Cool sights from a fantastic barge!

The Maritime Museum of San Diego's replica of explorer Cabrillo's galleon, San Salvador, comes in from a short trip out into the Pacific Ocean.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s replica of explorer Cabrillo’s galleon, San Salvador, comes in from a short trip out into the Pacific Ocean.

This afternoon I ventured out onto the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley, the hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I learned from several people this floating dock is often referred to as “the barge” and that an extensive workshop runs beneath it from end to end. Until my visit today I had no idea!

All sorts of boats were coming and going across San Diego Bay. As I breathed in the fresh air, I watched one very cool ship come in to dock at the barge…

On a beautiful late January afternoon, many sailboats were gliding across San Diego Bay.
On a beautiful late January afternoon, many sailboats were gliding across San Diego Bay.
A California Dreamin' Match Race hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club was being held near the Maritime Museum.
A California Dreamin’ Match Race hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club was being held near the Maritime Museum.
Lots of activity this Saturday on the barge behind the Berkeley.
Lots of activity this Saturday at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I learned museum volunteers and employees call this floating dock behind the Berkeley the barge.
While I stood on the floating dock behind the Maritime Museum, I spotted San Salvador turning as it made its approach.
While I stood on the barge at the Maritime Museum, I spotted San Salvador turning as it made its approach.
Californian's sail crew was gathered on her deck having a meeting.
Californian’s sail crew was gathered on her deck having a meeting.
Here comes San Salvador!
Here comes San Salvador!
Someone awaits San Salvador on the museum's floating dock, which is frequently called the barge.
Someone waits for the arrival of the amazing Spanish galleon replica.
Tying up San Salvador. Lots of action to see out by the water today!
Tying up San Salvador. Lots of action to see out by the water today!

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Magical golden light on San Salvador.

Masts and furled sails of the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador turn golden a few minutes after sunrise.
Masts and furled sails of the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador turn golden shortly after sunrise. Photo taken past the figurehead of Star of India.

I apologize, but I love tall ships so much I’m presenting another small batch of photographs.

I captured these images of San Salvador at the Maritime Museum of San Diego yesterday morning and this evening. Both the early and late sunlight performed magic, transforming the furled sails into gold.

San Salvador in morning light, and its magical reflection in San Diego Bay.
San Salvador in early morning light, and its glowing reflection in San Diego Bay.
Morning magic at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Morning magic at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Photo of the San Salvador shortly after sunset. The amazing tall ship is a replica of the galleon commanded by explorer Cabrillo in 1542.
Photo of the San Salvador shortly after sunset. The amazing tall ship is a replica of the galleon commanded by explorer Cabrillo in 1542.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego pause on the beautiful ship San Salvador as evening slowly turns to night.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego pause on the beautiful ship San Salvador as evening slowly turns to night.
The last golden rays of sunlight strike the furled sails of San Salvador, under a nearly full moon.
The last golden rays of sunlight strike the furled sails of San Salvador, under a nearly full moon.

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 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!

A fine exhibit and publication about model ship building!

An amazing ship model by artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr. One of many fantastic examples in a big, special exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
An amazing ship model by artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr. One of many fantastic examples in an extensive, special exhibition at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego currently has an exhibit that’s a lot of fun. It concerns collecting model ships and model ship building! Anyone interested in the hobby or nautical history in general should check it out!

I took a few photos to provide just a taste of what you’ll see. Bring your kids! They’ll love it!

Detailed model of a 74 gun two-decker British Ship of the Line, circa 1800. By artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr.
Detailed model of a 74 gun two-decker British Ship of the Line, circa 1800. By artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr.
Half a dozen ship models in different scales of the San Salvador, historic galleon of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered San Diego Bay for Spain in 1542.
Half a dozen ship models in different scales of the San Salvador, historic galleon of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered San Diego Bay for Spain in 1542.
Tiny models of classic cruise ships, including the famous Titanic.
Tiny models of classic cruise ships, including the famous Titanic.
A Native American ancient ship model. This pecked stone boat effigy was found in 2012 on San Clemente Island. It's at least 1000 years old.
A Native American ancient ship model. This pecked stone boat effigy was found in 2012 on San Clemente Island. It’s at least 1000 years old.
Just a few of the many ships in bottles on display now at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Just a few of the many ships in bottles on display now at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Tiny model ships recreate the Battle of Trafalgar between the British Royal Navy and the Spanish fleet in 1805. Admiral Nelson sailed two columns directly into the opposing line of ships.
Tiny model ships recreate the Battle of Trafalgar between the British Royal Navy and the Spanish fleet in 1805. Outnumbered, British Admiral Nelson sailed two columns directly into the opposing line of ships.
The Cutter Bear, by famous ship modeler Dr. William Brown, a local artist. His amazing work appears in prestigious museums around the world, including Mystic Seaport and the Smithsonian Institution.
The Cutter Bear, by famous ship modeler Dr. William Brown, a local artist. His amazing work appears in prestigious museums around the world, including Mystic Seaport and the Smithsonian Institution.
A Model-Maker and His Art. The collected works of Dr. William Brown. Any serious model ship maker, collector or hobbyist must have this fine publication.
A Model-Maker and His Art. The collected works of Dr. William Brown. Any serious model ship maker, collector or hobbyist must have this fine publication.

As a member of the Maritime Museum I recently received the latest publication of Mains’l Haul, titled A Model-Maker and His Art. It features the collected works of one of the world’s most famous model ship builders: Dr. William Brown. It’s really amazing! Any serious model ship hobbyist must have a copy of this fine publication in their library. The many photos are extremely detailed–much better than my few, which were taken in dim light through glass!

Hopefully you’ll soon be able to buy A Model-Maker and His Art online here. Or look for it at the museum’s gift shop!

Dr. William Brown produced models of ordinary working boats and ships, as well as historically important vessels. This is L.A. Fire Boat No. 2 which was launched in 1925.
Dr. William Brown produced models of ordinary working boats and ships, as well as historically important vessels. This is L.A. Fire Boat No. 2 which was launched in 1925.
Close look at Orizaba, a merchant vessel instrumental in San Diego's early history. Dr. William Brown has produced dozens of models specifically for the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Close look at Orizaba, a merchant vessel instrumental in San Diego’s early history. Dr. William Brown has produced dozens of models specifically for 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!

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!

San Salvador galleon to be launched on barge!

San Salvador, an approximate reproduction of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's historic galleon, undergoes final preparation at Spanish Landing in San Diego.
San Salvador, a close reproduction of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s historic galleon, undergoes final preparation at Spanish Landing in San Diego.

San Salvador’s masts and bowsprit have been installed!

I swung by the amazing ship’s build site this morning after doing a couple errands in Point Loma.  Additional work was underway on the bowsprit, and the hull appears almost finished. One gentleman was painting white Roman numerals on the bow which will indicate the ship’s depth.

Complications and unforeseen difficulties have delayed the launch of the Spanish galleon, but now the full-scale, seaworthy replica of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s historic ship is almost ready to be placed into San Diego Bay!

As I write this, very little updated information can be found concerning the upcoming launch of San Salvador. When the ship was weighed some months ago, it came in at 20 tons more than expected. Due to logistics, plans to use a crane to transport the ship to Broadway Pier were necessarily altered, then ultimately discarded.

I received some info on the museum’s new plan during a short conversation with Al Sorkin, aka Captain Swordfish, a few days ago while I was walking along the Embarcadero. He indicated the San Salvador will be turned, then rolled over a temporary bridge onto a barge behind Harbor Island. The barge will then transport the galleon to a local shipyard, where a crane will finally hoist San Salvador into San Diego Bay.

The plan, as I understood it, is to add ballast and complete the ship’s rigging while it’s docked by the Maritime Museum. I also heard that the museum hopes San Salvador is ready to lead other tall ships into San Diego Bay for the ceremonial parade at this year’s Festival of Sail!  That would be very cool!

Maritime Museum of San Diego volunteers work on the bowsprit, before San Salvador is eventually moved onto a barge, then hoisted at a local shipyard into the bay.
Maritime Museum of San Diego volunteers work on the bowsprit, before San Salvador is eventually moved onto a barge, then hoisted at a local shipyard into the bay.
A temporary bridge will be built in the coming weeks to allow the large San Salvador Spanish galleon to be rolled onto a barge.
A temporary “bridge” will be built across this path in the coming weeks to allow the large San Salvador Spanish galleon to be rolled onto a barge.
While the masts are now in, yards are still being prepared. As I understand it, they'll be installed along with the ballast, once San Salvador is afloat near the Maritime Museum.
While the masts are now in, yards are still being prepared. As I understand it, they’ll be installed along with the ballast, once San Salvador is afloat near the Maritime Museum.
Guys work on the bowsprit in early July 2015. The hope is that San Salvador leads this year's Festival of Sail's parade of tall ships into San Diego Bay!
Guys work on the bowsprit in early July. The hope is that San Salvador leads the 2015 Festival of Sail’s parade of tall ships into San Diego Bay!

UPDATE!

As of 7/29/15, the San Salvador is afloat on San Diego Bay! A week ago a barge transported the replica galleon to Chula Vista in our South Bay, where today it was lifted into the water. I learned this afternoon that in fact the ballast will be added and rigging completed in Chula Vista, in a place that is closed to the public. The ship will have to undergo extensive testing by the Coast Guard before being declared seaworthy. It’s still hoped everything will be completed in time for the Festival of Sail, which takes place in a little over a month!

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San Salvador galleon replica nears completion!

Seaworthy replica of galleon San Salvador built by San Diego Maritime Museum.
Seaworthy replica of galleon San Salvador built by San Diego Maritime Museum.

On my way to the Cabrillo Festival yesterday, I swung by Spanish Landing across from the airport to check out the San Salvador. As you might recall from my blog post from early last December, the San Salvador is a replica of the galleon sailed by explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542. The San Diego Maritime Museum is building it.

I was surprised to see the cool ship is nearly completed! Check out some pics I took over the surrounding fence! I spoke to a young volunteer who was working near the ship, and she told me the San Salvador is expected to launch in early 2015. The galleon will be sailing up the coast of California, recreating the historic trip by the famous explorer. And a documentary will be filmed during the voyage!

The peculiar-looking vessel will be able to navigate the open ocean, she assured me, and is ready to go today, but the folks building her are doing as much additional detail work as they can while the ship remains on dry land.

Bow modeled after historic ship sailed by explorer Cabrillo in 1542.
Bow modeled after historic galleon sailed by explorer Cabrillo in 1542.
Stern of the wooden galleon that will sail on the Pacific in early 2015.
Stern of the wooden galleon that will sail on the Pacific Ocean in early 2015.
View of the San Salvador and a huge mast from Harbor Drive sidewalk.
View of the San Salvador and a huge mast from Harbor Drive sidewalk.
People on the upper deck of the almost finished galleon.
People on the upper deck of the almost finished galleon.

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Cabrillo’s galleon San Salvador returns from past!

01 Cabrillo's flagship San Salvador being built on Spanish Landing.
Cabrillo’s flagship San Salvador being built on Spanish Landing.

Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay on behalf of Spain in 1542.  His flagship was a galleon named San Salvador.  Today, almost 500 years later, a replica of the historic ship is being built on Spanish Landing, across from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field.  The ship is coming alive with the help of hard work from San Diego Maritime Museum volunteers, and it’s scheduled to be launched next year!  It will soon be another cool sight on the Embarcadero!

As you can see from this first photo, a great deal of progress has been made on the hull.  The detailed San Salvador recreation will be seaworthy and will sail out onto the broad ocean!  As it passes Point Loma, it will look like the ghost of Cabrillo has returned!  I remember seeing the hull about a year ago when there were only four or five “ribs” visible.

The public can visit the San Salvador build site.  You’ll see not only the ship, but various items of related interest, including the tools used centuries ago to construct a large galleon.

02 Another view of San Salvador ship replica build site.
Another view of San Salvador ship replica build site.

The walkway you see on the left runs the length of Spanish Landing, behind Harbor Island.

03 Maritime Museum volunteer works on San Salvador ship.
Maritime Museum volunteer works on San Salvador ship.

Several volunteers were working on the galleon.  Colorful banners were flying in the gentle sea breeze.

04 Blacksmith tools are some of the sights near the San Salvador.
Blacksmith tools are some of the sights near the San Salvador.

Lots of interesting stuff can be found about the build site.  Nobody was visiting at the moment, so this pic looks kind of empty.  I was told buses full of school kids often come by on educational field trips.

05 Volunteers work on the wooden hull of Maritime Museum's San Salvador ship.
Volunteers work on the wooden hull of Maritime Museum’s San Salvador ship.
06 Recreation of Kumeyaay village at San Salvador build site.
Recreation of Kumeyaay village at San Salvador build site.

This is the kind of primitive structure native San Diegans lived in at the time of Cabrillo’s “discovery” of the bay.

07 Working on the spars under Harbor Drive's boat channel bridge.
Working on the spars under Harbor Drive’s boat channel bridge.

This friendly lady greeted me as I walked under the Harbor Drive bridge.  She smiled for a photo.  She told me she was working on the ship’s spars for the sails.  I didn’t hear her words precisely, but I believe she’s coating them with linseed oil.

She asked if I wanted to volunteer.  A guy I met later asked the same thing!  They’d appreciate any help they can get!

08 Scraps of wood used to build replica of Cabrillo's historic ship.
Scraps of wood used to build replica of Cabrillo’s historic ship.

All this wood is being used in various ways by the shipbuilders.  It looks like a big lumber yard on the other side of Harbor Drive!

09 View of replica San Salvador from opposite side of Harbor Drive.
View of replica San Salvador from opposite side of Harbor Drive.