Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tall Ship Battle Sail!


The Lady Washington - a replica of the original brig from the late 1700s
I have to tell you up front - this is not a budget trip, but it's a great trip and you can budget for it!
Last weekend I returned to the Tall Ships at the Port of Redwood City with my son. We went on a 3 hour battle sail and it was awesome.

 Calm Waters

We sailed on the Hawaiian Chieftain and our "opponents" sailed on the Lady Washington. We motored further out into the bay, then they shut off the engines, unfurled the sails and began maneuvering for position.

Maneuvering To Take A Shot


Each ship had one gunner who loaded powder into small but authentic cannons that were capable of shooting 3 pound balls. Of course they didn't load any ammunition but the powder and subsequent blast were authentic and extremely loud! As one crew member warned, if you made the mistake of not plugging your ears, "you'd never hear in that frequency again!" He was right. I purposely didn't plug my ears one time and afterward it felt like both my ears were plugged up. Luckily it wore off in about 10 minutes.

The Gunner

Tamping Down The Powder
Real Cannon That Would Shoot a 3 lb Ball (if loaded)

Most of the passengers stayed in the stern (back of the ship) where there were benches for seating. My son and I preferred the bow (front). The water was calm, like being in a bathtub, and because it's the bay off the port of Redwood City, it is almost always that calm. No seasickness to worry about!

Thoroughly Enjoying The Battle

Happy Mom


The fresh air felt great; I never got tired of admiring the Lady Washington (our opponents ship), or looking at the rigging and sails of our Hawaiian Chieftain. The crew were very friendly and professional; it was fascinating to watch them work the ship, and of course the "battle" was a lot of fun. I highly recommend this trip.

Using All Their Weight

Pulling Fast



Climbing High


The Captain, First Mate and Awestruck Passenger


If you go:
  • kids must be able to follow directions and stay out of the crew's way. They also have to like loud noises and bangs (plug your ears!).
  • The Tall Ships will be at the Port of Redwood City for one more weekend - Battle Sails March 29 - 30, 12 - 3pm. Then the ships move up to SF where you can try an Adventure Sail.  But don't worry! The ships travel up and down the West Coast; keep checking the schedule to find out when they will return.
  • Tickets for the Battle Sail are $63 adults; $53 students with ID, seniors (62+), active military; $43 children 12 and under.
  • Proceeds from these public sails go to the Grays Harbor non-profit educational programs for students (field trips).
I hope you can go - dress in layers, wear sunscreen, bring water, a camera and have fun!
Wrapping Up

Homeward Bound

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