Those looking for a sneak preview of the Festival of Sail can visit one of the ships coming this summer for Tacoma’s waterfront festival.
The one-time pleasure yacht Zodiac will be docked at the Foss Waterway Seaport from Wednesday through Sunday (April 12-16).
The Bremerton-based ship was built in 1924 in Maine for the Johnson family of Johnson & Johnson fame. Zodiac sailed in a transatlantic race in 1928 and was later sold by different owners to a California organization that specializes in piloting ships from the Pacific Ocean into the ports within the San Francisco Bay.
For more than 40 years, Zodiac — then the California — sailed for two-week stints outside of Golden Gate, waiting for commercial and military ships to assist.
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A collision with a fishing vessel tore the front off the 160-foot schooner, prompting the pilots to stuff the hole with mattresses and sail the ship backward to a dry dock to avoid sinking.
The schooner later was retired and sold to the current owners, who restored it over 20 years. It’s registered on the National Register of Historic Places, and does charter cruises throughout Puget Sound.
Michael Simpson, contributing writer
Cost: Paid admission to the Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock St. in Tacoma, includes a tour of the schooner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (April 15) and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday (April 16).
Evening sail: On Commencement Bay, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; $79 for adults, $39 for children.
Easter brunch sail: From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Other: Cruises include a buffet meal on the ship, an opportunity to help raise the sail, lessons on Tacoma maritime history and admission to the seaport.
Tickets: Available at: bit.ly/2nM9JLb