Tall ships making stop in Port of Pasco on June 8-16

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJune 5, 2013 

Ahoy, mateys. Ready for some fun on the high seas?

No, Cap'n Jack Sparrow won't be coming to town, but two of Washington's finest tall ships, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, will sail into the Tri-Cities on Friday.

The replica vintage ships will be tied up at Columbia Marine Center in the Port of Pasco through June 16 and will provide Tri-Citians with an entertaining week of ship tours, adventure sails and mock battle scenes on the Columbia River.

"People love our ships because they fire the imagination," said Joe Follansbee, a spokesman with the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority.

"Standing on the deck of the Lady Washington or Chieftain, it's not hard to feel that you're back in the 18th century exploring the Pacific Coast for the first time," he added.

Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 8-9, 15-16. From June 11-14 tours are from noon to 5 p.m.

Adventure sails are offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 9 and from 3 to 5 p.m. June 15 and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 16.

The thrilling mock battle scenes will happen in front of the marina from 2 to 5 p.m. June 8-9 and June 16.

There also will be an evening sail from 6 to 8 p.m. The evening sail will cost $29 on Tuesday and Thursday or $39 on Friday and Saturday.

Touring the ships while docked costs only a donation.

And for the brave of heart with a hankering to don an eye patch and pirate's cap to take part in the battle on the water, that'll cost $60 for adults, $50 for students, seniors and active military personnel, or $40 for kids age 12 and younger.

But you'll only be an observer during the battle as only the the ships' crews will be manning the cannons.

You can also book one-way passage from each port the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain stop at as they head back down river to the Pacific Ocean.

Cost is $67.50 to each port of call, which includes Pasco to Umatilla, Umatilla to Arlington, Arlington to The Dalles, The Dalles to Stevenson, Stevenson to Kalama and Kalama to Ilwaco.

Reservations for all excursions available by phone at 800-200-5239 or go to historicalseaport.org. But be warned that a ride on the Lady Washington brig or the topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain could bring out a hidden desire for a life on the high seas.

"A sailing trip often inspires individuals to look into a maritime career, or volunteer aboard the ships for a time to get a taste of the sea-going life," Follansbee said. "We believe this kind of hands-on experience is the best way to learn about maritime history and the possibility of working on the water."

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