Dreams of gold on the darkening blue.

Admiral Hornblower on blue San Diego Bay gleams in the last rays of daylight.
Admiral Hornblower on blue San Diego Bay. It gleams in the last rays of daylight.

This evening I glimpsed dreams of gold on the darkening blue…

The darkening ship moves across the water toward a golden sunset.
The ship moves across the darkening water toward a golden sunset.
Youth row a Maritime Museum longboat as the sun sets, perhaps dreaming of finding pirate gold.
Young students row a Maritime Museum of San Diego longboat as the sun sets. Perhaps they dream of finding pirate gold.
Rowing forward across the water, all together as if in one shadowy dream.
Rowing the longboat forward across the water. They move together, as if in one twilight dream.
A trail of gold gleams behind a ship heading into evening darkness.
A trail of gold glistens behind Admiral Hornblower as it moves into the mysterious distance.

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!

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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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.

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!

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!

Ships, water, light and magic.

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I finally got my act together. Late this afternoon I renewed my annual membership in the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Why?

Perhaps it’s that deep feeling of living inside history.

Perhaps it’s the light-splashed ships.

Perhaps it’s the water like molten silver and its dancing, inexpressible magic.

Perhaps it’s the sea, and my longing for a far horizon.

I can’t think of the right words.

So I’ll let my small camera speak its own language. I took these photos before sunset.

UPDATE! I substituted one of this post’s original photos with a new one taken a week later. Can you guess which one? The sky is a bit different, but it’s still the same time of day–perhaps an hour or less before sunset.

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 aboard historic steam ferryboat Berkeley.

Golden light on the steam ferryboat Berkeley, hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I believe I took this photo a year or two ago.
Golden light on the steam ferryboat Berkeley, hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I believe I took this photo a year or two ago.

Over the years, I’ve taken many photos around and aboard the historic steam ferryboat Berkeley. The beautiful old ship is the hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of these photographs. Read the captions to learn a little about the Berkeley’s fascinating history.

Berkeley, built in 1898, was originally operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad on San Francisco Bay. It was used to ferry up to 1700 passengers per trip between the transcontinental train terminus at the Oakland Pier and the San Francisco Ferry Building across the bay. The Berkeley was also used after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to rescue thousand of refugees, which were brought out of the fire-devastated city safely over to Oakland.

Berkeley was acquired by the Maritime Museum of San Diego in 1973, and today she houses a large number of fascinating historical exhibits on her lower deck. She is both a National Historic Landmark and California State Historical Landmark, and a cool sight that many like to visit on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Personally, I love to head up the stairs to the McKinney Deck, where passengers used to cross the water in elegance. I have often seen ferry visitors and members of the Maritime Museum of San Diego sitting on the beautiful wooden benches simply reading or enjoying a relaxing moment. It’s like being transported back into another era. The atmosphere is quite amazing, as you will see…

Plaque in front of the ferryboat Berkeley, which was the first successful West Coast-built ferry to be driven by a screw propeller as opposed to side wheels.
Plaque in front of the ferryboat Berkeley, which was the first successful West Coast-built ferry to be driven by a screw propeller as opposed to side wheels.
Downtown San Diego skyscrapers and masts of HMS Surprise and Star of India can be seen in this photo of the upper passenger deck and one of two pilot houses.
Downtown San Diego skyscrapers and masts of museum ships HMS Surprise and Star of India can be seen in this photo of the Berkeley’s upper passenger deck and one of two pilot houses.
Southern Pacific Lines logo on a pilot house.
Southern Pacific Lines logo on one pilot house.
Photo over the roof of the ferryboat, with a black funnel projecting into the blue San Diego sky.
Photo over the roof of the ferryboat, with a black funnel projecting into the blue San Diego sky.
I'm getting ready to look inside the pilot house on the west end of the Berkeley. I see the County Administration Building.
I’m getting ready to look inside the pilot house on the west end of the Berkeley. I see the County Administration Building.
The wooden wheel, binoculars and other instruments used to pilot the ferry.
The wooden wheel, binoculars and other instruments used to pilot the ferry.
Many forms of communication were used during ferry operation. The Berkeley's pilot houses contained a radio receiver, the ship's whistle, and two voice tubes.
Many forms of communication were used during ferry operation. The Berkeley’s pilot houses contained radio receivers, the ship’s whistle, and two voice tubes.
Standing outside, peering into the elegant Dan McKinney Deck of the Berkeley.
Standing outside, peering into the elegant Dan McKinney Deck of the Berkeley.
Visitors aboard the Berkeley look at the beautiful long wooden benches and stained glass windows of the upper passenger deck.
Visitors aboard the Berkeley look at the beautiful long wooden benches and art glass windows of the upper passenger deck.
Different stained glass windows on the ship infuse the passenger deck with colored light.
Different art glass windows on the ship fill the passenger deck with many-colored light.
More exquisite stained glass. Passengers would cross San Francisco Bay in style.
More exquisite art glass. Passengers would cross San Francisco Bay in style.
Walking through the passenger deck.
Walking through the passenger deck.
Sunlight on one comfortable, warm wood bench. Wouldn't you like to sit here?
Sunlight on one comfortable, warm wood bench. Wouldn’t you like to sit here?
A painting of the ferry Berkeley and a relic from its history.
A painting of the ferry Berkeley and a relic from its history.
More beauty aboard the old ship, which is now docked in San Diego Bay.
More beauty aboard the old ship, which is now docked in San Diego Bay.
I assume the fancy B is for Berkeley, but I'm not sure.
I assume the fancy B is for Berkeley, but I’m not sure.
Refreshments used to be served here during bay crossings. Today the Berkeley is often used for special events and drinks are still served.
Refreshments used to be purchased here during bay crossings. Today the Berkeley is often used for special events and drinks are still served.
Over the years, many thousands of passengers were served.
Over the years, countless thousands of passengers were served.
Ferryboat Berkeley,1898, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This vessel possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America.
Ferryboat Berkeley,1898, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This vessel possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America.
One of four old photos on the passenger deck. Berkeley was launched on San Francisco Bay on October 18, 1898.
One of four old photos on the passenger deck. Berkeley was launched on San Francisco Bay on October 18, 1898.
Berkeley was never a car ferry. The open deck below carried luggage carts for passengers transiting between the end of the railroad at Oakland and San Francisco.
Berkeley was never a car ferry. The open deck below carried luggage carts for passengers transiting between the end of the railroad at Oakland and San Francisco across the bay.
The Berkeley was heroine of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake story. She carried refugees to safety nonstop for three days and nights.
The Berkeley was heroine of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake story. She carried refugees to safety nonstop for three days and nights.
In 1973, Berkeley was towed down the coast to San Diego to begin a second life as floating museum.
In 1973, Berkeley was towed down the coast to San Diego to begin a second life as floating museum.
And what a beautiful museum she is! Many exhibits can be seen on the lower deck, where ferry passengers used to haul their luggage carts.
And what a beautiful museum she is! I haven’t included them in this particular blog post, but many cool exhibits can be seen on the lower deck, where ferry passengers used to park their luggage carts.
Gazing down some steps at a museum workshop aboard the Berkeley.
Gazing down some steps at a museum workshop aboard the Berkeley.
Gazing from the passenger deck outside toward San Diego Bay. Other museum ships, including Californian and San Salvador, are docked along a float west of the Berkeley.
Gazing from the passenger deck outside toward San Diego Bay. Other museum ships, including Californian and San Salvador, are docked along a float west of the Berkeley.
One of the ferry's old lifeboats.
One of the ferry’s old lifeboats.
Looking up at the pilot house on the ferry's bay-facing end.
Looking up at the pilot house on the steam ferry’s bay-facing end.
Some folks on the other end looking out at downtown San Diego and the Waterfront Park.
Some folks on the other end looking out at downtown San Diego and the Waterfront Park.
An old sign above one doorway says a Lunch and Grill Room are on the Lower Deck.
An old sign above one doorway says Lunch and Grill Room on Lower Deck.
That old sign was uncovered beneath accumulated paint. Working on an old vessel is a bit like an archaeological dig.
That old sign was uncovered beneath accumulated paint. Working on an old vessel is a bit like an archaeological dig.
Looking from the Embarcadero at the Berkeley, over the Maritime Museum of San Diego's deep diving submarine USS Dolphin.
Looking from the Embarcadero at the Berkeley, over the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s deep diving submarine USS Dolphin.
The handsome steam ferryboat Berkeley now greets visitors on San Diego Bay.
The handsome steam ferryboat Berkeley now greets visitors on San Diego Bay.
People walk through history aboard a beautiful old vessel.
People walk through history aboard a beautiful old vessel.

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!

Pirate Con in San Diego during Comic-Con week!

Pirate Con is coming to the Maritime Museum of San Diego during Comic-Con.
Pirate Con is coming to the Maritime Museum of San Diego during Comic-Con week.

Ahoy mateys! You despicable pirates, buccaneers, scoundrels! Avast! See what I discovered while innocently walking along the Embarcadero!

Pirate Con is coming to San Diego! The event will be held at the Maritime Museum of San Diego on July 21, 2017, the Friday of Comic-Con week. There will be pirate and mermaid cosplay and even hidden treasure: a free Funko Pop! I don’t know if hardtack, bone soup and rum will be served.

Looks like salty fun! And no better place to have it!

Maritime Museum of San Diego presents Pirate Con on July 21, 2017.
Maritime Museum of San Diego presents Pirate Con on July 21, 2017.
Lots of pirate and mermaid cosplay will be seen at Pirate Con in San Diego! Paarrrty like a pirate!
Lots of pirate and mermaid cosplay will be seen at Pirate Con in San Diego! Paarrrty like a pirate!
These tough-looking pirates are promoting Sea of Thieves, an upcoming video game for the Xbox.
I’m not sure if these beady-eyed pirates will attend.
Watch out! This wild-eyed pirate has two wicked swords! Run for it!
I certainly hope this piratical two-sworded villain isn’t present!
Mister Mac, that notorious pirate, has descended on San Diego with two rascally accomplices to wreak havoc.
Goodness gracious! There seem to be a lot of pirates populating my blog. Chances are at least one of these rascals will attend Pirate Con at the Maritime Museum of 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!