Photos aboard Master and Commander’s HMS Surprise.

Elegant stern of HMS Surprise, one of many fascinating ships owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Elegant stern of HMS Surprise, one of many fascinating ships owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

It’s Christmas. I wasn’t planning to blog today. But this afternoon I became a new member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego! (Having lived for 15 years just a short walk from the museum, it’s about time!)

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to visit several of the amazing ships.  The Maritime Museum of San Diego has one of the finest and largest collections of historical ships in the world!

If you’ve ever watched the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, then you’ll probably recognize the HMS Surprise. The beautiful tall ship, upon which many scenes were filmed, is in the museum’s collection. And I took a bunch of photos today!

Becoming a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is going to be awesome. Among other great perks, I can visit any of the ships free for an entire year. I can sit in the elegant enclosed passenger deck of the Steam Ferry Berkeley and read and write whenever I please! Right out on beautiful San Diego Bay! How cool is that?

I bet some of you might really enjoy membership, too!  I’m told they are looking for volunteers to help sail their new Spanish galleon replica San Salvador!

For more information, please visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego website.

HMS Surprise in some morning sunlight.
HMS Surprise in some morning sunlight.
The ship you are about to board was originally built as a replica of the British 24-gun frigate Rose of 1757. HMS Rose played a role in the American Revolution and was sunk in Savanna harbor in 1779.
The ship you are about to board was originally built as a replica of the British 24-gun frigate Rose of 1757. HMS Rose played a role in the American Revolution and was sunk in Savanna harbor in 1779.
Detailed model of the HMS Surprise, which is the only operating replica of an 18th century frigate in the world. The ship was used in the filming of Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe.
Detailed model of the HMS Surprise, which is the only operating replica of an 18th century frigate in the world. The ship was used in the filming of Master and Commander, starring Russell Crowe.
Visitor to the San Diego Maritime Museum pretends to steer the amazing tall ship, which is docked on the Embarcadero near the historic Star of India, in the background.
Visitor to the San Diego Maritime Museum pretends to steer the tall ship HMS Surprise, which is docked on the Embarcadero near the historic Star of India, in the background.
View of the ship's main deck and lower rigging from the quarterdeck. A portion of San Diego's skyline and the County Administration Building are visible.
View of the ship’s main deck and lower rigging from the quarterdeck. A portion of San Diego’s skyline and the County Administration Building are visible.
Cannon projects from hull of HMS Surprise, which is a replica of a 24-gun frigate of the Royal Navy, based on 18th century British Admiralty drawings.
Cannon projects from hull of HMS Surprise, which is a replica of a 24-gun frigate of the Royal Navy, based on 18th century British Admiralty drawings.
Looking upward at the three masts, furled sails and other complicated rigging.
Looking upward at the three masts, furled sails and other complicated rigging.
Photo through ropes of the nearby Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship, also part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Photo through ropes of the nearby Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, also part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The ship's bell. Originally named the HMS Rose, the ship was re-registered as HMS Surprise because of her role in the film Master and Commander.
The ship’s bell. Originally named the HMS Rose, the ship was re-registered as HMS Surprise because of her starring role in the film Master and Commander.
Below deck there are many fascinating exhibits, which show what life was like aboard a frigate. Other displays recall the filming of Master and Commander.
Below deck there are many fascinating exhibits, which show what life was like aboard a frigate. Other displays recall the filming of Master and Commander.
Pick the right kind of shot. The Surprise carried a variety of projectiles, each suited for different purposes.
Pick the right kind of shot. The Surprise carried a variety of projectiles, each suited for different purposes.
Artistic depiction of activity below deck during an engagement with the enemy. Operating the cannons was a complicated, dangerous duty.
Artistic depiction of activity below deck during an engagement with the enemy. Operating the cannons was a complicated, dangerous duty.
Feeling seasick? Visit the surgeon. Getting sick at sea was very serious not only for the ill sailor, but also for the entire crew.
Feeling seasick? Visit the surgeon. Getting sick at sea was very serious not only for the ill sailor, but also for the entire crew.
Exhibit in HMS Surprise recalls the ship's doctor in the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Dr. Stephen Maturin was also scientist and naturalist.
Exhibit inside HMS Surprise recalls the ship’s doctor in the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. The fictional Dr. Stephen Maturin was also a scientist and naturalist.
Most of the crew slept below the gun deck in hammocks. Tightly-packed swinging hammocks figured memorably in the visuals of the movie Master and Commander.
Most of the crew slept below the gun deck in hammocks. Tightly-packed swinging hammocks figured memorably in the visuals of the movie Master and Commander.
Ship's Biscuit, also known as Hard Tack, was easy to make and preserve, and became part of the staple diet for British and Spanish mariners on their long voyages in the Pacific.
Ship’s Biscuit, also known as Hard Tack, was easy to make and preserve, and became part of the staple diet for British and Spanish mariners on their long voyages in the Pacific.
Chickens, geese and ducks were carried on board as live food. Officers enjoyed eggs. Fresh meat was reserved for the officers and those sick with scurvy.
Chickens, geese and ducks were carried on board as live food. Officers enjoyed eggs. Fresh meat was reserved for the officers and those sick with scurvy.
In this area near the stern there is a remote station for steering when the ship is propelled by its twin diesel engines. In 2007, HMS Surprise was restored to sailing condition.
A remote station used for steering the ship when she is propelled by her twin diesel engines. In 2007, HMS Surprise was restored to sailing condition.
One of several photos on display from the movie Master and Commander: Far Side of the World. Russell Crowe played the role of Captain Jack Aubrey.
One of several photos on display from the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Famous actor Russell Crowe played the role of Captain Jack Aubrey.
Distinctive figurehead often seen in the popular movie. It now graces San Diego's waterfront.
Distinctive figurehead often seen in the popular movie. It now graces San Diego’s waterfront.
Photograph of the HMS Surprise as evening approaches. One of many wonderful ships that visitors can board at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Photograph of the HMS Surprise as evening approaches. One of many wonderful ships that visitors can board at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

13 thoughts on “Photos aboard Master and Commander’s HMS Surprise.”

    1. Not only can one visit lots of ships, boats and submarines at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, but one can take a tour of the harbor on their historical pilot boat, or a tour of San Diego’s modern Navy ships down in the South Bay on their restored Swift Boat! If you’re into nautical stuff, you could spend a couple hours easily. The USS Midway Museum is also super cool!

      Liked by 1 person

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