Sunset photos from Waterfront Park.

This evening I sat on a bench by the fountains of Waterfront Park and watched the sun slowly set behind the beautiful tall ship Star of India.

As light turned from silver to gold, I took this series of photographs…

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!

Varnishing the beautiful Star of India.

Boats require a lot of maintenance. The 157-year-old Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, is no exception!

This afternoon I walked around the Star of India’s main deck and saw that new coats of varnish have been applied to some of the historic tall ship’s rails, posts, belaying pins, various panels, signs, the ship’s wheel and other wooden elements. And the work continues!

A friendly volunteer explained there’s a lot of sanding to do first.

Once the varnish is applied and dries, San Diego’s beloved Star once again shines brightly.

To my eyes more beautiful than ever!

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!

A world’s “top three” maritime museum needs help!

Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego has been rated one of the top three maritime museums in the entire world, and the best in the United States.

For many museums that rely on a stream of paying visitors, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing financial strain. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is no exception.

I received a letter in my mail today from the museum’s President and CEO, Dr. Ray Ashley. You can read it online by clicking here.

The current COVID-19 crisis has placed the historic ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the doldrums–that region just north of the equator where there’s little or no wind.

Without visitors, the museum is struggling. They’ve had to lay off 80% of the staff. They are relying on volunteers and new donations as they try to sail through a region that is “far more complex, ominous, and intimidating that a few degrees of latitude ever were.”

I know there are people reading this blog who love San Diego and its treasured Maritime Museum as much as I do, if not more. At this moment in time, the museum really needs our help.

Click here!

Cool photo memories from August 2015.

Another month has slipped away already? Summer is halfway over? The days fly quickly!

Well, I suppose it’s time to once again turn the clock back and recall what I was blogging about five years ago.

In August 2015 a whole bunch of interesting things were going on in San Diego!

In Old Town the early trades of San Diego came to life again, and Mark Twain and other famous authors seemed to rise from the dead! On the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, an extraordinary Moby Dick reading marathon activated the imagination of those who listened. In Balboa Park, a special exhibit retold the history of the Spanish Village colony of artists, and suffragettes went on a march! At Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers were still in San Diego and putting on their annual FanFest!

And much more was happening all over the city, from Hillcrest to Chula Vista! Of course, I also saw a lot of fascinating activity downtown during my walks.

It was one very fun month!

Click the following links to see many photos!

Trades That Shaped the West live on in Old Town.

White whale glimpsed from deck of world’s oldest sailing ship.

History of Spanish Village artists in Balboa Park.

Photos of San Diego Chargers 2015 FanFest.

Photos of art come to life at CityFest in Hillcrest.

Twain and classic literary characters roam Old Town!

Workers install engraved name pavers at Broadway Pier.

Fishermen unroll a huge net onto Tuna Harbor pier.

Photos of good times at Chula Vista’s HarborFest!

Suffrage rally and parade celebrates 19th Amendment.

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 phone or 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.

Yes, even Athena and Euterpe wear face masks!

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is a serious matter. But this morning I didn’t expect to see two powerful Greek deities wearing face masks!

I spotted the great Olympian goddess Athena and the Muse of music Euterpe wearing face coverings during my walk along the Embarcadero!

Athena is the figurehead of HMS Surprise, and Euterpe graces the bow of Star of India. Both famous tall ships belong to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

UPDATE!

I’ve now been told the figurehead of HMS Surprise is actually Boadicea, who, according to Wikipedia was “queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire.” This probably makes more sense, as HMS Boadicea was a ship commanded by fictional character Jack Aubrey during the Napoleonic Wars in the series of novels by Patrick O’Brian. Aubrey also commanded HMS Surprise.

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!

Star light on a beautiful morning.

A gentle winter morning on the Embarcadero.

The rising sun tinted clouds across San Diego Bay.

Lights strung on the beautiful tall ship Star of India were on, creating a magical scene…

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 photos of Star of India in dry dock!

Here’s something few people see!

The oldest active sailing ship in the world, Star of India, built in 1863 in Ramsey, Isle of Man, is presently resting inside a dry dock at San Diego’s BAE Systems shipyard!

I snapped a few photos during a harbor tour today!

I learned from a docent at the Maritime Museum of San Diego that the Star of India must periodically enter dry dock for a hull cleaning and inspection. After the cleaning removes algae and other material from the iron hull, the beautiful old merchant ship, stripped of excess weight, will float higher in the water!

I took these photos at a distance, but you can see the very unusual contrast: one of the world’s most famous tall ships, its masts soaring high above a huge dry dock, between modern Navy vessels!

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!

Evening beauty aboard Star of India.

It was unusually hot and humid today. So after work I headed down to the Embarcadero, to enjoy cooler air coming off San Diego Bay.

I boarded the beautiful, historic tall ship Star of India and, breathing in fresh air, watched changing clouds and the summer sun as it slowly descended. I saw many sailboats. It was a perfect day to be above the shining water.

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!

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!

Star of India, painted by light and by hand.

The STAR, by artist Marie Huggin.
The STAR, by artist Marie Huggin.

I was drawn to the Star of India today. I sat on a wooden bench of the historic tall ship and gazed out at sailboats gliding across the sparkling water of San Diego Bay.

Finally I stood up and walked about the Star of India’s sunny deck, trying to frame interesting effects of light and shadow with the lens of my camera.

Later, as I walked through the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s other vessels, I halted inside the Compass Gallery of the steam ferry Berkeley. My eyes were held fast by an exhibition of paintings titled Sea and Shore. Many of the canvases, painted by the hands of local artists, all members of the Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego, depict the Star of India.

I thought that contrasting a few of my photos with some of the dreamlike artwork might be fun.

Dozens of pieces in the Compass Gallery are available for purchase! If you’d like to sail through an ocean of beautiful nautical paintings, and perhaps take one home, head downtown to the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

Bert and Wes Working on the STAR, by artist Jeffrey Remmer.
Bert and Wes Working on the STAR, by artist Jeffrey Remmer.

She Rests, by artist Pamela Ingwers.
She Rests, by artist Pamela Ingwers.

Aloft on STAR of INDIA, by artist Norm Daniels.
Aloft on STAR of INDIA, by artist Norm Daniels.

The STAR of INDIA at Sunset, by artist Pamela Ingwers.
The STAR of INDIA at Sunset, by artist Pamela Ingwers.

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!