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Arrrgh! “Pirates of the Caribbean” ship at Newport Beach!

Two wooden ships – one a naval vessel and one a merchant ship – are docked in Newport Harbor and available for public tours. Southern Californians and visitors can board the ships and meet crew members in period costumes. On New Year’s Eve, visitors and crew will set sail to re-enact an epic naval battle, or “Battle Sail” in which the ships will maneuver around each other with the crews hurling taunts at each other and exchanging (blank) cannon fire!

Those of you who have never experienced black powder weapons at close range should find this particularly exciting! 😉

Both vessels can be boarded at the Newport Sea Base at 1931 West Coast Highway (Google Maps). The naval vessel, the Lady Washington, is better known as the HMS Interceptor from the first Disney “Pirates” movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” In the film, Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, steals the Interceptor with the assistance of Will Turner, played by Orlando Bloom.

The other ship, the Hawaiian Chieftain, is a replica of a centuries old merchant vessel.

The “Battle Sail” on Saturday should be a lot of fun!

“We’ll fire real cannons with real gunpowder, but no cannonballs,” said Joe Follansbee, communications director for the Aberdeen, Wash.-based Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, which is putting on the event. “It’s a little loud and really safe.”

“Our mission lies particularly in teaching young people about maritime history and the early exploration of the West Coast in California,” Follansbee said.

(The lack of cannonballs will be particularly reassuring, should any guests from Dublin, California be on board! 😉 )

Guests on board will have the opportunity  to steer the tiller and lift the sails. Tours are in progress and are scheduled for 4 to 5 PM Friday, 10 AM to 1 PM Saturday, and 4 – 5 PM Tuesday. Three dollar donations are appreciated.

The next “Battle Sail” is at 2 PM Saturday, New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $60 for adults, $50 for students, seniors and active military and $40 for children 12 and younger.

This Web site lists further opportunities to buy “Adventure Sails” and “Battle Sails” in Newport Beach, Oxnard, and Ventura, with a link for the full calendar!

-Bill at

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