Beachgoers and others along the water’s edge will be treated to something more than the standard ocean view Sunday when the largest fleet of tall ships to converge on the Orange County coast in many a day glides south in pursuit of the lost glory of another age.
It’s all part of the Orange County Tall Ships Competition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Richard Henry Dana’s historic arrival in Southern California. Led by the brig Pilgrim II, a replica of the 1830s vessel that carried Dana to California.
In addition to the Pilgrim, the fleet will include the Argus, a 93-foot topsail ketch crewed by local Sea Explorers, and the Discovery, a 74-foot replica of the Revolutionary warship Rattlesnake. Several other ships will participate. The boats will rendezvous off Lido Isle in Newport Beach about 10 a.m., then get under sail an hour later for Dana Point.
Pursued by the Californian, the state’s official tall ship and a replica of a 19th-Century federal revenue cutter, the ships will race south to avoid capture and boarding by the crew of the Californian, bane of West Coast smugglers.
The ships are expected to arrive off Laguna Beach at about 2 p.m., and arrive in Dana Point about 4.
Free shuttle bus service will be available to take visitors to various parts of the Dana Point Marine Institute where the Pilgrim is anchored.
The buses, which will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will depart and return to three locations: the California 1st Bank at Street of the Golden Lantern and Pacific Coast Highway; the county parking lot at Selva Road and Coast Highway, and Capistrano Beach Plaza at 34101 Doheny Park Road.