4,442 Square feet of wind power, green as it may be, was not enough to save this piece of living history from the grips of radical idealogs.
The reason? The Lady Washington also employs a 60 year old diesel engine which exceeds limits of emissions under California's clean air laws.
Nearly 100,000 visitors / tourists to the ship last winter, and taking 7,000 school children to sea under the power of the wind is not enough to save this not-for-profit venture. Now, unless the ship can come up with $100,000 to replace the dependable Korean War era engine with a newer "green" diesel, the Pirate Ship will forever be banned from the waters of California.
So much for dominant fire power... I guess Sacramento is slightly out of reach of those cannons... and reality.
We risk losing this treasure all in the name of government lunacy. Let us hope that private funds can be raised to convert the ship's engines... lest we lose the ability to fund the basic upkeep of the ship, and lose a state treasure here in Washington!
Canceling the California voyages means no school trips, no tourist excursions and no ticket revenue for the nonprofit Grays Harbor Historic Seaport Authority, which depends on that income to keep the ship running.
Bolton acknowledges there is some irony in pollution laws that effectively ban a historic sailing ship, especially one with Hollywood credentials. But his response is somewhat philosophical.
"Government is supposed to treat everybody equally," he said. "And, when it comes to air pollution, what difference does it make if your vessel is carrying school kids or tourists?"