Tall ships set sail for Blaine

By Stefanie Donahue

Blaine and Birch Bay residents will have the chance to step aboard two historic vessels this August 5 through 7. Tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are making a stop in Blaine Harbor during the annual Drayton Harbor Days.

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport organizes the maritime excursion, which features its popular battle sail, adventure sail and evening sail. The Drayton Harbor Days stop is just one of the many on this year’s west coast tour.

Those interested in getting a firsthand look at an 18th century naval skirmish are encouraged to step aboard the three-hour battle sail. According to communications director Joe Follansbee, onlookers can expect a real cannon and gunpowder, but no cannon balls.The adventure sail and evening sail will feature live demonstrations, including a close-up look at traditional methods of tall ship handling. The public is also welcome to step aboard the ships for a dockside tour. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Both ships have historical significance to the state of Washington. The original 18th Century Lady Washington was part of the 1787 Columbia Expedition and was the first American-flagged ship to round Cape Horn. She was engaged in the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest and also carried tea and porcelain from China. Her replica was built in 1989 and is known as Washington’s ambassador. The Hawaiian Chieftain was built in 1988 in Maui and is a modern interpretation of a traditional design.

“Our mission is to preserve and protect our maritime history so kids can understand how our nation formed,” Follansbee said.

The battle sail costs $75 for adults, $67 for students/seniors/active military and $39 for children ages 12 and under.

The adventure sail costs $47 for adults and $39 for children ages 12 and under, and the evening sail costs $45. Interested parties can buy tickets online at historicalseaport.org.

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