ABERDEEN, Wash. - The brig Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington, and her companion ship, Hawaiian Chieftain, will escort more than 100 tribal canoes down the Pacific Coast starting Friday, July 26 from Neah Bay. The ships, in cooperation with the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and the Quinault Indian Nation, are participating in the "Paddle to Quinault 2013" event, scheduled for July 26 to August 1. The vessels were invited by the Quinault Nation to escort ocean-going canoes from First Nations communities in Washington and British Columbia as they travel along the open coast of the National Marine Sanctuary from Neah Bay to Taholah.
Media are invited to observe the vessels and canoes while they are anchored off the Pacific Coast in Neah Bay, the Ozette River, La Push, the Hoh River, the Queets River, and the Quinault River. Reporters and producers may be able to visit the ships by making prior arrangements.
2013 marks the 225th anniversary of the first contact between the newly independent United States and the rich coastal cultures of the Pacific Northwest. For Paddle to Quinault 2013, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will provide on-the-water safety and logistical support for all event participants. The organizations will also document the event to encourage other cross-cultural efforts. More info about Paddle to Quinault is available at www.paddletoquinault.org.
Launched in 1989 as part of the Washington Centennial, the Lady Washington is a wooden replica of one of the first U.S.-flagged ships to visit the west coast of North America. In 1788, the original Lady Washington arrived off the coast of what would later become Oregon to trade with native people for furs. She also traded along the coast of Vancouver Island before returning to Boston. Hawaiian Chieftain, launched in 1988, is an interpretation of a typical early 19th century coastal trader. Hawaiian Chieftain specializes in living history educational program for K-12 students.