Lady Washington brig returns to Blaine harbor
By Jack Kintner
After a four-year absence, the 176-ton brig Lady Washington returned to Blaine on Wednesday under Captain Ryan Meyer, sailing in the company of the 65-foot topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain. Both will be open for dockside tours and three-hour sailing excursions through the week.
They came from an extended series of tall ship regattas in Puget Sound and Canada, sailing with such well-known vessels as the Eagle, the Bounty replica, the Maple Leaf, the Nina, Red Jacket, the Oriole and others.
“It was a lot of fun and a lot of work,” Meyer said, before taking his crew into Sucia Island for a rest day. Meyer was formerly captain of the Plover passenger ferry in Blaine for one summer.
Because of her rigging, the 112-foot Lady Washington is actually a “brig,” not a “ship.” She was launched in 1989 and was modeled on the first Lady Washington built in Massachusetts in 1750 as a single masted sloop.
During the Revolutionary War she served as a privateer on the east coast before being re-fitted and sent around Cape Horn for the North American fur trade. She was the first American ship on the west coast and the first European ship to enter Grays Harbor, the main reason why she was chosen as a model for a replica to be built by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority that operates the vessel.
The Lady Washington’s highly skilled crew of 12 to 15 people like to take others along for real-life sailing excursions to show off the boat they love so much under way and exhibit their seamanship. Their spotless safety record is based on having a crew with solid experience in-shore and blue water, or open ocean sailing, roaming as far as Central America and the Caribbean.
The crew’s seamanship is one reason the Lady has become a media babe, with several recent movie and TV appearances and more to come. An early cameo in the third Star Trek movie showed her possibilities, and her big film break came with Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” that created a whole new set of younger Lady Washington devotees.
To experience this, be at gate three in the Blaine Marina beginning Thursday morning.
The ship’s crew will offer dockside tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday July 24 and 25, as well as sunset sails from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Dockside tours are also scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26 along with battle sails from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27.
The adventure sail is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.
Ticket prices for the adventure and sunset sails are $55, $45 for seniors over 62 and active military and $35 for children under 12.
Tickets for the Battle Sails on Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, are $5 more.
Visit www.historicalseaport.org for more information.