First Annual Bellingham Bay Rendezvous April 16, 2011
Come visit the David B at the First Annual Bellingham Bay Rendezvous on April 16th at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. We’ll be joining other crewed charter boats that offer small ship cruises in the San Juan Islands. Along with touring boats at the dock, a limited number of tickets will be available for day sails in Bellingham Bay courtesy of San Juan Cruises. There’s also lots for the family to do. Kids will enjoy nautical crafts and sea shanties.
To kick off the first Bellingham Bay Rendezvous, we’ll also be celebrating Schooner Zodiac’s official change in homeport from Seattle to Bellingham. There will be a special ceremony taking place at noon. We hope you’ll be there to here us and all the other boats sound our horns as Zodiac unveils her new homeport.
Bellingham Bay Rendezvous and
Schooner Zodiac Home Port Renaming Celebration
Sat., Apr. 16, 2011
Historic wooden schooners from across Puget Sound will converge on Fairhaven, Saturday, Apr. 16, for the inaugural Bellingham Bay Rendezvous, a gathering of charter sailing and cruise vessels, to celebrate the Schooner Zodiac’s formal transfer of home port designation to Bellingham.
Public festivities at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal will include charter vessel tours, day sails, antique marine engine demonstrations, kids activities, sea shanties, and food booths, as well as tours of the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion.
The Schooner Zodiac will also unveil her new main mast. Students and chaperones from Edmonds who were on board the Zodiac when the mast splintered on Sept. 25, 2010, will return to host public tours on the vessel from 9 a.m. to noon.
“They are a great group of kids and it is our pleasure to have them back as honorary crew members for the day,” said Zodiac First Mate, Chris Wallace. “This will be a great opportunity to showcase the new mast everyone has been hearing so much about, and thank Bellingham for its support.”
The Coast Guard will offer public tours of the Cutter Sea Lion from 9 a.m. to noon. Maps to the dock will be available at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. The Sea Lion is an 87-foot Patrol boat, one of seven in the Puget Sound Area. Its primary missions are Search and Rescue (SAR), and Ports and Waterways Coastal Security (PWCS). ( http://www.uscg.mil/d13/units/factsheets/usCGC_Sea_Lion.pdf)
“SEA LION is anticipating the opportunity to showcase the Cutter, to the community that it supports,” said the Executive Petty Officer, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Joel Laufenberg.
Public tours of the Motor Vessel David B at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal will include demonstrations of its antique 1929 Washington Estep 3-cylinder engine. The David B also features an antique-style wood burning cookstove in its galley, which is actively utilized during its summer cruises. (www.northwestnavigation.com)
“Small ship cruising is a significant activity on Bellingham Bay and throughout the Puget Sound,” explains event co-creator John Servais. “Many of us often see the sails from land, but might not know how accessible local water adventures are. This event is a free opportunity to actually get on board our local charter boats and learn more about them. We are thrilled the Zodiac has permanently relocated here.”
An official unveiling ceremony for the Zodiac’s home port designation change will take place from noon to 1 p.m. A Parade of Sails will follow in Bellingham Bay from 1 to 4 p.m.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 160-foot schooner Zodiac is a classic wooden yacht with the largest working mainsail on the west coast. She was built in 1924 for the heirs of Johnson & Johnson and sold during the depression to the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association where she worked for 40 years. In the 1970s, the Vessel Zodiac Corporation was formed, to operate, maintain and restore the Zodiac to her former glory. Although the keel is original, everything above the waterline has been rebuilt. Her impressive main mast reaches 12 stories high.
On Sept. 25, 2010 the Zodiac’s main mast unexpectedly snapped while sailing off Lummi Island. On board were 17 students from the Edmonds Home School Resource Center on a team-building sail, along with their chaperones and Zodiac crew. No one was seriously injured. Over the winter a second-growth Douglas Fir in Oregon was located to serve as a new mast. It was transported to the Spar Shop at Grays Harbor to be turned on the largest lathe in the U.S. The new mast measures 117 feet high and has an 18 inch diameter. The Zodiac will undergo sea trials with the Coast Guard in March, before embarking on her summer cruising schedule. (www.schoonerzodiac.com)
Coordination of the Bellingham Bay Rendezvous is a partnership between numerous organizations, including the Old Fairhaven Association, Port of Bellingham, Whidbey Island Bank and SeaView North Shipyard. For more information visit www.fairhaven.com/bbr.