Help restore the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley!

Banner along entrance gangway explains the Historic National Landmark 1898 Steam Ferry Berkeley Preservation Project.
Banner along entrance gangway explains the Historic National Landmark 1898 Steam Ferry Berkeley Preservation Project.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic 1898 steam ferry Berkeley is undergoing much-needed restoration. The wooden superstructure, exposed for many years to direct sunlight and weather, is in need of repair, as you can see from a couple of my photographs. The south side of the ship, which receives the most sunlight, is in especially poor condition. Work has already begun there.

The museum has received funding for the restoration in the form of a $200,000 grant from the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. This prestigious grant will match every dollar contributed by the public. Funds are being used to create a watertight, weatherproof, much more durable structure that will last for another generation.

Every contribution you make will be effectively doubled by the matching grant. To make your 100% tax-deductible donation, and learn much more, please visit this page.

To see more photos of this truly amazing vessel and learn about its special place in history, you might want to visit this past blog post. Berkeley was not only the first screw propeller driven steam ferry on the West Coast, but it assisted in the evacuation of a burning San Francisco after the devastating earthquake of 1906. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of that blog post and read the extensive comment by the former museum librarian, who provides more fascinating information concerning the Berkeley!

The beautiful Berkeley is hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The vessel houses many exhibits, and hosts special events and education programs.
The beautiful Berkeley is hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The vessel houses many exhibits, and hosts special events and education programs.
Damage from the sun, salt, wind and weather is visible in this photo taken shortly before restoration began.
Damage from sun, salt, wind and weather is visible in this photo taken shortly before restoration began.
Guests to the museum are asked to be part of preserving local history. Contributions can be made online. Every dollar will be matched by a Maritime Heritage Grant.
Guests to the museum are asked to be part of preserving local history. Contributions can be made online. Every dollar will be matched by a Maritime Heritage Grant.
Scaffolding along a section of the steam ferryboat Berkeley's south-facing side. Restoration has begun.
Scaffolding along a section of the steam ferryboat Berkeley’s south-facing side. Restoration has begun.

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Photos of beautiful tall ship Stad Amsterdam.

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

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

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

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

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

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Evening photos of Stad Amsterdam in San Diego.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque–cleaned!

San Diego's historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque has been cleaned!
San Diego’s historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque has been cleaned!

Look what I spotted recently during a walk along the Embarcadero. The historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque, part of the Greatest Generation Walk near the USS Midway Museum, has been beautifully cleaned. The corrosion is gone!

Whoever is responsible–it looks great!

The fascinating origin of this once mysterious Navy plaque, forged in 1975 on fleet repair ship USS Ajax, was revealed here.

In that blog post you can see a photo of the old corrosion, which has now been removed!

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!

Boy Scouts improve Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt help Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson move logs in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt help Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson move logs in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.

Over the past year and a half, some amazing young men have been working to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. These community-minded Boy Scouts, with the help of the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, have undertaken projects in the historic grove in order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

You might remember the photos that I posted of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. It’s tucked away in a corner of Florida Canyon, not far from Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course. The 66 live oak trees were planted in 1905 to memorialize 66 sailors killed on the USS Bennington on July 21st of that year. The gunboat’s boiler exploded while it was in San Diego Bay, and many men tragically perished.

The efforts of these hardworking Boy Scouts have added beauty, safety and memory to the old oak grove. Four have successfully become Eagle Scouts. They are Joshua Ortega, Sam Kinsey, Frederick Persons and Erik Ortlieb. The projects of two other young men are now underway.

Most of these photographs have been contributed by local historian Kathleen Winchester. She and other members of the DAR’s San Diego Chapter have been instrumental in providing coordination and encouragement as the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove is improved. Please read the photo captions to appreciate the unselfish work of these young men.

I have learned the grove’s kiosk will eventually contain the names of those who perished aboard the USS Bennington. And very soon a flagpole will be raised in the grove-the project of another Boy Scout.

In 2014, the San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution partnered with the San Diego Park and Recreation Department and the Friends of Balboa Park as part of the latter’s “Adopt-A-Plot” program and adopted the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

The local DAR intends to purchase more oak trees to replace dead ones. If anyone wants to help with this worthy endeavor, contact the San Diego Chapter of DAR. All contributed funds will go straight to the purchase of trees.

As you can see in a few of the photos, U.S. Navy sailors from the San Diego homeported aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have also lent a hand. Their involvement is especially meaningful as Teddy Roosevelt was the President of the United States in 1905 when the USS Bennington disaster occured. President Roosevelt was a conservationist who would have loved this shady grove of majestic oaks.

The sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, by helping to beautify the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove, honored their fellow seamen from an earlier time.

The USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park has been improved by some amazing young men working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
The USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park has been improved by some amazing young men working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
The oak grove's entrance sign is an Eagle Project undertaken by Erik Ortlieb of Boy Scout Troop 4 in La Jolla.
The oak grove’s entrance sign is an Eagle Project undertaken by Erik Ortlieb of Boy Scout Troop 4 in La Jolla.
Erik Ortlieb poses with Kathleen Winchester of the DAR by the sign he built on October 16, 2016. It welcomes visitors into the beautiful old oak grove.
Erik Ortlieb poses with Kathleen Winchester of the DAR by a post of the wooden sign he built on October 16, 2016. The sign welcomes visitors into the beautiful old oak grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Sam Kinsey works on the trail that leads into the historic USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.
Boy Scout Sam Kinsey works on the trail that leads into the historic USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Joshua Ortega finished a footbridge in the grove just days before his 18th birthday. He is now attending Pepperdine University.
Boy Scout Joshua Ortega finished a footbridge in the grove just days before his 18th birthday. He is now attending Pepperdine University. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Plaque on the bridge reads Eagle Scout Project - Joshua R. Ortega - Troop 299 - June 2016.
Plaque on the bridge reads Eagle Scout Project – Joshua R. Ortega – Troop 299 – June 2016.
Boy Scout Frederick Persons poses in front of the new kiosk he built. Around him are volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 295.
Boy Scout Frederick Persons poses in front of the new kiosk he built. Around him are volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 295. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Crew members of San Diego aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt lend a helping hand by rolling logs that will border a path though the grove.
Crew members of San Diego aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt lend a helping hand by rolling logs that will border a path though the grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson and U.S. Navy sailors roll logs into place in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.
Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson and U.S. Navy sailors roll logs into place in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Maxwell Thomson poses with friends among logs which now mark the trail through the revitalized USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove!
Maxwell Thomson poses with friends among logs which now mark the trail through the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
15-year-old Maxwell Thomson takes a short break as DAR San Diego Chapter members cheer him on!
15-year-old Maxwell Thomson takes a short break as DAR San Diego Chapter members cheer him on! Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.

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!