Photos of Star of India heading out to sea.

Star of India and Californian head south along the channel out of San Diego Bay, out into the Pacific Ocean.
Star of India and Californian navigate south down the channel of San Diego Bay, heading out into the Pacific Ocean.

I will remember this amazing morning for the rest of my life.

Standing on the Bayside Trail of Cabrillo National Monument, near the end of the Point Loma peninsula, I watched as Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, headed out of San Diego Bay into the wide blue Pacific Ocean.

It was a truly historic moment, and magical.

The Star of India, now 155 years old, is sailing this weekend for the first time in five years.

Tall ships Californian and San Salvador, which also belong to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, accompanied the Star of India, as did two other tall ships based in San Diego: America and Cloudia. I saw Bill of Rights, a tall ship that makes its home in Chula Vista, heading out of the channel a bit later in the morning.

Please enjoy these photos.

People walk down Cabrillo National Monument's Bayside Trail in order to watch a bit of sailing history.
People walk down Cabrillo National Monument’s Bayside Trail in order to watch a bit of sailing history.
The north part of San Diego Bay, visible from the Bayside Trail. In the distance, with other historic ships, Star of India makes its way around North Island.
The north part of San Diego Bay is visible from the Bayside Trail. In the distance, with other tall ships, Star of India makes its way around Coronado.
Star of India is towed past Naval Base Point Loma as it heads out of San Diego's harbor toward the open ocean.
Star of India is towed past Naval Base Point Loma as it heads out of San Diego’s harbor toward the open ocean.
Star of India is accompanied during its historic sail by Californian, San Salvador, America and Cloudia. Bill of Rights would leave the channel a bit later in the morning.
Star of India is accompanied during its historic sail by Californian, San Salvador, America and Cloudia. Bill of Rights would leave the channel a bit later in the morning.
Californian and Star of India pass Naval Air Station North Island.
Californian and Star of India pass Naval Air Station North Island.
The downtown San Diego skyline behind Star of India and Californian.
The downtown San Diego skyline behind Star of India and Californian.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
The amazing group of tall ships is almost out of the channel and into the wide open ocean.
The amazing group of tall ships is almost out of the channel and into the wide open ocean.
Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, and Californian enter the Pacific Ocean together.
Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, and Californian enter the Pacific Ocean together.
Behind come America, Cloudia and galleon San Salvador.
Behind come America, Cloudia and the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
Pure magic. Like a dream.
Pure magic. Like a dream.
The beautiful tall ships continue past Point Loma, making their way south.
The beautiful tall ships continue past Point Loma, making their way south.
A view of the beautiful tall ships from Cabrillo National Monument's Bayside Trail.
A view of the tall ships from Cabrillo National Monument’s sunny Bayside Trail.
155 year old Star of India and its companion tall ships sail across the water on an historic weekend in November, 2018.
155 year old Star of India and its companion tall ships sail across the water on an historic weekend in November, 2018.
I and a few other photographers head back up the Bayside Trail to get more photos as the ships head out to sea.
I and a few other photographers head back up the Bayside Trail to get more photos as the ships head out to sea.
Californian and America on the distant water. Mexico lies on the horizon.
Californian and America on the distant water. Mexico lies on the horizon.
Five amazing tall ships together on the peaceful Pacific Ocean.
Five fantastic tall ships together on the peaceful, blue Pacific Ocean.
A magical vision of historic tall ships seen from the end of Point Loma. Time's curtain seems to open, and we peer into the past.
A magical vision of historic tall ships seen from the end of Point Loma. Time’s curtain seems to open for a moment, and we peer into the past.
People enjoy the magic near a bench on the Bayside Trail.
People enjoy the magic near a bench on the Bayside Trail.
Star of India crew members can barely be seen upon its yards. The sails will soon billow in the wind.
Star of India crew members can be seen upon its yards. The sails will soon billow in the wind.
The ships sail past the end of Point Loma. My old camera can barely photograph them at this distance.
The ships sail past the end of Point Loma. My old camera can barely photograph them at this distance.
Out into the wide, hazy Pacific Ocean.
Out into the wide, hazy Pacific Ocean.
People just below the whale watching overlook of Cabrillo National Monument watch the ships. They gaze past the New Point Loma Lighthouse down by the water's edge.
People just below the whale watching overlook of Cabrillo National Monument watch the ships. They gaze past the New Point Loma Lighthouse, which is down by the water’s edge.
Ships melt into the hazy distance.
Among smaller boats, the tall ships are just visible in the hazy distance.
Photographers try their best to get good photos of the tall ships that are now far away.
Photographers with powerful cameras do their best to get good photos of the tall ships that are now very far away.
Light reflects from a passing plane. The Coronado Islands poke out of the haze. And the Star of India sails proudly on the open Pacific Ocean.
Light reflects from a passing plane. The distant Coronado Islands poke out of the haze. And the Star of India sails proudly upon the Pacific Ocean.
A vision I will remember for the rest of my life.
A vision I will remember for the rest of my life.

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!

Sailing . . . kite boarding . . . racing on the bay!

Hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans race across San Diego Bay during the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series.
Hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans race across San Diego Bay during the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series.

What an amazing day out on San Diego Bay! Here come a bunch of cool photos!

I began my walk at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, where the Star of India sail crew was getting ready for their ocean journey next month. I then walked along San Diego Bay to Harbor Island to view a variety of events during this weekend’s 2018 Extreme Sailing Series.

As I arrived at Harbor Island, kids were racing O’pen BIC boats in an Un-Regatta. Next came an exhibition and race by world-class kite boarders. A lack of sufficient wind made the Element Sports Kite Boarding Invitational a real challenge for those great athletes.

At two o’clock the main event began. Seven hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans competed in the San Diego leg of this year’s Extreme Sailing Series. I watched the first race, then, while devouring a yummy quesadilla from a food truck, enjoyed a look around the Race Village and its US Sailing Education Zone.

To see lots of photos from the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series, including exhibits in the Race Village, and catamarans actually flying above the water under stronger wind conditions, click here!

The Star of India will sail next month upon the Pacific Ocean. The volunteer sail crew is busy preparing for the historic journey.
The Star of India will sail next month upon the Pacific Ocean. The volunteer sail crew is busy preparing for the historic journey.
The sail crew learns the ropes aboard Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world.
The sail crew learns the ropes aboard Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world.
Muscle, skill and coordination are required to sail a full-rigged iron-hulled windjammer.
Muscle, skill and coordination are required to sail a full-rigged iron-hulled windjammer.
Pulling ropes to manipulate the yards and sails.
Pulling ropes to manipulate the yards and sails.
Securing one rope tightly to a belaying pin on the ship's wooden pinrail.
Securing one rope tightly to a belaying pin on the ship’s wooden pinrail.
Walking along Harbor Island, where various exhibitions and races are enjoyed during the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series.
Walking along Harbor Island, where various exhibitions and races are enjoyed during the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series.
As I arrived, the O'pen BIC racing Un-Regatta was underway.
As I arrived, the O’pen BIC racing Un-Regatta was underway.
Kids as young as ten years old learn about sailing competitively on the fun little O'pen BIC sailboats.
Kids as young as ten years old learn about sailing competitively on the fun little O’pen BIC sailboats.
Kids love sailing on San Diego Bay in the October sunshine.
Kids love sailing on San Diego Bay in the October sunshine.
O'pen BICs in close competition off Harbor Island.
Lots of O’pen BICs in close competition off Harbor Island.
Spectators were sitting on the rocks along Harbor Island watching the free Extreme Sailing Series events.
Spectators were sitting on the rocks along Harbor Island watching the various Extreme Sailing Series events.
Magic in San Diego.
Magic in San Diego.
Next came a kite boarding exhibition and race, with downtown San Diego's skyline as the backdrop.
Next came a kite boarding exhibition and race, with downtown San Diego’s skyline as the backdrop.
A highly skilled kite boarder flies above the blue water of San Diego Bay.
A highly skilled kite boarder flies above the blue water of San Diego Bay.
World-class kite board athletes prepare to race during the Element Sports Kite Boarding Invitational.
World-class kite board athletes prepare to race during the Element Sports Kite Boarding Invitational.
The kite boarding race has begun!
The kite boarding race has begun!
By sheer chance the racing kite boarders produce a beautiful photograph.
By sheer chance the kite boarders produced this beautiful photograph.
More magic on San Diego Bay.
More magic on San Diego Bay.
Now to the main event, as the GC32 Stadium Racing will soon begin.
Now to the main event, as the GC32 Stadium Racing will soon begin.
The super fast, hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans begin to maneuver before the first race begins. Seven teams would participate this weekend on San Diego Bay.
The super fast, hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans begin to maneuver before the first race starts. Seven teams would participate this weekend on San Diego Bay.
The race has begun! One catamaran tips upward in the wind, as its crew tries to obtain maximum speed.
The first race has begun! One catamaran tips upward in the wind, as its crew tries to obtain maximum speed.
Team Mexico works hard to reach the finish line before the other competitors.
Team Mexico works hard to reach the finish line before the other competitors.
Element Spark Compass, the United States team, is a wild card entry for this weekend. The members raced really well, even though they have very limited GC32 experience.
Element Spark Compass, the United States team, is a wild card entry for this weekend. The members raced really well, even though they have very limited GC32 experience.
The fast catamarans maneuver up the course into the sun. The wind was a bit disappointing today due to the mild Santa Ana-like weather this weekend.
The fast catamarans maneuver up the course into the sun. The wind was a bit disappointing today due to the mild Santa Ana-like weather this weekend.
Someone on Harbor Island points toward one of the racing teams.
Someone on Harbor Island points toward one of the racing teams.
They've navigated around a race mark buoy and are coming back downwind.
They’ve navigated around a race mark buoy and are coming back downwind.
Here they come again! Alinghi, the Swiss team, seems to always be in front. Their crew members have won multiple America's Cup titles.
Here they come again! Alinghi, the Swiss team, seems to always be in front. Their crew members have won multiple America’s Cup titles.
Red Bull Sailing Team is turning on San Diego Bay.
Red Bull Sailing Team is tacking on San Diego Bay.
Here comes the Element Spark Compass catamaran! The crew works hard to capture every inch of wind.
Here comes the Element Spark Compass catamaran! The crew works hard to capture every inch of wind.
Action aboard Red Bull's GC32 catamaran.
Lots of action aboard Red Bull’s GC32 catamaran.
Sails of many types were spotted today out on beautiful San Diego Bay!
Sails of many types were spotted today out on beautiful 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 photos for you to enjoy!

Star of India sail crew prepares for history!

The Star of India, built in 1863, the oldest active sailing ship in the world and oldest iron-hulled merchant ship afloat, will once again take to the Pacific Ocean in November!

History will be made as she embarks on her first sail in five years. The short voyage upon the ocean off Point Loma and up the coast will be guided by a new captain, and made possible with the heart, muscle and skill of volunteer crew members.

This afternoon the Star of India’s sail crew was high up in the rigging practicing. From the deck below I watched as they set sails, squared yards, and performed some of the acrobatics aloft that are necessary to perform their duty with coordinated precision.

As members of the sail crew rehearsed their ballet in the sky, others were meeting in the Star of India’s saloon, charting the historic ship’s voyage into the future. An exciting future!

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 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!

Bright sailboats race across San Diego Bay.

This evening, just before sunset, I stood on the Embarcadero and watched more than one hundred sunlit sailboats race across the north part of San Diego Bay.

From May 21 through August 1, the Cortez Racing Association, in partnership with the Silver Gate Yacht Club (which is based on Shelter Island), puts on Wednesday races called the San Diego Bay Beer Can Series.

As the sailboats began across the water, and late sunlight slanted over Point Loma, the colorful sails were so bright they seemed like a dream. The race was too distant for my camera to take sharp photos–so I have increased the contrast to make the images even more dreamy!

In case you’re curious, those two active aircraft carriers you see in my photos are docked at Naval Air Station North Island. They are the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).

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 of beautiful tall ship Stad Amsterdam.

The complex masts, yards and rigging of a fantastic tall ship.
The complex masts, yards and rigging of a fantastic tall ship.

Stad Amsterdam is perhaps the most beautiful ship I’ve ever seen. It’s now docked in San Diego not far from the Star of India. The incredible Dutch clipper ship, which is operating as a cruise ship, will be visiting our city for a week or so.

I posted some evening photos of Stad Amsterdam taken on Friday here. I also shared a couple of fascinating facts about the ship.

This morning I walked down to the Embarcadero again to see the beautiful tall ship in its full glory. Here are my photos…

A wave from a crew member working high up on a yard of the beautiful three-masted clipper ship Stad Amsterdam.
A wave from a crew member working high up on a yard of the beautiful three-masted Dutch clipper ship Stad Amsterdam.
This is perhaps the most beautiful ship I've ever seen.
This is perhaps the most beautiful ship I’ve ever seen.
Volunteers and sail crews from the Maritime Museum of San Diego got a special tour aboard the Stad Amsterdam.
Volunteers and sail crews from the Maritime Museum of San Diego got a special tour aboard the Stad Amsterdam.
This friendly guy on deck spoke to me for a minute and other curious people who were passing by.
A friendly gentleman on deck spoke to me for a minute and other curious people who were passing by.
I walked along the length of the Dutch tall ship to see its full glory.
I walked along the length of the Dutch tall ship to experience its full majesty.
Close photo of the stern of Stad Amsterdam.
Close photo of the stern of Stad Amsterdam.
Another friendly crew member near one of the elegant wood cabins on deck.
Another crew member near one of the elegant wood cabins on deck.
Members of the Stad Amsterdam crew work together to manipulate a sail.
Members of the Stad Amsterdam crew work together as a team to manipulate a sail.
Hauling a rope that is attached to a canvas sail high above.
Hauling a rope that is attached to a canvas sail high above.
Walking along the Embarcadero looking at the beautiful visiting tall ship.
Walking along the Embarcadero, looking at the extraordinarily beautiful tall ship.
The profile, size and color scheme of Stad Amsterdam makes it appear a little bit like San Diego's own Star of India.
The profile, size and color scheme of Stad Amsterdam makes it appear a little bit like San Diego’s own historic Star of India.
I asked about the figurehead of the Stad Amsterdam and was told it doesn't represent any particular person. The female holds a globe and points forward into the future.
I asked about the figurehead of the Stad Amsterdam and was told it doesn’t represent any particular person. The female holds a globe and points gracefully forward into the future.
Crewmembers take to the ship's rigging to do some work.
Crewmembers take to the ship’s rigging to do some work.
Out on a yard unfurling a heavy sail.
Out on a yard unfurling a heavy sail.
The majestic ship has masts that touch the sky.
The fantastic tall ship has masts that touch the sky.
Crew members wrestle with a sail.
Crew members work with a sail.
The three-masted clipper ship Stad Amsterdam docked near the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The three-masted clipper ship Stad Amsterdam docked near the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Figurehead of the beautiful Dutch tall ship Stad Amsterdam.
Figurehead of the beautiful Dutch tall ship Stad Amsterdam.

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!

Evening photos of Stad Amsterdam in San Diego.

Evening photo of the beautiful tall ship Stad Amsterdam docked on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Evening photo of the beautiful tall ship Stad Amsterdam docked on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

An incredibly beautiful tall ship is now visiting San Diego. The Stad Amsterdam, an enormous three-masted clipper ship modelled after the 19th century frigate Amsterdam, is docked at the Embarcadero just north of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Talking briefly to a crew member, I learned the Stad Amsterdam is operating as a luxury Dutch cruise ship. It recently cruised north along the coast of Mexico after passing through the Panama Canal.

The Stad Amsterdam arrived in San Diego yesterday and will be visiting our fair city for the next eight days.

I stumbled upon the amazing tall ship this evening as I walked across Harbor Drive from Waterfront Park. Fortunately there was still enough light to take a few photos. I’ll probably swing by again this weekend to enjoy another look at the ship in broad daylight!

One interesting thing I discovered while doing a bit of research. In 2009 the Stad Amsterdam was used to reenact the second voyage of HMS Beagle, made famous by Charles Darwin. The survey expedition to South America was aired on Dutch television.

Photo of stern of Stad Amsterdam as the sun is setting behind a bank of clouds. The sails of Star of India, pride of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, can be seen in the distance.
Photo of stern of Stad Amsterdam as the sun is setting behind a bank of clouds. The sails of Star of India, pride of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, can be seen in the distance.
A sailboat cruises on gleaming San Diego Bay past the figurehead of Stad Amsterdam.
A sailboat turns on gleaming San Diego Bay past the figurehead of Stad Amsterdam.
The last rays of sunlight illuminate the furled sails of the amazing tall ship Stad Amsterdam.
The last rays of sunlight illuminate the furled sails of the amazing tall ship Stad Amsterdam.

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!