Model ship builders restore family heirlooms!

Is there an old model ship in your attic? Perhaps a treasured family heirloom? Is it falling to pieces or in a terrible tangle? Would you like to restore it?

Today, during a visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I learned of a group of dedicated model ship builders who are busy repairing and restoring old model ships!

The members of the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild love their hobby and hold regular meetings aboard the Maritime Museum ship Berkeley. I happened to be walking around the museum today before one of their evening meetings. I struck up a conversation with Guild Master James Pitt and was fascinated as he told me about various aspects of model ship building.

The San Diego Ship Modelers Guild, which was formed in 1971, has dozens of members hailing from all around Southern California and even Arizona. They have partnered with the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and guild members can often be seen working in the museum’s specially equipped Model Makers Workshop.

What interested me most was how the modeler’s guild has been repairing and restoring an increasing number of model ships of late. Many are family heirlooms passed down from previous generations, and are treasured for the memories and special meaning they embody.

If you have any sort of model ship that needs expert repair, check out the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild website by clicking here! Send them an email! I met a couple of the members and all were really nice guys!

I took some photos of a display for today’s meeting. You can see examples of model ships that have undergone restoration.

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 slightly unusual morning by the water.

A seagull hopes for a morning morsel while I eat breakfast outdoors on the Embarcadero, not far from the USS Midway.
A seagull hopes for a morning morsel while I eat breakfast outdoors on the Embarcadero, not far from the USS Midway.

This morning I walked along the Embarcadero, from Broadway Pier to Tuna Harbor.

My camera captured some of the usual beauty, plus a few unusual images!

Research vessel JOIDES Resolution (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling), a scientific drilling ship used by the International Ocean Discovery Program, docked in San Diego.
Research vessel JOIDES Resolution (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling), a scientific drilling ship used by the International Ocean Discovery Program, docked in San Diego.
Here come Cabrillo, the Coronado Ferry, across a very smooth San Diego Bay.
Here comes Cabrillo, the Coronado Ferry, across a very smooth San Diego Bay.
Someone exercises by the water on a beautiful early San Diego morning.
Someone exercises by the water on a beautiful early San Diego morning.
Some colorful lobster traps were stacked at the edge of the parking lot beside Tuna Harbor.
Some colorful lobster traps were stacked at the edge of the parking lot beside Tuna Harbor.
Strange reflections on the smooth water of Tuna Harbor.
Mysterious reflections on the still water of Tuna Harbor.
Trees and downtown buildings upside down on the water.
Trees and downtown buildings upside down on the water.
A worker casually stands on the plank above the water. An odd and mysterious image!
A worker casually stands on the plank above the water. A rather strange image!

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!

Raising a heavy yard on HMS Surprise.

During my Sunday walk along the Embarcadero today, I paused at the Maritime Museum of San Diego to watch some fascinating activity. Crew members and museum volunteers were carefully raising one of HMS Surprise’s very heavy mizzenmast yards. They hauled ropes, checked critical knots, hauled some more, swung the yard up and across the quarterdeck, then lifted it straight into the sky.

The strenuous, methodical work aboard a tall ship is a complex dance.

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 summer whale watching trip in San Diego!

Wow! Talk about a fun summer adventure! Today, thanks to Hornblower Cruises and Events, I enjoyed a summer whale watching trip out in the beautiful Pacific Ocean off San Diego!

I and other passengers aboard the Adventure Hornblower cruised out of San Diego Bay and continued many miles west of Point Loma in search of blue whales, the largest animal on planet Earth.

Spotting these enormous mammals, which move through the oceans in a constant pursuit of food, can be a hit or miss proposition, but it was such a sunny, perfect day and the wide ocean was so calm and blue, I didn’t really care what we might happen to discover!

We did see numerous pods of dolphins almost everywhere we turned. They fed and played in the gentle swells nearby, and didn’t seem to mind the big ship full of pointing humans passing overhead.

I took lots of photos, but dolphins break the surface unexpectedly then quickly melt back into the water, so my small camera just managed to get a few decent pics. You have to be there to feel the excitement, not to mention the fresh wind and bright sunshine. It’s an incredible, magical experience!

Had this been a winter whale watching trip, we would likely have seen gray whales as they migrate along the California coast to and from Mexico. During the summer it’s possible to spot a variety of other whales, including blue whales and humpback whales, but these species don’t follow a predictable route of migration.

Our captain took us a good distance out into the open ocean. All hands searched the horizon when we reached the Nine Mile Bank–an underwater mountain range teeming with sea life where blue whales often feed. On our way out we spotted the distant spout of a Fin Whale–the second-largest species on Earth–but were unable to successfully see it up close.

On our way back to San Diego we approached another boat that might have sighted a whale. We turned off our motor and silently drifted in, watching carefully, but we saw only dolphins and a group of feeding gulls and pelicans. The other boat had a drone hovering over the water, but it didn’t seem to find what it was looking for.

As we neared the channel into San Diego Bay, friendly people from the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park gave a short educational presentation, complete with close up photos of blue whales, an example of the filter-like baleen that these huge whales use to collect four tons of tiny krill per day, and a toothy dolphin skull. Kids enjoyed learning about all the cool marine life and had many questions!

I should mention, the summer whale watching trip included a narrated tour of the north part of San Diego Bay, where you always see something new. Including sea lions! It’s just as fun and interesting as a regular harbor cruise.

Because we didn’t spot a whale today, every passenger got a voucher for another free whale watching trip, or a harbor cruise on San Diego Bay. You can bet I’ll use mine!

Find out more about this awesome four hour summer whale watching adventure by visiting Hornblower’s San Diego website 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!

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!

Memorial Day weekend at Festival of the Sea!

As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.
As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.

There’s a great festival going on this Memorial Day weekend at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The new, family-friendly waterfront event, sponsored by the Port of San Diego, is called Festival of the Sea!

I headed to the Maritime Museum late this morning to see what was going on!

On the deck of the Star of India, I listened to the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival sponsored by San Diego Folk Heritage. Inside the steam ferry Berkeley, I got to see lots of art by local artists, then peruse books, prints and other used items that are being sold in a kind of nautical rummage sale. From the museum’s barge behind the Berkeley, I viewed a cannon battle out on San Diego Bay, then enjoyed free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream!

The Festival of the Sea also includes kids’ educational activities, costumes galore, and the opportunity to enjoy adult beverages while taking in amazing views of San Diego Bay.

Here come a few photos!

A friendly guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
A smiling guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego's barge.
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s barge.
You just knew there would be a pirate!
You just knew there would be a pirate!
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy.
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy. (Yes, that tray you get holds four different flavors!)
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Friendly author Joseph O'Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher's Prize is the first book of a series!
Friendly author Joseph O’Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher’s Prize is the first book of a series!
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much!
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much variety!
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Examples of Norm Daniel's surf and island themed work.
Examples of Norm Daniel’s surf and island themed work.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego's unique Model Shop is busy during the festival.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s unique Model Shop is also active during the festival.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
Beyond the museum's Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Beyond the museum’s Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
The Martime Museum's beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
The Maritime Museum’s beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which you might remember seeing in the great movie Master and Commander.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which starred with Russell Crowe in the great movie Master and Commander.
Back on the Star of India, people enjoy live entertainment.
Back on the Star of India, more people are gathering to enjoy live entertainment.
A kid explores the workings of the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A kid explores the workings of the world’s oldest active sailing ship!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous tunes during the Festival of the Sea!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous nautical tunes during the Festival of the Sea!

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!

Dogs enjoy a harbor cruise on San Diego Bay!

A dog and two friends enjoy Pet Day on the Bay aboard the Adventure Hornblower.
A dog and two friends enjoy Pet Day on the Bay aboard the Adventure Hornblower.

This morning I went on a fun harbor tour–with dozens of tail-wagging dogs!

Hornblower Cruises and Events was having their annual Pet Day on the Bay, which benefits the Helen Woodward Animal Center!

This year the Pet Day on the Bay’s costume theme was mermaids and pirates. In addition to lots of cool sights, I photographed four-legged passengers dressed for the occasion!

Any dog owner who would like to have a memorable experience with their pet should go on one of these unique cruises. The Hornblower ship is equipped with everything a canine or human could desire, including drinks and snacks and a live narration describing all that you see during the one hour harbor tour. A couple of pet experts were also aboard offering lots of helpful advise.

I could tell the dogs were enjoying themselves. A bunch of their human companions were smiling, too!

People wait in line for the first of four very unique harbor tours. It's the annual Pet Day on the Bay!
People wait in line for the first of four special harbor tours. It’s the annual Pet Day on the Bay!
These furry passengers meet each other before boarding for a cruise on San Diego Bay.
Furry passengers meet each other before enjoying a cruise on San Diego Bay.
The theme this year for Pet Day on the Bay was mermaids and pirates. Looks like a mermaid to me!
The theme this year for Pet Day on the Bay was mermaids and pirates. Looks like a mermaid to me!
All sorts of local celebrities joined us on the fun cruise. That's Dave Scott of KUSI News!
All sorts of local celebrities joined us on the fun cruise. That’s Dave Scott of KUSI News!
We're at the foot of Hornblower's pier, almost time to board the ship.
We’re at the foot of Hornblower’s pier, almost time to board the ship.
Here comes a pair of colorful pirates!
Here come some colorful pirates!
I'm greeted with a big smile. I see another celebrity! It's world-famous Chopper, San Diego's motorcycle riding therapy dog!
I’m greeted with a big smile. I see another celebrity! It’s world-famous Chopper, San Diego’s motorcycle riding therapy dog!
Helen Woodward Animal Center was there, too, with a lot of love and some puppies to adopt.
Helen Woodward Animal Center was there, too, with licks of love and some puppies to adopt.
Mary Read hangs out with a tail-wagging friend, waiting for a forever home.
Mary Read hangs out with a tail-wagging friend, waiting for a forever home.
Open up your home--save a life. Foster homes are urgently needed for canines and felines. The Helen Woodward Animal Center with your help saves thousands of precious lives. Please visit animalcenter.org
Open up your home–save a life. Foster homes are urgently needed for canines and felines. With your help, the Helen Woodward Animal Center saves thousands of precious lives. Please visit AnimalCenter.org
Heading along the Grape Street Pier, about to board the Adventure Hornblower for a one hour harbor tour!
Heading along the Grape Street Pier, about to board the Adventure Hornblower for a one hour harbor tour!
Some of the passengers have a pre-boarding meet and greet.
Some of the passengers have a pre-boarding meet and greet.
Photos are taken for Pet Day on the Bay.
Photos are taken for Hornblower Cruises’ Pet Day on the Bay.
A friendly greeting by the ship's captain!
A friendly greeting by the ship’s captain!
Doggie bags with lots of cool stuff from Petco were handed out to those participating in Pet Day on the Bay.
Doggie bags with lots of cool stuff from Petco were handed out to those participating in Pet Day on the Bay.
Up some steps onto the upper deck...
Up some steps onto the upper deck…
Some dog-friendly turf and great views await the pooch passengers.
Some dog-friendly turf and great views await the pooch passengers.
New friends are made on deck, as we await our departure.
New friends are made on deck, as we await our departure.
Is this sailor one of the crew?
Is this sailor one of the crew?
As we waited to begin our cruise, the Admiral Hornblower left the dock and headed out onto the bay.
As we waited to begin our cruise, the nearby Admiral Hornblower headed out onto the bay.
Sunshine breaking through the morning clouds turns the Admiral Hornblower bright white.
Sunshine breaking through the morning clouds turns the Admiral Hornblower bright white.
Here we go! We leave downtown San Diego behind.
Here we go! We leave downtown San Diego behind.
We head out toward the entrance to San Diego Bay, with views of Point Loma, North Island and the distant Coronado Islands.
We head out toward the entrance of San Diego Bay, with views of Point Loma, North Island and the distant Coronado Islands.
Some people rowing outrigger canoes flew past us on the calm water of San Diego Bay.
Some people rowing outrigger canoes flew past us on the calm water of San Diego Bay.
Approaching the live bait dock, where sportfishing boats stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.
Approaching the live bait dock, where sportfishing boats stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.
Sea lions lounge on the floating dock along with a motley group of sea birds.
Sea lions lounge on the floating dock along with a motley group of sea birds.
A group of kayakers were passing Naval Base Point Loma, not far from four nuclear submarines.
A group of kayakers was passing Naval Base Point Loma, not far from four nuclear submarines.
The dogs enjoy the amazing views just as much as the humans.
The dogs enjoy the amazing views just as much as the humans.
All sorts of characters are hanging out on the ship's deck.
All sorts of characters are hanging out on the ship’s deck.
There seem to be happy dogs everywhere!
There seem to be happy dogs everywhere!
As we headed back toward the Embarcadero, I poked my head inside the ship to see some displays, including one presented by Petco. They also provided doggie treats.
As we headed back toward the Embarcadero, I poked my head inside the ship to check out some displays, including this one presented by Petco, who also provided doggie treats.
The Petco Foundation is helping to save the lives of animals. Learn how you can put your love for animals into action at PetcoFoundation.org
The Petco Foundation is helping to save the lives of animals. Learn how you can put your love for animals into action at PetcoFoundation.org
The billowing Hornblower flag and the approaching San Diego skyline.
The billowing Hornblower flag and the approaching San Diego skyline.
As we approach the dock, a dog supervises the maneuvering of the ship.
As we come beside the dock, a dog carefully supervises the maneuvering of the ship.
Passengers disem-bark after a wonderful one hour cruise.
Passengers disem-bark after a wonderful one hour cruise!
Pet Day on the Bay is a great annual event for those with two or four legs!
Pet Day on the Bay is a great annual event for those with two or four legs!

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!

Another beautiful evening on the Embarcadero.

Sun shines through late clouds, splashing light across San Diego Bay in its peaceful Crescent Area.
Sun shines through late clouds, splashing light across San Diego Bay in its peaceful Crescent Area.

It was another beautiful evening on San Diego’s Embarcadero. I went for a slow walk.

What more can I say?

Boat moored in San Diego Bay becomes darkly mysterious in the late light.
Boat moored in San Diego Bay becomes darkly mysterious in the late light.
Inspiration Hornblower heads out into San Diego Bay near the Grape Street Pier on an early Friday evening.
Inspiration Hornblower heads out into San Diego Bay near the Grape Street Pier on an early Friday evening.
The new Coast Guard vessel USCGC Benjamin Bottoms will soon be commissioned. The public can tour the Sentinel-class cutter tomorrow on San Diego's Embarcadero, just north of the Maritime Museum.
The new Coast Guard vessel USCGC Benjamin Bottoms will soon be commissioned. The public can tour the Sentinel-class cutter this weekend on San Diego’s Embarcadero, just north of the Maritime Museum.
Some of the vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego splashed with late sunlight.
Some of the vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego splashed with late sunlight.
Glowing clouds through the rigging of Star of India.
Glowing clouds through the rigging of Star of India.
Rays of light crown Star of India's female figurehead, the Greek Muse of lyric poetry, Euterpe.
Rays of light crown Star of India’s female figurehead, the Greek Muse of lyric poetry, Euterpe.
A gull swoops down onto Broadway Pier to investigate some seated people.
A gull swoops down onto Broadway Pier to investigate some seated people.
The reflections of downtown skyscrapers shine in the Port Pavilion's windows, a few minutes before sunset.
The reflections of downtown skyscrapers shine in the Port Pavilion’s windows, a few minutes before sunset.
Flags and a sail illuminated by late light.
Flags and a sail illuminated by late light.
Tables and seats at the end of Broadway Pier are empty at the close of another day.
Tables and seats at the end of Broadway Pier are empty at the close of another day.
Another beautiful evening on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Another beautiful evening on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

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!