Ocean Institute to host virtual Maritime Festival

DANA POINT—The Ocean Institute in Dana Point has partnered with maritime museums and vessels from around the world to host the first ever Virtual Maritime Festival. The interactive and educational event features challenges and a three-day global stream marathon Sept. 11-13. 

The event replaces the annual Tall Ships Festival, as Covid-19 related restrictions continue to prohibit large public gatherings.

 “We’re thrilled to be partnering with maritime museums and vessels from around the world to present this exciting streaming event during such extraordinary times,” Ocean Institute’s president and CEO Wendy Marshall said in a released statement. “As they say, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’” 

From Sept. 11 through 13, attendees can tune in for interactive and educational virtual experiences from maritime establishments from around the globe. The virtual event will include live and pre-recorded content including maritime reenactments and cannon battles, mermaid encounters, sea shanties, music and a sail cargo transporting coffee through the Costa Rican jungle. The virtual event is free to all participants. 

A highlight of the three-day event will be featured as a Buccaneers Video Game Challenge utilizing an icon representing The Pilgrim, Ocean Institute’s former full-sized replica of the 1830’s merchant ship detailed in the classic novel, “Two Years Before the Mast,” which sank earlier this year.

Participating oceanic institutions include Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney; the United Kingdom’s Island Trust; San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park; Lady Washington vessel in Washington; Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hawaii; Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut; and much more.

The event also features two challenges that began Aug. 15 and run through Sept. 10. Runners, walkers, paddleboarders and more are invited to sign up for the “Move Your Booty Challenge” and get moving for the chance to win prizes. Proceeds from this event will support Ocean Institute’s programs at Children’s Hospital Orange County. 

A second festival challenge, “Art Aboard,” lets participants select a challenge from a “Sea Chest of Projects” to express their creativity through art. From sand sketching to sculpting an urchin, participants post their masterpieces online in a competition that highlights the beauty of the sea with prizes given for various categories. 

Both challenges run through Sept. 10. Challenge signups and a full schedule of events are available at ocean-institute.org/maritime-festival-details.


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