World’s largest single-masted yacht returns!

The world’s largest single-masted yacht has returned to San Diego!

The M5, originally called the Mirabella V, is now docked on the Embarcadero near the Maritime Museum of San Diego. You can find it directly across from the County Administration Building.

I spotted the towering mast while walking nearby, so I had to go take a look. That mind-blowing mast, over 290 feet high, is visible from many streets downtown!

I first saw the M5 in San Diego eight years ago behind the convention center and blogged about it here. Read that old blog post (including its comments) to learn more about this incredible sailboat.

It took these photographs this morning. It’s hard to depict the staggering size of this sloop-rigged super yacht. Suffice it to say, the mast rises higher than many downtown San Diego buildings!

You can see the mast from the other side of the County Administration Building in the next photo. (The exterior of the historic building is being painted.)

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!

Oldest locally built yacht in San Diego is restored.

The old 1902 yacht Butcher Boy has returned to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. And the historically important boat is in perfectly restored condition!

Butcher Boy is our city’s oldest locally built yacht and workboat.

For many years, as it was being restored, Butcher Boy was located at Spanish Landing under the North Harbor Drive Bridge. I posted a blog with some early stage photographs of it being worked on almost four years ago here.

Now that Butcher Boy is back in perfect sailing condition, the handsome sloop has been visiting local yacht clubs and participating in races.

Butcher Boy was built to be very fast on the water. A hundred years ago it would fly across San Diego Bay to meet incoming ships and offer them fresh provisions. Speed gave the boat a winning advantage over all would-be competitors!

I took a few photographs of the restored yacht this weekend as I walked along the Embarcadero.

You can find detailed descriptions and many photographs concerning Butcher Boy’s restoration on the Maritime Museum website here. Then read about its return to life here!

I took the following photo of a stripped down Butcher Boy at Spanish Landing back in 2018…

Here is Butcher Boy now docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego…

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!

A secret place for High Flight in Coronado.

In Coronado, in a secret place overlooking the Coronado Yacht Club, there’s a shady nook where the human spirit can find High Flight.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

–John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in England during World War II. On December 11, 1941, at the age of 19, his Spitfire accidentally collided with another plane and he crashed to his death. Learn more about him here.

If you’d like to sit on this special bench in Coronado, and gaze quietly out at the world’s beauty, make your way to the corner of Glorietta Boulevard and Ynez Place.

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!

Sparks, scrapes and chisels at the Maritime Museum!

Lots of fascinating activity today at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

As I walked about, I noticed volunteers and sail crew members were working on several very different vessels in the museum’s world-famous collection.

Sparks were flying from the black sail of the B-39 Soviet-era Russian submarine. Its life, sadly, has come to an end. Preparations are underway to tow the badly rusted Foxtrot-class diesel electric submarine to Mexico where it will be scrapped.

After watching guys using a torch on the sub’s outer hull, I walked to the far end of the Maritime Museum’s barge where the Robert Sharp’s stern was being restored. A friendly worker with a heat gun was crackling old varnish, which was then scraped off.

When I stepped onto the deck of the historic steam yacht Medea, I noticed a woodworker carefully repairing the boat’s wooden rail where it had split.

The elegant Medea has a fascinating history.

Did you know that, in addition to Medea being a pleasure yacht that cruised the isles and lochs of Scotland, it was used by France during World War I, and by the British Royal Navy and Norwegian Navy during World War II?

Learn much more here!

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!

Sunset photos at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

This evening before sunset I arrived at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

I walked out on the pier and watched the patient fishermen. San Diego Bay was glowing, peaceful.

I watched a Dole container ship loading at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, then gazed at luxurious yachts docked behind the Convention Center.

As I walked along I spotted a heron behind Joe’s Crab Shack. Then I circled back to the walkway that leads to the newly finished Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, where the San Diego Symphony will be performing this summer. Welcoming banners are now up.

For a few minutes I watched guys playing hoops on the public basketball courts.

The sun finally began setting behind boats in the Marriott Marina.

I headed home.

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!

Future Champion at San Diego Yacht Club.

Another excellent sculpture by Encinitas-based artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson can be seen beside the entrance to the San Diego Yacht Club in Point Loma. The public artwork, created in collaboration with Brian Thomas of Thomas Marine, is titled Future Champion. It was dedicated in 2010.

A bronze young sailor, wearing sunglasses, appears to be piloting a sailboat in solo competition. It’s a fantastic sculpture that really captures the essence of being out on the water, one hand holding the rudder while eyes carefully watch the wind in the sails.

The artists’ work includes another similar sculpture I recently blogged about–the sailor high on a mast holding a spyglass in front of the Silver Gate Yacht Club. See that great sculpture here!

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!

Sculpted sailor on mast at Silver Gate Yacht Club.

A fantastic sculpture rises into the sky in front of the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island.

The artwork, by renowned Encinitas-based artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, depicts a sailor high atop a ship’s mast holding a spyglass, searching for land. On a plaque at the sculpture’s base is a poem titled Homecoming by John Alger.

I’ve transcribed the first stanza:

When sailors set for distant shore, with songs upon their ears
They dream of seas both fair and strong, to leave behind the tears
Of loves and those who dwell on land, and ne’er know the sea
Or ports o’ call in distant land, this yearning to be free…

The sculpture–mast and figure–is made of steel and bronze. The sculpture was created in collaboration with Brian Thomas of Thomas Marine. It was dedicated in 2011.

I’ve photographed other great sculptures by T.J. Dixon and James Nelson all around San Diego. You can see them here and here and here and here and here!

Plaque at base of the Silver Gate Yacht Club sculpture includes the poem Homecoming by John Alger.
Plaque at base of the Silver Gate Yacht Club sculpture includes the poem Homecoming by John Alger. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)

Sculpture of sailor on mast with spyglass, by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, at San Diego's Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island.
Sculpture of sailor on mast with spyglass, by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, at San Diego’s Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island.

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!

An enormous sailing yacht, way up in the air!

Look what I saw as I walked past the Driscoll Mission Bay Boat Yard yesterday. A gigantic sailing yacht, suspended way up in the air!

That towering mast appeared about as high as a five-story building!

How did that enormous boat get up there?

Now that’s one peculiar sight!

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!

America comes home to San Diego.

Tall ship America, owned by Next Level Sailing, turns about in San Diego Bay as it comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.
Tall ship America, owned by Next Level Sailing, turns about in San Diego Bay as it comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.

Earlier this month, on December 11, America came home to San Diego, after a long and very eventful journey representing The America’s Cup. Its epic America’s Cup Tour included many stops, from the Gulf of Mexico up the East Coast and then south again to the Caribbean. During the tour it hosted throngs of visitors and was welcomed by some of our nation’s finest yacht clubs.

But there was also one very dangerous adventure! In October the ship had to take shelter from Hurricane Matthew by heading up the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, where it docked in a less windy spot behind the large Hyatt building. America survived with little damage!

The beautiful ship is a replica of the schooner America that beat 15 top British racing yachts in a 53 nautical mile regatta around the Isle of Wight in 1851. The Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Guinea Cup, won easily by the New York Yacht Club, became a challenge trophy known as the America’s Cup. Today it is the oldest international sporting trophy in existence.  (San Diego’s own legendary yachtsman Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup four times.)

The replica America that makes San Diego its home is owned by Next Level Sailing, and it is glorious to behold when under sail. Now that the America’s Cup Tour is safely over, it is once again available for charters and whale watching adventures out on the blue Pacific.

This afternoon I happened to catch America out on San Diego Bay, heading in to the Maritime Museum, where it docks. I got a few photos before I hurried back home to take shelter from tonight’s storm! Not a hurricane, thank goodness!

America passes the Maritime Museum of San Diego's Soviet Foxtrot B-39 submarine. It's a cloudy New Year's Eve afternoon, with a storm on the way.
America passes the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Soviet Foxtrot B-39 submarine. It’s a cloudy New Year’s Eve afternoon, with a storm on the way.

America carefully approaches the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley.
America carefully approaches the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley.

Time to tie her up to the dock.
Time to tie her up to the dock.

A member of America's crew leaps through the air to secure the beautiful ship, a replica of the racing schooner that ushered in The America's Cup.
A member of America’s crew leaps through the air to secure the beautiful ship, a replica of the victorious racing schooner that ushered in the America’s Cup.

Welcome home, America!
Welcome home, America!

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!

World’s largest single-masted yacht in San Diego!

Mirabella V is the largest single-masted yacht in the world! It's gigantic!
Mirabella V is the largest single-masted yacht in the world! It’s gigantic!

I had to blink my eyes a couple times during my walk today. I was behind the San Diego Convention Center, where lots of visiting super yachts are docked, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

That huge ship in front of me looked like the largest sailboat on planet Earth!

As it turned out, my first impression wasn’t far from the truth!

A little searching on the internet proved that I had spotted the Mirabella V (today more commonly called M5), a sloop-rigged super yacht launched in 2003. Registered in the Isle of Man, it’s the largest single-masted yacht ever built. It’s 292 feet high! That’s almost the height of a 30-story skyscraper! It’s so tall, it won’t fit under any bridge accessible from the ocean. Not even the Golden Gate Bridge!

It’s hard to appreciate the mind-boggling immensity of this amazing vessel with these quick pics, but I thought they were worth sharing anyway.

You never know what extraordinary thing you’ll encounter during an ordinary stroll!

People walk past huge boat docked behind convention center.
People walk past huge boat docked behind convention center.

A cool, unexpected sight. Mirabella V is visiting San Diego on this sunny October day.
An unexpected sight. Mirabella V is visiting San Diego on a sunny October day.

Here are a couple more pics I snapped on October 19…

People walk toward Hilton hotel and giant mast of a world-record super yacht.
People walk toward Hilton hotel and giant mast of a world-record super yacht.

Mirabella V has a mast that is higher than nearby San Diego buildings!
Mirabella V has a mast that is higher than nearby San Diego buildings!

Here’s another pic I took in March 2015…

People enjoying a day on San Diego Bay return to sailing super-yacht M5.
People enjoying a day on San Diego Bay return to sailing super-yacht M5.

Check out what I saw on April 12, as I was walking along!

During another walk I noticed an airplane in the water beside M5.
During another walk I noticed an airplane in the water beside M5.

The super-yacht's crane lifts the small seaplane from San Diego Bay into the air!
The super-yacht’s crane lifts the small seaplane from San Diego Bay into the air!

Crew members pull on ropes to swing the airplane toward the ship's deck.
Crew members pull on ropes to swing the airplane toward the ship’s deck.

This tiny seaplane is about to be set on a super gigantic sailing ship!
This tiny seaplane is about to be set on a super gigantic single-masted sailing yacht!

The plane is secured to the rear deck of the amazing M5 yacht.
The plane is secured to the rear deck of the amazing M5 yacht.

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