Dreams of gold on the darkening blue.

Admiral Hornblower on blue San Diego Bay gleams in the last rays of daylight.
Admiral Hornblower on blue San Diego Bay. It gleams in the last rays of daylight.

This evening I glimpsed dreams of gold on the darkening blue…

The darkening ship moves across the water toward a golden sunset.
The ship moves across the darkening water toward a golden sunset.
Youth row a Maritime Museum longboat as the sun sets, perhaps dreaming of finding pirate gold.
Young students row a Maritime Museum of San Diego longboat as the sun sets. Perhaps they dream of finding pirate gold.
Rowing forward across the water, all together as if in one shadowy dream.
Rowing the longboat forward across the water. They move together, as if in one twilight dream.
A trail of gold gleams behind a ship heading into evening darkness.
A trail of gold glistens behind Admiral Hornblower as it moves into the mysterious distance.

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!

Ships of every type converge on the Embarcadero.

A sailboat glides between beautiful yacht America docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the shining downtown skyline.
A sailboat glides between beautiful yacht America docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the shining downtown skyline.

Ships are like small islands of human activity. So it’s interesting when a variety of different ships, each serving a unique function, converge and dock in one place.

Yesterday evening many different ships were huddled together on the Embarcadero. There were the usual museum ships and harbor tour ships that call San Diego their home. I also saw: the enormous Disney Wonder cruise ship; The World, which is the largest residential yacht on the planet, containing 165 apartments; the Coast Guard cutter Stratton, which recently offloaded around 50,000 pounds of cocaine and heroin intercepted at sea; and the Maersk Launcher, which assisted in the drug operation.

I walked to the end of Navy Pier and watched different vessels come and go, as the sun set.

The sails of Star of India rise beyond one cathead of HMS Surprise.
The sails of Star of India rise beyond one cathead of HMS Surprise.
Late sun through the colored glass at Carnitas Snack Shack on the very busy Embarcadero.
Late sun through the colored glass at Carnitas’ Snack Shack on the very busy Embarcadero.
The World and the Disney Wonder at dock in San Diego.
The World and the Disney Wonder at dock in San Diego.
The illegal drug intercepting Coast Guard cutter Stratton is docked at the Broadway Pier next to the San Diego Festival of Beer.
The illegal drug intercepting Coast Guard cutter Stratton is docked at the Broadway Pier next to the San Diego Festival of Beer.
A bustle of activity seen from Navy Pier. The Spirit of San Diego harbor tour ship and a bus converge near parked cars.
A bustle of activity seen from Navy Pier. The Spirit of San Diego harbor tour ship and a bus converge near parked cars.
The Maersk Launcher at anchor in San Diego Bay.
The Maersk Launcher at anchor in San Diego Bay.
A photo of The World and Disney Wonder as sunset approaches in San Diego.
A photo of The World and Disney Wonder beyond the Port Pavilion as sunset approaches in San Diego.
Late sunlight on shining downtown buildings.
Late sunlight on shining downtown buildings.
The Disney Wonder backs away from the B Street Pier as it departs on another cruise. Many ships and boats cross paths on San Diego Bay.
The Disney Wonder backs away from the B Street Pier as it departs on another cruise. Many ships and boats cross paths on San Diego Bay.

Yesterday evening I posted photos of the amazing sunrise over Balboa Park on my Beautiful Balboa Park website. Follow the link if you’d like to see them!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Furling the sails of brigantine Exy Johnson.

Nimble members of the Exy Johnson crew furl the tall ship's sails after a cruise on San Diego Bay.
Nimble members of the Exy Johnson crew furl the tall ship’s sails after a cruise on San Diego Bay.

One final blog post concerning the 2017 Festival of Sail.

After spending most of Labor Day in Balboa Park, I finally walked down Laurel Street to San Diego Bay. I wanted to savor one last look at the visiting tall ships.

As I lingered near the Exy Johnson, crew members were climbing about the rigging, furling the many sails. It’s always a breathtaking sight: godlike sailors risen into the blue sky, the masters of white clouds…

Securely furling the brigantine's square topsails high on the foremast takes muscle, coordination and concentration.
Securely furling the brigantine’s square topsails high on the foremast takes strength, coordination and concentration.
Dangling high above the water!
Dangling high above the water!
Several of Exy Johnson's hardworking crew wrestle a jib sail onto the bowsprit.
Several of Exy Johnson’s hardworking crew wrestle a jib sail onto the bowsprit.
Carefully scrambling about the beautiful tall ship.
Carefully scrambling about the beautiful tall ship.
Teamwork is required as a staysail is neatly furled.
Teamwork is required as a staysail is neatly furled.
The final day at the Festival of Sail is almost over. The masts and yards of the docked brigantine appear bare.
The Festival of Sail approaches its end. The masts and yards of the docked brigantine now appear bare.
Sky-riding sailors, a common sight in the bygone Age of Sail.
Sky-riding sailors, a common sight in the bygone Age of Sail.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Stepping aboard the beautiful Bill of Rights.

The beautiful tall ship Bill of Rights is participating in the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
The beautiful tall ship Bill of Rights is participating in the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

Yesterday I stepped aboard the beautiful Bill of Rights. The tall ship, based in San Diego’s South Bay city of Chula Vista, is participating this Labor Day weekend in the Festival of Sail.

The crew of the Bill of Rights were all very nice to some silly blogger guy asking a few questions. I did learn that Bill of Rights, a two-masted gaff rigged schooner, was built in 1971 based on drawings of Wanderer, an 1856 ship that transported cargo from New Orleans to New York.

I learned Bill of Rights can be chartered for a variety of unique adventures on San Diego Bay or the Pacific Ocean. How exciting would it be to sail on her? The ship will also be used this year for Sea Cadet sailing voyages to Catalina.

Finally, I learned that Bill of Rights is about to have its mandatory every-ten-year Coast Guard inspection, which involves removing the rigging and unstepping the masts. It’s an operation that is quite expensive for a non-profit, requiring hiring a crane, etc. I was told any donations would be really appreciated! Visit their webpage here.

Come aboard and let’s look around just a little bit…

Bill of Rights is a schooner whose design is based on the 1856 ship, Wanderer.
Bill of Rights is a schooner whose design is based on an 1856 ship, Wanderer.
A crew member was at work in some shade near the ship.
A crew member was at work in some shade near the ship.
She and the captain give me a friendly greeting.
She and the captain give me a friendly greeting.
Some Festival of Sail visitors were already onboard, walking about the deck.
Some Festival of Sail visitors were already onboard, walking about the deck.
Interesting people, a fantastic ship, good times.
Interesting people, a fantastic ship, good times.
More friendly crewmembers in seafaring attire chatting by the wheel.
More friendly crewmembers in seafaring costumes chatting by the wheel.
Once the sails are raised, Bill of Rights can take to the sea like those tall ships of old.
Once the sails are raised, Bill of Rights can take to the sea like those tall ships of old.
Looking along the deck.
Looking along the wooden deck.
Looking down at the main deck of Bill of Rights, a very cool tall ship based in Chula Vista.
Looking down at the main deck of Bill of Rights, a very cool tall ship based in Chula Vista.
Smiles and good times at the Festival of Sail!
Smiles and good times at the Festival of Sail!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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!

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!

Ships, water, light and magic.

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I finally got my act together. Late this afternoon I renewed my annual membership in the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Why?

Perhaps it’s that deep feeling of living inside history.

Perhaps it’s the light-splashed ships.

Perhaps it’s the water like molten silver and its dancing, inexpressible magic.

Perhaps it’s the sea, and my longing for a far horizon.

I can’t think of the right words.

So I’ll let my small camera speak its own language. I took these photos before sunset.

UPDATE! I substituted one of this post’s original photos with a new one taken a week later. Can you guess which one? The sky is a bit different, but it’s still the same time of day–perhaps an hour or less before sunset.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos aboard historic steam ferryboat Berkeley.

Golden light on the steam ferryboat Berkeley, hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I believe I took this photo a year or two ago.
Golden light on the steam ferryboat Berkeley, hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I believe I took this photo a year or two ago.

Over the years, I’ve taken many photos around and aboard the historic steam ferryboat Berkeley. The beautiful old ship is the hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of these photographs. Read the captions to learn a little about the Berkeley’s fascinating history.

Berkeley, built in 1898, was originally operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad on San Francisco Bay. It was used to ferry up to 1700 passengers per trip between the transcontinental train terminus at the Oakland Pier and the San Francisco Ferry Building across the bay. The Berkeley was also used after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to rescue thousand of refugees, which were brought out of the fire-devastated city safely over to Oakland.

Berkeley was acquired by the Maritime Museum of San Diego in 1973, and today she houses a large number of fascinating historical exhibits on her lower deck. She is both a National Historic Landmark and California State Historical Landmark, and a cool sight that many like to visit on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Personally, I love to head up the stairs to the McKinney Deck, where passengers used to cross the water in elegance. I have often seen ferry visitors and members of the Maritime Museum of San Diego sitting on the beautiful wooden benches simply reading or enjoying a relaxing moment. It’s like being transported back into another era. The atmosphere is quite amazing, as you will see…

Plaque in front of the ferryboat Berkeley, which was the first successful West Coast-built ferry to be driven by a screw propeller as opposed to side wheels.
Plaque in front of the ferryboat Berkeley, which was the first successful West Coast-built ferry to be driven by a screw propeller as opposed to side wheels.
Downtown San Diego skyscrapers and masts of HMS Surprise and Star of India can be seen in this photo of the upper passenger deck and one of two pilot houses.
Downtown San Diego skyscrapers and masts of museum ships HMS Surprise and Star of India can be seen in this photo of the Berkeley’s upper passenger deck and one of two pilot houses.
Southern Pacific Lines logo on a pilot house.
Southern Pacific Lines logo on one pilot house.
Photo over the roof of the ferryboat, with a black funnel projecting into the blue San Diego sky.
Photo over the roof of the ferryboat, with a black funnel projecting into the blue San Diego sky.
I'm getting ready to look inside the pilot house on the west end of the Berkeley. I see the County Administration Building.
I’m getting ready to look inside the pilot house on the west end of the Berkeley. I see the County Administration Building.
The wooden wheel, binoculars and other instruments used to pilot the ferry.
The wooden wheel, binoculars and other instruments used to pilot the ferry.
Many forms of communication were used during ferry operation. The Berkeley's pilot houses contained a radio receiver, the ship's whistle, and two voice tubes.
Many forms of communication were used during ferry operation. The Berkeley’s pilot houses contained radio receivers, the ship’s whistle, and two voice tubes.
Standing outside, peering into the elegant Dan McKinney Deck of the Berkeley.
Standing outside, peering into the elegant Dan McKinney Deck of the Berkeley.
Visitors aboard the Berkeley look at the beautiful long wooden benches and stained glass windows of the upper passenger deck.
Visitors aboard the Berkeley look at the beautiful long wooden benches and art glass windows of the upper passenger deck.
Different stained glass windows on the ship infuse the passenger deck with colored light.
Different art glass windows on the ship fill the passenger deck with many-colored light.
More exquisite stained glass. Passengers would cross San Francisco Bay in style.
More exquisite art glass. Passengers would cross San Francisco Bay in style.
Walking through the passenger deck.
Walking through the passenger deck.
Sunlight on one comfortable, warm wood bench. Wouldn't you like to sit here?
Sunlight on one comfortable, warm wood bench. Wouldn’t you like to sit here?
A painting of the ferry Berkeley and a relic from its history.
A painting of the ferry Berkeley and a relic from its history.
More beauty aboard the old ship, which is now docked in San Diego Bay.
More beauty aboard the old ship, which is now docked in San Diego Bay.
I assume the fancy B is for Berkeley, but I'm not sure.
I assume the fancy B is for Berkeley, but I’m not sure.
Refreshments used to be served here during bay crossings. Today the Berkeley is often used for special events and drinks are still served.
Refreshments used to be purchased here during bay crossings. Today the Berkeley is often used for special events and drinks are still served.
Over the years, many thousands of passengers were served.
Over the years, countless thousands of passengers were served.
Ferryboat Berkeley,1898, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This vessel possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America.
Ferryboat Berkeley,1898, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This vessel possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America.
One of four old photos on the passenger deck. Berkeley was launched on San Francisco Bay on October 18, 1898.
One of four old photos on the passenger deck. Berkeley was launched on San Francisco Bay on October 18, 1898.
Berkeley was never a car ferry. The open deck below carried luggage carts for passengers transiting between the end of the railroad at Oakland and San Francisco.
Berkeley was never a car ferry. The open deck below carried luggage carts for passengers transiting between the end of the railroad at Oakland and San Francisco across the bay.
The Berkeley was heroine of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake story. She carried refugees to safety nonstop for three days and nights.
The Berkeley was heroine of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake story. She carried refugees to safety nonstop for three days and nights.
In 1973, Berkeley was towed down the coast to San Diego to begin a second life as floating museum.
In 1973, Berkeley was towed down the coast to San Diego to begin a second life as floating museum.
And what a beautiful museum she is! Many exhibits can be seen on the lower deck, where ferry passengers used to haul their luggage carts.
And what a beautiful museum she is! I haven’t included them in this particular blog post, but many cool exhibits can be seen on the lower deck, where ferry passengers used to park their luggage carts.
Gazing down some steps at a museum workshop aboard the Berkeley.
Gazing down some steps at a museum workshop aboard the Berkeley.
Gazing from the passenger deck outside toward San Diego Bay. Other museum ships, including Californian and San Salvador, are docked along a float west of the Berkeley.
Gazing from the passenger deck outside toward San Diego Bay. Other museum ships, including Californian and San Salvador, are docked along a float west of the Berkeley.
One of the ferry's old lifeboats.
One of the ferry’s old lifeboats.
Looking up at the pilot house on the ferry's bay-facing end.
Looking up at the pilot house on the steam ferry’s bay-facing end.
Some folks on the other end looking out at downtown San Diego and the Waterfront Park.
Some folks on the other end looking out at downtown San Diego and the Waterfront Park.
An old sign above one doorway says a Lunch and Grill Room are on the Lower Deck.
An old sign above one doorway says Lunch and Grill Room on Lower Deck.
That old sign was uncovered beneath accumulated paint. Working on an old vessel is a bit like an archaeological dig.
That old sign was uncovered beneath accumulated paint. Working on an old vessel is a bit like an archaeological dig.
Looking from the Embarcadero at the Berkeley, over the Maritime Museum of San Diego's deep diving submarine USS Dolphin.
Looking from the Embarcadero at the Berkeley, over the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s deep diving submarine USS Dolphin.
The handsome steam ferryboat Berkeley now greets visitors on San Diego Bay.
The handsome steam ferryboat Berkeley now greets visitors on San Diego Bay.
People walk through history aboard a beautiful old vessel.
People walk through history aboard a beautiful old vessel.

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!