scan from slide; photo circa 1970
The S.S. Catala "Boatel" was grounded by a freakish
combination of a 70-mph wind along with a high tide during a wild
southwest storm out of the Pacific, around noon on New Year's Day of
1965. Yards of sand were swept from under the vessel's starbourd side.
Refloating the Catala proved impossible. Much material was salvaged,
but a great deal was stolen..."Piracy" was active; small
boats came acress the bay, furnishings were stolen and the thieves
could be gone before Ocean Shores deputies could get to the ship.
Incendiary fires caused further damage.
In 1925, Queen of the Union Steamship Fleet, the S.S. Catala plied the Canadian Coastal waters carrying miners, loggers and adventurers; was retired in 1958. She was a floating hotel in Seattle during the 1962 World's Fair, then was towed to California to become a floating restaurant, and in 1963 brought to Ocean Shores to become a floating base for the Ocean Shores Charter fleet and a "Boatel" to fishermen, with 52 staterooms, a ship's restaurant and a friendly lounge. Electricity and telephone service had been extended to the ship; a bridge and roadway made easy access to the ship's parking area, at her bow. Heavy seas removed these conveniences and gradually sand built up to join the two bodies of land, except during extremely high tide when there can be some water flow between the two.
The Catala's registry dated June 1925, the original official machinery registration, registered in Glasgow, Scotland, was found under a house on the North Beach several years after the ship was grounded. The finder left it with Mr. and Mrs. Ben Morgan, operators of the Museum. The Morgans donated the registry for exhibit to the Ocean Shores Public Library in 1973.