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!

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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!

Royal Marines, an admiral, pirates, dancers!

British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

Today I magically traveled back in time to the early 1800s!

While visiting two Maritime Museum of San Diego tall ships at the Festival of Sail, I encountered uniformed Royal Marines, sailors in more common clothing (which was typical in the early 19th century), a distinguished British admiral, dangerous pirates, and graceful English dancers–all in period costumes!

Special thanks to the Maritime Museum Dancers, who were so very nice! Come along and let’s travel back two centuries!

An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Many colorful costumes and period attire can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Colorful costumes and historical dress can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer's wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer’s wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren't issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren’t issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail. I’m not sure how authentic these costumes are!
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum dancers!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum Dancers!
A polite kiss of a lady's hand by an English gentleman.
A polite kiss of a lady’s hand by an English gentleman.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful new main deck of the Star of India.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful, shiny new main deck of the Star of India.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The gentlemen bow.
The gentlemen bow to the ladies.

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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!

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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!

Festival of Sail tall ships at sunset!

I was lucky to get some amazing photos this evening!

After work I took a walk along the Embarcadero, knowing that most of the visiting tall ships had arrived in San Diego for the 2017 Festival of Sail. What I hadn’t expected was an absolutely glorious sunset.

The following photos concentrate on a cluster of just three ships, including the museum’s Spanish galleon San Salvador, and the Exy and Irving Johnson, the twin brigantine flagships of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. I walked back and forth along the water as the sun slowly descended into the fiery clouds.

If you’re in San Diego this weekend, make sure to check out the Festival of Sail near the Maritime Museum. You can tour lots of cool tall ships from up and down the West Coast and other historic vessels. And there will be cannon battles on the bay, special harbor tours, kids activities, tons of food and probably some roving pirates! The event runs Friday through Labor Day. As an enthusiastic member of the museum, you can bet I’ll be there!

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!