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California Dreaming

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 12, 2013

As we dry out after two days flood warning here at Tall Ships America HQ in Newport, RI, I can’t help but yearn for the dry SoCal weather of last week.  While planning for this summer’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes Race Series continues unabated, Patti and I were off to San Pedro last Monday to start our planning for the  TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Pacific Coast 2014. Organizing a maritime festival is not a one man show and we met with several groups who will help us pull off a great event – our host port partners at the Port of Los Angeles, enthusiastic community representatives, and local security agencies.

The Port of Los Angeles is a fascinating place. The offices that we were in for meetings overlooked the waterfront and with all the cranes moving, the shipping containers swinging through the air, and the enormous carrier ships constantly moving up and down the channel, it was like something out of a Richard Scarry book (also, I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Wire). 

In addition to meeting our future TSC San Pedro team, Patti and I had the opportunity to spend some time with old friends at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. The last time I had visited San Pedro, the staff at LAMI were about to move into their new digs along the waterfront, an upgrade from a somewhat cramped space to one with tons of room to set up shop. They have great views of the port and the twin brigantines, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, are tied up nearby.

After these positive meetings, we could not be more excited to bring the tall ships back to Southern California.

Here are some pictures from the trip –

After living in Colorado for several years, I miss mountains and couldn’t help but spend most of the time in the air gazing wistfully out the window.



Patti and I took a walk along the waterfront and spied some familiar faces –

Twin Brigantines at the dock

Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson at the dock

We found ourselves on the mural of waterfront –

Patti Map LR

On the desk of the executive director of LAMI-

on the desk

Essential viewing in California –


Tomorrow morning at o’dark thirty, I am off to greet the ships in Brockville, Ontario, the first stop of this summer’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®. Stay tuned for more updates from the road as we celebrate all things tall ships,  embark on an 1812 Tour and commemorate the Battle of Lake Erie.


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