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Big Boats in Bodega Bay

A pair of tall ships have the sails up for a multi-day exhibition.



    THE SIGHTS OF BODEGA: Last time you were in Bodega, hanging-bayside, negotiating with the gulls that wanted in on whatever chowdery foodstuff you were consuming, what sort of vessels did you see out on the water? Were they private craft or small yachts or the kind of small cart-arounds that look like they're pressed into daily use for locals running errands? That's sort of the laid-back scene of the Bay. (Okay, the gulls aren't so laid-back, but really, are gulls anywhere? We love them for their audacity.) But two rather unusual boats are in and around the Bodega waters through Sunday, April 8. Call them tall ships if you like -- that's quite the regal moniker -- or call them by their given names, the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain.

    COASTAL VISITS: The Washington-based ships have been making a few Golden State stop-bys over the past few weeks and a visit is well worth it for sea lovers, historians, and fans of the "Pirates" movies (yep, the Lady Washington, which is carefully rendered replica of its original namesake, has a cameo in one of the films). Walk-on tours and weekend battle sails are part of the ships' itinerary. And if think the battle sails are big, taunting, grand-scale affairs, think right. No need to dig out your tri-cornered hat, but breeches would not be out of place.

    A few more notes? The shiply visit is in part to fete Fort Ross, which marks its 200th anniversary this year. And if you miss the Bodega action, the ships are headed up to Eureka and Crescent City next.