The tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain turns 30 years old on July 7th, and Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is throwing a free community birthday party at its home port of Seaport Landing in Aberdeen.
While Harborites may have a more personal connection to Lady Washington as their hometown tall ship, Hawaiian Chieftain has had an incredible journey worthy of celebrating. Build in Lahaina, HI in 1988, the steel hulled Hawaiian Chieftain is reminiscent of the early colonial passenger and packet ships that traded among Atlantic coastal cities and towns in the 1850’s. Hawaiian Chieftain’s flat bottom is exceptional for the shallow water beaches of Maui, which is how she spent her early days as a private yacht.
Hawaiian Chieftain was commissioned and privately owned by Laurence “Baron” Dorcy Jr. At one point, Hawaiian Chieftain was used as an actual cargo ship, transporting goods from Hawaii to Tahiti! She has sailed across the South Pacific, and to Boston and back. Over the years, multiple owners have put their own touches to Hawaiian Chieftain. Her interior and paint scheme have been altered, and she was even briefly renamed Spirit of Larinda.
In 1994 Hawaiian Chieftain first sailed with Lady Washington in Sausalito, CA, and there they engaged in their first ever Battle Sail. Eleven years later, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport purchased the vessel and she has been part of the fleet ever since. Today Hawaiian Chieftain sails the West Coast offering public sails, special events, and educational field trips. Hawaiian Chieftain hosted over 5000 students in 2017 alone. Hawaiian Chieftain is also the training vessel of Sea School Northwest.
On July 7th, the public is invited to celebrate Hawaiian Chieftain and her tremendous life thus far. Seaport Landing (500 N Custer St., Aberdeen, WA 98520) home of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, will open up to the public for a day of festivities marking the occasion. Hawaiian Chieftain will offer vessel tours by donation from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, and Lady Washington will take ticketed guests sailing between 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. At 1:00 PM a birthday cake will be cut, followed by live entertainment, games, and activities. Guest can purchase a combined ticket for a Hawaiian-style BBQ buffet dinner between 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM and an Evening Sail aboard the tall ships from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.