Ventura and Channel Islands harbors to miss tall ships visits

‘Hawaiian Chieftan’ and ‘Lady Washington’ are undergoing maintenance in Pacific Northwest.

OXNARD—Ventura Harbor and Channel Islands Harbor are starting the new decade with an absence. Tall ships Hawaiian Chieftan and Lady Washington won’t be docked at the two Ventura County harbors, as both vessels will be undergoing major maintenance projects at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington.

Hawaiian Chieftan and Lady Washington make annual visits to Southern and Central California harbors. One tall ship – Hawaiian Chieftan – will be undergoing extensive repairs until later this year, keeping out of operation for most of 2020. The other tall ship, Lady Washington, was out of the water all of January.

Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftan are aging and that requires more care and attention. We look forward to sailing soon,” Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Executive Director Brandi Bednarik said.

Lady Washington is a replica of the first-ever American ship to round Cape Horn. Hawaiian Chieftan, meanwhile, is a replica of a 103-foot sailing vessel navigating trading routes in the 1800s. Both tall ships, which are managed and maintained by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, visit various harbors and offer walk-on tours, adventure sails and a passage cruise.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to help pay for the maintenance of either or both tall ships can visit

“We will sorely miss the annual visit from the tall ships because they add tremendous value to our community, particularly with regards to providing tours to our local youth,” Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said, in a released statement.

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport acquired Hawaiian Chieftan in 2005; it was privately owned prior to the sale. Hawaiian Chieftan, which has a steel hull, was originally built in 1988 for Laurence “Baron” Dorcy, Jr., according to Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. Dorcy was the grandson of a railroad tycoon and spent time living in Hawai’i.

Lady Washington was built at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport and launched in 1989. The full-scale replica of the original Lady Washington was built as a brig and appeared in Hollywood productions such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” The original trading ship arrived in the United States in 1788; Lady Washington was the first American vessel to visit Honolulu and Japan, according to Grays Harbor Historical Seaport.

The seaport is located in southwestern Washington, about 110 miles away from Seattle.

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