Photo  ©   Debbie Stock
Lookout point above Dana Point Harbor 

In 1818, pirate Hippolyte Bouchard landed at San Juan point and raided the mission to stock up on provisions. Dana was one of the sailors who usually gathered there to collect hides which were tossed to them over the coastal cliffs from surrounding ranchos..  The harbor was named in honor of this man who called  it "The only romantic cove in California."


Red Onion restaurant in the Dana Point Harbor serves Mexican faire or dine above the harbor at restaurants high atop the hill..   Chart House and Cannons
Restaurant & Terrace serve chicken, fish and steaks as well as house specials. 



Photo  ©   Debbie Stock


    Photo  ©   Debbie Stock


Ocean Institute at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive contains sea life exhibits. Located next to the Institute is a full size replica of Richard Henry Danaa's ship, Pilgrim, which he described in the novel, Two Years Before the Mast. It seems that nearby San Juan Capistrano mission was once an outpost for traders.


Length on Deck: 98’Beam: 24.6’Mainmast Height:98’ Net Tonnage: 64   Built:1945, Denmark 
The Pilgrim is a full size replica of the hide brig immortalized by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. in his American seafaring classic novel Two Years Before the Mast. Dana said of the Pilgrim, "The vessel I am going on is small, but strong and a remarkably fast sailor  having been built for the smuggling trade." 


 The original Pilgrim was built in 1825 at a cost of $ 50,000. Her  length was a mere 90 feet compared to the average 110 feet for other vessel of the same class. The purpose of its 1834 voyage was to participate in the California cattle hide trade for her Boston owners, Bryant and Sturgis. The Pilgrim set sail from Boston loaded with England’s manufactured goes such as shoes, foodstuffs and ironware. When she arrived along the Alta California coast, The Pilgrim would sell or trade her New England wares then procure hides from the missions and rancheros to be transported back to Boston. The Pilgrim anchored several times of  San Juan Bay (Dana Point). It is not known in what other trades the Pilgrim engaged after her voyage to Alta California, Mexico. However, it is recorded that she was lost in a fire at sea in 1856. By this time the hide trade had also suffered its demise. 


The new Pilgrim was built in 1945 as a three-masted schooner. After many journeys in the Baltic Sea, she was modified with her current rig, and  entered Dana Point  Harbor in September 1981.  Orange County Ocean Institute’s largest classroom provides a national award winning living history  program to over 16,000 students each year. 


Setting sail annually with a volunteer crew in the late summer, the Pilgrim travels north to  the Channel Islands. The brig visits ports along  the way as an ambassador of good will for the city of Dana Point.  Her return in early September is celebrated with the annual  Toshiba Tallships Festival. Dana Point. CA 92629  949-496-2274