The captain of the Kennecott was best known for the smile permanently fixed to his face. That and the habit of stuffing newspapers beneath his clothing rather than wear a proper sea coat on the bridge. Laughing John they called him. His officers said they had never seen him without that smile until the night the Kennecott wrecked on the shoals of Queen Charlotte Island but I think it first faded in Yokohama.
On November 18, 2006, an excursion vessel departed the Seattle waterfront before mid-day and steamed to a position off Duwamish Head where, at 12:00 pm precisely, a wreath was cast adrift on Puget Sound to mark the grave of a vessel that sank a hundred years earlier.
On that day in 1906, the passenger vessel Dix departed Colman Dock, Seattle, at 7:00 pm, bound for Port Blakely, a 40 minute passage to the far side of Puget Sound. She was steaming at 10.5 knots on a clear, calm night. At 7:42 pm the Dix was struck amidships by the steam schooner Jeanie and sank. The captain’s pocket watch stopped at the moment he was thrown clear of the deck into the Sound.