Golden light splashes upon two famous ships.

Sunlight brightens west-facing art glass windows on the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley.
Sunlight brightens west-facing art glass windows inside the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley.

The days are becoming shorter.

Hoping to enjoy every last drop of daylight, this evening I lingered by San Diego Bay.

As the sun neared the horizon, golden light splashed upon two famous museum ships: the steam ferry Berkeley, and the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

The beautiful art glass windows of the Berkeley remind one of the glowing stained glass found inside cathedrals.
The amazing art glass windows of the Berkeley remind one of glowing stained glass found inside cathedrals.
Light streams up along the historic ship's simple ceiling.
Light streams up along the historic ferryboat’s ceiling.
Splashes of sunlight reflect from the floor, woodwork and empty benches inside the passenger deck of Berkeley.
Splashes of golden sunlight reflect from the floor, woodwork and empty benches inside the passenger deck of Berkeley.
The sun nears the horizon beyond the USS Midway Museum, reflecting from tranquil San Diego Bay.
The sun nears the horizon beyond the USS Midway Museum, reflecting like a band of gold on San Diego Bay.
Late sunlight splashes the immense bow of the USS Midway with gold.
Golden sunlight splashes the immense bow of the USS Midway.

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!

Fun photos of the Sea Chantey Festival!

Today I enjoyed an extraordinary event. I boarded the Star of India at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and experienced the annual Sea Chantey Festival!

Here come fun photos!

You’ll see two musical groups performing in these photographs: first Raggle Taggle, then Kick up the Dust. Others groups who had the audience clapping their hands and dancing on the ship’s deck were the Jackstraws, Gemini Junction, Sportive Tricks, and The Chanteymen.

I saw many people in costume. I found myself in the company of pirates and sea captains and ladies in Victorian dress. Members of the Maritime Museum’s sail crews hauled ropes and climbed the rigging while traditional sea chanteys were sung.

Everyone jumped when two cannon shots rang out across San Diego Bay. Heads turned. Like a vision from the past, the official tall ship of the State of California, Californian, which is also one of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s beautiful vessels, sailed on past.

It was pure magic. Every moment.

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A peek at Butcher Boy’s restoration at Spanish Landing.

All sorts of wood can be found under the North Harbor Drive Bridge, where the historic boat Butcher Boy is undergoing a thorough restoration.
All sorts of wood can be found under the North Harbor Drive Bridge, where the historic boat Butcher Boy is undergoing a thorough restoration.

This morning, as I drove up Harbor Drive toward Point Loma, I suddenly remembered that the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s turn-of-the-century racing sloop Butcher Boy is being restored at Spanish Landing, where the galleon San Salvador was built a few years back. Work on the much smaller Butcher Boy is being carried out in a sheltered place under the North Harbor Drive Bridge.

Even though I’m no expert when it comes to sloops–or nautical stuff in general–I do love to look at boats and ships that sail. There seems to be something about white sails, sunlight on water, and wind-lashed voyages across rolling expanses that appeals deeply to the human spirit.

So, anyway, I decided to pull into the nearby parking lot to see what progress has been made in restoring Butcher Boy to its former glory.

I was able to take a few photos.

Even though no museum volunteers were at work in the early morning, and the large ship saw was covered with a tarp, a nearby sign provided some interesting information about these unique saws used by shipwrights. The angle of a ship saw blade can be changed as a cut is being made, so that compound curves can be created with a single cut.

An internet wooden boat forum that I found has some fascinating info about the history of Butcher Boy, including:

“Butcher Boy, which had similarly named counterparts up and down the West Coast, was conceived by Charles S. Hardy, owner of the Bay City Market on Fifth and Broadway downtown.

‘Boss Hardy,’ as he was known, needed a boat sturdy enough to handle any weather and fast enough to beat competitors out to the big ships anchored offshore, off what was commonly known as Spanish Bight and Dutch Flats.

Hardy turned to boatyard owner Manuel Goularte, a native of the Portuguese Azores. The model was the double-ended salmon boat sailed so successfully on the Sacramento and Columbia rivers.

A boat-building style that originated in Italy and the Mediterranean can also be seen in Butcher Boy, said Ashley, a style then favored by first-generation Italian fishermen in San Francisco Bay.

‘The gaff rig originated with the 15th-century Dutch,’ Ashley said. ‘Even though she was built as a work boat, she was beautiful, really special even in her own time.’

‘Everybody around the bay stops to look at her now. It’s like she’s sailing out of a Winslow Homer painting.’

Framed in oak and planked in cedar, Butcher Boy is 29 feet, 11 inches long, with an 81/2-foot beam. The mainsail and jib carry 604 square feet of sail.”

If you are curious, and want to see historical photos of Butcher Boy under sail, and a detailed description of the restoration work now being done, please read the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s blog by clicking here.

A sign that describes a ship saw, recalling how this one was used to help build the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
A sign that describes a ship saw, recalling how this particular one was used to build the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
Lots of lumber!
Lots of lumber!
I took this photo of the unrestored Butcher Boy two and a half years ago for another blog post. At the time it was on display on the barge behind the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s steam ferry Berkeley.
Photo of the Butcher Boy's restoration in progress, taken one August 2018 morning at San Diego's Spanish Landing.
Photo of the Butcher Boy’s restoration in progress, taken one August 2018 morning at San Diego’s Spanish Landing.

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!

A walk from Middletown to Broadway Pier.

Part of a long mural on the back of a building behind the Park 'N Fly Lot 1 on Pacific Highway.
Part of a cool mural on a building behind the Park ‘N Fly Lot 1 on Pacific Highway.

Today I got off from work a little early, so I decided to use my extra time for a walk from the Middletown trolley station down to the Embarcadero.

My main intention was to get photographs of a long mural I’ve glimpsed while driving along Pacific Highway near San Diego International Airport. The mural is a fair distance from the street, on the back of an old building behind the Park ‘N Fly Lot 1.

I snapped some photos of the cool mural, but as you can see, the results were not all that great. After doing some internet searching, I still know nothing about this artwork.

My walk turned west on Laurel Street as a series of airplanes came in for landings overhead. My eyes moved right and left searching for interesting sights, but nothing struck my fancy until I came to the big white anchor in the grassy median at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.

I vaguely recall learning something about this historical anchor–where it came from–but now when I do some searching I come up with nothing. The big anchor has been a landmark occupying that spot for as long as I can remember.

My leisurely walk south along the Embarcadero stalled when I came to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I’m a member, so naturally I had to enjoy the elegant passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley to do some quiet reading. When I noticed through a window that the sun was about to slip behind clouds, I ventured outside and took more photos.

The photograph of Sea Shepherd’s vessel Farley Mowat reminds me that I blogged about their mission to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise a couple years ago.

My walk then resumed, and I proceeded along the water to Broadway Pier.

The extensive mural on the building is blocked by parked cars and too distant from the street for a good photograph.
The long mural near Pacific Highway is blocked by parked cars and too distant from the sidewalk for a good photograph.
An airplane comes in for a landing at San Diego International Airport near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street.
An airplane comes in for a landing at San Diego International Airport near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street.
Here comes another plane for a late afternoon arrival.
Here comes another plane for a late afternoon arrival.
A plane lands at San Diego International Airport, just beyond a large white anchor at Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.
A plane lands at San Diego International Airport, just beyond the large white anchor at Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.
A closer photo of the historical anchor.
A close photo of the anchor. If I obtain more information about its history, I’ll post an update.
Circling the big anchor, my camera captured the skyline of downtown San Diego.
After I circled the big anchor, my camera captured the skyline of downtown San Diego.
Now I'm on the Embarcadero by the water, in the Crescent Area that I visited in my last blog post.
Now I’m on the Embarcadero by the water, in the Crescent Area that I visited in my last blog post.
Photo from the Steam Ferry Berkeley of Farley Mowat which is now docked in San Diego. Sea Shepherd's vessel will soon return to the Sea of Cortez to protect the vaquita.
Photo from the steam ferry Berkeley of the Farley Mowat, which is presently docked in San Diego. Sea Shepherd’s vessel will soon return to the Sea of Cortez to resume its urgent mission protecting the critically endangered vaquita.
The sun is still shining on the floating barge behind the Berkeley.
The sun is still shining on the floating barge behind the Berkeley.
People enjoy a look inside the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
People enjoy exploring the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
The sun shines out from behind clouds, and the masts of America, Californian and San Salvador.
The sun shines out from behind clouds . . . and the masts of America, Californian and San Salvador.
People relax on one of the benches along the edge of Broadway Pier. The fog-like marine layer is coming in over Point Loma as nightfall approaches.
People relax on one of the benches along the edge of Broadway Pier. The fog-like marine layer is coming in over Point Loma as nightfall approaches.
Spirit of San Diego is coming in from a harbor cruise.
Spirit of San Diego is coming in from a harbor cruise.
Piloting the incoming ship, with the USS Midway Museum in the background.
Piloting the incoming ship, with the USS Midway Museum in the background.
Downtown buildings reflected in windows of the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Downtown buildings reflected in windows of the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Late sunlight shines from beautiful high-rise buildings in downtown San Diego.
Late sunlight shines from high-rise buildings in beautiful downtown San Diego.

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!

The beauty of coiled, knotted, magical ropes.

Late yesterday I sat for a spell on the poop deck of Star of India, gazing out across San Diego Bay. The cool sea breeze felt so refreshing after a day of summer heat. White sails traversing the sparkling water gave my eyes a welcome rest.

As my attention shifted, I became aware of the tall ship’s ropes that rose in a web all around me. Many were fastened to a row of wooden belaying pins along the ship’s rail.

Those beautiful ropes seemed like magic. Silent and unbreakable, coiled and knotted–twisted, mysterious, purposeful. Threading together a small wind-tossed world.

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 fine summer walk in San Diego.

Six teams from California play stickball in Little Italy on a fine summer Sunday.
Six teams of firefighters from California play stickball in Little Italy on a fine summer Sunday.

My walk today began on Cortez Hill and proceeded down through Little Italy until I reached the Embarcadero. I then headed south along the water.

It’s a simple walk that never gets old.

Good times on Columbia Street.
Good times on Columbia Street.
Bayside Fire Station No. 2 is finally open!
Bayside Fire Station No. 2 is finally open!
A friendly firefighter told me the engines arrived on Friday!
A friendly firefighter told me the engines arrived on Friday!
Volunteers pull a huge rope together on the deck of Star of India.
Volunteers pull a huge rope together on the deck of Star of India.
Climbing into clouds of sail.
Climbing up into clouds of sail.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego exit from the Soviet submarine.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego exit from the Soviet submarine.
More museum volunteers handling ropes and chains by the water.
More museum volunteers handling ropes and chains by the water.
The museum's longboat was out on San Diego Bay. An overcast but very pleasant start to the morning.
The museum’s longboat was out on San Diego Bay. An overcast but very pleasant start to the morning.
Two huge ships at the Cruise Ship Terminal. The superyacht Attessa IV and impressive U. S. Coast Guard cutter Healy (WAGB-20).
Two huge ships at the Cruise Ship Terminal. The superyacht Attessa IV and impressive U. S. Coast Guard cutter Healy (WAGB-20).
Someone rides a scooter along Broadway Pier past the Coast Guard's newest, most advanced polar icebreaker. I haven't spotted any ice off San Diego!
Someone rides a scooter along Broadway Pier past the Coast Guard’s newest, most advanced polar icebreaker. I haven’t spotted any ice off San Diego!
Family boards the Coronado Ferry near Broadway Pier.
Family boards a Coronado ferry near Broadway Pier.
Many people were out on the Embarcadero today enjoying wonderful San Diego.
Many people were out on the Embarcadero today enjoying wonderful San Diego.
America, replica of the racing yacht that won the first America's Cup, cruises past.
America, replica of the racing yacht that won the first America’s Cup, cruises past.
And so does a sailboat.
And so does a sailboat.
Walking above the shining water.
Walking and sitting above the shining water.
Creating music.
Creating music.
Out on a harbor cruise.
Out on a harbor cruise.
Simply standing by the blue water.
Simply standing by the blue water.
An easy float through the Marriott Marina.
An easy float through the Marriott Marina.
The San Diego Symphony is set up and ready to go for their outdoor summer concerts at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
The San Diego Symphony is set up and ready to go for their outdoor summer concerts at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Bayside Summer Nights will feature lots of great concerts, and fireworks.
Bayside Summer Nights will feature lots of great concerts, and fireworks.
On the water in a boat, and above it on a pier.
On the water in a boat, and above it on a pier.
I see the Coronado Island Marriott Resort beyond those fisherman.
I see the Coronado Island Marriott Resort beyond those fishermen.
And here's my favorite Coronado ferry, Silvergate. It usually departs near the San Diego Convention Center.
And here’s my favorite Coronado ferry, Silvergate. It usually departs near the San Diego Convention Center.

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!

Photos inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.

The stern of HMS Surprise, the beautiful ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.
The stern of HMS Surprise, the beautiful ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.

If you’ve watched the memorable movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, you might recall the fictional British warship HMS Surprise was center stage for most of the film, which was set during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is now home to the working ship that was used in the filming of Master and Commander. Originally built in 1970 as a replica of the HMS Rose, a British 24-gun frigate from 1757, the ship was purchased by 20th Century Fox in 2001 and modified to appear in scenes in the 2003 film. Because of its starring role in Master and Commander, the ship was subsequently re-registered as HMS Surprise.

The critically acclaimed movie, starring Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, was based on a series of popular novels written by Patrick O’Brien. Russell Crowe has been lobbying for a sequel for over a decade now. According to what I’ve heard, there’s a possibility the sequel might finally be made.

The museum recently debuted a new exhibit aboard HMS Surprise called Man-of-War, and along with many new signs on the main deck and gun deck, the captain’s great cabin is now open to the public. (You can see other aspects of the new Man-of-War exhibit here. Clicking the link will take you to a past blog post concerning HMS Surprise, where I’ve added updated photographs.)

Several memorable scenes in the movie take place inside the great cabin. Among others, you might recall scenes of officers dining and strategizing as they pursue the French privateer Acheron around Cape Horn to the Galapagos Islands, and of Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin playing the violin and cello.

While I’ve been told much of the filming of Master and Commander was done on movie sets, the great cabin visitors see on the working ship HMS Surprise is much like the one portrayed in the movie.

The great cabin of HMS Surprise is now open to the public. Several displays provide interesting information.
The great cabin of HMS Surprise is now open to the public. Several displays provide interesting information.
Sign reads the Great Cabin in the stern of the Surprise was reserved for the captain's use. Here he slept, held council with his officers, and entertained his invited guests.
Sign reads the Great Cabin in the stern of the Surprise was reserved for the captain’s use. Here he slept, held council with his officers, and entertained his invited guests.
Photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise. In real life the space feels cramped and the table is small. The large stern windows are a familiar sight in the movie.
Photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise. In real life the space feels cramped and the table is small. The large stern windows are a familiar sight in the movie.
Unlike most of the crew, the captain enjoyed wine and ate in style.
Unlike most of the crew, the captain enjoyed wine and ate in style.
Historically, guns were deployed in the great cabin during battles at sea. To make room, furniture was removed and placed in a longboat which was then towed behind the ship!
Historically, guns were deployed in the great cabin during battles at sea. To make room for the gunners, the furniture was removed and placed in a longboat which was then towed behind the ship!
Another photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.
Another photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.
Photo on wall recalls a scene in Master and Commander. Captain Jack Aubrey shares a toast with ship's doctor and officers.
Photo on wall recalls a scene in Master and Commander. Captain Jack Aubrey shares a toast with ship’s doctor and officers.
A display in the great cabin concerns prize money and medals. After a victorious battle, captains and crews were rewarded by the British government.
A display in the great cabin concerns prize money and medals. After a victorious battle, captains and crews were rewarded by the British government.
Gun on the starboard side of the great cabin, next to a chest and swords hung at the ready in case the ship was boarded by the enemy, or sailors mutiny.
Gun on the starboard side of the great cabin, next to a chest and swords hung at the ready in case the ship was boarded by the enemy, or sailors mutiny.
A violin on a stand. The favorite musical instrument of the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey.
A violin on a stand. The favorite musical instrument of the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey.

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!