Tall ships return to Bodega Bay

  • Jonathan Evelegh watches the tall ship Lady Washington pull into Spud Point Marina, in Bodega Bay, on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. The Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are in Bodega Bay until April 7, and will have daily tours and excursions.

    (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Two tall ships sailed into Spud Point Marina in Bodega Bay on Tuesday, bringing with them one big unknown: How many people will show up through Sunday to see, board and sail on the historic vessels?

"We really can't even begin to estimate what kind of response there will be. You just never know," said County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, whose 5th District includes Bodega Bay.

Last year, crowds who visited the Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington -- which saw duty in the 2003 film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" -- were so large that people grew frustrated at the wait. Many were turned away.

Management of the tall ship tours is handled by the vessels' owner, the nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, of Aberdeen, Wash. But with the ships' return this year, county parks officials have taken steps to ease crowding.

"We learned some lessons last year," said Sonoma County Regional Parks spokeswoman Meda Freeman, who characterized last year's response as "overwhelming."

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