From the cliffs of Corona del Mar, the Pilgrim of Newport looked like toy boat from the past as it made its way up the coast into Newport Harbor. The tall ship, a replica of a pirate vessel from the 1700’s, was greeted by fire boat sirens and water sprays, as well as lucky beachgoers at Big Corona. It cruised in at a fast clip on its way to the Newport Sea Base for a weekend tribute to its builder, Dennis Holland, who passed away in the spring.

It’s amazing, but true, that Holland built the Pilgrim of Newport in his front yard from scratch. According to the Ocean Institute, the ship is 118 feet long and the mast is 100 feet high. This incredible historical wonder is now called The Spirit of Dana Point, and the Ocean Institute manages it, providing tours to the public and creative field trip programs for local schools.

Free tours and and exhibits honoring Dennis Holland were held Sept 13th. The tall ship sailed back to Dana Point on Sunday.