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Tall Ships Return to Oregon Coast at Coos Bay, Astoria - But Limited

Published 06/26/2018 at 4:52 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Tall Ships Return to Oregon Coast at Coos Bay, Astoria - But Limited

(Astoria, Oregon) - History comes alive again on the Oregon coast in July as the famed Tall Ships have swapped their canceled run in Newport for a return to Coos Bay and Astoria. The tall ships, part of the Aberdeen-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport (GHHS), sail the waters of the Pacific each year offering educational programs, free deck tours, and sailing excursions.

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The ships had arranged two visits to Newport this year, originally leaving Astoria out of the summer’s rotation. One, set in May, went smoothly, but the second visit in July was cut out. Earlier in June, the Port of Newport canceled the ships’ permit for July over objections from local businesses on the grounds the bayfront district was already strained to capacity with summer crowds.

It’s something GHHS was not pleased with, but the return of docking at Astoria has made many fans happy.

In a statement issued in early June, executive director Brandi Bednarik said the group was “shocked.”

"We're a nonprofit,” Bednarik said. “Our vessels travel the west coast all year offering field trips for kids, teaching maritime job skills to adults, and taking people sailing. I was dismayed to receive an email on May 30th from the Port of Newport stating our moorage agreement was being revoked.”

Numerous petitions were made to the Port of Newport to deny the agreements based on summer traffic. The Port finally agreed.

Hundreds had already booked tickets to the July visit to Newport, which angered many. The group is honoring those for the Coos Bay and Astoria visits.

However, GHHS spokesman Zacharay Stocks said this isn’t good news for those newcomers wanting to purchase tickets.

“It is important to know though that the majority of these tickets are already booked by folks who we exchanged from the Newport cancellation,” Stocks said.

He said dockside tours will be easier to obtain, but otherwise very few will have the opportunities to go sailing.

In Coos Bay, the ships dock at S Bayshore Drive and Anderson Ave. Starting on July 13, the adventure sail with the Lady Washington goes from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The evening sail with the Hawaiian Chieftain goes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

July 14 – 22 (with a closure on July 16), vessel tours from the docks mostly begin at 10 a.m. Adventure sails and evening sails will be held some of the days, and a smattering of battle sails. See the website for specific times.

The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftan are involved most of the time. Vessel tours are always a $5 donation, while the sails are between $42 and $79, depending on the excursion.

In Astoria, at the top of the north Oregon coast, the fun begins on July 27 and runs until July 29. Costs are the same and times are similar to Coos Bay. The Lady Washington will be docked at 17th St and Marine Dr. and the Hawaiian Chieftain will be at 36th St and Leif Erickson Dr. www.historicalseaport.org. ---- Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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