History Sails into the Long Beach Peninsula

Aug 24, 2015 | Archive

The original Lady Washington tall ship first reached the Pacific Northwest more than two centuries ago after leaving Boston Harbor in 1787 and embarking on an equator-crossing voyage around Cape Horn.

More than two hundred years later, the iconic tall ship’s replica has become an ambassador of maritime and Pacific Northwest history up and down the Pacific coast. History buffs and sailing enthusiasts can see the Lady Washington up close when it makes its final stop of the 2015 Columbia River Voyage at the Port of Ilwaco on Aug. 28. The ship plans to dock from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., when on-board tours will be offered. A $3 donation is requested for a tour.

The modern Lady Washington is a stunning replica of its centuries-old counterpart and a piece of living history: it features about six miles of rigging, more than 4,400 square feet of sail area and a mast height of 89 feet. Stepping aboard the full-scale replica is akin to stepping back in time – the modern ship was thoroughly researched by historians and built by skilled shipwrights.

Does something about the Lady Washington look familiar? You may have seen the ship without knowing it – the Lady Washington has been featured in a music video by rap superstar Macklemore and numerous Hollywood blockbusters, including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlStar Trek: GenerationsOnce Upon A Time and Revolution.

The Lady Washington is often accompanied by the topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain, but will make its final Columbia River voyage solo – the Hawaii Chieftain is undergoing maintenance. Learn more about the Lady Washington and the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority at www.historicalseaport.org.

Landlubbers and enthusiasts of more-contemporary classics can look forward to the Slow Drag at the Port in Ilwaco and the Rod Run to the End of the World in Ocean Park, two mid-September classic car events on the Peninsula.

The 32nd annual Rod Run to the End of the World, set for Sept. 12-13, features cars built in 1985 and earlier, and offers vintage vehicle fans acres of eye candy. The Slow Drag at the Port, where slow and steady wins the race, is set for Sept. 11. Cars accelerate for about 15 feet and then coast about 200 yards toward the finish line. The car that crosses and stops closest to the line is the victor.

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