The Hawaiian Chieftain, closest, and the Lady Washington at port in Carillon Point Marina Sept. 7. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Lady Washington, Hawaiian Chieftain come to port in Kirkland

A tall ship right out of the Pirates of the Carabean, came to port last week in Kirkland.

Lady Washington, the official tall ship of Washington state, and her companion vessel the Hawaiian Chieftain came to port at Carillon Point Marina Sept. 6.

The two ships offered educational sails, tours and mock battle demonstrations through Sept. 12.

The ships are part of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority’s program, which brings “maritime history to life,” according to its website. The 501(c)(3) is based in Aberdeen, Washington.

“For more than 25 years, we have provided hands on education opportuniteis for people of all ages and background,” according to Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority. “With a focus on teamwork and empowerment, our programs explore our shared history and our daily connections to the world’s oceans.”

Indeed, during a tour on Sept. 7, people of all ages took a brave step onto the ships to look around.

Chloe Chun, 5, and her younger brother, Marcus, 3, took their turn at helm on the Hawaiian Chiefton, while crew member Jennica Martinez stood by.

The Chieftain was built in 1988, “to many people’s surpise,” Martinez said.

Naval architect Rymond H. Richards designed the tall ship originally to transport cargo between the Hawaiian Islands.

Richards drew inspiration for the Hawaiian Chieftain from early colonial passenger and coastal packets that traded among Atlantic coastal cities and towns, according to Grays Harbor Hisorical Seaport Authority.

“The coastal packet service was part of the coasting trade based on mercantile activity of the developing seaboard towns,” according to the Grays Harbor Hisorical Seaport Authority. “The early packet ships were regular traders and were selected because they sailed remakably well and could enter small ports with thier shallow draft. Out of the gradual development of the Atlantic packet ship hull form came the ship design practices that helped produce some of the best of the clipper ships of the later 1850s.”

The ship’s hull is built from steel. It features a 20,000 pound, lead ballast, a Twin 235 horse power diesel Volvo TAMD 61 engine, 4,200-square-foot sail area, and a 65-foot dock. It can travel 2,000 miles cruising at 7 knots, with a maximum speed of 10 knots.

The Hawaiian Chieftain first joined the Lady Washington in 1993 for a mock sea battle on San Francisco Bay. It wasn’t until 2005 that Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority purchased the vessel.

Now the two ships travel throughout the year along the west coast giving educational cruises and ambassadorial visits.

The Lady Washington has been featured in several movies and television shows, including Pirates of the Carabeean: The Curse of the Black Pear, Star Trek: Generations, Once Upon A Time and Revolution.

The ship launched in 1989 after Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority had it built in Aberdeen. It is a replica of the Lady Washington that sailed the seas in the 1700s.

After the Revoutionary War, the Lady Washington was refit for an “unprecedented trading voyage around Cape Horn,” according to Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority. “In 1799, she became the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast of North America.”

The Lady Washington went on to establish trade to Asia.

“A pioneer in Pan-Pacific trade, she was the first American ship to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong and Japan,” according to Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority. “Lady Washington opened the black pearl and sandalwood trade between Hawaii and Asia.”

The replica features a 67-foot deck, 4,442-square-feet sail area and an 89-foot mast. It has room for 12 crew members and a passenger capacity of 45.

For more information on the Hawaiian Chieftain, visit For more information on the Lady Washington, visit

Camille Delphine, steward on the Hawaiian Chieftain, helps Judy Baker of Everett onto the ship Sept. 6. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Jennica Martinez, crew member on the Hawaiian Chieftain, at the helm Sept. 7. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Mira Vinyar, 4, takes her turn at the helm on the Hawaiian Chieftain Sept. 7. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Marcus Chun, 3, steers the Hawaiian Chieftain Sept. 7. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Bob Nelson, captain of the Lady Washington, stands at the tiller, which is made of purple heart wood and connected directly to the rutter. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

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