The chance to feel like Captain Jack Sparrow, Ahab or maybe Magellan is returning to Crescent City. The Tall Ships are coming on April 20.
Its masts furled because of the wind, the Lady Washington arrives off the coast of Crescent City during a prior visit here. Del Norte Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
The high-masted replicas of maritime vessels of the past skipped their usual visit to Crescent City last year after the March 2011 made the harbor less than hospitable. But this year, the soaring sails of both Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will be docking to provide walk-on tours, public sailings and educational programs for K-12 students.
On-board tours of the yachts of yore will be offered for a $3 donation at select times April 20-29.
Those who would rather hit the high seas in the tall ships can board one of the vessels for a “Battle Sail,” but choose wisely. Real gunpowder and cannons (sans cannon balls) will be used for a 18th-century naval skirmish, and only one ship will be declared victor.
“The crews encourage guests to verbally taunt their adversaries,” a Tall Ships press release states.
Participating in Battle Sails costs $40 to $60 and there will be four opportunities in Crescent City: April 21, 22, 28 and 29.
If explosions aren’t your thing, raise a sail, sing a sea shanty and grab the wheel with an “Evening Sail” for $25 on April 21 or 28.
Purchase tickets by visiting www.historicalseaport.org or by calling 800-200-5239.
Lady Washington was constructed in 1989 as a replica of one of the first U.S. flagged ships to visit the West Coast of America in the 18th century. The original Lady Washington transported freight between colonial ports until the American Revolutionary War, when she became a privateer and explored Oregon, Washington and British Columbia in search of furs.
It was the first American vessel to make landfall on the North American West Coast and first to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong and Japan.
The 112-foot boat has appeared in several movies, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
The Hawaiian Chieftain, built of steel in 1988, is a replica of a typical European merchant trader around the turn of the 19th century. Her hull and rigging are similar to Spanish explorers’ ships used to explore California, Oregon and Washington in the late 18th century.
There is still space available for K-12 educational programs. Home school groups and service clubs are encouraged to schedule a program. Public schools under Title I are eligible for large discounts.