The strange, wonderful beauty of nautical ropes.

Late this afternoon I discovered strange and wonderful beauty.

As I relaxed on a comfortable wooden bench on the poop deck of the Star of India, enjoying the sea breeze and sunlit bay, my eyes were drawn to the riot of ropes that were coiled, knotted, stretched and dangling all about the deck, in every direction. How strangely beautiful they appeared.

I took a few photos.

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!

Restored foremast installed on Star of India!

Member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego points to work being done on the Star of India while passersby watch with interest.
Member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego points to work being done on the Star of India while passersby watch with interest.

Look what I chanced upon today. As I approached the Embarcadero, I noticed a huge crane next to the Star of India. The restored top third of the foremast had just been installed! (You might recall from an earlier blog post this wooden section had suffered from rot and needed some work.)

While I stood and watched, the crane lifted two shrouds, one after another, to be attached to the foremast. Then came several cables! The activity above and below was fascinating to watch. I wish I had a more thorough understanding of all that I saw. Volunteers and employees of the Maritime Museum of San Diego were using their knowledge and skills to help preserve an important part of San Diego and world history!

Crane lifts up guys with a shroud, part of the tall ship's standing rigging, to be attached to the starboard side of the newly installed, refurbished top third of the foremast.
Crane lifts up guys with a shroud, part of the ship’s standing rigging, to be attached to the starboard side of the newly installed, refurbished top third of the foremast.
The ladder-like shroud dangles in the air, near the top of the foremast.
The ladder-like shroud dangles in the air, near the top of the foremast.
Volunteers and employees of the Maritime Museum of San Diego watch from the deck below.
Volunteers and employees of the Maritime Museum of San Diego watch from the deck below.
Working high in the San Diego sky, above the oldest active sailing ship in the world, Star of India.
Working high in the San Diego sky, above the oldest active sailing ship in the world.  The beautiful Star of India was built in 1863.
That first shroud is done. Those working on the Embarcadero beside the ship prepare the second shroud to be hoisted.
That first shroud is done. Those working on the Embarcadero beside the ship prepare the second shroud to be hoisted.
Now it's time to attach the second shroud to the port side.
Now it’s time to attach the second shroud to the port side.
Workers on the foremast grab hold.
A worker on the foremast grabs hold.
Back down again to solid ground!
Back down again to solid ground!
Lots of cables still need to be attached to the foremast, to help it resist the force of the wind, and gravity and inertia when the ship pitches and rolls.
Lots of cables still need to be attached to the foremast, to help it resist the force of the wind, plus gravity and inertia when the tall ship pitches and rolls.
One super strong, tarred cable awaiting installation is the starboard royal backstay. It will be attached to the masttop.
One super strong, tarred cable awaiting installation is the starboard royal backstay. It will be attached to the masttop.
Guys watch from the ship's rail.
Guys watch from the historic ship’s rail.
Up goes one of the many cables that are part of the forward rigging.
Up goes one of the many cables that are part of Star of India’s rigging.
A small bit of history.
A small bit of history in San Diego.
Up they go! I bet the view is great!
Up they go! I bet the view is great!
The bottom end of the cable was attached, now back up to the top of the foremast...
The bottom end of the cable is in place, now back up to the top of the foremast…
Up, up...
Up, up…
Higher...
Higher…
Intrigued by the operation, people watch from below. A member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego explains the proceedings.
Intrigued by the operation, people watch from below. A member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego explains the proceedings.
Another (pleasantly crooked) photo of a shroud being hoisted. I was told this work began early in the morning. As much work will be done today as possible!
Another photo of one shroud being hoisted. I was told this work began early in the morning. As much work will be done today as possible!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A view of the bay from the horns of USS Midway.

A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier's projecting horns.
A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the dizzying view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s projecting horns.

This morning I paid a visit to San Diego’s amazing USS Midway Museum.

During my short visit I ascended to the flight deck and walked around a bit. I couldn’t resist walking out to the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s bridle-arrest horns. The two downward sloping projections at the bow of the USS Midway allow visitors to stand high over San Diego Bay, with wide views across the water.

I took some photos!

Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980's. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980’s. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I'm standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I’m standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
A helicopter passes overhead. A frequent sight near three large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base Point Loma.
A helicopter passes overhead. Active aircraft are a frequent sight near the four large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and Naval Base Point Loma.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation, which originated at North Island across the bay.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation–a history that originated at North Island across San Diego Bay.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water below.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water far below.
After drinking in the views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
After drinking in the incredible views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the carrier's Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the aircraft carrier’s Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. At North Island across the water I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. Across the water at North Island I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

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 short tour of San Diego Bay on the Pilot boat.

Ready to board the small Pilot boat, one of many historic vessels at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. We're going to enjoy a short harbor cruise!
Ready to board the small Pilot boat, one of many historic vessels at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. We’re going to enjoy a short harbor cruise!

A couple months ago I went on a short tour of San Diego Bay on the Pilot, a historic vessel owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. When you buy a ticket for the museum, you can pay a little extra and enjoy a fun look at San Diego’s harbor in the open air aboard the Pilot. I recommend it!

Come with me and get a small taste of what you’ll experience. Obviously, these few photographs are no substitute for the ocean breeze, sunshine and sparkling blue water.

A plaque indicates the 1914 Pilot Boat has 82 years of service and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A plaque indicates the 1914 Pilot Boat has 82 years of service and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For decades it helped thousands of ships safely enter and exit San Diego Bay.
Captain of the Pilot is getting ready to pull away from the floating museum.
Captain of the Pilot is getting ready to pull away from the floating museum.
Here we go out onto San Diego Bay! I see Californian, the official tall ship of the state of California, to our left.
Here we go out onto San Diego Bay! I see Californian, the official tall ship of the state of California, to our left.
It's a pleasant day out on the water. We head initially in the direction of Shelter Island and Point Loma.
It’s a pleasant day out on the water. We head initially in the direction of Shelter Island and Point Loma.
We've turned southward and pass the ships of the Maritime Museum. Some of San Diego's skyline is visible in this photo.
We’ve turned southward and pass the ships of the Maritime Museum. Part of San Diego’s skyline is visible in this photo.
There are two big cruise ships in port today. Some of these ships are larger than downtown buildings!
There are two big cruise ships in port today. Some of these ships are larger than downtown buildings!
Out toward Point Loma many sailboats are participating in a regatta.
Out toward Point Loma many sailboats are participating in a regatta.
We're continuing south and now I see the second cruise ship by the Port Pavilion.
We’re continuing south and now I see the second cruise ship by the Port Pavilion.
We've passed the USS Midway. Just enjoying the blue water and sunshine.
We’ve passed the USS Midway. Just enjoying the blue water and sunshine.
Yay! We get to slow down to photograph sea lions sleeping on a harbor buoy.
Yay! We get to slow down to photograph sea lions sleeping on a harbor buoy.
Beautiful sailboats were tilting in the breeze and many passed so close we could hear the canvas flapping.
Beautiful sailboats were tilting in the breeze and many passed so close we could hear the canvas flapping.
Looking south as we approach the Coronado Bay Bridge. Way off in the distance I see Mexico. Nearer, to the right, is a part of Coronado--the Naval Amphibious Base where Navy Seals train.
Looking south as we approach the Coronado Bay Bridge. Way off in the distance I see Mexico. Nearer, to the right, is a part of Coronado–the Naval Amphibious Base where Navy Seals train.
Under the bridge we go, looking east at two Navy ships.
Under the bridge we go, while looking east at two Navy ships.
Shortly after passing under the bridge, we turn around and head back north near the shipyards. I see BAE Systems Ship Repair's huge dry dock. These two folks were visiting San Diego.
Shortly after passing under the bridge, we turn around and head back north near the shipyards. I see BAE Systems Ship Repair’s huge dry dock. These two friendly passengers were visiting San Diego.
Back north of the Coronado Bay Bridge, now passing the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
Back north of the Coronado Bay Bridge, now passing the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
A magical look west toward sails, clouds and the descending sun.
A magical look west toward sails, clouds and the descending sun.
Here comes a speedy sailboat behind us!
Here comes a speedy sailboat behind us!
The handsome Manchester Grand Hyatt buildings. One can observe San Diego from special windows on the 40th floor. They are in the tower on the right. This Hyatt is the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast.
The handsome Manchester Grand Hyatt buildings. One can observe San Diego from two large windows on the 40th floor. They are in the tower on the right. This Hyatt is the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast.
Our tour guide points toward Seaport Village. I see the silvery Marriott Marquis to the right.
Our tour guide points toward Seaport Village. I see the silvery Marriott Marquis to the right.
I love the G Street Pier and the fishing vessels that dock by it. Just beyond is Tuna Harbor. Sometime I post photos of lobster traps and other cool stuff piled on this working pier.
I love the G Street Pier and the fishing vessels that dock by it. Just beyond is Tuna Harbor. Sometimes I post photos of lobster traps and other cool stuff piled on this working pier.
This harbor tour is going fast! We're already passing under the immense bow of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum.
This harbor tour is going fast! We’re already passing under the immense bow of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum.
Some guys watch us from the end of Navy Pier near the USS Midway Museum.
Some guys watch us from the end of Navy Pier near the USS Midway Museum.
We've returned to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There's the beautiful Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, one of our city's prized gems.
We’ve returned to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There’s the beautiful Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, one of our city’s prized gems.
And here's HMS Surprise. If this replica Royal Navy frigate looks familiar, you might have seen Russell Crowe walking her decks in Master and Commander.
And here’s HMS Surprise. If this replica Royal Navy frigate looks familiar, you might have seen Russell Crowe walking her decks in the great movie Master and Commander.
It's the distinctive County Administration Building.
It’s the distinctive County Administration Building.
About to tie up near the museum's restored Swift Boat. I went on a ride aboard her some time ago. We went further south in the bay on that tour and got a good look at many active Navy ships.
About to tie up near the museum’s restored Swift Boat. I went on a ride aboard the Swift Boat some time ago. We went further south in the bay on that tour and got a good look at many active Navy ships.
While I linger at the museum and check out lots of cool nautical stuff, the Pilot takes off on another fun tour. Should you visit San Diego, I recommend buying a ticket!
While I linger at the museum and check out lots of cool nautical stuff, the Pilot takes off on another fun tour. Should you visit San Diego, I recommend buying a ticket!

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!

Beautiful new poop deck debuts on Star of India!

This is the first weekend visitors to the Star of India can walk on the beautiful new poop deck!
This is the first weekend visitors to the Star of India can walk on the beautiful new poop deck!

We all are a part of history. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that.

The people at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are contributing to history by restoring the main deck of the world-famous Star of India. The poop deck is finished! Visitors can now enjoy the beautiful new wood deck and varnished helm and imagine putting to sea steering the romantic wheel. On a historic tall ship that is now 153 years old!

Beautifully varnished wood underfoot, meant to last another 50 or so years. The bench along the saloon's skylight will be sanded and varnished next.
The beautiful new wood deck underfoot is meant to last another 50 or so years. The bench along the saloon’s skylight will be sanded and varnished next.
The 1863 Star of India is a world treasure. It's the oldest active sailing ship in the world!
The 1863 Star of India is a world treasure. Its amazing, varied history includes circumnavigating the globe 21 times. It’s the oldest active sailing ship in the world!
A visitor rang the ship's cheerful bell while his friends talked near the binnacle and helm.
A visitor rang the ship’s cheerful bell while his friends talked near the binnacle and helm.
The helm's new varnish is still drying! In my dreams I command this amazing tall ship while standing at the wheel!
The helm’s new varnish is still drying! In my dreams I command this amazing tall ship while standing at the wheel!
A super nice Maritime Museum docent showed me how the steering mechanism works. The two opposing screw-like worms were made with amazing precision over 150 years ago!
A super nice Maritime Museum docent showed me how the steering mechanism works. The two opposing screw-like worms were made with amazing precision over 150 years ago!
The port side of the main deck has been caulked! Now just to sand and apply several layers of sealing protection.
The port side of the main deck has been caulked! Now just to sand and apply several layers of sealing protection.
The people at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are working hard to keep an important part of world history alive.
The people at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are working hard to keep an important part of world history alive.
A contrast of the finished main deck on the starboard side. Soon the entire ship's deck will be shiny like new!
The finished main deck on the starboard side. Soon the entire ship’s deck will be shiny like new!
Folks enjoy a sunny San Diego day on the newly restored poop deck of the historic tall ship Star of India.
Folks enjoy a sunny San Diego day on the newly restored poop deck of the historic tall ship Star of India.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A tale of human struggle against the elements.

A broken chain at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
A broken chain at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

These photos taken at the Maritime Museum of San Diego tell a story. It’s that never-ending tale of human struggle against the elements.

Rope and chain. Ancient inventions.
Rope and chain. Ancient inventions.
A tale of human struggle against the elements.
A tale of human struggle against the elements.
Waiting for an outstretched hand, a critical moment.
Waiting for an outstretched hand, a critical moment.
An anchor above calm water.
An anchor above calm water.
Instruments of control in a stormy world. Rope, chain and anchor.
Instruments of control in a stormy world. Rope, chain and anchor.
Life clings to chains. Rust devours chains.
Life clings to chains. Rust devours chains.
A strained connection.
A strained connection.
Necessary chains. Rusty chains large and small.
Necessary chains. Rusty chains large and small.
Human endeavor.
Human endeavor.
Ropes cast aside, perhaps hurriedly.
Ropes cast aside, perhaps hurriedly.
Ordered ropes, to harness gusts above.
Ordered ropes, to harness gusts above.
New strength.
New strength.
Bent steel, neat coils, in a tangle of dark shadows.
Bent steel, neat coils, in a tangle of untouchable dark shadows.
Worm, Parcel and Serve! A never-ending story of human ambition battling water, sun, salt and wind.
Worm, Parcel and Serve! A never-ending story of human ambition, battling water, sun, salt and wind.
Tarring at the museum.
Tarring at the museum.
New bonds, prepared.
New bonds, prepared.
A strange sculpture, or a potent symbol.
A strange sculpture, or a potent symbol.
A wrestle.
A wrestle.

This is a story of struggle with many pages. The unconquerable antagonist in every chapter is Time.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.