Ahoy, Carillon Point

From toddlers dressed like pirates, to squealing Johnny Depp fans, to Navy veterans wearing campaign hats, just about everyone loves the tall ships from Grays Harbor Historical Seaport.

“The sea is the great leveler,” said Michael Kellick, captain of the official state ship, the Lady Washington.

The wooden vessel is many things to many people, but it is first and foremost a historical tribute to the original Lady Washington which (among her many achievements) was the first American ship to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong, and Japan.

As a full-scale replica of the original ship, today’s modern Lady Washington, launched in 1989, was thoroughly researched by historians, built by trained shipwrights, and inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard as a certified passenger sailing vessel.

While the ship may be new, Kellick said there are times when the Lady Washington feels like a time machine.

“We really hope our passengers get a window into that world for even just a couple of minutes on a sail when they are hearing the call backs, when they see the canvas being spread, and the engine has been off for minutes,” he said. “Sometimes we’ll get a background when there is nothing human-made and it just us and the way it might have looked a few hundred years ago.”

The vessel’s history doesn’t end there, the Lady Washington is also a bit of a movie star. She has been featured in Star Trek: Generations, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, several episodes of the ABC series Once Upon a Time, numerous History Channel documentaries, and she was the inspiration for the cartoonists of Treasure Planet.

The Lady Washington and her sister ship, the Hawaiian Chieftain, will be moored at Carillon Point in Kirkland through Labor Day. Both ships will be open for walk-on tours for $5 donation or visitors may elect to buy tickets to participate in a sail around Lake Washington.

Tour Schedule:

Sept 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sept 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sept 5 (Labor Day) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lady Washington Fact Sheet:

Length on deck: 67 feet
Length on the waterline: 72 feet
Overall length: 112 feet
Draft (Depth): 11 feet
Beam (Width): 22 feet
Mast height: 89 feet
Displacement: 210 tons
Gross tonnage: 99 tons
Total sail area: 4,442 square feet
Rigging: Approximately six miles
Guns: Two three pounder; two swivels aft
Crew compliment: 12
Passenger capacity: 45

is the managing editor of South Sound magazine. Email her.
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