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Officials Harbor Hopes of a Ship

Channel Islands port managers want the Tole Mour, used to teach students about marine science, to relocate to their anchorage.

August 25, 2003|Lynne Barnes | Times Staff Writer

Channel Islands Harbor officials are hoping it's their ship coming in this afternoon when the three-masted Tole Mour arrives after nearly a week at sea.

One of the tall ship's passengers will be Larry Janss, whose foundation co-owns the vessel, which is used to teach young students about marine science and oceanography.

Janss is expected to announce today whether the ship will relocate from its current base in Long Beach to the Ventura County-owned harbor.

Harbor Director Lyn Krieger said last week that officials are pleased that the county is being considered as the home base for the Tole Mour and its educational program.

"We have a lot of young people in the county who are not familiar with the ocean and what the ocean does for the Earth," Krieger said.

The Tole Mour, which sleeps 49, was built in 1988 to deliver medical care and supplies to residents of the Marshall Islands, about 6,000 miles west of Hawaii. Tole Mour [pronounced toe-lee more] means "Gift of Life and Health" in the language of the islanders.

The ship later moved to Hawaii, then to Long Beach, where it makes 50 to 70 trips a year, serving about 1,800 children in grades four through 12.

Krieger hopes that if the ship is based in Ventura County, more local students would take advantage of it.

The excursions, usually taken by classes or scout troops, cost $235 per student for a three-day trip and $415 for a five-day outing.

Ross Turner is executive director of Guided Discoveries, which co-owns the boat and operates the excursions.

Turner said Janss, a Thousand Oaks developer and artist, has been working with a group of Ventura County residents to move the vessel from Los Angeles to Ventura, for at least part of the year.

Young passengers come from as far away as Arizona and Nevada, Turner said, but there aren't many from Ventura County.

One chief goal is '"to serve as many Ventura County kids as possible," he said.

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