Photos of Star of India heading out to sea.

Star of India and Californian head south along the channel out of San Diego Bay, out into the Pacific Ocean.
Star of India and Californian navigate south down the channel of San Diego Bay, heading out into the Pacific Ocean.

I will remember this amazing morning for the rest of my life.

Standing on the Bayside Trail of Cabrillo National Monument, near the end of the Point Loma peninsula, I watched as Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, headed out of San Diego Bay into the wide blue Pacific Ocean.

It was a truly historic moment, and magical.

The Star of India, now 155 years old, is sailing this weekend for the first time in five years.

Tall ships Californian and San Salvador, which also belong to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, accompanied the Star of India, as did two other tall ships based in San Diego: America and Cloudia. I saw Bill of Rights, a tall ship that makes its home in Chula Vista, heading out of the channel a bit later in the morning.

Please enjoy these photos.

People walk down Cabrillo National Monument's Bayside Trail in order to watch a bit of sailing history.
People walk down Cabrillo National Monument’s Bayside Trail in order to watch a bit of sailing history.
The north part of San Diego Bay, visible from the Bayside Trail. In the distance, with other historic ships, Star of India makes its way around North Island.
The north part of San Diego Bay is visible from the Bayside Trail. In the distance, with other tall ships, Star of India makes its way around Coronado.
Star of India is towed past Naval Base Point Loma as it heads out of San Diego's harbor toward the open ocean.
Star of India is towed past Naval Base Point Loma as it heads out of San Diego’s harbor toward the open ocean.
Star of India is accompanied during its historic sail by Californian, San Salvador, America and Cloudia. Bill of Rights would leave the channel a bit later in the morning.
Star of India is accompanied during its historic sail by Californian, San Salvador, America and Cloudia. Bill of Rights would leave the channel a bit later in the morning.
Californian and Star of India pass Naval Air Station North Island.
Californian and Star of India pass Naval Air Station North Island.
The downtown San Diego skyline behind Star of India and Californian.
The downtown San Diego skyline behind Star of India and Californian.
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 amazing group of tall ships is almost out of the channel and into the wide open ocean.
The amazing group of tall ships is almost out of the channel and into the wide open ocean.
Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, and Californian enter the Pacific Ocean together.
Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, and Californian enter the Pacific Ocean together.
Behind come America, Cloudia and galleon San Salvador.
Behind come America, Cloudia and the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
Pure magic. Like a dream.
Pure magic. Like a dream.
The beautiful tall ships continue past Point Loma, making their way south.
The beautiful tall ships continue past Point Loma, making their way south.
A view of the beautiful tall ships from Cabrillo National Monument's Bayside Trail.
A view of the tall ships from Cabrillo National Monument’s sunny Bayside Trail.
155 year old Star of India and its companion tall ships sail across the water on an historic weekend in November, 2018.
155 year old Star of India and its companion tall ships sail across the water on an historic weekend in November, 2018.
I and a few other photographers head back up the Bayside Trail to get more photos as the ships head out to sea.
I and a few other photographers head back up the Bayside Trail to get more photos as the ships head out to sea.
Californian and America on the distant water. Mexico lies on the horizon.
Californian and America on the distant water. Mexico lies on the horizon.
Five amazing tall ships together on the peaceful Pacific Ocean.
Five fantastic tall ships together on the peaceful, blue Pacific Ocean.
A magical vision of historic tall ships seen from the end of Point Loma. Time's curtain seems to open, and we peer into the past.
A magical vision of historic tall ships seen from the end of Point Loma. Time’s curtain seems to open for a moment, and we peer into the past.
People enjoy the magic near a bench on the Bayside Trail.
People enjoy the magic near a bench on the Bayside Trail.
Star of India crew members can barely be seen upon its yards. The sails will soon billow in the wind.
Star of India crew members can be seen upon its yards. The sails will soon billow in the wind.
The ships sail past the end of Point Loma. My old camera can barely photograph them at this distance.
The ships sail past the end of Point Loma. My old camera can barely photograph them at this distance.
Out into the wide, hazy Pacific Ocean.
Out into the wide, hazy Pacific Ocean.
People just below the whale watching overlook of Cabrillo National Monument watch the ships. They gaze past the New Point Loma Lighthouse down by the water's edge.
People just below the whale watching overlook of Cabrillo National Monument watch the ships. They gaze past the New Point Loma Lighthouse, which is down by the water’s edge.
Ships melt into the hazy distance.
Among smaller boats, the tall ships are just visible in the hazy distance.
Photographers try their best to get good photos of the tall ships that are now far away.
Photographers with powerful cameras do their best to get good photos of the tall ships that are now very far away.
Light reflects from a passing plane. The Coronado Islands poke out of the haze. And the Star of India sails proudly on the open Pacific Ocean.
Light reflects from a passing plane. The distant Coronado Islands poke out of the haze. And the Star of India sails proudly upon the Pacific Ocean.
A vision I will remember for the rest of my life.
A vision I will remember for the rest of my life.

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!

Californian returns to magical light.

As I stood at the edge of San Diego Bay late Sunday afternoon, Californian returned across the water to its home at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Californian, official tall ship of the State of California, floated into a world of magical light.

Yesterday I had a chance to go aboard Polynesian canoe Hikianalia, which was offering tours to the public over the weekend. The traditional voyaging canoe will conclude its environmentally themed ocean journey and return to Hawaii later this month.

I added lots of cool photos with an update to my original post here!

It’s hard to believe this silly blog has now surpassed 3000 followers. Thank you for coming along on my walks!

Where to next?

Who knows?

Star of India sail crew prepares for history!

The Star of India, built in 1863, the oldest active sailing ship in the world and oldest iron-hulled merchant ship afloat, will once again take to the Pacific Ocean in November!

History will be made as she embarks on her first sail in five years. The short voyage upon the ocean off Point Loma and up the coast will be guided by a new captain, and made possible with the heart, muscle and skill of volunteer crew members.

This afternoon the Star of India’s sail crew was high up in the rigging practicing. From the deck below I watched as they set sails, squared yards, and performed some of the acrobatics aloft that are necessary to perform their duty with coordinated precision.

As members of the sail crew rehearsed their ballet in the sky, others were meeting in the Star of India’s saloon, charting the historic ship’s voyage into the future. An exciting future!

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!

Fun photos of the Sea Chantey Festival!

Today I enjoyed an extraordinary event. I boarded the Star of India at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and experienced the annual Sea Chantey Festival!

Here come fun photos!

You’ll see two musical groups performing in these photographs: first Raggle Taggle, then Kick up the Dust. Others groups who had the audience clapping their hands and dancing on the ship’s deck were the Jackstraws, Gemini Junction, Sportive Tricks, and The Chanteymen.

I saw many people in costume. I found myself in the company of pirates and sea captains and ladies in Victorian dress. Members of the Maritime Museum’s sail crews hauled ropes and climbed the rigging while traditional sea chanteys were sung.

Everyone jumped when two cannon shots rang out across San Diego Bay. Heads turned. Like a vision from the past, the official tall ship of the State of California, Californian, which is also one of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s beautiful vessels, sailed on past.

It was pure magic. Every moment.

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!

The beauty of coiled, knotted, magical ropes.

Late yesterday I sat for a spell on the poop deck of Star of India, gazing out across San Diego Bay. The cool sea breeze felt so refreshing after a day of summer heat. White sails traversing the sparkling water gave my eyes a welcome rest.

As my attention shifted, I became aware of the tall ship’s ropes that rose in a web all around me. Many were fastened to a row of wooden belaying pins along the ship’s rail.

Those beautiful ropes seemed like magic. Silent and unbreakable, coiled and knotted–twisted, mysterious, purposeful. Threading together a small wind-tossed world.

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 inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.

The stern of HMS Surprise, the beautiful ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.
The stern of HMS Surprise, the beautiful ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.

If you’ve watched the memorable movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, you might recall the fictional British warship HMS Surprise was center stage for most of the film, which was set during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is now home to the working ship that was used in the filming of Master and Commander. Originally built in 1970 as a replica of the HMS Rose, a British 24-gun frigate from 1757, the ship was purchased by 20th Century Fox in 2001 and modified to appear in scenes in the 2003 film. Because of its starring role in Master and Commander, the ship was subsequently re-registered as HMS Surprise.

The critically acclaimed movie, starring Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, was based on a series of popular novels written by Patrick O’Brien. Russell Crowe has been lobbying for a sequel for over a decade now. According to what I’ve heard, there’s a possibility the sequel might finally be made.

The museum recently debuted a new exhibit aboard HMS Surprise called Man-of-War, and along with many new signs on the main deck and gun deck, the captain’s great cabin is now open to the public. (You can see other aspects of the new Man-of-War exhibit here. Clicking the link will take you to a past blog post concerning HMS Surprise, where I’ve added updated photographs.)

Several memorable scenes in the movie take place inside the great cabin. Among others, you might recall scenes of officers dining and strategizing as they pursue the French privateer Acheron around Cape Horn to the Galapagos Islands, and of Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin playing the violin and cello.

While I’ve been told much of the filming of Master and Commander was done on movie sets, the great cabin visitors see on the working ship HMS Surprise is much like the one portrayed in the movie.

The great cabin of HMS Surprise is now open to the public. Several displays provide interesting information.
The great cabin of HMS Surprise is now open to the public. Several displays provide interesting information.
Sign reads the Great Cabin in the stern of the Surprise was reserved for the captain's use. Here he slept, held council with his officers, and entertained his invited guests.
Sign reads the Great Cabin in the stern of the Surprise was reserved for the captain’s use. Here he slept, held council with his officers, and entertained his invited guests.
Photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise. In real life the space feels cramped and the table is small. The large stern windows are a familiar sight in the movie.
Photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise. In real life the space feels cramped and the table is small. The large stern windows are a familiar sight in the movie.
Unlike most of the crew, the captain enjoyed wine and ate in style.
Unlike most of the crew, the captain enjoyed wine and ate in style.
Historically, guns were deployed in the great cabin during battles at sea. To make room, furniture was removed and placed in a longboat which was then towed behind the ship!
Historically, guns were deployed in the great cabin during battles at sea. To make room for the gunners, the furniture was removed and placed in a longboat which was then towed behind the ship!
Another photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.
Another photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.
Photo on wall recalls a scene in Master and Commander. Captain Jack Aubrey shares a toast with ship's doctor and officers.
Photo on wall recalls a scene in Master and Commander. Captain Jack Aubrey shares a toast with ship’s doctor and officers.
A display in the great cabin concerns prize money and medals. After a victorious battle, captains and crews were rewarded by the British government.
A display in the great cabin concerns prize money and medals. After a victorious battle, captains and crews were rewarded by the British government.
Gun on the starboard side of the great cabin, next to a chest and swords hung at the ready in case the ship was boarded by the enemy, or sailors mutiny.
Gun on the starboard side of the great cabin, next to a chest and swords hung at the ready in case the ship was boarded by the enemy, or sailors mutiny.
A violin on a stand. The favorite musical instrument of the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey.
A violin on a stand. The favorite musical instrument of the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey.

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!

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!