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Fun Weekend Ahead for All Things Maritime

This weekend is full of opportunities for sailing enthusiasts who love tall ships, wooden boats and all things maritime. As is common in these COVID times, the events are being hosted online, but in some ways this makes it all the more engaging, as participants are joining in from locations all over the world, including Australia and the UK.

Virtual Maritime Festival

The Ocean Institute is hosting its first-ever Virtual Maritime Festival, “a multi-layered interactive and educational event featuring a three-day global stream marathon.” The event, which was designed to replace this year’s Tall Ships Festival, is entirely free, and runs from 10 a.m. today though September 13.

Tall ship, 'Spirit of Dans Point'
Instead of ‘no festival’, Ocean Institute’s virtual festival has a great lineup of fun interactive events.
© 2020 Ocean Institute

Maritime organizations from across the globe have created interactive virtual experiences ranging from maritime reenactments and cannon battles to mermaid encounters, sea chanteys, music, and a topsail cargo schooner transporting coffee through the Costa Rican jungle.

The full schedule of events and signups is available at

Here are some highlights:

  • Discover how a three-masted topsail cargo schooner is transporting coffee through the Costa Rican jungle
  • The Island Trust in the UK is exploring marine life
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is hosting a live chantey sing-along
  • Honolulu’s Polynesian Voyaging Society looks at the history of Polynesia and Hawaii and the associated maritime culture
  • Experience the debut of the “Buccaneers Video Game Challenge,” utilizing an icon representing the Pilgrim, Ocean Institute’s former full-sized replica of the 1830s merchant ship detailed in the classic novel Two Years Before the Mast.
  • Join Santa Monica’s The 5 Gyres Institute in a discussion about plastic pollution
Mermaids, sea chanteys and wooden boats — what more could a sailor want?
© 2020 Ocean Institute

Participating oceanic institutions include the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, the United Kingdom’s Island Trust, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the tall ship Lady Washington, Polynesian Voyaging Society of Hawaii, Mystic Seaport Museum of Connecticut, and many more.

According to Ocean Institute’s president and CEO Wendy Marshall, the new virtual event will most likely continue as an annual festival moving forward. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with maritime museums and vessels from around the world to present this exciting streaming event during such extraordinary times. As they say, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’”

The full schedule of free events and signups is available at

Virtual Wooden Boat Festival

On Saturday, September 12, the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival goes online with the first-ever Virtual Wooden Boat Festival.

The festival boasts a fantastic lineup of interactive events, starting at 8:00 a.m. with a Master Class conducted by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building’s chief instructor, Sean Koomen.

Throughout the day you can enjoy hours of wooden boat and adventuring footage, including fascinating stories from the global wooden boat community, eight feature films created especially for the event, the live master class, and other exclusive, on-demand new and unique experiences.

Learn about the Viking Ship Draken; watch The Race to Alaska and participate in a live Q&A with the filmmakers; and engage with the experts in such topics as Japanese boatbuilding, marine heads, rigging, sailing in Mexico and the Caribbean — the topics are endless! See the full program of events here.

Experts from the wooden-boat world will host the presentations and Q&As throughout the day in Zoom rooms. This content will not be recorded and is only available on the day of the festival. So if you want to join in, put Saturday on your calendar and sign up now at

Ticket prices are $20 for Festival Pass, $15 for Movie Pass, or $30 for Combo Pass. Save $5 on your ticket price with this coupon code: FINEEDGE20

Next year’s Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival will hopefully once again be a live event on September 10 -12.

Check out the preview for this weekend’s event:

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