Learning the ropes at the Maritime Museum!

Nearly a hundred new hands were “learning the ropes” on San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India today!

During my visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I asked what all those folks on the deck were up to. I was told they’re learning all about sailing a tall ship. It was the first day of the Sail Training 101 class that is held every year.

There’s a ton to learn–can you imagine? Different masts, yards, sails, all those different ropes and cables, different knots, the jargon–all of it crucial in the sailing of a ship. (I’m a museum member and avid reader of nautical fiction, and I still become confused by much of it!)

Many of these new volunteer crew members, once trained, will be sailing several of the Maritime Museum’s tall ships, including Californian and San Salvador. This coming November the Star of India will sail with those other two ships out onto the Pacific Ocean!

In one upcoming photo, someone down in the Star of India’s hold is raising a heavy bucket full of rocks. That’s practice for hauling on a line–a very common activity on a tall ship!

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Balancing high in the sky above San Diego!

I never tire of tall ships.

When crew members are working aloft, I have to stop and stare.

That was the case this afternoon at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Up in the rigging of visiting tall ship Exy Johnson, members of her crew balanced high in the sky, like circus performers, unfurling sails.

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Exy Johnson tall ship visits San Diego!

The beautiful tall ship Exy Johnson is visiting San Diego. She’s now docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I was told the Exy Johnson arrived in San Diego Bay so that she can be hauled out in Chula Vista for her periodic maintenance and inspection.

The last time I saw the two-masted brigantine was during the 2017 Festival of Sail on the Embarcadero. It’s hard to believe that was almost six years ago!

The Exy Johnson and her twin ship Irving Johnson are based up the coast at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. The two tall ships take students out on educational sailing excursions. What an incredible opportunity for young people! Can you imagine sailing on her?

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Why is there no star on this Christmas tree?

Q: Why is there no star on this Christmas tree?

A: Because this Christmas tree is on top of the star!

On top of the Star of India!

A small laugh and smile for this Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!

Richard

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Dismasted whaling ship undergoes repairs!

The historic 1841 whaling ship Charles W. Morgan has undergone major repairs at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The model ship, that is!

I learned from Tom Hairston, of the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild, that the ship became partially dismasted after “running aground” in a crashing gravitational accident! He effected repairs over the course of a month. He even rebuilt the shattered display case. Now the ship in its new “berth” appears immaculate!

This beautiful model of the tall ship Charles W. Morgan is one of many detailed model ships that visitors to the Maritime Museum can admire.

Tom told me he’d discovered several inaccuracies in the original model. Even those with absolutely no nautical knowledge can spot one glaring historical error.

Do you see it?

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Christmas trees fill ferryboat Berkeley!

Christmas trees and bright holiday decorations now fill the passenger deck of the historic ferryboat Berkeley! It appears to me that for 2022 there are more decorated trees and strung lights and snowflakes and magic than ever before!

Anyone who has stepped aboard the Berkeley at the Maritime Museum of San Diego knows how special the old ferryboat is. The ship’s cathedral-like passenger deck, with its colored windows and varnished wooden benches and views of the bay, is one of my favorite places in all of San Diego.

Imagine the spectacle after dark produced by the many Christmas trees and lights. Guests aboard Berkeley watching the Parade of Lights will be dazzled!

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Frank Sinatra filmed on a San Diego museum ship!

Did you know Frank Sinatra filmed a scene aboard the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic steam ferryboat Berkeley?

I had no idea until my visit to the museum today!

During the opening of the 1957 film Pal Joey, starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, the legendary crooner watches a pair of lady’s legs descend steps aboard what was then a San Francisco ferryboat.

If you watch this YouTube beginning at 2:53, you can see the historic ferry departing Oakland Pier to cross San Francisco Bay. You can then recognize several features of the ferryboat Berkeley as Sinatra does his thing.

Here’s a great website with photographs from the movie and the corresponding locales. You can see a train that pulled up to the Oakland Pier, where passengers would transfer their luggage onto the Berkeley.

What a cool, little-known bit of history!

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Star of India’s restored figurehead rises!

History was made today in San Diego!

Star of India’s beautifully restored figurehead made its debut during the 159th birthday celebration of the historic ship!

The Greek Muse Euterpe emerged from the hold of Star of India, raised by a ship’s rope to the main deck. The graceful Muse of music and lyric poetry was shining like new. Applause broke out as a throng of Maritime Museum of San Diego members and visitors ate birthday cake and watched.

Then came the selfies! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be right up close to the classic ship’s figurehead.

In the coming days, museum volunteers will mount the restored figurehead to the bow of the historic Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world.

The restoration effort required over a thousand hours of careful work. To see photos I took earlier this year of the restoration in progress, click here!

UPDATE!

Two days later, George Sutherland, who has been in charge of restoring the historic figurehead, was applying epoxy in preparation for Euterpe’s return to the tall ship’s bow.

Water is an enemy of wood, so George was applying the epoxy very carefully, in such a way that water would not intrude and pool where it could do damage.

UPDATE!

The next Sunday, Euterpe was returned to her proper place–at the head of Star of India!

I missed the operation, but I saw her on Monday and took this pic…

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Star of India’s restored figurehead to be unveiled!

For a long while, Star of India has been without her figurehead. That’s because the wooden figurehead, depicting Greek Muse Euterpe, has been undergoing badly needed restoration.

But now the work is completed! Euterpe will once again take her accustomed place on the bow of her historic ship!

There will be a public unveiling of the restored figurehead this coming Sunday, November 13. The big event coincides with Star of India’s 159th birthday. Check out the next photograph for details.

Yesterday I took a sneak peek of the completed project down in the hold of Star of India where the restoration work took place.

Euterpe is now flawless, bright, and absolutely beautiful!

But you’ll have to go see this Sunday for yourself!

You can learn more about this historic figurehead restoration, and see photos of the work in progress, by clicking here!

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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!

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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You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!