Beautiful white sails on San Diego Bay.

Please enjoy these photos of beautiful sails out on San Diego Bay.

During my busy weekend I went on a harbor cruise aboard the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic Pilot boat. (Become a member of the museum and you get all sorts of complimentary tickets!)

I saw dozens of white-winged sailboats soaring across blue water.

It seemed like a dream.

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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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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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!

The mystery of a strange lighthouse in Old Town!

The top section of a historically important lighthouse now stands on a sidewalk in Old Town San Diego!
The top section of a historically important lighthouse now stands on a sidewalk in Old Town San Diego!

A lighthouse that once guided ships into San Diego Bay now stands on an Old Town sidewalk? How strange is that?

Well, not an entire lighthouse–just the lantern room of the 1890 Ballast Point Light Station!

The other day while walking down Congress Street, a few steps southeast of Harney Street, I paused to more carefully examine this mystery. (I’ve driven past the kiosk-like structure often, without really giving it a second thought.)

First, you should note Ballast Point is about 6 miles southwest of Old Town. The spit of land juts down into San Diego Bay from Point Loma; it’s where tall ships used to load ballast stones for their return trip around Cape Horn to the East Coast. Today it is part of Naval Base Point Loma.

So how did this top section of Ballast Point’s historic lighthouse end up on an Old Town sidewalk?

Some interesting photos behind a glass pane provided me with a few clues. The Ballast Point Light Station was built in 1890 and eventually dismantled in 1960. (Click the images and they will expand so you can read much more.)

After doing a little research, I learned the lantern room was found in 1998 by the owner of an Old Town nautical antiques store–West Sea Company–in a classified ad. At the time the Ballast Point lantern room was located at someone’s Bonita residence! Purchased and transported by flatbed truck to Old Town, it was placed on a cement pad near West Sea Company–and here it “mysteriously” remains today!

The 1890 Ballast Point Light Station was an example of Railroad Gothic. Its sixth order lens can be seen today at Cabrillo National Monument, in a museum near the old lighthouse.
The 1890 Ballast Point Light Station was an example of Railroad Gothic. Its sixth order lens can be seen today at Cabrillo National Monument, in a museum beside the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
Historical photo and some words explain the light at Ballast Point. It guided sailors past Middle Ground Shoal and into San Diego's harbor.
Historical photo and some words explain the light at Ballast Point. It guided sailors past Middle Ground Shoal and into San Diego’s harbor.
A public domain photo of the Ballast Point Light Station, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
A public domain photo of the Ballast Point Light Station, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
The lantern room that housed a light that guided ships into San Diego Bay now can be seen on Congress Street in Old Town!
This lantern room housed a light that guided ships into San Diego Bay. It can now be seen on Congress Street in Old Town!

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!