Dana Point Majesty: The Toshiba Tall Ships

An impressive confab of colossal vessels hove into the harbor.

TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY... may be a couple of weeks off -- surely, matey, you have Sept. 19 circled on the calendar? Arrrr -- but people with wayback pirate-y inclinations can plop a tri-corner hat on their heads and avast-it-up far sooner. Why? The tall ships are pulling into Dana Point, as they always do at the beginning of September, and with them arrives a sense of history, a sense of exploration and wonder, and, yes, the occasional bout of pirate-speak. The dates are Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 7, but everyone but everyone talks about...

THE SUNSET PARADE... which always happens on the Friday night leading into the weekend. We don't need to gussy this happening up for you to get why it is well-attended and well-popular: The setting sun peeps through, in a postcard-like manner, all of those giant, storybook masts. Are there cameras pointed out at the water? Everyone who has one will have it out, no doubt. But be sure just to stand on the shore and do the soaking-in-thing. Photos good, memory more good.

AS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEKEND? Tall ship tours and cannon battles are highlights, and, for sure, people can board the ships before they head out to square off (you'll want to nab tickets to those, because people like being on majestic ye-olde ships as they're firing cannons). The viewing of oceanic art, live tunes, demos highlighting the important, tradition-laden raising of the sails, and, heck yeah, the singing of sea chanteys add ballast to the weekend. As for the ships set to show? The Brig Pilgrim, The Spirit of Dana Point, and American Pride are just three of the nine. Join it all or find a spot somewhere in Dana Harbor to admire the behemoths of the sea from a distance. This is one show where having a front row seat, or standing a good distance away, yields thrills.

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