San Salvador’s masts and bowsprit have been installed!
I swung by the amazing ship’s build site this morning after doing a couple errands in Point Loma. Additional work was underway on the bowsprit, and the hull appears almost finished. One gentleman was painting white Roman numerals on the bow which will indicate the ship’s depth.
Complications and unforeseen difficulties have delayed the launch of the Spanish galleon, but now the full-scale, seaworthy replica of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s historic ship is almost ready to be placed into San Diego Bay!
As I write this, very little updated information can be found concerning the upcoming launch of San Salvador. When the ship was weighed some months ago, it came in at 20 tons more than expected. Due to logistics, plans to use a crane to transport the ship to Broadway Pier were necessarily altered, then ultimately discarded.
I received some info on the museum’s new plan during a short conversation with San Diego’s own famous Captain Swordfish, a few days ago while I was walking along the Embarcadero. He indicated the San Salvador will be turned, then rolled over a temporary bridge onto a barge behind Harbor Island. The barge will then transport the galleon to a local shipyard, where a crane will–finally–hoist San Salvador into San Diego Bay.
The plan, as I understood it, is to add ballast and complete the ship’s rigging while it’s docked by the Maritime Museum. I also heard that the museum hopes San Salvador is ready to lead other tall ships into San Diego Bay for the ceremonial parade at this year’s Festival of Sail! That would be very cool!
As of 7/29/15, the San Salvador is afloat on San Diego Bay! A week ago a barge transported the replica galleon to Chula Vista in our South Bay, where today it was lifted into the water. I learned this afternoon that in fact the ballast will be added and rigging completed in Chula Vista, in a place that is closed to the public. The ship will have to undergo extensive testing by the Coast Guard before being declared seaworthy. It’s still hoped everything will be completed in time for the Festival of Sail, which takes place in a little over a month!