Raising a heavy yard on HMS Surprise.

During my Sunday walk along the Embarcadero today, I paused at the Maritime Museum of San Diego to watch some fascinating activity. Crew members and museum volunteers were carefully raising one of HMS Surprise’s very heavy mizzenmast yards. They hauled ropes, checked critical knots, hauled some more, swung the yard up and across the quarterdeck, then lifted it straight into the sky.

The strenuous, methodical work aboard a tall ship is a complex dance.

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!

Mysterious reflections of ships on water.

Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise.
Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise.

Early this morning I walked from Cortez Hill down to San Diego Bay. I spent a few quiet minutes between the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the Grape Street Pier.

The sun was very bright. It wasn’t long before I noticed wavy reflections of ships on the water!

Without reading the photo captions, can you identify each ship by its mysterious reflection?

Reflection on the water of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise and Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise and Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water near USS Dolphin of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water near USS Dolphin of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of Medea, Pilot, America, San Salvador, and Californian.
Reflection on the water of Medea, Pilot, America, San Salvador, and Californian.
Reflection on the water of Admiral Hornblower.
Reflection on the water of Admiral Hornblower.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.

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 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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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.

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!

Sun and moon create magic over San Diego.

As a nearly full moon rises above downtown San Diego, light from the falling sun reflects from windows and two beautiful Maritime Museum of San Diego tall ships.
As a nearly full moon rises above downtown San Diego, light from the falling sun reflects from windows and two beautiful Maritime Museum of San Diego tall ships.

As the sun slowly set, a nearly full moon rose. Both cast their magic this evening over San Diego. I took some photos during a quiet walk along the Embarcadero, which included a visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I then turned east on Broadway and made my way into downtown as night overtook another day.

The moon rises behind a large American flag at the stern of the Star of India.
The moon rises behind a large American flag at the stern of the Star of India.
Photo of a magical moment as water glows brightly. Red light reflects from the hull of the Star of India just as the sun is about to set.
Photo of a magical moment.  Rippling water glows red. Light reflects from the hull of the Star of India just as the sun is about to set.
The sun is ready to set behind Point Loma. Photo taken through the rigging of HMS Surprise, one of several amazing tall ships at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The sun is ready to set behind Point Loma. Photo taken through the rigging of HMS Surprise, one of several amazing tall ships at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Sunset across San Diego Bay.
Sunset across San Diego Bay.
A helicopter flies over San Diego Bay just moments after the sun has set.
A helicopter flies over San Diego Bay just moments after the sun has set.
A nearly full moon rises slowly above downtown San Diego a few minutes before darkness falls.
A nearly full moon rises slowly above downtown San Diego a few minutes before darkness falls.
Early evening magic touches the San Diego skyline.
Early evening magic touches the San Diego skyline.

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

Volunteers preserve history at Maritime Museum.

Volunteers at the Maritime Museum of San Diego haul a rope on the deck of Star of India to help raise a protective tarp above the historic ship.
Volunteers at the Maritime Museum of San Diego haul a rope on the deck of Star of India to help raise a protective tarp above the historic ship.

Sunday is volunteer work day at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Anyone walking along the Embarcadero or visiting the museum can watch history being preserved by energetic volunteers. You can see them pulling ropes, painting masts, scraping, polishing, sweeping and just generally doing all those things necessary to maintain historic old ships.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego could always use new volunteers! No experience required! You mostly work out on the sparkling water, in the sunshine, with senses full of invigorating smells, sights and sounds. And know what? You become a part of history!

Large plastic canopies are being installed on the Star of India to protect her from rain during the upcoming deck restoration.
Large plastic canopies are being installed on the Star of India to protect her from rain during the upcoming deck restoration.
The Star of India's re-decking project is being supported in part by a National Maritime Heritage grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
The Star of India’s re-decking project is being supported in part by a National Maritime Heritage grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Another volunteer works near the bow of the historic tall ship. Downtown San Diego's skyline provides a gleaming backdrop.
Another volunteer works near the bow of the historic tall ship. Downtown San Diego’s skyline provides a gleaming backdrop.
These guys are working above the forward house near the foremast.
These guys are working above the forward house near the foremast.
A mast of the HMS Surprise has been scraped and coated with primer. Now some paint will preserve this amazing tall ship used in the movie Master and Commander.
A mast of the HMS Surprise has been scraped and coated with primer. Now some paint will preserve this amazing tall ship used in the movie Master and Commander.
Another yard to be installed on the San Salvador by crane awaits on the Embarcadero. This heavy yard with sails furled will be supported by the replica Spanish galleon's foremast.
Another yard to be installed on the San Salvador by crane awaits on the Embarcadero. This heavy yard with sails furled will be supported by the replica Spanish galleon’s foremast.
Volunteering for the Maritime Museum of San Diego can be very satisfying. Are you free on Sundays.
Volunteering for the Maritime Museum of San Diego can be very satisfying. Are you free on Sundays?

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Beautiful tall ships visit San Diego for Festival of Sail!

Masts of a few visiting tall ships during 2015 Festival of Sail, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Masts of a few visiting tall ships during 2015 Festival of Sail, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The 2015 Festival of Sail is underway! The cool event runs through Labor Day and takes place on the Embarcadero at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. This morning I got some photos!

The popular festival, which is held every year in late summer, features a large gathering of beautiful tall ships. A few belong to the museum; others are visiting San Diego for this very special occasion.

Last year I wrote several detailed blogs and covered many of the tall ships which I saw again today. So this year I figured I’d just mosey from ship to ship, taking random photos, not worrying too much about jotting down gobs of information. Here’s the result…

The brig Pilgrim, approximate replica of the historic ship Richard Henry Dana sailed in, is visiting San Diego again for the annual nautical festival.
The brig Pilgrim, approximate replica of the historic ship Richard Henry Dana sailed in, is visiting San Diego again for the annual tall ship festival.
Visitors enjoy touring the deck of the Pilgrim on Sunday morning. It's another sunny summer day on blue San Diego Bay!
Visitors enjoy touring the deck of the Pilgrim on Sunday morning. It’s another sunny summer day on blue San Diego Bay!
Ship's navigation light and galley. Signs on the Pilgrim describe life on the sea a couple centuries ago, when Two Years Before the Mast was written by Dana.
Ship’s navigation light and galley. Signs on the Pilgrim describe life on the sea a couple centuries ago, when Two Years Before the Mast was written by Dana.
Kayaks on the smooth water cruise past a collection of very cool tall ships.
Kayaks on the smooth water cruise past a collection of very cool tall ships.
Plaque on tall ship American Pride indicates that down below is the Captain's Quarters.
Plaque on tall ship American Pride indicates that down below is the Captain’s Quarters.
Close look at wooden steering wheel of the beautiful tall ship American Pride.
Close look at wooden steering wheel of the American Pride.
Volunteer crew members of American Pride assembled on deck as their fine ship visits San Diego.
Volunteer crew members of American Pride assembled on deck as their fine ship visits San Diego.
Lion's head decorates spar projecting from hull of topsail schooner Amazing Grace.
Lion’s head decorates spar projecting from hull of topsail schooner Amazing Grace.
Visitor at 2015 Festival of Sail in San Diego looks down into the cabin of Amazing Grace.
A visitor at 2015 Festival of Sail in San Diego looks down into the cabin of Amazing Grace.
A second floating dock and even more cool tall ships can be seen beyond Amazing Grace.
A second floating dock and even more cool tall ships can be seen beyond Amazing Grace.
Curious eyes peer below the deck of Bill of Rights, perhaps wondering what it would be like to live in very close quarters while at sea.
Curious eyes peer below deck of the Bill of Rights, perhaps wondering what it would be like to live in very close quarters while at sea.
Bill of Rights tall ship crew members were dressed in seafaring costumes. This pirate had a collection of pistols and a small cannon on display.
Bill of Rights tall ship crew members were dressed in seafaring garb. This pirate had a collection of pistols and a small cannon on display.
Star motif on a block used by a single rope in the complicated rigging. Masts of another nearby tall ship rise in the background.
Star motif on a block used by a single rope in some complicated rigging. Masts of another nearby tall ship rise in the background.
To step off the Bill of Rights one must walk the plank!
To step off the Bill of Rights one must walk the plank!
Stern of Bill of Rights seen from rear deck of the brigantine Irving Johnson.
Stern of Bill of Rights seen from rear deck of the brigantine Irving Johnson.
Photo of ship's cabin containing shelves of books, a globe and navigational charts.
Photo of ship’s cabin containing shelves of books, a globe and navigational charts.
Friendly crew member on the Exy Johnson was playing familiar seagoing tunes on an accordion.
Friendly crew member on the Exy Johnson was playing familiar seagoing tunes on a concertina.
It appears this ladder has seen a great deal of usage and weather.
It appears this ladder has seen a great deal of usage and weather.
Festival of Sail visitors check out many cool sights! I see someone climbing the Irving Johnson's shrouds!
Festival of Sail visitors check out many cool sights! I see someone climbing one of the Irving Johnson’s shrouds!
Watch out! This wild-eyed pirate has two wicked swords! Run for it!
Watch out! This wild-eyed pirate has two wicked swords! Run for it!
Looking at ships docked behind the Maritime Museum's historic Steam Ferry Berkeley. I see masts of the San Salvador, Californian and America.
Looking at more ships docked behind the Maritime Museum’s historic Steam Ferry Berkeley. I see masts of the San Salvador, Californian and America.
American flag in deep blue sky curls in the pleasant sea breeze.
American flag in deep blue sky curls in the pleasant sea breeze.
I saw various folks in period costumes. This lady had a nice smile!
I saw various folks in period costumes. This lady had a nice smile!
Another photo of the ships behind the Berkeley. The red star is on the museum's B-39 Soviet diesel submarine which operated during the Cold War.
Another photo of the ships behind the Berkeley. The red star is on the museum’s B-39 Soviet diesel submarine which operated during the Cold War.
A land battery took part during the festival's cannon battles. A beautiful tall ship heads across the bay.
A land battery took part during the festival’s cannon battles. A beautiful tall ship heads across the bay.
View of historic bark Star of India from deck of HMS Surprise.
View of historic bark Star of India from deck of HMS Surprise.
Someone checks out the high masts of HMS Surprise, the ship used in the filming of Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe.
Someone checks out the high masts of HMS Surprise, the ship used in the filming of Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe.
Written on the ship's bell is HMS Rose, the original name of the Surprise.
Written on the ship’s bell is HMS Rose, the original name of the Surprise.
Two members of the Royal Guard enjoy a drink and snack on San Diego's Embarcadero during the Festival of Sail. They must be shore leave.
Two members of the Royal Guard enjoy a drink and snack on San Diego’s Embarcadero during the Festival of Sail. They must be on shore leave.
White sails, wooden ships, blue sky and living visions of maritime history.
White sails, wooden ships, blue sky and living visions of a rich maritime history.
Kids on deck of Star of India watch a cannon battle on San Diego Bay.
Kids on deck of Star of India watch a cannon battle on San Diego Bay.

A special thank you to everyone following Cool San Diego Sights. You all are the greatest! I just wanted to say that.

Where will we go next? I don’t know! Life is an adventure!