A new deck for the beautiful HMS Surprise!

The main deck of HMS Surprise is being replaced at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The main deck of HMS Surprise is being replaced at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The HMS Surprise at the Maritime Museum of San Diego is getting a brand new deck! During my Sunday visit I noticed that replacement of the old deck is well underway!

Volunteers at the museum are applying the same methods and materials that were used so successfully to replace the deck of Star of India. I was told the main deck of HMS Surprise should be finished in about four months, and then the ship’s rigging will undergo an overhaul. Once all of that is complete, this beautiful replica of a 18th century Royal Navy 24-gun frigate should be ready to sail.

It’s hoped all the work will be complete in time for next year’s Festival of Sail!

As you might recall, this amazing ship co-starred with Russell Crowe in the acclaimed movie Master and Commander!

Museum volunteers work aboard HMS Surprise on a pleasant Sunday. Cables from the ship's rigging are readied, as a section of new deck is caulked.
Museum volunteers work aboard HMS Surprise on a pleasant Sunday. Cables from the ship’s rigging are readied, as a section of new deck is caulked.
Elsewhere at the Maritime Museum, a volunteer adds paint to a newly acquired Jacob's ladder for the San Salvador replica Spanish galleon.
Elsewhere at the Maritime Museum, a volunteer adds paint to a newly acquired Jacob’s ladder. It will be used on the San Salvador replica Spanish galleon.
The ship's wheel has been removed and set to one side as the deck of the HMS Surprise is replaced.
The enormous ship’s wheel has been removed and set to one side as the deck of the HMS Surprise is replaced.

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Furling the sails of brigantine Exy Johnson.

Nimble members of the Exy Johnson crew furl the tall ship's sails after a cruise on San Diego Bay.
Nimble members of the Exy Johnson crew furl the tall ship’s sails after a cruise on San Diego Bay.

One final blog post concerning the 2017 Festival of Sail.

After spending most of Labor Day in Balboa Park, I finally walked down Laurel Street to San Diego Bay. I wanted to savor one last look at the visiting tall ships.

As I lingered near the Exy Johnson, crew members were climbing about the rigging, furling the many sails. It’s always a breathtaking sight: godlike sailors risen into the blue sky, the masters of white clouds…

Securely furling the brigantine's square topsails high on the foremast takes muscle, coordination and concentration.
Securely furling the brigantine’s square topsails high on the foremast takes strength, coordination and concentration.
Dangling high above the water!
Dangling high above the water!
Several of Exy Johnson's hardworking crew wrestle a jib sail onto the bowsprit.
Several of Exy Johnson’s hardworking crew wrestle a jib sail onto the bowsprit.
Carefully scrambling about the beautiful tall ship.
Carefully scrambling about the beautiful tall ship.
Teamwork is required as a staysail is neatly furled.
Teamwork is required as a staysail is neatly furled.
The final day at the Festival of Sail is almost over. The masts and yards of the docked brigantine appear bare.
The Festival of Sail approaches its end. The masts and yards of the docked brigantine now appear bare.
Sky-riding sailors, a common sight in the bygone Age of Sail.
Sky-riding sailors, a common sight in the bygone Age of Sail.

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Royal Marines, an admiral, pirates, dancers!

British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

Today I magically traveled back in time to the early 1800s!

While visiting two Maritime Museum of San Diego tall ships at the Festival of Sail, I encountered uniformed Royal Marines, sailors in more common clothing (which was typical in the early 19th century), a distinguished British admiral, dangerous pirates, and graceful English dancers–all in period costumes!

Special thanks to the Maritime Museum Dancers, who were so very nice! Come along and let’s travel back two centuries!

An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Many colorful costumes and period attire can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Colorful costumes and historical dress can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer's wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer’s wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren't issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren’t issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail. I’m not sure how authentic these costumes are!
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum dancers!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum Dancers!
A polite kiss of a lady's hand by an English gentleman.
A polite kiss of a lady’s hand by an English gentleman.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful new main deck of the Star of India.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful, shiny new main deck of the Star of India.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The gentlemen bow.
The gentlemen bow to the ladies.

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Stepping aboard the beautiful Bill of Rights.

The beautiful tall ship Bill of Rights is participating in the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
The beautiful tall ship Bill of Rights is participating in the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

Yesterday I stepped aboard the beautiful Bill of Rights. The tall ship, based in San Diego’s South Bay city of Chula Vista, is participating this Labor Day weekend in the Festival of Sail.

The crew of the Bill of Rights were all very nice to some silly blogger guy asking a few questions. I did learn that Bill of Rights, a two-masted gaff rigged schooner, was built in 1971 based on drawings of Wanderer, an 1856 ship that transported cargo from New Orleans to New York.

I learned Bill of Rights can be chartered for a variety of unique adventures on San Diego Bay or the Pacific Ocean. How exciting would it be to sail on her? The ship will also be used this year for Sea Cadet sailing voyages to Catalina.

Finally, I learned that Bill of Rights is about to have its mandatory every-ten-year Coast Guard inspection, which involves removing the rigging and unstepping the masts. It’s an operation that is quite expensive for a non-profit, requiring hiring a crane, etc. I was told any donations would be really appreciated! Visit their webpage here.

Come aboard and let’s look around just a little bit…

Bill of Rights is a schooner whose design is based on the 1856 ship, Wanderer.
Bill of Rights is a schooner whose design is based on an 1856 ship, Wanderer.
A crew member was at work in some shade near the ship.
A crew member was at work in some shade near the ship.
She and the captain give me a friendly greeting.
She and the captain give me a friendly greeting.
Some Festival of Sail visitors were already onboard, walking about the deck.
Some Festival of Sail visitors were already onboard, walking about the deck.
Interesting people, a fantastic ship, good times.
Interesting people, a fantastic ship, good times.
More friendly crewmembers in seafaring attire chatting by the wheel.
More friendly crewmembers in seafaring costumes chatting by the wheel.
Once the sails are raised, Bill of Rights can take to the sea like those tall ships of old.
Once the sails are raised, Bill of Rights can take to the sea like those tall ships of old.
Looking along the deck.
Looking along the wooden deck.
Looking down at the main deck of Bill of Rights, a very cool tall ship based in Chula Vista.
Looking down at the main deck of Bill of Rights, a very cool tall ship based in Chula Vista.
Smiles and good times at the Festival of Sail!
Smiles and good times at the Festival of Sail!

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Another perfect day at the Festival of Sail.

The Spirit of Dana Point leaves the dock for a cannon battle at the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
The Spirit of Dana Point leaves the dock for a cannon battle at the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

I believe this is the fourth year I’ve blogged about San Diego’s annual Festival of Sail. As always, the event is wonderful beyond description.

It seems every day at the festival is the perfect blend of sunshine, beautiful tall ships, friendly people and sparkling blue water. There’s so much to see, so much to learn. I’m just going to post a few photos to provide a taste.

If you want to see my many descriptive blogs about this event over the years, and learn more about some of the ships, click the Festival of Sail tag below. Better yet, if you’re in San Diego, head on down to the Embarcadero by the Maritime Museum and experience it all for yourself. The festival runs through Labor Day.

The Spirit of Dana Point, a replica of an American Revolution privateer ship, heads out into San Diego Bay.
The Spirit of Dana Point, a replica of an American Revolution privateer ship, heads out into San Diego Bay.
People on kayaks enjoy the seafaring festival and the many tall ships that have converged in San Diego for the Labor Day weekend.
People on kayaks enjoy the seafaring festival. Many visiting tall ships have converged in San Diego for the Labor Day weekend.
Someone walks along near the Norwegian double ended ketch Cloudia.
Someone walks along near the Norwegian double ended ketch Cloudia.
People at the Festival of Sail check out America, a somewhat enlarged replica of the victorious 1850 schooner for which America's Cup was named.
People at the Festival of Sail check out America, a somewhat enlarged replica of the victorious 1850 schooner for which America’s Cup was named.
Beautiful tall ships everywhere one looks!
Beautiful tall ships everywhere one looks!
Kayakers head toward the Exy and Irving Johnson at the end of another floating dock.
Kayakers head toward the Exy and Irving Johnson at the end of another floating dock.
Many people were boarding the San Salvador, one of the many amazing vessels belonging to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Many people were boarding the San Salvador, one of the many amazing vessels belonging to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
A museum employee talks about how the Spanish galleon replica was built at Spanish Landing. You might recall I blogged about its construction.
A museum employee talks about how the Spanish galleon replica was built at Spanish Landing. You might recall I blogged about its construction.
Oh, noooo! Here comes Mister Mac! That despicable pirate seems to be unstoppable!
Oh, noooo! Here comes Mister Mac! That despicable pirate seems to be unstoppable!
Some fiddling could be enjoyed on the Berkeley's beautiful passenger deck.
Some music could be enjoyed on the Berkeley’s beautiful passenger deck.
People watch as the Irving Johnson heads out to face the Spirit of Dana Point in a cannon battle on San Diego Bay.
People watch as the Irving Johnson heads out to face the Spirit of Dana Point in a cannon battle on San Diego Bay.
Friendly crew member of the Exy Johnson of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute was greeting those passing by.
Friendly crew member of the Exy Johnson of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute was greeting those passing by.
A photo on the deck of Exy Johnson, a beautiful brigantine used in the Los Angeles Maritime Institute's TopSail Youth Program.
A photo on the deck of Exy Johnson, a beautiful brigantine used in the Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Program.
Another perfect day at the Festival of Sail. I could linger all day.
Another perfect day at the Festival of Sail. I could linger all day.
Two beautiful tall ships maneuver on blue San Diego Bay.
Like a vision from the past, two glorious tall ships maneuver on blue San Diego Bay.

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Festival of Sail tall ships at sunset!

I was lucky to get some amazing photos this evening!

After work I took a walk along the Embarcadero, knowing that most of the visiting tall ships had arrived in San Diego for the 2017 Festival of Sail. What I hadn’t expected was an absolutely glorious sunset.

The following photos concentrate on a cluster of just three ships, including the museum’s Spanish galleon San Salvador, and the Exy and Irving Johnson, the twin brigantine flagships of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. I walked back and forth along the water as the sun slowly descended into the fiery clouds.

If you’re in San Diego this weekend, make sure to check out the Festival of Sail near the Maritime Museum. You can tour lots of cool tall ships from up and down the West Coast and other historic vessels. And there will be cannon battles on the bay, special harbor tours, kids activities, tons of food and probably some roving pirates! The event runs Friday through Labor Day. As an enthusiastic member of the museum, you can bet I’ll be there!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Amazing, beautiful tall ships visit San Diego!

Tall ship Californian fires a cannon toward the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the 2016 Festival of Sail!
Tall ship Californian fires a cannon toward the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the 2016 Festival of Sail!

I took a fair number of photos at the 2016 Festival of Sail today. The celebration of tall ships, which takes place at the Maritime Museum of San Diego during Labor Day weekend, is just as wonderful as ever. I suppose I’m biased. I’ve always loved tales of the sea and stories of rugged souls who have embarked on journeys of discovery.

The Festival of Sail this year includes 19 ships.  Many have arrived for this event from locations up and down the West Coast.

I blogged about the annual Festival of Sail the last couple of years, so this time I won’t provide heaps of information. Just a sense of what it’s like to wander among the beautiful and amazing ships, and to watch them out sailing on San Diego Bay. Remember–this awesome event continues through Labor Day!

The 2016 Festival of Sail includes dueling tall ships out on San Diego Bay. Here we see Californian and Bill of Rights maneuvering to fire some broadsides.
The 2016 Festival of Sail includes dueling tall ships out on San Diego Bay. Here we see Californian and Bill of Rights maneuvering to fire some broadsides.
Out on the big bay and along the Embarcadero, many beautiful sailing ships are part of this year's annual Festival of Sail in San Diego.
Out on the Big Bay and along the Embarcadero, many beautiful sailing ships are part of this year’s annual Festival of Sail in San Diego.
Mister Mac, that notorious pirate, has descended on San Diego with two rascally accomplices to wreak havoc.
Mister Mac, that notorious pirate, has descended on San Diego with two rascally accomplices to wreak havoc.
The tall ship Spirit of Dana Point is a replica of a 1770s privateer used during the American Revolution. It is based at the Ocean Institute up the coast in Dana Point, California.
The tall ship Spirit of Dana Point is a replica of a 1770s privateer used during the American Revolution. It is based at the Ocean Institute up the coast in Dana Point, California.
Figurehead of the Spirit of Dana Point is a Native American female.
Figurehead of the Spirit of Dana Point is a Native American female.
The graceful brigantines Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson have returned for this year's Festival of Sail. They are based at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute.
The graceful brigantines Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson have returned for this year’s Festival of Sail. They are based at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute.
Volunteer crewmember aboard the Exy Johnson tells a visitor about the complex workings of a tall ship with many sails.
Volunteer crewmember aboard the Exy Johnson tells a visitor about the complex workings of an amazing tall ship with many sails.
Visitors to the 2016 Festival of Sail in San Diego learned about history and experienced a bit of what life is like aboard a tall ship.
Visitors to the 2016 Festival of Sail in San Diego learned about maritime history and experienced a little of what life might have been like sailing across the broad ocean on a tall ship long ago.
These Royal Marines belong to the HMS Surprise, docked just behind them. They're enjoying a bit of grog. Don't tell the captain!
These Royal Marines belong to the HMS Surprise, docked just behind them. They’re enjoying a bit of grog. Don’t tell the captain!
Visitor standing on the newly rebuilt poop deck of the Star of India rings the historic ship's bell. The wheel has been removed for refurbishment. The nearby binnacle and wooden benches will also be made like new!
Visitor standing on the newly rebuilt poop deck of the Star of India rings the historic ship’s bell. The wheel has been removed for refurbishment. The nearby binnacle and wooden benches will also be made like new!
The Tiama and Cloudia were docked side by side not far from the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the 2016 Festival of Sail.
The Tiama and Cloudia were docked side by side not far from the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the 2016 Festival of Sail.
The Cloudia is an old wooden Norwegian top-sail ketch recently restored in San Diego. It is available for local sailing trips.
The Cloudia is an old wooden Norwegian top-sail ketch recently restored in San Diego. I believe it is available for local sailing trips.
There is so much to look at and explore! What's down below the deck?
There is so much to look at and explore! What’s down below the deck?
Docked behind the Maritime Museum's steam ferry Berkeley, the galleon replica San Salvador made its public debut during the 2016 Festival of Sail.
Docked behind the Maritime Museum’s steam ferry Berkeley, the galleon replica San Salvador made its public debut during the 2016 Festival of Sail.
Visitors line up to have a chance to go aboard San Salvador for the very first time.
Visitors line up to have a chance to go aboard San Salvador for the very first time.
Looking up at masts, a crow's nest, and a flag of the Spanish Empire while waiting to board the San Salvador. This ship is an approximate replica of what Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Looking up at masts, a crow’s nest, and a flag of the Spanish Empire while waiting to board the San Salvador. This ship is an approximate replica of what Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
A park ranger from Cabrillo National Monument, across the bay on Point Loma, talks to visitors about the history of the San Salvador and the difficulties of sailing long ago.
A park ranger from Cabrillo National Monument, across the bay on Point Loma, talks to visitors about the history of the actual San Salvador and the difficulties of sailing long ago.
Once aboard the San Salvador, we were permitted to explore the main deck and enclosed areas at either end. It's hard to believe, but during the journey of exploration in 1542, over 100 men occupied a similarly small deck!
Once aboard the replica San Salvador, we were permitted to explore the main deck and enclosed areas at either end. It’s hard to believe, but during the journey of exploration in 1542, over 100 men occupied a similarly tiny deck!
Ropes and a bombard tucked away inside the forward part of the galleon San Salvador.
Ropes and a bombard tucked away inside the forward part of the galleon San Salvador.
Exhibits on the San Salvador replica galleon include a crude narrow dining table and armor used by Spanish conquistadors.
Exhibits on the San Salvador replica galleon include a crude narrow dining table and armor used by Spanish conquistadors.
Out at the end of the Maritime Museum of San Diego's dock, three cannons are prepared to be fired!
Out at the end of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s dock, three cannons are prepared to be fired!
Boom!
Boom!
Californian sails in toward its docking place near the San Salvador. More cannon battles out on San Diego Bay will take place all Labor Day weekend!
Californian sails in toward its docking place near the San Salvador. More cannon battles out on San Diego Bay will take place all Labor Day weekend!

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