Tall ship Lady Washington sets sail for annual maritime festival

By Stefanie Donahue

In just a matter of days, tall ship Lady Washington will appear in Drayton Harbor – the vessel is a full-scale replica of the first American ship to touch land on the west coast of North America in 1788.

Lady Washington typically pairs with the Hawaiian Chieftain for trips along the coast, but crews had to leave the steel-clad Hawaiian vessel moored in Port Townsend for routine repair, said operations director with Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, Caitlin Stanton. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport organizes trips along the west coast to educate the public about maritime
history and traditions.

Crews maneuvering Lady Washington through the Pacific’s brisk waters are set to make a stop in Blaine from August 3 to 6 during Drayton Harbor Days, offering a slew of local cruise excursions and tours. Here’s a look at what’s in store:

Vessel Tours: The tours are offered throughout Lady Washington’s stay in Blaine. Stanton said they offer the public a fun, easy way to step aboard the ship, which will be docked along Blaine Harbor. Tours are free, self-guided and take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on August 3 and 4 and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 5 and 6.

Evening and Adventure Sails: Both sails last two hours and offer the public a chance to get a more relaxed view of how the vessel operates. The sails cost $49 for adults and $42 for seniors, military personnel and children. Evening sails take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 3 and 4 and Adventure sails take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on August 5 and 6.

This year, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is also allowing the public to take a one-way trip from Blaine to Brownsville, WA for “a more robust experience,” Stanton said. The cruise costs $130 and takes about 20 hours.

To learn more about Grays Harbor Historical Seaport or to purchase tickets for an excursion, visit historicalseaport.org or call 1/800-200-5239.

Don’t forget about Drayton Harbor Days 

Before you fill up your calendar with sailing excursions, be sure to save some time to enjoy Blaine’s annual maritime festival, Drayton Harbor Days.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 5 and ends in the afternoon on Sunday, August 6 at Blaine Harbor. Here’s what’s on the schedule this year:

The 17th annual Run to the Border: The 5K begins at 9 a.m. on August 5 at Blaine Harbor. A one-mile Kids Marina Fun Run for kids under 10 kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Contributions support Let’s Move! Blaine. To volunteer, call Dan Persse at 360/201-1664 or email dcpersse@gmail.com.

Pancake Breakfast: Heaps of tasty breakfast staples will be up for grabs at the Blaine Senior Center from 8 to 11 a.m. on August 5. The senior center is located at 763 G Street.

Shopping: The public can peruse a variety of vendor booths along the waterfront from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 5.

Pirate-themed games, activities and contests: Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District #2 is sponsoring a variety of pirate-themed activities at Marine Park from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 5. All ages are encouraged to dress in their best pirate garb for a chance to win prizes in the pirate costume contest.

To get everyone in the spirit, the Shady Isle Pirates will perform sea chanteys and a historical reenactment.

The 15th annual Prestigious George Raft Race: The race begins at 1 p.m. on August 5 and requires participants to build rafts from recycled materials.

Rafts must be rowed from the Blaine public boat launch to the finish line at the visitor’s dock by onboard crews.

The winner takes home the Prestigious George Raft Race Trophy and all participants receive ribbons.

Movie Under the Stars: Paso Del Norte is sponsoring a movie at 9 p.m. on August 5 at Marine Park.

Pet Contest: Pets can join in on the fun at 1 p.m. on August 6 at the Blaine Boating Center by putting their best tricks and costume on display for a chance to win prizes.

Ferry rides: The historic Plover ferry will offer trips on the hour from Blaine Harbor to Semiahmoo between noon and 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

To learn more about Drayton Harbor Days, visit blainechamber.com or call 360/332-4544.

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