Springtime in the Northwest means melting snow in the mountains, streams rushing with cold, clear water and showery days warmed by the occasional sun break. Trees sprout new leaves, flowers appear and the days grow noticeably longer. For families with children of any age, it's a time to reconnect with nature, to truly appreciate the beauty of the region we call home. Artist Point
Both the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are making extended stops in the Bellingham area this summer, bringing the lure of adventure on the high seas and the roar of cannon fire.
These historical replicas are seafaring museums that teach about the mariners who explored and traded along the Pacific Northwest coast in the late 1700s and early1800s.
"It's part of keeping maritime tradition alive," said Joe Follansbee, communications director for the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, where the ships are based.
"It inspires the imagination; it gets you thinking about the way mariners lived back then. It's great to read those things in a book, but to experience it in real life ..." he said. "Our mission is creating living history - fundamentally, it's education about the Northwest, including British Columbia. (The ships) represent a time period that is important to U. S. history."
Lady Washington, the official state ship, is a full-scale reproduction of a 112-foot square-rigged brig built in the 1750s. The original Lady Washington served as an American privateer in the Revolutionary War and in 1788 it was the first U.S. ship to land on the Pacific coast. Lady Washington sailed a pan-Pacific trade route that included Hawaii, Hong Kong and Japan. The replica Lady Washington, launched in 1989, has been featured in several movies, including "Star Trek: Generations" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series.
Topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain is a replica of a typical European trader from the turn of the 1800s. The 104-foot, steel-hulled square- rigger was launched in 1988.
Both the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will be in Bellingham from July 11-18, in Anacortes from July 20-28, in Blaine from July 31 to Aug. 4 and in Coupeville on Whidbey Island from Aug. 7-11.
For more information and for sailing and tour schedules, call 360-532-8611 or go online to historicalseaport.org.
Both ships will be available for public dockside tours for a $3 donation. During their stay in port, several adventure sails and battle sails will be offered at varying prices (buy tickets in advance online). Adventure sails offer passengers a chance to learn how tall ships work, sing sea chanties and hear maritime stories and lore. Battle sails feature staged "Master and Commander"-style naval skirmishes with booming cannons.
Suggest your ideas for family-friendly events or day trips to Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more Bellingham Families news online at BellinghamFamilies.com or on Facebook at Bellingham Families.