BLOGS

“Island Caper Restoration Project”

Find us on youtube

Episode # 11

(March 22nd, 2020)

We’ve been cooped up like everyone else and are trying our best at keeping this project moving, despite the crazy pandemic happening right now. This is an update episode as we face self-quarantine and technical issues. Stay safe out there and WASH YO HANDS!

Episode # 10

(March 7th, 2020)

we start putting up the 50′ by 100′ sheets of plastic around the 3.5 story scaffolding structure surrounding our boat so that we can sandblast without contaminating the environment. But, as with most things having to do with boats, it didn’t go as planned… This is Part 1 of the saga not-so-fondly known as Windpocalypse!

Episode # 9

Feb 22nd, 2020

we begin the construction of our biggest ever fort. We begin with putting up scaffolding three stories tall all the way around the Caper. Things get a little dicey when Tom decides to climb up to secure the structure from getting blown around.

Episode # 8

Jan 17th, 2020

we look back at why we decided the Island Caper needed to be sandblasted and painted. We visit several boatyards on our search for a yard that will let us do it ourselves

Episode # 7

Jan 3rd, 2020

we share some big news and an update on where the Caper sits (spoiler alert shes back in the water finally!). We set some crab pots and then get right to work craning a lot of old equipment off the boat. We also start working on our rudders, propellors, and steam cleaning the bilge. Lastly. we show our attempt at project management.

Episode # 6

Dec 20th, 2020

we begin the long and arduous journey of having a large boat on land for a major refit. Day 1 was about getting her situated in our new home in Port Townsend, WA, in a little place called Boat Haven marina & yard. It has certainly proven to be a haven for our old boat; posting this more than one year later after much of the battle to save the Caper over, we can definitely say that.

Episode # 5

Dec 20th, 2019

Become a Patron and be a part of the dream! We are undertaking a project of a lifetime, and it is expensive! Funds will go directly to production costs of creating content and also help support our living expenses as crew, and yes running a business without having opened yet is rather daunting.

Episode # 4

july 6th, 2019

Become a Patron and be a part of the dream! We are undertaking a project of a lifetime, and it is expensive! Funds will go directly to production costs of creating content and also help support our living expenses as crew, and yes running a business without having opened yet is rather daunting.

Episode # 3

may 21st, 2019

We’re off to Port Townsend! But not without a few hiccups along the way…

Episode # 2

may 1st, 2019

We’re diving into the history of the Island Caper! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Episode # 1

April 16th, 2019

Meet the three partners who created Pacific Northwest Cruises, and learn a little bit about them!

History of island caper

Meet the Island Caper!

The MV Island Caper has a long rich history –  a huge selling point for the Pacific Northwest Cruises partners. This 100 foot Swiftship aluminum vessel was built in 1974 in Morgan City, Louisiana to run crew and supplies out to the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.  She looked something like this back in the day:

 

 

Her original name was “Caper” which has several definitions; here they are in the order that we see applies the most:

 

  • (Verb) “To move about in a leaping or prance or skipping motion, in a playful manner.” “A Frolic Leap”
  •    An illegal or questionable act of escapade.
  •    An Amusing movie or story about such an act or escapade 
  •   A Capriocious escape: Prank   
  •   And lastly we cannot forgot the all important Caper  greenish flower bud or young       berries of caper pickled and used as a seasoning or garnish!

     

In the 1980’s it was retrofitted into a passenger vessel it traveled from the gulf up to Boston, where it served as a private passenger vessel.

In the mid 1990’s, the Caper was purchased by the the local legend, Terry Buzzard, who changed the name to “Island Caper,” which may or may not of been inspired by the TV show Cannon Episode 19, season 1, see below:

It is far more likely that Terry Buzzard knew that the boat would be constantly frequenting the beautiful San Juan Islands, and was inspired to changed the name due to that. We certainly think the name fits!

Buzzard was known for a wide gamut of marine work from towing and salvage to piloting the Christmas Ship around the islands.  He even journeyed up to Alaska to help with the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up effort. After making some serious money from the Exxon Valdez contracts, he bought the Island Caper, bringing it from Boston, through the Panama Canal, reportedly defended himself from pirates, weathered a severe storm, and ended up right here in Bellingham, WA.  He chartered the boat to America’s Cup in the early 90’s, where it was used by the officiates and as an event space.  It has served as a private charter for Budweiser during SeaFair in Seattle, WA.