Tall ships “battle” with cannon fire on Port Townsend Bay

PORT TOWNSEND — The Hawaiian Chieftain had hoisted its sails — and started its motor — in pursuit of the Lady Washington.

“The captain recognizes less than savory characters ahead,” chief mate Keith Alexander announced to the crew before heading off to battle.

Soon, cannon fire echoed through Port Townsend Bay as the two tall ships circled and fired at each other for nearly three hours.

Nobody died or was even gravely injured in battle.

There might have been some sore eardrums.

About 60 people rode along on the two ships for a battle re-enactment in Port Townsend on Tuesday.

Hundreds more showed up at Union Wharf to take a look at the 103-foot Hawaiian Chieftain out of Sausalito, Calif., and the Lady Washington, based in Aberdeen.

Joined also by the Cutty Sark, out of Whidbey Island, the ships were stopping in Port Townsend Bay after taking part in the Tall Ships Festival 2002 in Seattle last weekend and a similar festival in Richmond, British Columbia, the weekend before.

Another participant, Europa, drew thousands of spectators to Port Angeles City Pier, where the 185-foot bark spent Tuesday.

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The rest of the story appears in Wednesday’s Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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