North Coasters, many of whom are interested in all things maritime, might be interested in what has become of the SMALL BOATS, presumed to be Japanese TSUNAMI DEBRIS, that have been found on West Coast beaches.

GLORY LIGHT, a fishing boat, landed in British Columbia, and was found by Jeanne Beaver (http://tinyurl.com/glorylight). She and her husband traveled to Japan to find and meet the owners, Noriko and Takao Gotoh, who were heartbroken over losing the boat, yet didn’t want it back. Jeanne will keep it.

The 20-foot SAI-SHOU-MARU, pictured in a photo by the Columbia River Maritime Museum, was found on the Long Beach (Wash.) Peninsula, and contained several striped beakfish, not to mention 30 to 50 other species of plants and animals (http://tinyurl.com/saishou).

The surviving beakfish was sent to the SEASIDE AQUARIUM, and the rest of the flora and fauna were sent for study to see how they survived a 5,000 mile voyage. But what about the boat?

The Japanese Consulate has confirmed the boat was from the tsunami, but the owner doesn’t want it back. The Sai-shou-maru has been given to the maritime museum in Astoria. It is now cleaned up and on display.

Just last week a 20-foot boat washed up in Crescent City, Calif. According to a story in the Del Norte Triplicate (http://tinyurl.com/takatahs), a Humboldt State University librarian translated letters on the boat to mean “TAKATA HIGH SCHOOL,” and posted photos of it on the city of Rikuzentakata's Facebook page. Hours later, a teacher confirmed the boat belonged to the school’s marine science program. And they want it back.

“There are a lot of empty ships going back across the Pacific, so why not?” noted Cindy Henderson of Del Norte County’s Office of Emergency Services.

Amya Miller, the Japanese city’s global public relations officer, maintained that if the boat is returned, “that would be something that people would talk about for generations.”

— Elleda Wilson

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