On a weekend that promises some summer sunshine – What’s Up Northewest had the oppotunity to preview the 2017 Festival of Sail on the Tacoma Foss Waterway, including the Parade of Sail, giving us a glimpse to what will be a fun weekend for all who attend.

With over twenty ships in attendance – it is a collection of floating beauty for both those who love the freedom of the open water, fine craftmanship and lots of history – and you will find all of that and more along Tacoma’s Commenencement Bay now through Sunday.


Photo Credit: Carla Conrad

On Thursday – we had the opportunity to preview the ships including the Adventuress, the Schooner Freda B, local favorites the Hawaiian Chieftain and The Lady Washington, Schooners Martha, the 1924 Zodiac, Merrie Ellen, Spike Africa, Suva, as well as the Mosquito Fleet Virginia V and the 1908 M/V Lotus.

For a complete list of all ships in attendance, go to festofsailtacoma.com/ships

The Hawaiian Chieftain Photo Credit: Carla Conrad

At about high noon, we boarded the schooner Freda B for the Parade of Sails out into Commencement Bay. In standard North West fashion, it was pouring rain for a good portion of our sail out – but as a bonus (or to take our minds off how cold it was in June) we were greeted by harbor seals, harbor porpoises and as the reminder of why we live here, the calm of the water combined with the parade of natical history and beauty made the sail out a treat. Many of the ships will be available for day sails throughout the event. Check the ticket options here: festofsailtacoma.com/festival/tickets/

Freda B’s Captain Adrian McCullough Photo Credit: Carla Conrad

While on the sail – the crew of First Mate Tyler Waterson and crew member Jimmie Marquez along with Captian Adirain McCullough were very informative and inclusive as many of the passengers were invited to help hoist sails and prep the schooner for both departure and arrival. Passengers ranged from 11 years old and up, and the crew was generous with history, information about sailing, life on the boat and the trip up from Sausalito, California. You may find that booking a sail on one of these ships this weekend may be a great memory as well as a fun adventure. For more about the Freda B, visit her website.

Photo Credit: Carla Conrad

Though the ships are the focus – the event has much more to offer, with a music line-up each day on the main stage and  magic acts, a children’s pirate ship and more! There is also plenty of food and drink choices to make your day complete. There is something for everyone to enjoy. Be aware that many of the normal access streets to the waterfront are blocked or redirected, so follow the signs, use the shuttle or Uber in to the event. For all the transportation details – Go here for more information: festofsailtacoma.com/festival/parking-and-transportation/

Photo Credit: Festival of Sail/DrawEvents

Oh yes – don’t forget to find the The World’s Largest Rubber Duck!

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