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Visit the Tall Ships On the Oregon Coast

Date Added: May 10, 2016 11:58:18 PM



The month of May is a great time to visit the Oregon coast. Each year, the Tall ships, more commonly known as the Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington, visit the Astoria, Newport and Coos Bay areas of the coast. They might look familiar, particularly the Lady Washington, as it was featured in such movies as Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek, Once Upon a Time, and Revolution. So follow along, your family sailors, young and old, will be welcomed aboard!

While the Hawaiian Chieftain looks like the real deal, it's actually built of steel in modern day 1988 in, yes, Hawaii. This is a replica of a ship intended for the cargo trade between the lovely Hawaiian Islands. Raymond H. Richard, a naval architect is the designer. The Hawaiian Chieftain, at 65' and a 75' mast, and other similar ships were intended as colonial passenger and island jaunts that traded among coastal communities. Throughout the Hawaiian Islands and along the US coastal seaboard, the coastal packet service was part of the seafaring trade based on mercantile business amongst coastal communities. These ships were used for coastal packets as they  sailed very well and maneuvered easily, and could enter small ports with their shallow hulls. These shallow hulled ships were later used as prototypes for the clipper ships of the mid-1850s. The Hawaiian Chieftain sailed the Hawaiian Islands, then to Tahiti, before being purchased by a mainland owner. It now resides in Sausalito, California.

At 67' in length and carrying 6 miles of rigging, the Lady Washington originated closer to home. Finished in 1989, it was built in Aberdeen, Washington by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, and is the official ship of the State of Washington. The Lady Washington is a full scale replica of the original Lady Washington, a fine sailing ship from the late 1700s. After the war in 1787 Lady Washington was retrofitted in preparation for an incredible voyage around Cape Horn, and in 1788 the ship was the first American sailing vessel to arrive on the American west coast. Lady Washington was also at the forefront of the Pacific trade route, as the first American ship to reach Hawaii, China and Japan, later when King Kamehameha partnered in the ship, it become famous for the pearl and sandalwood trade between Hawaii and Asia.

The Lady Washington the Hawaiian Chieftain fought their first sea battle, pretend, of course, on the San Francisco Bay in 1993. You'll find not only walk aboard tours, but exciting excursions sailing the high seas. Even educational excursions regarding pirate lore, maritime history, and what it really took to keep these magnificent ladies afloat. Believe it or not, these ships are certified by the coast guard for current day sailing, so your fun can be safe, too! You'll find four different types of excursions are available, depending on the weather. The walk aboard tours, the adventure tours, and real battle reinactments. Guests may help raise a main sail, take over the helm of one of the tall ships, or learn sea shanty or jig.

While you visiting the Tall Ships on the Oregon Coast, receive a 10% discount at the local oceanfront Manzanita vacation rentals, The Houses On Manzanita Beach. For larger groups, book at stay at the Historic Reed House, and make your historical coastal vacation complete. You'll want to take advantage of other family fun during your stay. The Oregon coast has a lot to offer.

But don't worry. If you miss the Tall Ships on the Oregon coast, they'll be close by in June. From the Oregon coast, they'll be sailing north to the southern Washington coast near Ilwaco.