I am no stranger to Dana Point because I fish there a lot, as I do, at other landings along Southern California coast, enjoy their picnic facilities, eat at their fine restos or just drive there to unwind. Why I never bothered before to spend a few hours there, at least once till now, during the yearly festival is probably a tribute to the many other attractions Southern California has to offer to its residents and visitors alike year-round.
I had a great time checking out the festival. I should have planned to stay longer so I can see the tall ships sail out into the sunset and simulate a sea battle between them. There's a fee if you want to be aboard these ships during this engagement and get a feel of the action; but just to be able to photograph these ships in full sail moving out to the open sea is worth the wait. That regrettably, I did not do, I left after a couple of hours but I will be back next year.
Tallships moored side by side and open to the public. Late in the day, they sail out and simulate cannon battles. They fire their cannons at each other but there is no ammo or balls or whatever they call their deadly projectiles - it is all sound and no fury....no damage anticipated except to the eardrums of those standing too close to the cannons LOL.