Tall ships coming to Humboldt Bay

Photo by Ron Arel, Coastal Images


The Lady Washington under sail. Captain Buhne piloted a similar ship into Humboldt Bay in 1850. Buhne’s biographer, Marvin Shepherd, and Buhne’s great-great-granddaughter, ZoAnn Redmond Kinsey, will recreate Buhne’s experience when they sail from San Francisco to Humboldt Bay on the Lady Washington arriving on Wednesday morning, March 16.


When the tall ship Lady Washington, a replica of the original 18th century merchant sloop named in honor of Martha Washington, sails into Humboldt Bay on the morning of Wednesday, March 16, there will be two passengers on board of special interest to Humboldt County.
Marvin Shepherd, author of the newly published book, “A Sea-Captain’s Odyssey: A Biography of Captain H.H. Buhne,” will board the Lady Washington in San Francisco and sail with her to Humboldt Bay on his quest to relive the experience of Captain H. H. Buhne, who piloted the first ship into Humboldt Bay 161 years ago, on April 15, 1850. Joining Shepherd in this experience is ZoAnn Redmond-Kinsey, the great-great-granddaughter of Captain Buhne himself.
The community is invited to welcome them as they disembark from the Lady Washington at the dock at the foot of L Street at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The Trumpet Consort von Humboldt will be playing, and hot coffee and coffee cakes will be served.
The young H.H. Buhne had joined the crew of the Laura Virginia as second mate, but because of his skills as a pilot, he was asked to bring the Laura Virginia”across the bay’s treacherous bar. Ship traffic into the bay soon made Buhne’s skills indispensable. Known as the best pilot on Humboldt Bay, many ship captains would not let anyone but Buhne pilot their ships across the bar.
Now Marvin Shepherd has the opportunity to relive Buhne’s historic sea voyage to Humboldt. Shepherd will cross the bar into Humboldt Bay on a ship very similar to the Laura Virginia. The “Lady Washington” is a square-rigged, two-masted brig of 178 tons. The Laura Virginia was a two-masted clipper-schooner of 108 tons.
The Lady Washington leaves San Francisco at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 14. She arrives in Eureka about forty-five hours later, between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16. The “Lady Washington” will dock at the foot of L Street in Eureka, at 1011 Waterfront Drive. She will be accompanied by another tall ship, the Hawaiian Chieftain. The two tall ships sail together regularly on the Pacific Coast.
Please join us in welcoming the Buhne delegation – his biographer Marvin Shepherd, and his great-great-granddaughter ZoAnn Redmond-Kinsey – at the dock at the foot of L Street at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday March 16. Enjoy a dockside reception featuring Gil Cline and the Trumpet Consort von Humboldt, and hot refreshments. Parking is available at the foot of L Street, in the lot at the Adorni Center.
For updates on the arrival schedule, which may change due to weather and tides, please visit http://www.humboldthistory.org . Or call the Humboldt County Historical Society at 445-4342.
While he is in the area, Marvin Shepherd will be signing copies of his biography of Captain Buhne on Saturday, March 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Trinidad Museum, at a multi-author book event.

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