks on
the Kirkland. Though it was put out quickly, Argosy determined it would be too
expensive to repair the vessel, and the company decided to scrap the boat,
ending her eighty-six year career.
Thankfully the boat was not scrapped. After spending several years in
Everett, , the ferry has new owners and is moored in Bremerton. According to
her new owner, Christian Lint, after some clean up of the fire damage
suffered several years back, the engines started right up. Lint plans to make
the boat availble for parties, weddings and other events. Damage from the
fire has been repaired, and vessel is in good shape.
At top, a postcard of the Tourist No. 2 working at Astoria.
Above, looking very much like a toy boat, the Islander, ex-Tourist No.2 is shown
here in the days just before her retirement. Photo courtesy of Cliff West.
At left, the old Toruist # 2 sailing as the M/V Kirkland for Argosy. Photo
Courtesy of Matt Masuoka.