Tar, varnish and paint on San Diego Bay!

Have you read those classic nautical stories where sailors are tasked with tarring ropes in a ship’s rigging?

Well, if you visited the Maritime Museum of San Diego today, you might have seen this age-old activity in practice. A museum volunteer was tarring the shrouds of Californian, official tall ship of California!

As I walked about the museum’s historic ships, I noticed the forward hatch of the 1904 steam yacht Medea had been recently varnished. And another volunteer was busy applying the second of three coats of paint to the railing of the San Diego harbor’s 1914 Pilot boat!

Even in calm San Diego Bay, the daily weather, salt and sun slowly ravage ships. The sun’s ultraviolet rays eventually break down everything, even tar. To maintain the beautiful vessels of a world-famous maritime museum requires elbow grease!

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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.

2 thoughts on “Tar, varnish and paint on San Diego Bay!”

  1. I’ve done this job! Hauled up the shroud in a bosun’s chair with a bucket of nasty slime hung off the side, it’s a real fun treat of a job. Of course, I did it aboard a WWII vintage ship during the Viet Nam era, and tar was a thing of the past. The new thing in those days was white lead, and the shrouds were heavy wire rope. Think a mixture of mashed potatoes and Elmer’s glue with the smell of an oilfield and you’ve got it. Good times!

    Liked by 1 person

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