In which we visit a Pirate ship you will certainly recognize

Johnny Depp made her famous outside of her home waters.

But The Curse of the Black Pearl wasn't this ship's first time on the big screen.
The Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington are visiting our local harbour!

(I put my bum where Captain Jack Sparrow put HIS bum!)
Truly, Jim looks at home behind the wheel.
Now, if only we could cast off lines and raise the sails!
We weren't the only Pirates on board.
This kid had a very special sword--it makes clanging noises when you swing it around. (jealous!)
The topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain is a replica of a typical European merchant trader of the turn of the nineteenth century. Her hull shape and rigging are similar to those of Spanish explorer's ships used in the expeditions of the late 18th century along the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. Built of steel in Hawaii in 1988 and originally designed for cargo trade among the Hawaiian Islands, her design was influenced by the early colonial passenger and coastal packets that carried on coastal trade along the Atlantic coastal cities and towns.
Launched on March 7, 1989, the Lady Washington was built in Aberdeen, Washington by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority. The new Lady Washington is a full-scale reproduction of the original Lady Washington. Built in the British Colony of Massachusetts in the 1750's, the original vessel carried freight between colonial ports until the American Revolutionary War, when she became an American privateer. In 1787, after the war, she was given a major refit to prepare her for a unprecedented trading voyage around Cape Horn. In 1788, she became the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast of North America.

A pioneer in Pan-Pacific trade, she was the first American ship to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong and Japan. Lady Washington opened the black pearl and sandalwood trade between Hawaii and the Orient when King Kamehameha became a partner in the ship.

The modern Lady Washington was thoroughly researched by historians and constructed by skilled shipwrights. She was launched as part of the 1989 Washington State Centennial celebration.

(I learned this from the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport website, but the crew of both tall ships were wonderfully informative and answered all of our questions)

Tall rigging on a tall ship.
Lines neatly coiled around belaying pins.
Belaying pins are also useful for subduing zombies, should the need arise.

The Lady W's ship bell (visible under Jack Sparrow's elbow in the photo at the top of the page).

Replica of a period map. Note that California is pictured as a small island!

The sounding lead--drop this over the side to measure the depth. There's a little indentation on the bottom of the sounding lead that sailors would smear with something sticky so that the lead would bring up bits of the sea bottom. That way they could know what was below them, be it rocks, sand, shells or coral.

Ship's anchor.

A brick...of tea! The large brick is sufficient to make 5,000 cups of tea.
The smaller brick (inside the little pouches) weigh about 2.5 ounces, make about 300 cups of tea, and was used as currency--the small brick was a sailor's wage for 6 months aboard ship.

We bought a small brick to take home. It's delicious!

Rear swivel gun. The cork keeps the barrel dry.

A little bit of nautical music, and some footage of the Lady Washington in action!

Life. Is. Good.
(especially for pirates!)


  1. This is SO COOL. I feel like I took a tour. I love the interesting details about the tea bricks and sticky sounding weights. Great pics.

  2. I especially like that you can arm yourself against zombies ... just in case the need should arise LOL!

  3. you lucky duck! I would have loved to see those ships! I LOVE Tall ships!

  4. Oooh! I'm so envious! My kidlets and I would have been going nuts exploring, asking questions and playing on those ships. They are just beautiful and so well kept.

    We have all of the Pirate's movies and have watched them countless times. I love love Johnny Depp!

    Looks like that creepy zombie is one of Davy Jone's crew. I'd steer clear if I were you or you will be asked if you fear death...and then you'll be cast forever to crew the ghostly Flying Dutchman! aghhhhh!



  5. the enterprise - oh! how i loved that!

  6. Wow, you are brave voyagers. this weather is enough to "Shiver me Timbers" and keep me a landlubber.


  7. That is very cool!

    I hope the tea has been devalued and you didn't spend 6 months wages on it. ;)


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