Maritime Fun

This week I got a wild hair and starting ripping my gardens apart. Yep. It’s that time of year and, tired of feeling completely overwhelmed at the prospect of these gardens, I decided to take advantage of this part of the season and commence to ripping and shredding. The goal: SIMPLIFY!  Once I gave myself permission to simply toss out plants that were no longer serving the space well, things moved along rapidly. I was energized! Man, it does feel good when gardens go from junglefevergonemad to well-groomed in just a few short days. But the body doth protest loudly and I needed a break from all my good work.

See all the space between plants? That didn’t used to be there. Next year this will look awesome.

So it’s a good thing Tacoma’s Maritime Fest was this weekend because it gave us a good reason to get down to the docks, take Moonrise for a little spin, and then eat junk food while gazing at pirate ships. Tacoma always feels a bit like the unwanted stepchild of her bigger, fancier Seattle sister so it’s pretty darned awesome that she is living her own version of the Cinderella story down on the Foss Waterway. There’s a large group of folks who are working to make Tacoma’s maritime history come alive again and bring boat building and appreciation of all things ‘nautical’ back to the collective consciousness in T Town.

The plan was to take Moonrise down to the park at the end of the public dock, anchor there, and row to shore. We could enjoy the festival, then go sailing. But the currents and boat wakes had other plans for us and the holding was terrible. We couldn’t leave Moonrise safely, so the sailing came first. And that gave us the opportunity to sail alongside this:

The Lady Washington

and this:

The Hawaiian Chieftain

There’s nothing quite like sailing a Cal 34 next to a buxom and beautiful Tall Ship to make a girl feel inadequate. Not to mention their cannons. It’s quite a sight to see two ships like this firing at each other across the water, cannons smoking. That’s some good clean fun!

The star of the water, though, is the Sparkman and Stephens sailing yacht SSS Odyssey, sailed by Tacoma’s own Sea Scouts and berthed just across the Foss Waterway from us at the Tacoma Youth Marine Center. We love the beautiful lines of this 90 foot yawl and feel lucky to get to sail on the same home waters. I’ve written a review of this boat and hopefully we’ll see it on Three Sheets NW soon.

By the way, Sea Scouts is a worthy non-profit organization. As the tax year closes, if you have any extra money you could throw their way, they’d appreciate it and you’d get a tax deduction. Donations to support SSS Odyssey’s programs are gratefully accepted through the Tacoma Youth Marine Center. You don’t have to be a rich kid to get to train on a boat like Odyssey. That’s because people donate. Right?

SSS Odyssey. Is it possible for a boat to be any more lovely?

So we had a fine sail with the last of the summer wind, feeling beautiful by association with those bigger, taller, lovelier boats. Then we sailed back to our slip and walked down the water to enjoy the festivities and eat completely unhealthy food.

This year’s festival was organized by our own Sue Schaeffer of Capital City Yachts. Her goals for the year were to bring in more kids and families, offer more classes and educational opportunities, and bring in more exhibits related to the marine trades. Looks like this year’s festival was a success in all three areas. Here are some of the photos from our day at the docks.

A ‘Helicat’.  No, it doesn’t fly. But you can buy one of your very own here

No maritime festival is complete without Disneyesque pirates.

One of the vendors sold reclaimed architectural stuff for houses, but I thought this goat would make a good figurehead for the bow of a ship. I wanted that goat bad.

Inside the museum they had an exhibit of recreational boats from past decades. This beauty is from the 1950’s, a fine decade.

And you can read more about this non profit organization here. These folks remind me very much of Tristan Jones, who wanted to show handicapped children that they, too, could do cool things. 

Next year I hope I get to see the ‘quick and dirty’ boat building contest. That does sound like good fun. Here’s one of the boats a team built for the race.

Pretty good for just a few hours, some plywood, and some ‘mystery items’.







14 thoughts on “Maritime Fun

    • There were so many really cool ‘space age’ boats from the 1950’s and ’60s. It would have been hard to choose which one was coolest!

    • We will be looking at the boat on Saturday and we’ll go from there. It has to be the right boat, regardless of the willingness to trade for our boat. So we’re keeping our hearts in check this time!

  1. The Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain were in front of our beach house (and up and down the coast) this month supporting the native Americans who paddled from many miles for many days to the Paddle to Quinault event in Taholah. We also got to sail on the Lady Washington about 10 years ago for a friends 50th birthday. That was so much fun.

    • I’d love to sail on her someday. She’s such a beautiful ship. Glad you got to enjoy both of them from your beach house! That’s pretty cool. I wonder how much it is to have a party on board her. I think I will look into it.

  2. Very fun….Am I remembering that the Lady W was one of the tall ships in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Maybe not, I don’t know. It’s a beautiful boat, though. A treat to see her and even better to get to sail near her for a bit-lucky you!

    You are inspiring me to have the courage to rip out the plants I don’t like and fix the stuff that bugs me-when I get a chance. Enjoy your weekend. Maybe we’ll drive by each other as you’re heading south and we’re heading north!

    • You are remembering correctly! She was in the movie. She was HMS Interceptor in the Disney film. We’ve been on board her in the past, but I’d like to have a chance to see her again up close and personal.
      Take my word for it: ripping out feels better than you think. I put it off too long. The gardens will be awesome next year because of the ripping out this year.

  3. Gorgeous boats! Looks like a great weekend! I finally got Links Manager working. I had to borrow my daughters PC to get it installed but it’s working. I really appreciate your help with WP.
    Our weekend consisted of finding things on Mongojo to fix. Tops on the list…automatic bilge pump. Yikes. I’ll be writing up how I discovered that it wasn’t working. 🙂

    • Glad you figured that out! WP can be dense to figure out sometimes. Automatic bilge pump: must have! Looking forward to your write up.

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