About Maritime Voices

Why do this? And why now?

If you have spent much time around folks in the maritime community in Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula you have probably heard a lot of stories of “back in the day”. Well, those days are getting to be quite a while ago, and the folks who know them are getting up in years. This site is an attempt to record them so they won’t be forgotten.

What happens to the content?

Besides being published here all interviews, both transcripts and audio, will be given to The Jefferson County Historical Society so that they can be preserved for the future. Recording will also be available on most regular podcast hosts like Apple Podcasts.

Who we are

Jim Heumann

Before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 Jim lived in Colorado and spent much of his free time whitewater rafting the major rivers of the west, including a number of trips through the Grand Canyon, which is where he got the idea for this oral history project. The Grand Canyon River Guides organization has been doing interviews with many of the pioneers of river running for many years and publishing them in their quarterly newsletter. Having heard just a few of the stories of the many amazing people in the maritime community in Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula, and encouraged by Pete Langley (who is on the board of the Historical Society), he decided to try to record those stories and bring them to a wider audience.

Jim started sailing in 2005 when he took a week of sailing lessons in California. That went well so he bought a Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 and moved to Puget Sound.  He started sailing around the Sound, the San Juans, the Gulf Islands and out to Neah Bay. He then got together with Karen Sullivan and the voyages became longer. Desolation Sound, the Broughtons, the west coast of Vancouver Island, and Haida Gwaii. When not cruising he was getting the boat ready for a longer voyage. In 2011 they took off from PT down the coast to Mexico and on to New Zealand, arriving there in December 2012. In May of 2013 they shipped the boat (and themselves) to San Francisco on a container ship and sailed the rest of the way home, returning to PT in August 2013. They sold the Dana 24 “Sockdolager” in 2015 and bought “Raven” a 29-foot wood powerboat (built by Leif Knutsen – interview #1) . In the spring and summer of 2017 they cruised to Glacier Bay in Alaska.  Jim also owns 1/2 of a Thunderbird sailboat which he races regularly, and he is very active in the Port Townsend Sailing Association.

Pete Langley


Diana Talley


Karen Sullivan


Would you like to help? Send us an email at maritimevoices@gmail.com.