Blaine By The Sea

Port-of-call to Blaine for 18th-century replica ship “Pilgrim”

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A wooden ship's around-the-world-expedition makes Blaine a port-of-call

The 18th-century replica Russian wooden ship “Pilgrim” (Pomor lodya in Russian) made an unannounced, brief stop here in Blaine on Tuesday, July 27 for some traveling provisions. This was the last leg of a 48-month around-the-world odyssey that began in 2017 in Russia. The Pilgrim is a replica of a wooden, three-mast, 18th-century Pomor ship that was used for transporting cargo in the White Sea in the 16th-century. When under sail, Pilgrim speeds along at six miles per hour. The Captain, Sinelnik Sergey constructed the vessel according to ancient drawings from an Orthodox monastery on the White Sea in Russia. Built in the Russian city of Petrozavodsk, Pilgrim took almost two years to build. Below deck, the Pilgrim is a floating museum displaying ancient wooden ship models, wooden art carvings, and photos of Pilgrim’s construction and journey.
A 18th Century replica of a russian wooden boat sits in Blaine Marina in July 2021
A curious boater passing by the Pilgrim - a 18th century wooden boat replica sitting in Blaine Marina.

Not the usual sailing around-the-world route one would take

The Pilgrim’s around-the-world adventure started in 2017 and has taken a not-so-normal trek around the world as one would think. Pilgrim traveled waterways, rivers, canals, and oceans from Petrozavodsk in Russia traveling the North Sea to the Baltic Sea sailing southward through the Mediterranean to Cape Verde off Africa. Then the Pilgrim made an 18-day trek across the Atlantic Ocean some 2,485+ miles to Martinique Island in the Caribbean. An arduous task for a 42-foot wooden boat with three wooden masts. From the Caribbean waters, Pilgrim sailed to Florida and the eastern seaboard to the US capital. In Annapolis, Maryland, Pilgrim was put in a dry dock and delayed due to repairs. Next, the Pilgrim and crew continued their journey up the Atlantic seaboard to New York, past the Statue of Liberty, and up the Hudson River. In Albany, they made passage through the canals to the Great Lakes. The Pilgrim then sailed the Great Lakes to their sister city, Duluth, Minnesota on Lake Superior.

Pilgrim - 18th Century Russian Wooden Ship Replica docked in Blaine Harbor, WA
"Pilgrim" (Pomor lodya in Russian) wooden boat with ornate trim.

On to the west coast and the Pacific Ocean

From the Great Lakes to the blue waters of the Pacific, the Pilgrim traveled via flatbed truck some 1,865 miles from Duluth overland thru Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and to Washington state. And this July arrived at the Center of Wooden Boats in Seattle, entering the waters of Puget Sound.

After Pilgrim’s brief port-of-call here at Blaine Marina, Pilgrim’s traveling the last leg of her around-the-world expedition, taking the Northwest sea route out of Blaine around Canada between the Arctic islands to the Bering Sea and home to Mother Russia.

Though we may not have had the opportunity to know more about Pilgrim, her Captain, and crew, we are honored that Blaine was one of their many port-of-calls in their four-year historical around-the-world journey.

As our motto says, “All Voyagers Welcome to Blaine by the Sea!

Smooth sailing, Pilgrim!

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