NEWPORT BEACH, CA – The square topsail schooner Privateer Lynx will partner with the brig Lady Washington in a two-month “voyage of discovery” starting on April 9, 2005 in Sausalito, California. The voyage will include dockside tours, educational programs and battle sail reenactments up the West Coast, ending in Port Angeles, Washington on June 18, 2005 where they will join the Tall Ships 2005 Events in the Pacific Northwest.
“We welcome this opportunity to be sailing with such a beautiful ship,” said Jeffrey Woods, director of operations for Woods Maritime, owner and operator of Privateer Lynx, based in Newport Beach, CA.
Privateer Lynx has been designed and built to interpret a privateer or naval schooner from the War of 1812. Displacing 114 tons, she is 78 feet overall with a 23-foot beam and a draft of nine feet. Lady Washington is a reconstruction of an 18th century trading vessel that sailed from Massachusetts around Cape Horn to China. She displaces 205 tons, is 67 feet overall with a 22-foot beam and a draft of 11 feet.
The dual voyage will highlight the educational programs of the two vessels. Both programs stress early American maritime traditions as well as focus on navigation and life at sea. In addition, interactive instruction in seamanship, sail training and the study of historical, environmental and ecological issues are featured.
“We are also excited about doing battle with Lady Washington,” continued Woods. “With our superior speed, we should be making quick work of her!” Countered Captain Les Bolton, executive director of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington, which owns and operates Lady Washington, “It should be quite a match-up. Vessels like Lynx were designed to chase down and overpower vessels like Lady Washington. Still our crew loves a challenge and we do have a few tricks, we won’t make it easy for that rakish privateer!”
Both vessels were involved in the making of the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. Privateer Lynx was used to train the crew and actors in the intricacies of sailing a period pirate ship prior to filming and Lady Washington was featured as the HMS Interceptor in the film.
The highlight of the voyage will be the battle sail reenactments. As described by Bolton, “it is an 18th-century game of “Top Gun”. People on the decks witness first-hand how two well-trained and spirited crews each does its very best to out-sail and out gun the other.” “The mock battles are unscripted,” said Woods. “The crews try to outmaneuver one another and execute a technique called ‘crossing the T,’ in which one ship positions its broadside against an enemy vessel’s bow or stern, allowing one crew to fire its guns, raking the decks without their rivals firing back.” “This is a cat and mouse game with pieces measuring in the hundreds of thousands of pounds,” said Bolton. “Pieces that are capable of harnessing the natural elements and translating them into driving forces in excess of one thousand horsepower. It’s a shooting match where the black powder is measured in pounds, not grams.”
Privateer Lynx Captain Douglas Leasure and Lady Washington Captain Ryan Meyer will use radios to prevent accidents, but otherwise, the crews will compete to out-sail, out maneuver and outgun each other.