October 20, 1906 – San Francisco – The Gjoa has unofficially arrived. The stanch little Norwegian sloop in which Captain Roald Amundsen, navigator, explorer, scientist, for three years defied the storms and perils of the Arctic, and successfully made the uncharted and untraversed Northwest Passage, was yesterday morning rescued from the perils of a nor’wester by one of the boats of a San Francisco fishing fleet.
She now lies off Sausalito whence amid the booming of cannon and dipping bunting she will be officially navigated into the channel waters of San Francisco by her master the hero of the Northwest Passage’ Captain Amundsen. Quietly, almost unnoticed, the world-famed Gjoa, with Captain Roald Amundsen on her deck was towed to an anchorage off Sausalito yesterday afternoon by the revenue service tug Golden Gate. There she will remain, guarded by a United States customs inspector, until, the conflicting programs for her triumphant appearance before San Francisco are reconciled.
The last forty-eight hours of the Gjoa‘s forty-four days’ passage from Nome were, according to the lieutenant in command, the stormiest of the more than three years’ voyage. Early yesterday morning, thirty miles off the Golden Gate, after lying to for hours and fighting the monster waves with oil. Lieutenant Hansen signaled the fishing schooner Henriette, which managed to pass a line and towed him out of the storm, which subsided at 6 o’clock a.m. Strangely enough, it was a Norwegian who brought the sloop inside the bay.
Captain Magnus Anderson, pathfinder, pilot boat No. 3. sighted the Gjoa shortly after she had been dropped by her tow, and brought her into the calm waters of Bonita Cove. There Captain Amundsen boarded her, and acting on the advice of Lieutenant G. C. Carmine of the revenue cutter service permitted the Gjoa to be towed down to Sausalito. The reunion of Captain Amundsen and the little crew that with him braved the dangers of the frozen North and completed the world’s greatest voyage was not without its dramatic features.
Charles A. Stephens, chief boarding officer, acting for Collector of the Port Stratton, placed the Golden Gate at the disposal of Captain Amundsen and his party. The tug with the distinguished explorer, an escort of representative Norwegians, newspaper writers and artists left the wharf at the foot of Washington Street shortly after 2 o’clock. Ten minutes later the bare pole of the tiny Gjoa proudly surmounted by the blue and white cross of Norway floating free in the breeze was sighted; then the green sides of the little hull rolling, gently in the swell, her black, scarred bottom showing nearly to the keel.
Amid the cheers of the escort and the welcoming shouts of his veteran crew, Captain Amundsen was taken from the tug and aboard the Gjoa, where he was clasped in the arms of navigator Hansen and the members of his little crew. It was a reunion of strong men who had faced unusual dangers; men who had written a new page in the world’s book of research exploration and adventure. Not the least enthusiastic welcome extended Captain Amundsen was that of the big Malamute dog, Niko, who shared the dangers of the navigation of the Northwest Passage. (San Francisco Call)
Massive Dynamite Blast Averted in Eureka
October 9, 1924 – Eureka — “Twelve tons of dynamite, enough to blow up all the Eureka waterfront docks adjoining the business district, were in imminent danger of being set off Monday afternoon near the E Street wharf.
The steamer Katherine, discharging the explosive cargo from San Francisco, had the dynamite moved to a barge anchored alongside the ship. The steamer Santa Barbara was slowly moving up the waterfront, unnoticed by the Katherine’s crew.
A shift in the tide sent the Santa Barbara into a near collision with the Katherine, and the larger ship would have passed safely had not its boom arm been stretched out. The boom crashed into the rigging of the Katherine, breaking off the boom of the Bayside boat, and sending it trashing toward the barge and its 12 tons of dynamite.
The accident took place so quickly that crew and stevedores were unable to check it, and all stood in consternation, some with closed eyes and with fingers in their ears expecting to be blown into kingdom come. However, the heavy boom crashed three feet from the dynamite into the water.” (San Francisco Chronicle)