Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain. Washington state’s official ship and her topsail ketch companion vessel will be moored at the Seaport’s docks from Fri. to Mon., Aug. 26 to 29. The crews, dressed in 18th-century costume, will welcome visitors for walk-on tours.
Dockside tours ($3 donation requested per person)
- Aug. 26, noon to 4 p.m., Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain
- Aug. 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain
- Aug. 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lady Washington only
Adventure and Evening Sails
- Aug. 26, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Evening Sail: Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain ($35)
- Aug. 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Adventure Sail: Hawaiian Chieftain ($35 to $55)
- Aug. 27, 5 to 8 p.m., Battle Sail: Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain ($40 to $60)
- Aug. 28, 5 to 8 p.m., Battle Sail: Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain ($40 to $60)
Demand is expected to be high during Maritime Fest. Early reservations for sails are strongly recommended. Purchase tickets online at www.historicalseaport.org or call (800) 200-5239.
Dragon Boats. Human-powered team boating.
Seaport parking lot
Native arts and crafts. Enjoy this display of ancient arts and handcrafted works of Native American weavers and carvers. See the Native crafts shown on display at the Seaport’s Esplanade and in the Museum.
Radio-controlled boats. Get your hands on these amazing, quick and fun boats controlled by handheld radios as they race across the Seaport’s specially built pond. Test your skill and compete with other “pilots”! Sponsored by Commencement Bay Maritime Modelers.
Toy boats. Build the toy sailboat of your dreams! Construct your boat’s hull and mast, then decorate your rig in unexpected ways with available art supplies. For kids of all ages!
Outboard Hydroplane Exhibit. See the Seaport’s very own Simmons brothers’ hand-built outboard light hydroplanes! Get an up close look at how drivers carry on this tradition from the fifties and sixties today, riding on their knees in these exciting small hydroplanes, inches above the water in area lakes and rivers at speeds up to 55 miles per hour!
Antique outboard motor exhibit. Explore these antique motors representing 22 makers, forerunners of modern factory and custom-produced racing and fishing outboards. Many refurbished motors in this collection are still used today in competitive amateur boat racing organized through local clubs and sanctioned by the American Powerboat Association.
Ships in bottles. Ever wonder who makes those tiny ships inside glass bottles? See the Seaport’s own Jeff Simmons’ handiwork on display with incredibly intricate craftsmanship in a wide range of vessels, complete with detailed rigging!
Balfour Dock Building Exhibit. This three-section exhibit showcases the Seaport’s historic building and turn of the century working waterfront activities. Visitors can watch short videos covering the Northern Pacific Railway’s construction of the building; the journey of wheat from Central and Eastern Washington to tall ships bound for global ports; and the engineering marvel evident in the building’s indelible Truss system and massive timber construction.
Discovery Wharf Children’s Activity Area. The 1,300-square-foot Discovery Wharf is chock full of innovative activities for children ages 4 to10 to learn about Tacoma’s waterfront, both above and below the water.
“Port Play.” Children don hard hats, transfer goods from railcars to container ships and set sail for distant ports using a collection of custom-built wooden port toys. This hands-on area lets young “dockworkers” have great fun while learning about the maritime industry!
“All aboard, mateys!” Young passengers slip on personal flotation devices (PFDs) to go aboard the Faith, the Seaport’s Columbia River gillnetter retrofitted by the Seaport’s boat builders just for young guests. They learn boat lingo (“bow,” “stern,” “starboard,” etc.); how life vests keep people afloat; what commercial gillnet fishing is all about; and how block and tackle systems enable handling freight on board.
Sea Star Lab. This multi-station interactive learning lab offers exciting, engaging education about sea stars seen throughout Puget Sound and around the globe. Children find out where sea stars live by putting together a giant floor puzzle illustrating the ocean zones sea stars call home. They also learn about the sea star’s eyespots; tube feet that enable movement across the ocean floor; and all about the sea star’s second stomach.
Dugout canoe. This 18-foot red cedar dugout canoe was crafted out of a single log. The vessel was built, it is believed, in the early twentieth century by a member of the Mounts family, of the Nisqually tribe. It is a shovel-nose canoe, originally crafted using an adze to carve the center of the log for river travel and net fishing. The canoe was later fitted to hold a motor so that it could be used for river racing.
James Robert Hanssen. In 2006, four University of Puget Sound students – the first Americans to set a transatlantic record by rowing unassisted from New York to England in just in 71 days – rowed this “mighty boat” 3,200 miles, 24 hours a day, with two rowers on shift and two off at all times. Peer inside the boat’s confined quarters to get a sense of the challenges faced by the foursome as they experienced courage, loyalty, fear, despair, human triumph and friendship to the extreme.
“Wheels, Whistles & Wonder.” Come explore the Bill Somers Maritime Collection, the results of one man’s 45-year obsession gathering Mosquito Fleet and military vessel artifacts from the 1800s to early 1900s – a jaw-dropping assortment of treasures!
The Discovery Models. Imagine taking your craft so seriously that you construct scenes inside a model – details that will never be seen – just to enhance the integrity and accuracy of the model! Come see three superbly constructed models, including Captain George Vancouver’s ship, Discovery.
MaST’s “Arroyo Gray Whale Story.” For a life-changing experience, watch scientists from Highline Community College’s MaST (Marine Science and Technology) Center piece together an enormous 37-foot gray whale skeleton into a life-like configuration in the Seaport. It’s your chance to participate in the fascinating mystery of whales!
Thea and Andrew Foss Exhibits. Watch “Finding Thea,” a short video with archival footage and photos of the life and times of Thea Foss, namesake of downtown Tacoma’s waterway. Learn about the Thea and Andrew Foss legacy through a variety of exhibits that illustrate the spirit and ingenuity exemplifying their pioneering spirit as two of Tacoma’s earliest influential decision makers.
Willits canoes. Experience this display of rare, handcrafted red cedar canoes built by Day Island brothers Earl and Floyd Willits, who perfected and built just over 900 of these double planked 17-foot crafts between 1908 and 1964. Willits canoes are treasured today primarily for their incomparable workmanship and gloriously varnished surface with gleaming copper nails crafted into graceful, smooth-bottomed, high-bowed outlines.
Working boat shop. Watch Foss Waterway Seaport’s volunteer craftsmen handcraft replicas of original Andrew Foss skiffs and other heritage wooden boats. The Foss Waterway Seaport’s expert boat builders will be at work during Maritime Fest and throughout the year on Thursday and Saturday afternoons.
All photos except Hawaiian Chieftain by Jan Adams, courtesy of Foss Waterway Seaport. Hawaiian Chieftain photo courtesy of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority.