Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sucia Island Rendezvous, Part III : The Hawaiian Chieftain

The Hawaiian Chieftain is a replica of the European merchant traders of the turn of the nineteenth century. Her hull shape and rigging are similar to those of Spanish explorer's ships used in the expeditions of the late eighteenth century along the coast of the western US.

Built of steel in Hawaii in 1988, she is a 103-foot-long topsail ketch. Owned by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority in Aberdeen, Washington, the Chieftain joins the Lady Washington, the other GHHSA vessel, in educational cruises and ambassadorial visits along the Pacific coast of the US.

The Hawaiian Chieftain was on a cruise in the San Juan Islands during the Sucia Island Rendezvous, where we shared Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island. The ketch was crewed by young men and I was told that the ship offers sailing training for disadvantaged youth.

Thanks to Frank for taking me for a spin around this little ship so I could take these photos!

Two gigs accompanied the ketch, but were elusive before my camera. Coming into Prevost Harbor, I could see the gigs sailing in tandem, but as we approached they had struck their sails and were under oars. They quickly and efficiently rowed out of range of my camera. A crack crew, for trainees!

We spotted them several more times during the week.

That's the way to spend a summer!

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