Schooner Bill of Rights

Dana Point Toshiba Tall Ship Festival


Waves breaking over the seawall while we contended with the surge inside.

For the third leg of our Tall Ship Challenge, we headed for Dana Point. With a hurricane brewing off Baja, the winds were unusual, and reports had been coming in all day of strong surge in the harbor, Some boats had already opted to head home rather than contend with the surge, we were not sure what we would find. We arrived at the outer marker just after sunset, and with careful study of the charts, made our way into the harbor. We were met by dinghies from the Irving and Exy Johnsons, and with their help tied up next to the Exy. The surge did not seem too bad until we got close to them, and realized how much it was pushing us around. After a few minor bumps, and an hour of rigging extra lines and chafing gear, we were reasonable secure and settled in for the night to sounds of straining lines.

With the surge, there was no safe way to get people onto the Bill, so we spent the day talking to people from across the rail as they toured the Exy Johnson. After all the trouble we had getting tied up, all of the captains agree that is was just not safe to take passengers out on the battle sails, so they were cancelled. This gave us more time at the dock to great the public, but we really wanted to sail. The conditions outside the harbor looked pretty inviting.

With the battle sails cancelled, the gunners just couldn’t resist shooting off the cannons at the dock. We still did not have our black powder license, so we hoisted our gun over to the Exy, where they had the crew and authority to fire it. We only did one shot, but it was LOUD. Everyone enjoyed the camaraderie of the experience, and we hope to have our own training with it soon.

All-in-all, we had a good time in Dana Point, and their hospitality was first rate.