Many hundreds of years ago I wanted to be a history teacher. Then I found out how much money history teachers made in Texas. That was the end of that dream.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to sail on the tall ship Spirit of Dana Point. Since I was on the ship, I could not take a picture of it under sail. So I resort to a picture of it here in San Diego at the Maritime Museum’s Festival of Sail on August 29, 2013:
The event yesterday was the occasion of the 2019 Tall Ships & Ocean Festival of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California.
The Spirit of Dana Point has an interesting history. It is a traditionally built replica of a 1770s privateer schooner used during the American Revolution. They were known for speed, and their speed made them useful for smuggling.
Formerly named Pilgrim of Newport, it was built piece by piece by Dennis Holland (1945-2014), who dreamed of building an accurate replica from the period when America fought for independence. He had talent and determination, as well as plans he purchased from the Smithsonian Institution. He laid the keel on May 2, 1970, in the yard of his Orange County home. It was finished and launched in 1983. The Ocean Institute acquired the ship in 2001, and it continues to sail the ocean under the name Spirit of Dana Point.
While under sail yesterday, we got more behind-the-scenes tales of how the ship was built. When Dennis Holland started running short of money, he and his family moved into the half-completed ship and rented out their home. When tasked with a school project to draw a picture of your home, one of his daughters drew a picture of the boat. Teacher was not too pleased.
Dana Point is a great little beach town. If you ever get the opportunity to drive Pacific Coast Highway (also known as Coast Highway, U.S. 101, California 1), be sure to stop in Dana Point and check out the harbor and the magnificent cliff side homes.
I will have more about the Ocean Institute and my adventures yesterday on the high seas in upcoming posts.