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Lady Washington, Hawaiian Chieftan sailing into Tacoma

The 112-foot brig Lady Washington will be in Tacoma Aug. 19-23.
The 112-foot brig Lady Washington will be in Tacoma Aug. 19-23. Staff file, 2008

The tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will call Tacoma home Aug. 19-23.

While docked at the Foss Waterway Seaport, there will be free dockside tours to Seaport visitors presenting their admission sticker or receipt. Cannon battles and sailing excursions are also on the schedule.

“We’re just trying to carry on the legacy of Stan Selden and bring tall ships to Tacoma, and it’s a good way to warm up for next year’s tall ship festival,” said Wes Wenhardt, executive director of the Seaport.

Selden was a driving force behind the tall ship festivals hosted by Tacoma in 2005 and 2008. The city will host another festival in June 2017.

“It’s also a celebration of the Foss Waterway Seaport,” Wenhardt added. “We just completed a $1.8 million renovation, and now we’re open year round.

“We jumped at the chance to have them come here when they said they would be in the area.”

Launched in 1989 to celebrate Washington’s centennial, the Lady Washington has a career that includes movie and TV appearances and being named the state’s official tall ship.

The 112-foot vessel was built by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority as a replica of the original Lady Washington. In 1788, that ship became the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast. She later became the first American ship to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong and Japan.

The current version was built as part of Washington’s centennial celebration in 1989. In 2007, the Legislature designated her as the state’s official tall ship. Now serving as an ambassador for the state and Grays Harbor County, the Lady Washington visits as many as 40 West Coast ports a year.

Among her Hollywood credits, the Lady Washington portrayed the HMS Interceptor in the film “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and the brig Enterprise, a namesake of the Starship Enterprise, on the holodeck in “Star Trek Generations.” On television, the ship had a large role in the miniseries Blackbeard,

Built in Lahaina, Hawaii, the Hawaiian Chieftain was launched in 1988. The 103-foot ship was originally designed to run cargo between Hawaiian islands. She now specializes in education programs for kindergarteners through 12th graders.

The Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority bought the boat in October 2005 and brought it back from the East Coast.

While in Tacoma, visitors will have two ways to take to the water aboard the ships. Battle sails are re-creations of a typical 18th-century naval skirmishes with real cannons and gunpowder but no cannonballs. Family-oriented evening sails will include the opportunity to help raise a sail, learn a sea shanty and hear maritime stories.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

Public schedule

Aug. 19

Dockside tours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with paid admission to Foss Waterway Seaport.

Evening sail: 6-8 p.m. $54 for all ages.

Aug. 20

Dockside tours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Battle sail: 3-5 p.m. Adults $72, seniors $62 and children $34.

Evening sail: 6-8 p.m. $54 all ages.

Aug. 21

The Seaport will be closed for a private event. Admission passes will be sold to visit the Seaport on a future date and allow dockside tours that day.

Dockside tours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Battle sail: 3-5 p.m. Adults $72, seniors $62 and children $34.

Evening sail: 6-8 p.m. $54 all ages.

Aug. 22

The ships and Seaport will be closed.

Aug. 23

Dockside tours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tickets: To purchase sailing tickets, visit historicalseaport.org or call 800 200 5239. All sailing tickets include admission to the Seaport.

Foss Waterway Seaport: For information on hours and admission, go to fosswaterwayseaport.org or call 253-272-2750.

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