This UW vessel doesn’t get the press that Husky rowing shells attract, but its crews accomplish research published in scientific circles. It is the The R/V Thomas G. Thompson, currently undergoing work at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes. The Thompson, built and owned by the U.S. Navy but operated by the University of Washington, is named after the father of “our” Tommy Thompson, creator of the narrow gauge Anacortes Railway. Thompson senior was a professor at the University of Washington. This vessel has spent an average of 250-315 days at sea per year on scientific and educational missions since 1991. According to a federal website, the Thompson measures 274 ft. in length and 52.5 ft. wide. Normal cruising speed for the Thompson is 13 knots, with a maximum speed of 14.5 knots. At a speed of 14 knots the ship can be at sea for 33 days. The Thompson is propelled by two 3,000 HP engines in the stern, as well as one 100 HP water jet bow thruster which assists the stern engines by providing power at the bow of the ship. The ship is equipped with sophisticated satellite equipment which determine its position at sea and aid in navigation. It is also equipped with three winches, three cranes and an A-Frame that can hold a 12-ton static load, six tons in motion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_G._Thompson
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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