SpaceX rocket rises above world’s oldest active ship!

A barely visible SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rises above Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A barely visible SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rises above Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship!

My plan this cold, partly cloudy morning was to head down to San Diego’s Embarcadero to hopefully photograph today’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch.

I did manage to catch an image of the rocket’s flight, but it’s so tiny you can barely make it out! I suppose I should get a fancier, more powerful camera. Can you see the faint white streak in the above photo?

The Falcon 9 launch was from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara, about 280 miles from San Diego. To my naked eye, for a few seconds, I could see the minuscule rocket soar into the sky, through the rigging of the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India!

Star of India, originally named Euterpe, is an iron-hulled merchant ship that was built in 1863. Driven by capricious winds, the tall ship circumnavigated the globe 21 times during her storied history.

Falcon 9 is a technologically impressive space launch vehicle. During today’s mission a reused Falcon 9 lifted Spain’s advanced radar satellite Paz into a Sun-synchronous orbit of Earth.

As the satellite effortlessly orbits our planet, it will track ships that ply the ocean–ships that trace their own proud history back to the Age of Sail, when brave vessels like Star of India pushed forward to new horizons.

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 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!

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!

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!

Star of India’s magical holiday lights at night.

Star of India is lit brightly at night for the holidays in San Diego.
Star of India is lit brightly at night for the holiday season.

San Diego’s beautiful, historic tall ship Star of India is decorated for the holidays with hundreds of magical lights. They were strung along masts, yards and rigging a couple weekends ago.

Tonight I visited the Maritime Museum of San Diego and walked around their many amazing ships after nightfall. As I stood atop the museum’s Soviet B-39 submarine, I photographed Star of India’s holiday lights reflecting on the bay.

Photo of Maritime Museum of San Diego's famous Star of India, with magical holiday lights strung along masts, yards and rigging.
Photo of Maritime Museum of San Diego’s famous Star of India, with magical holiday lights strung along masts, yards and rigging.
The reflection of downtown windows and Star of India's holiday lights creates a fantastic sight after nightfall on San Diego Bay.
The reflection of downtown windows and Star of India’s holiday lights creates a fantastic sight after nightfall on San Diego Bay.

Here are some more photos taken on a later night…

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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 dramatic sunset from Star of India.

This evening I enjoyed watching the sun set as I rested for a few minutes on the always amazing Star of India. The brilliant sunset behind slanting ropes made for a few dramatic photographs.

San Diego’s beloved, famous tall ship is surrounded by such beauty.

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!