Dana Point’s Tall Ship Festival Returns Sept. 10-12

Sep 10, 2010 by Sandy Schroeder

The Toshiba Tall Ships Festival hosted by the Ocean Institute begins with a Tall Ship Parade on Friday evening, September 10th at sunset.

Sails appear off the Dana Point headlands as the fleet prepares to enter the harbor. Festival goers on-shore will be able to watch the crews of the Tall Ships furl their sails and make preparations for entry into the harbor, while the cannon blasts of renegade vessels are replicated.

Festival sailors and participating Tall Ships and Great Schooners will include the Pilgrim, Spirit of Dana Point, Exy Johnson, Irving Johnson, Californian, American Pride, Curlew and the Lynx.

Tickets are available to ride aboard the tall ships and experience the thrill of a cannon battle at sea. Reservations are required.

Tall Ship and Ocean Institute Sea Creature Events


The Festival offers interactive demonstrations, sail raising and handling and aboard participating tall ships.

Interactive living-history encampments including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers.

Inside the Ocean Institute, kids are able to work on protecting the local watersheds through hands-on labs and art activities and meet sea stars, jellies, rays and octopus. This year there’s also a Friendly Pirate School where the children are taught the swashbuckling art of walking, talking and singing like a pirate!

Sea Chantey Concerts

On the featured stage, there will be two full days of sea faring’s best music:

Included are Sea chanteys, forebitters, ballads and nationally acclaimed musicians and storytellers.

The Annual Richard Henry Dana Charity Regatta

This premier event, sponsored by the Dana Point Yacht Club, will benefit the Ocean Institute. The regatta includes: a Marine Corps Twilight Fishing Tournament; a Sponsor’s and VIP reception/ dinner held at the Ocean Institute; racing for PHRF, non-spinnaker, and junior sabot classes; and a gala dinner and auction at the Dana Point Yacht Club.

All events are open to the public. See the yacht club website for details.

Live Re-enactment of Impressments

During the late 1700s and early 1800s, the British Royal Navy conducted Impressment Services. Hired men called ‘gangers’ would seize unsuspecting seamen and “impress” them for service in the British Navy. Fierce fighting followed, but the seamen (generally ages 18 to 55 yrs) rarely got away.

Impressments were an accepted method used by the British Navy to increase their forces. The Press Gang living-history group will re-enact this practice during the Festival. This demonstration will take place on board the Pilgrim Saturday and Sunday.

For additional information about parking, directions and ticket prices, here’s the link.

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