Seaport Landing Receives $1 Million State Grant

The state budget passed by the Washington Legislature this week contains $1 million for rehabilitation work at Seaport Landing. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority applied for the money in the state’s Heritage Capital Projects Fund, and the project was included in the 2015-2017 state operating budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday. GHHSA owns and operates Seaport Landing.

Under the terms of the grant, the Historical Seaport is required to raise $2 million in matching funds before receiving the state money. The funds will be used to rehabilitate Building 8, one of several buildings at the former Weyerhaeuser Sawmill site in south Aberdeen, now called Seaport Landing. GHHSA purchased the property from Weyerhaeuser in 2013.

The Heritage Capital Projects Fund is a competitive grant program authorized by the Legislature in 1995. HCPF supports capital needs and facilities of heritage organizations, tribal governments, public development authorities, and local government agencies that interpret and preserve Washington’s history and heritage.

Lady Washington Returns to Seaport Landing in Aberdeen



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Note: The Friday, July 3 Evening Sail begins at 5 p.m. Some publications listed the start time at 6 p.m. We regret the confusion. || Lady Washington, Grays Harbor’s tall ship and the official ship of Washington State, has returned to Seaport Landing in Aberdeen. Lady Washington has scheduled several public events and opportunities for families, fantasy pirates, and young people. Highlights of her activities include:

Longboat Battle Sail — On Sunday, June 21, the 112-foot Lady Washington will be “attacked” by the 26-foot wooden longboat Captain Matt Peasley at Seaport Landing in south Aberdeen. The longboat, one of two in the Historical Seaport fleet, will be fitted with a small cannon and it will meet Lady Washington for a “David-and-Goliath” duel on the Chehalis River. Tickets are $75 adults, $67 students/seniors/active military, and $39 children 12/under. The action starts at 3 p.m.

Appearance at Rusty Scuppers Pirate Daze — Lady Washington will welcome visitors and guests on sailing excursions during Westport’s annual Rusty Scuppers Pirate Daze festival June 26-28. The ship will open for walk-on tours June 26, 4 p.m to 5 p.m., and June 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Excursions are scheduled for 6 p.m., June 26, 3 p.m. June 27, and 2 p.m. June 28.

Sail-a-bration and SPLASH Fireworks — The Seaport Landing pier will open to the public on the evening of Saturday, July 4 to view the annual Aberdeen SPLASH Fireworks display over the Chehalis River. Parking is available on site. A $5 donation per car is appreciated. The main gate to Seaport Landing, 500 N. Custer St., Aberdeen, will open at noon for tours of Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain. At 9 p.m., Lady Washington will take guests sailing on the Chehalis River to view the fireworks. Tickets are $75 adults, $67 students/seniors/active military, and $39 children 12/under. On Friday, July 3, both ships will open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for tours, followed by an Evening Sail on Lady Washington at 5 p.m.

For a complete schedule of public activities, visit our public schedule page. Tickets are available online or by calling 800-200-5239. Early reservations are strongly recommended.

During June, Hawaiian Chieftain will be closed to the public while maintenance projects are completed. The ship is expected to return to Seaport Landing the week of June 29 and be available for visits during the SPLASH celebration.



Help Keep Hawaiian Chieftain Afloat for Years to Come!

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority is working on a major upgrade to Hawaiian Chieftain that will allow her to take thousands of school children on educational field trips, and will allow her to keep training the future of our maritime-based work force. Donate now via Paypal or credit card. You can also watch the fundraising video produced by the Hawaiian Chieftain’s crew.

This project is our first stepping stone into making the Hawaiian Chieftain a 21st-century sailing vessel and will lead to a complete electrical and engineering system overhaul over the next several years. As always, we are looking to improve safety and sustain the Hawaiian Chieftain for many more years to come. This project includes:

  • Re-ballast: Acquire and install lead ingots to give us a smoother ride through ocean swells
  • Fly-by-wire: Replace our aging hynautic system with electronic engine controls
  • Heat exchangers
  • Wet exhaust
  • New generators
  • Water tank upgrade
  • AIS system

In the past five years we have had more than 42,000 school children participate in our education program up and down the entire West Coast. We hope to have ten times that amount in the upcoming years and continue training individuals who want to sail a tall ship. Your support of our programs and our vessels makes all of this possible.

Video screen shot

Capt. Eamon Kennedy pitches for funds to support Hawaiian Chieftain. Click the image to watch the fundraising video.

Update: Columbia River Voyage July and August, 2015

UPDATE: Tickets available now for public excursions. || The brig Lady Washington and the topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain begin a seven-week voyage on the Columbia River when they depart Seaport Landing in Aberdeen on July 5 for their first stop in Ilwaco. The ships will visit 11 river ports, with public tours and excursions scheduled in Ilwaco, Kalama, Stevenson, Hood River, The Dalles, Pasco, Arlington, Washougal, and Cathlamet. Here’s the first group of activities:

July 7: Ilwaco
7/7: 10 a.m., Chinook Nation Trade Ceremony; Noon to 5 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation per person; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Evening Sail, $35.

July 10-12: Kalama
7/10: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Battle Sail, $39-$75; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Evening Sail, $45.
7/11: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Battle Sail, $39-$75; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Evening Sail, $45.
7/12: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Battle Sail, $39-$75

July 16-20: Stevenson
7/16-17: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation.
7/18-20: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., walk-on tours $3 donation; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Battle Sail, $39-75.

Here’s the list of 2015 stops with public availability.
July 5: Depart Aberdeen
July 10-12: Kalama
July 16-20: Stevenson
July 22-23: Hood River
July 25-27: The Dalles
July 31-August 10: Pasco
August 13-14: Arlington
August 17-19: Hood River
August 22-23: Washougal
August 26: Cathlamet
August 28: Ilwaco

Tickets are now available online at our Public Sails Schedule for the ships’ popular Battle Sails, Adventure Sails, and Evening Sails. The three-hour Battle Sail features real cannon, real gunpowder, and 18th-century sailing maneuvers. Tickets are $75 adults, $67 for seniors (62+), students with ID, and active military, $39 for children 12 and under. Two-hour Adventure Sails and Evening Sails feature opportunities for guests to help raise a sail, sing a sea shanty, and take the helm of a real tall ship. Adventure Sail tickets are $47 adults, $39 for children 12 and under. Evening Sails are $35 Tuesday through Thursday, $45 Friday and Saturday. Call 800-200-5239 to purchase by phone. A telephone order fee will apply.

Tickets are also available for Passages, the port-to-port daytime transits made by each vessel as they make their way up or down-river. Details and online purchasing is available on the Public Sail Schedule of the ships’ website or call 800-200-5239.

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A California Transit from Eureka to Crescent City

By Monica “Buttercup” Schumacher

Monica Schumacher, known to her shipmates as “Buttercup,” crewed on Hawaiian Chieftain as steward and education coordinator in spring 2014.

Monica Schumacher

Monica Schumacher

The last ride from Eureka to Crescent City was supposed to be hellish. Scheduled to depart on a Monday, we held back a day, despite our program requiring our prompt arrival, and left before light had hit the sky Tuesday morning. The Coast Guard wasn’t answering the radio to tell us we could leave or what the conditions were at the sand bar crossing. Eventually we got a hold of them, and they reported a difficult crossing, but the reality right before our eyes was quite different. It was a perfect time to cross, so we let them know the conditions and referred the information to our other ship, Lady Washington, as well. Motoring out over the growing waves, we gathered on the deck in our foulies and life jackets, expecting a tough transit. According to reports we’d observed, the waves that day would be washing all the way up to the quarter deck. We were as prepared as we could be, lifelines readied and watches scheduled, everyone dreading the next twelve to twenty-four hours.

My watch wasn’t until noon, so I stayed out for breakfast and watched the lovely yellow and peach-colored sunrise over the ocean before heading below to my bunk to nap. Trying to fall asleep, my mind played through all the things our captain, J.B. Morrison, had said about this transit. It’s hard to describe how incredibly wet and cold it is to stand on deck against the wind, with freezing whips of rain and salt spray coating you and everything you touched. On my second transit, we slept in layers of salt, stood watch washed back and forth by icy waves, which reached up to us on our perch on the quarter deck, battled the wind and waves throwing the helm hard at each turn, and staggered boot deep in sea whenever we crossed the main deck on our boat check. J.B. said this transit would be worse. I willed myself to rest, knowing every ounce of energy would be my ally.

I was rocked to sleep by the ocean.

There were several dreams, and light sleep, as heavy rest is not reliable when listening for possible alarms and the need to run up on deck at a moment’s notice, and finally I woke up, quietly awaiting my wake up call for my watch. I felt the ocean swaying around me, not tossing this way and that as it usually did. I hoped, I hoped this meant the sea was being kind to us today.

My shipmate Dave came up and called to me from outside my bunk curtain, “Monica, Monica?”

“Yes?” I answered, pulling back the curtain.

He was grinning. That was a good sign, or maybe I just had serious bedhead. “It’s 10 minutes till your lunch and 40 minutes until your watch. Also, it’s beautiful out there! Just beautiful!”

“Ooo!” I twittered, still not awake enough for concrete word responses. I was excited and simultaneously dubious about what “beautiful” meant.

“We should be there in four hours. During your watch. We are making such good time!” said Dave, as he headed off to complete his boat check.

I started piling on my layers, union suit, pj pants, pants, long sleeved sweater, wool coat, foulies, boots, and grabbed my harness. Just as I was heading up to deck, a crew member was walking down from the main deck, clad only in a t-shirt and his long underwear.

“You’re not going to need those,” he said, indicating my foulies and multiple layers.

I stripped off my foulies, but still was not trusting that the layers were not necessary.

When I got up on deck, there was a long underwear party in full effect.

Only the captain still had his work pants on.

The sun was shining, the wind was favorable, and the waves were rolling us along under fluffy white clouds. I felt out of place. I got my lunch, and after I ate, it became quite clear I was wearing much too much. I removed pants and pj pants, all the way down to my bright red union suit.

The first mate put me on the helm to steer, and my red bottom was set up on the pedestal as we rode along.

While I studied the compass with the rolling of the waves, the captain noted a southerly wind and mused about setting out the stuns’ls and the raffee. His musing quickly became a reality, as he told the crew members on deck to go retrieve these sails from the lazarette. I still stood steering in my red onesie and wool jacket, as pants were pulled back on and hands went aloft to let out the mains’ls.

Lines were thrown down from the yards, caught and tied on the foredeck, as I steered along our course. I started to worry I’d be entirely left out of the sail setting process, when J.B. turned to me and told me to relieve our first mate, Patty, at catching the lines. I ran up, still in onesie, caught some lines, and tied them off on the windlass, then answered the captain’s call for me to go cast gaskets on the course yard, about to go aloft in just my onesie. I ran back, pulled pants and harness on, laughing and feeling heat in my cheeks, then headed up the rigging, yelling, “Laying aloft!”

I had never been aloft on a seaway.

I moved slower up the rigging than I did when we were docked, testing my way as the lean of the waves affected my climb. It was not difficult, just new. Once I got to the course yard, I was told to climb out onto it and cast gaskets. I stared out over the ocean, and stretched my leg out to the foot rope, and locking my harness into the back rope before setting it behind me. I lurched forward, grasping the yard with as much contact and control I could muster. After a breath or two, I started untying the gasket coils to let the sail unfurl, traveling almost all the way out to the end of the yard. It was beautiful, exhilarating, and terrifying up there. When Patty lay out on the foot rope, I lurched again, still not used to the way the rope drew taut and tight and pulled my legs nearly into the splits when they had sat in a relaxed sort of squat a second before. We unfurled the sail, then lay off, climbing back down to the deck. I shouted as I got down from the rigging, “Back on deck, last on the main!”

Then we went to setting the stuns’ls and raffee, tying lines to sails pulled out of our storage space. We mis-set them a few times, but at long last, the sails were up and shining in the afternoon sun. We were sailing in a seaway: Triangle-shaped sail set on top of three square sails, with two rectangle sails to fill out the sides, raffee, upper mains’l, lower mains’l, course, and stuns’ls. Any ship who saw us would have fallen instantly in love at our glorious mating display.

We sailed for a little over an hour, watching the wind billow in our sails, dodging crab pots, and grinning in the cool sunlight. The captain had the helm, and guided us up to the red buoys, marking our entrance into Crescent City Harbor. All hands went to furling the sails as quickly as a group of wet behind the ears trainees and years of experience sailors ever could. Then we motored into their harbor, which was full to the gills with fishing boats.

In the harbor, J.B. steered our ship around a buoy marking a submerged rock washed over to our coast from the tsunami, turned her around and called hands to fenders on port side. Fenders were tied off, mooring lines prepared and then tossed to the dock, and we pulled her nice and tight and close in.

We’d made it, on a beautiful sail, to the windy land of Crescent City.