First Dinghy Festival sets sail in Port Hadlock; “pirates” find buried treasures

PORT HADLOCK — Bold pirates, buried treasure, gold coins and lots of swords — the foil-covered kind — brightened up the beach of “Lowest Hadlock” on Sunday as the community came together to celebrate a new life for an old beach.

“For 12,000 years, this area has been the biggest gathering place in the Northwest,” said Laura Ferguson.

“We’re celebrating three new owners for the Ajax Cafe, the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding moving to their Heritage Campus — and small boats in the community.”

Ferguson, one of the new Ajax owners, was the force behind the first ever Dinghy Festival.

Held on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, it attracted a whole raft of grown-ups — some in striped shirts, black hats and eyepatches — as well as small pirates with wooden swords.

“What do pirates say?” asked the Dread Pirate Ragan, holding a gold-covered chocolate coin above Michael Kithcart’s head.

“Give me all your gold!”

Digging for treasure

While the kids dug in a huge pile of sand for buried treasure, others took to the water for rowing and sailing races that echoed the mock battles and canoe races that natives used to have on the shore, Ferguson said.

For feasting, the Ajax set out tables and a booth selling clam chowder, salmon fritters and grilled Dabob oysters while a musician played.

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