The annual Maritime Days celebration hoists sail in Channel Islands Harbor this weekend with dancing, a chowder cook-off, yacht tours and other vaguely nautical events.
The centerpiece of the event, which runs from Friday to Sunday, will be a display of classic yachts and pre-World War II motor vessels from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The motor vessels will be on display at Peninsula Park dock, while the yachts will be at West Bank dock. Boarding and tours will be allowed on some vessels at the owner's discretion.
Rare, vintage vessels making an appearance include the Cheerio II, a 1931 three-masted yawl once owned by Errol Flynn, and the Los Amigos, a 43-foot 1879 yacht built in the Caribbean.
The Cheerio was named the Scirocco when it was owned around 1934 by the cinematic swashbuckler--who named all his yachts Scirocco, according to Juanita McNish, who, with her husband Dick, has owned the boat for 10 years.
Flynn used the boat mainly for quick trips to Catalina, buying bigger craft for later ocean cruises, she said.
Noteworthy motor craft include the MV Deerlap, an 80-foot 1929 Hoffer-Beeching sailboat that has carried the likes of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe and has appeared in television movies, and the Sea Dog, a 55-foot 1932 Stephens yacht that served as a kind of floating hardware store for the owner of a nautical parts company.
Overall, 13 yachts will be on display. Beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, the yachts will parade through the harbor.
Kicking off the celebration is the third annual Shipwreck Party from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday in the Santa Barbara Room of the Lobster Trap. Shipwreck-themed attire is in order. The buffet dinner starts at 7 p.m. The Happy Haole Dancers will provide live Polynesian entertainment starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person in advance and $18 at the door.
Saturday's chowder cook-off offers prizes and restaurant gift certificates for best all-around chowder, showmanship, best costumes and best team name in four categories--New England clam chowder, Manhattan clam chowder, fish chowder and vegetable chowder.
Judging at Noon
The contest is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with judging at noon. Entry fees are $20 for amateurs and $25 for professionals.
Fisherman's Wharf will be transformed into a dance floor Saturday with "Dancing on the Dock" from 6 to 10 p.m. to the local group Hot Wax. Seafood meals, including chowder and jambalaya, will be available. There is no admission charge to the dance.
Other nautical events for the weekend include knot-tying demonstrations, an arts and crafts marketplace, children's activities, a sand sculpture contest Sunday, marine exhibits and displays, and a pancake breakfast both mornings.
For information, call (805) 985-4852.