Begin the adventure of a lifetime in San Diego!

Would you, or someone you know, like to embark on the adventure of a lifetime?

You can start that adventure this very moment. Sign up to become one of a select few: those who help sail famous tall ships right here in San Diego. Including the oldest active sailing ship in the world, Star of India!

Start down the path to becoming a crewmember and you’ll create incredible memories. Your background, age or experience don’t matter.

Today I watched from the poop deck of Star of India as two new museum volunteers learned to tie knots.

With training, which includes a special class that begins every January, you, too, can help operate the replica 19th century schooner Californian; the replica 18th century British Frigate HMS Surprise; the 19th century three-masted Bark Star of India; the replica 16th century Spanish Galleon San Salvador; and the 20th century steam yacht Medea.

Learn all about this incredible opportunity by clicking here!

Retired? No problem? A student? No problem. Don’t know anything about ships or sailing? No problem!

Begin this adventure and you’ll learn nautical skills and acquire knowledge that very few people share.

Afraid of climbing high into a tall ship’s rigging? No problem! When operating these historic ships, there’s plenty to do down on deck, too!

This afternoon I spoke to Jim, First Mate of Star of India, and absorbed all sorts of interesting information. He told me there’s something new to learn at the Maritime Museum every single day. And he’s been with the museum now for almost 50 years! (He started out working in the gift shop!)

Interested? Begin your adventure of a lifetime now, by clicking here. You’ll even have a chance to help sail the beautiful Star of India herself, when next she goes out to sea, in November 2023!

That would make for one amazing memory.

Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego’s downtown skyline changes again!

San Diego continues to grow. Over the years, our city’s downtown skyline keeps changing, becoming wider, denser, more varied. Some of the new construction has been along the waterfront.

I was out on a slow Embarcadero walk today when my eyes did a double take. I couldn’t believe how quickly IQHQ’s five building RaDD (Research and Development District) project is rising!

The future technology campus, a combination of lab, office and retail space, is being built on part of the property where the demolished Navy Broadway Complex stood.

I know developments like these are hotly debated. Among other considerations, certain bay views will become obstructed, while new views will open. Whatever your position is, the growth of downtown San Diego continues apace, and the changed skyline will probably feel more “ordinary” as memories fade.

UPDATE!

I took another photo from a different direction some time later. Here I’m standing near the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway. The recently completed 17-story high-rise is Navy Building One.

And a few days later…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Restoring a great San Diego treasure!

The historic ship Star of India is one of San Diego’s great treasures. Its figurehead, depicting the Greek Muse of music and lyric poetry Euterpe, is undergoing restoration at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Euterpe was the original name of Star of India when it was launched in 1863 at the Isle of Man.

Should you venture down into the hold of Star of India, you’ll see how the carved wooden figurehead has had many layers of paint removed, in order to remove rot and fill in cracks. The last time the figurehead was removed from the tall ship’s bow was back in 1988.

The figurehead was carved from a single piece of pine wood by a worker at a Glasgow boatyard named George Sutherland. By sheer coincidence, that is the exact name of the Maritime Museum crew member leading today’s restoration effort!

If you’re interested in seeing history close up, this is your chance! Head down to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, step aboard Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, and descend from the main deck down two levels into the hold, where you can view the renewal of beautiful Euterpe!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A sunny Easter walk in San Diego!

It’s Easter Sunday! The sun is shining in San Diego and it feels like Spring!

How perfect for a long, leisurely walk around downtown San Diego.

Enjoy these photographs!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Smiling new volunteer at Maritime Museum!

Today was Samantha’s first day volunteering at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. From one who is a big fan of the museum–thank you!

I walked slowly around the museum’s historic ships in the early afternoon, watching Sunday volunteers at work, and learned a few new things. There’s always something different and interesting to discover here!

As you can see, along with Samantha, many were working to maintain the Star of India.

Applying a clear UV-resistant acrylic to the main deck of Star of India.
Volunteering, and being members of a sail crew, seems to produce smiles!
Out on the museum’s barge, I saw the Robert Sharp is now pink! Don’t worry, I was told, that’s just a primer coat.
Hammering away on the Star of India’s forward capstan.
A group was setting out on a Sunday sailing adventure aboard tall ship Californian.
I haven’t yet enjoyed a Californian sailing adventure, but I promise to, one day. Looks incredible!
There she goes!

Stay tuned for more photos from Chula Vista, Allied Gardens, La Jolla . . . and who knows where else!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

San Diego’s elegant Maritime Museum Dancers!

The Maritime Museum Dancers performed today. They graced the dance floor of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic steam ferry Berkeley!

In addition to elegant, spritely dancing, the performers sang both together and individually, and one even read poetry!

These particular costumes and entertainments would have been enjoyed over two hundred years ago in England, in the early 19th century, around the time of the Regency Period.

The Maritime Museum Dancers often perform on another museum ship, HMS Surprise, the replica British Royal Navy ship used in the filming of Master and Commander.

Lucky museum visitors were enraptured by today’s performance, which included line dancing, a quadrille, and a duet. Near the conclusion of their performance, the group sang a gently stirring rendition of Greensleeves.

Alas my love you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously;
And I have loved you oh so long
Delighting in your company…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Open House tour of San Diego’s Waterfront Park.

Last Sunday I enjoyed a fascinating tour of Waterfront Park in San Diego. The special public tour was part of the 2022 San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House event.

Our small group was guided by Glen and Jeff of Schmidt Design Group, landscape architects who worked on the Waterfront Park project almost ten years ago. The park opened to the public in 2014. (I was there for the big grand opening! You can see many photographs taken during that historic day by clicking here!)

As we walked around the beautiful park, where two large parking lots originally existed, we learned so many facts I failed to jot many down!

I did note that the two stretches of fountains on either side of the County Administration Building together are 830 feet long. The fountain design was tricky, because the water in the basin where children jump and play could be only one inch deep, due to safety concerns. The fountains utilize an 80,000 gallon water tank, and the 31 jets spray water 12 to 14 feet high.

The fountains were to be set in marble, but to save tens of millions of dollars, specially applied concrete made to look like marble was utilized instead.

The parking garage under the south end of Waterfront Park is below the water table (San Diego Bay is a block to the west), and consequently various innovative measures were taken to keep water from seeping in. I was surprised that, like the nearby County Administration Building, piles were driven 100 feet deep into bedrock to support and stabilize the structure!

The “hill” with a slide in the wonderful, very popular playground was built up with high density foams blocks. (The same hill referred to as Tony Gwynn’s opposing “pitching mound” when the park’s sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle debuted back in 2015. See those fun photos here!)

One bit of information really surprised me. There had initially been plans to install Dr. Seuss sculptures around the playground! The Grinch and his dog Max were to stand atop the hill. The Cat in the Hat would welcome kids near the fountain area. Our group didn’t hear why that plan fell through.

We did learn how, during Waterfront Park’s construction, large old palm trees and the San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial were moved. We saw the bits of shining, sparkling mica that were placed in the concrete around the memorial.

We learned how the large garden at the north end of the park was designed to be a beautiful, contemplative area. And, indeed, it is.

The garden is divided into three sections. The north “grass” or “meadow” garden with 15 varieties of grass; the middle Mediterranean garden with sages, rosemary, lavender and Torrey pines; and the south “tropical” or “diversity” garden, with plumeria, bird of paradise and many other lush plants.

Irrigation for the park requires 8 million gallons per year! But this free, very popular “water park” serves hundreds of thousands of San Diego residents every year, many arriving by trolley from less affluent neighborhoods.

Lastly, we learned how the County of San Diego will soon be removing the garden, and replacing it with a dog park, basketball and pickleball courts, and other recreational amenities. I suppose the change is both sad and exciting. As they say, there are two sides to every coin.

I’ll be watching the progress of that project and will probably be taking photos in the future!

This is where the proposed Cat in the Hat sculpture would have stood!
Donal Hord’s iconic Guardian of Water sculpture stands in the background. Learn a little more about it here.
The present location of the San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial.
Part of the Waterfront Park garden. The large garden will be removed to make way for sports facilities.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Another stunning sunset behind tall ships!

Another stunning sunset in San Diego this evening.

I was walking downtown, along the Embarcadero, when the sun descended into storm clouds beyond Point Loma. The clouds had turned golden near the horizon.

I took these photographs with several tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the foreground.

I never tire of cool sights like this!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Californian’s cannon salute to Star of India.

If you’ve ever heard two very loud booms in downtown San Diego on a Sunday afternoon, chances are you’ve heard cannons on San Diego Bay.

Around 3:30 pm, when the tall ship Californian returns from a four-hour sail and approaches its Maritime Museum of San Diego home, it fires two cannons to salute world-famous museum ship Star of India.

I was out on the deck of the Maritime Museum’s steam ferry Berkeley when a docent advised everyone there would soon be a very loud noise! I got my camera ready, aimed it at Californian, and snapped photos at the first sign of smoke.

Startling booms followed shortly thereafter, echoing off nearby downtown skyscrapers!

The two cannon salute to Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, is now a San Diego tradition. The booms have been echoing downtown for as long as I can remember.

The handsome schooner Californian, built in San Diego in 1984, is the official tall ship of the State of California.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sails, ships and beauty on San Diego Bay!

It was a perfect January day on San Diego Bay. Not a cloud in the blue sky, very little haze, a comfy 70 degrees. No jacket required!

As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I have a couple of free tickets for harbor tours aboard the museum’s historic Pilot boat. I used one of those tickets this afternoon!

These photographs on the water show a little of why so many people love San Diego.

I’ve provided details about the historic Pilot boat and this harbor tour in the past. See that old blog post here.

I’ve also blogged about many of the unique sights one can see on San Diego Bay. You can check out a couple of those fascinating posts here and here.

Today I wanted to relax, not take notes.

Simply take in the beauty.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!