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Tallships: Blasts from the Past

by Eva Seelye

Lady Washington

Lady Washington will be at Port Orchard on May 16-23, then return with Hawaiian Chieftain on August 18-27.

Each year, the tall ship Lady Washington sails the waters of the Pacific offering educational programs, free deck tours, and sailing trips to the public. Local to the Northwest, the 67’ Lady Washington – a replica of the first American vessel to make landfall on North America’s West Coast, Japan, Hong Kong, and Honolulu – was built in Aberdeen in 1989 and is part of the Washington-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport (GHHS).

She, along with her 65’ companion vessel, Hawaiian Chieftain, will return to Port Orchard this year – one of 40 ports at which these tall ships dock each year, making them two of the most active educational boats in America.

The Lady Washington will make port at Port Orchard Marina twice this year – once by herself on May 16-23 and again on August 18-27 accompanied by Hawaiian Chieftain, offering glimpses into the maritime industry of the 18th and 19th centuries. Stationary vessel tours are available Tuesday through Sunday for a $5 suggested donation or choose to brave the seas on a ticketed Adventure Sail in the Sound. The Hawaiian Chieftain is also available to be chartered for private events such as weddings and workplace team builders.

GHHS, in addition to their active sail trainings aboard tall ships, also offers school programs and public sailings. Their mission is to provide educational, vocational, recreational, and ambassadorial activities and experiences to promote and preserve the maritime history of Grays Harbor, the Pacific Northwest, and in large, the nation. If you’re 16 or older, you’re eligible to join the volunteer sailing crew through the Two Weeks Before the Mast program where you spend a fortnight living and working aboard one of these centuries-old tall ships.

You can even choose to book a passage aboard these tall ships as they travel between ports. If you’re looking to get into the maritime industry or are interested in additional education, check out Sea School Northwest for job training programs or for knowledge and mentorship in professional maritime fields. Additional information and Lady Washington Adventure Sail tickets can be found at historicalseaport.org.

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