The Lady Washington and The Hawaian Chieftan

Over President’s Weekend these two tall ships were in port here in Morro Bay. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, they were giving 3 hour “Battle Cruises”. Well, that had to be something to be experienced, so Mrs. Smoke and I went online, got our tickets, and Monday afternoon, there we were, anxiously awaiting permission to board. Finally, about 10 till 2 we were allowed on board and a little after two, we set out. Going out of the harbor, it was all diesel power, but once we got into deep water, the deck hands got to really show off. Man, those guys hit the rigging like a bunch of monkeys. I would imagine a prerequisite for the job is no fear of heights.

Crew going up to set the sails to come down!

Crew going up to set the sails!

Finally, with the sails all set and the diesel turned off, we commenced the battle. Now, there is only one gunner’s mate, so the rate of fire is pretty slow. He only has two 3 pounder cannons on the main deck (one port and one starboard) and two swivel guns on the quarter deck. No long thundering barrages like in the movies.

Anyway, here is the swivel gun letting loose with a 700 grain charge.

John was the only one on the ship to catch the muzzle flash of the 3 pounder cannon.

John was the only one on the ship to catch the muzzle flash of the swivel gun.

A little later in the day, I got this photo of the Chieftain taking a shot at us. I just missed the muzzle flash on this one. From what I could figure out, they are using about 1,200 grains in the 3 pounders to make it go boom.

Cannon fire for the Hawaiian Chiefton

Cannon fire from the Hawaiian Chieftain

This was a very interesting way to spend an afternoon. I will probably be back on board next year.



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