Tattered, ghostly sails of the haunted Star!

tattered sails of the haunted star of india

As Halloween approaches, I’ve noticed some changes during my walks about San Diego. A few scary decorations have begun to appear here and there among houses, shops and offices. One change in particular is difficult to miss.

The Star of India has put on her tattered sails!

A spooky Star of India makes a very cool October sight on San Diego Bay. This year, visitors who experience Haunting Tales from our Seafaring Past, in addition to touring the venerable old ship, will hear ghost stories and scary legends about life at sea. Kids attending are encouraged to dress in costume. In the days ahead, I’ll probably see a lot of pint-sized pirates shuffling along the Embarcadero!

The Star of India, owned by the San Diego Maritime Museum, recently turned 150 years old. The world’s oldest active sailing ship, she was originally named Euterpe, after the Greek muse of music and poetry. During her lifetime she’s made 21 circumnavigations of the globe, and has hauled cargo, emigrants and even fish in Alaska. Various people have died on board, including her first captain, and there have been reports of ghostly sightings. Some visitors say they feel the touch of a cold hand when they stand near the mast where a young sailor, a stowaway, fell from the rigging to his death in 1884. Step aboard if you dare!

UPDATE!

Here come a few more pics from October 2014…

Morning pic of a sail in tatters for Halloween's spooky Star of India.
Morning pic of a sail in shreds for Halloween-themed Star of India.
Torn sails befit the spooky Halloween spirit.
Torn sails befit the spooky Halloween spirit.
October sign on historic tall ship reads Haunted Tales on the Star of India.
October sign on historic tall ship reads Haunted Tales on the Star of India.

San Diego Maritime Museum’s Pilot Boat.

San Diego Maritime Museum's historic pilot boat.
San Diego Maritime Museum’s historic pilot boat.

Another really cool boat on San Diego Bay is the Maritime Museum’s 1914 wooden pilot boat. Appropriately named Pilot, she served as San Diego’s main pilot boat for 82 years! Over the decades, thousands of commercial ships entered and departed the bay with her navigational assistance.

During World War II, she was used as a patrol boat by the Coast Guard. She was (and remains) decorated with 6 six-month service chevrons.

When you purchase admission to the Maritime Museum (home of the Star of India and other historic ships), you can pay a little extra and ride the Pilot for a short harbor tour. It’s a lot of fun and definitely well worth it!

Pilot boat cruises near USS Midway on Memorial Day weekend.
Pilot boat cruises near USS Midway on Memorial Day weekend.
The Pilot with sightseeing tourists cruises past a pier on San Diego Bay.
The Pilot with sightseeing tourists cruises past a pier on San Diego Bay.

Here are three more photos I took in 2016!

The first few shots were taken when this blog was relatively new.  I had no idea my blog would grow to the extent is has.  You might notice I now spend a little more time and effort with my photographs!

The 1914 Pilot Boat, with 82 years of service, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 1914 Pilot Boat, with 82 years of service, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Pilot docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Pilot docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The small Pilot sets out across San Diego Bay on a tour of the harbor.
The small Pilot sets out across San Diego Bay on a tour of the harbor.

This blog has grown tremendously over three years and 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.

Big crowd at San Diego’s 2013 Festival of Sail!

big crowd at festival of sail

Sunday afternoon brought a gigantic crowd to San Diego’s sunny waterfront. The 2013 Festival of Sail appears to be a resounding success! This photo was taken at the annual event’s busy entrance just south of the Star of India.

A huge mass of humanity also surged along the Embarcadero in the vicinity of the sand sculpture event on the cruise ship pier, and by the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Lines were long everywhere, and street vendors and performers were raking in the money!

One often hears that America’s Finest City is a top destination for tourists on Labor Day weekend…I certainly believe it!

UPDATE!

It’s almost a year later and the 2014 Festival of Sail is a couple days away! This year I’ll actually attend, brave the huge crowds and take a bunch of pics!

Banner is up a few days before the 2014 Festival of Sail!
Banner is up on Star of India a few days before the 2014 Festival of Sail!

Classic figurehead of historic ship Star of India.

Female figure at the bow of San Diego's historic Star of India.
The Greek muse Euterpe graces the bow of San Diego’s historic Star of India.

Here’s the oft-photographed figurehead of San Diego’s famous tall ship Star of India. I learned from a Maritime Museum of San Diego docent that the figurehead represents Euterpe, one of the Muses from Greek mythology. Euterpe was the muse of music. Euterpe was also the original name of the Star of India, when it was built at Ramsey in the Isle of Man in 1863. Her name was changed from Euterpe to Star of India in 1906 by the Alaska Packers’ Association, which had purchased the ship in 1901.

Closer look at Star of India’s classic figurehead.
Closer look at Star of India’s classic figurehead.

Here’s a cool pic with high contrast applied…

Figurehead of tall ship Star of India.
Figurehead of tall ship Star of India.

San Diego loves the beautiful Star of India.

star of india 01

During today’s morning walk I took a couple other photographs which I will share. Here’s a pic of San Diego’s beloved tall ship Star of India! Many visitors don’t realize that this iron-hulled three-masted bark is the oldest active sailing ship in the entire world! If you ever swing by America’s Finest City, you can go onboard and enjoy a memorable glimpse of maritime history.

With clouds of white sails fluttering in the breeze, she remains the queen of The Big Bay! She’s 150 years old and still appears to be in great condition!

Star of India’s California Historical Landmark plaque.
Star of India’s California Historical Landmark plaque.

Bonus pics taken at various later times:

A familiar sight along Harbor Drive on San Diego's Embarcadero.
A familiar sight along Harbor Drive on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Bow of Star of India includes the classic female figurehead.
Bow of Star of India includes a classic female figurehead representing Euterpe. That was this ship’s original name.
Early morning photo of San Diego's Star of India.
Early morning photo of San Diego’s Star of India.
Star of India captain's wheel and tangled Maritime Museum rigging.
Star of India steering wheel.
Beautiful sails and clouds.
Beautiful sails and clouds.
Ticket booth and entrance ramp next to the Star of India.
Maritime Museum of San Diego ticket booth next to the Star of India.
American flag flutters in the breeze at stern of the historic old ship.
American flag flutters in the breeze at stern of the historic old ship.
People out for a stroll by the Star of India.
People out for a stroll on San Diego’s Embarcadero by the Star of India.