OCEANSIDE — Harbor Days brought live music, majestic tall ships and swashbuckling pirates to Oceanside Harbor on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.
This year all activities were located on the beach side of the harbor, which allowed visitors easy walking access to more than 200 novelty and food booths, giant inflatable kiddy rides, the pirate village and the beloved Nail and Sail race.
“We have been packed with people walking through both days,” Scott Ashton, director of sales and marketing for the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, said. “It continues to be a fun, family-friendly event.”
Pirate songs, stories and dances were shared in the pirate village.
The tall ship The Californian sailed out for short cruises and fired off its cannons.
Camp Pendleton Marines showed off massive amphibian vehicles and allowed visitors to climb aboard and try on military gear.
A big hit was the Nail and Sail race in which teams of three hand-built and raced boats across the harbor. Teams were given a rationed supply of wood, nails and caulking to construct their boats within two hours.
First-time competitors Kevin Payne of Vista and James Kempka of Oceanside credited their second-place win to sound boat building. “We had a well-weighted boat that wasn’t taking on an water,” Payne said. “The outrigger is definitely a plus. You’re not worried about tipping over.”
A watertight boat, balance and good oars are an advantage, but the lack of them did not stop racers from crossing the finish line. In a preliminary heat team Strong to the Finish capsized and righted their boat to come in second.
Team Wet Denim found their craft flooded halfway across the width of harbor and swam alongside their partially submerged boat to finish the race.
In the youth race the bright pink Barbie’s Sailors boat entered by Drew Backe, Austin Campbell and Tyler Smith of Boy Scout Troop 752 of Oceanside won first place.
In the adult division the rowboat-style John Wayne’s Glass Boat paddled by Tom Wayne Brewer of Vista and Seth Mueller of Oceanside won, giving the team bragging rights for the third consecutive year.