Avast and belay: Tall ships to battle in Sequim Bay today
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Margaret McKenzie/Peninsula Daily News
The tall masts of the Lady Washington tower over John Wayne Marina Tuesday night. The replica of the famous ship and Hawaiian Chieftain will perform a mock battle in Sequim Bay.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM — Sequim Bay will be the scene of a noisy “battle” between two tall ships today, as the crews of the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain pretend to slug it out with 3-pound cannons.

The three-hour “battle cruise” will take on passengers before the 2 p.m. sailing from the John Wayne Marina in Sequim.

Preceding the mock battle, walk-on tours of the docked ships will begin at noon.

Crews will wear period costumes. Reservations are not required. Admission is a $3 donation.

The Sequim tours are the only one that the ships will give on the North Olympic Peninsula this summer.

They won't be going to Port Angeles — because the floating dock it used in the past was removed — or Port Townsend this year.

People should be able to watch today's so-called battle, which will be fought with blank rounds, from the marina, said Kent Gorham, captain of the Hawaiian Chieftain, who hails from Chimacum.

The Hawaiian Chieftain has about 10 deckhands who man the sails, letting the ship perform “fancy maneuvers,” Gorham said.

Battle cruise tickets are $60 for adults; $50 for seniors, students and military; and $40 for children age 12 and younger, and are available at www.historical
seaport.org or at the dock on the day of the cruise.

On Wednesday, walk-on tours were conducted, and passengers enjoyed an evening sail aboard the Lady Washington.

At 5 p.m. today, passengers will board the ships and depart for Bellingham at
6 p.m., according to the posted schedule. Tickets for the 24-hour passage to Bellingham are $125.

The 65-foot Hawaiian Chieftain is a steel-hulled modern ketch-rigged ship that was designed to resemble a 19th-century trader or packet ship.

It was launched in 1988 and has a 75-foot-tall mast with a 5-foot, 6-inch-draft.

The shallow draft of the ship allowed the craft to pass over the shallow entrance to Sequim Bay, Gorham said.

The Hawaiian Chieftain is the companion ship to the 67-foot brig-rigged Lady Washington, the state's official tall ship.

The wooden-hulled Lady Washington, captained by John Morrison, was launched in 1989, is 89 feet tall, carries 6 miles of rigging with 89-foot Douglas fir masts and has an 11-foot draft.

It is a replica of the original 18th century brig and has starred in several movies — as the 1799 brig USS Enterprise in “Star Trek Generations”; the HMS Interceptor in “Pirates of the Caribbean”; and as the Jolly Roger in “Once Upon a Time.”

It most recently appeared in the hip-hop music video “Can't Hold Us,” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

The Lady Washington also is scheduled to take part in the ocean voyage portion of the 2013 Canoe Journey, Paddle to Quinault, meeting canoes at Neah Bay on July 25 and escorting the canoes as they make their way down the coast to Taholah.

The visit to Sequim is part of an effort to visit the smaller seaports and towns in Washington, said Joe Follansbee, spokesman for the nonprofit Grays Harbor Seaport Authority, which is based in Aberdeen and operates the two ships.

The ships travel the Pacific Coast, offering educational programs, adventure sailing and tours to interested visitors.

“Each year, we get more requests than we can accommodate,” Follansbee said.

He said that smaller ports, such as Sequim and Port Ludlow, are on the ships' schedule every two to three years, as allowed by the Lady Washington's draft and the ports' facilities, while large, popular ports such as Seattle are visited each year.

“As Washington's tall-ship ambassador, we visit as many as possible,” Follansbee said.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

News Editor Margaret Mc­Kenzie contributed to this report.

Last modified: July 10. 2013 6:15PM
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