Friday, 27 January 2012
Relief: Rum Runners Of The Past
Tucked away and retired under The Granville Street Bridge is the boat Relief. Built and launched in 1929, this boat has definitely seen more exciting days. It's first owner, Merrill Sollows, used her as a rum runner, transporting illegal alcohol from Nova Scotia, Canada to the US. Prohibition was in full force and penalties were high for selling and transporting alcohol, yet it was also very profitable. In the 1920's alcohol was seen as the main source of societal problems including poverty, disease and crime. The belief was that if you banned alcohol, then all of these problems would go away. Story has it that after a strong machine gun warning by the US Coast Guard, the captain decided that fishing might be a safer way to earn a living.
Relief spent most of the remainder of her sea days fishing off the west coast from Cape Fairweather, Alaska down to Crescent City, California. She now rests under The Granville Street Bridge.