Sunday, November 30, 2008

Field Trip - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Since our last Field Trip had us going north, it was time to head south again to the San Diego area.

We considered hitting another one of the museums at Balboa Park, but wanting to see something new, we changed our minds at the last minute. A little Googling was done and the Maritime Museum of San Diego was picked.

The Maritime Musem is on San Diego Bay and offers a world-class collection of historic ships and offers tours of the bay.

We started out briefly exploring the main attraction - the Star of India. The Star of India is the oldest ship in the world that still maintains a regular sailing schedule. Launched on the Isle of Man in 1863, the ship has served as both a cargo and passenger transporter and has made 21 trips around the globe.

It's been in San Diego since 1923. Steam had made sailing ships obsolete and a San Diego reporter led the charge to purchase the ship for $9000.

For the next three decades, the ship languished as the depression and WWII delayed her restoration. It wasn't until 1976 until the ship sailed again - for the first time in fifty years. The ship is still taken out at least once a year by the museum.

A ghost in the galley

Skylights above the dining table

Captain's quarters

Captain's quarters, pt II

Celeste trying out the reproduction of a passenger bunk

Looking up at a mast & volunteers hanging xmas lights

After our brief visit to the Star of India, we had to head over to the museum to board the Pilot for a tour of San Diego Bay. The 45 minute boat tour only adds $3 to the ticket price and is well worth the cost.

The Pilot was launched in 1914 as the official pilot boat for San Diego Bay. Harbor pilots are responsible for steering large vessels safely into and out of the bay. Pilots board the ship, take command and return the veessel to the captain after it has docked or left the bay.

Pilot served for 82 years, and after a restoration it entered the museum's fleet.

We took in the sights of the bay, including Naval Air Station North Island...

USS Ronald Regan (CVN-76) & USS Nimitz (CVN-58)
...the San Diego skyline...
...Coronado Bridge...
and the USS Midway Museum.
In fact, we were able to get right up under the Midway Museum (definitely a future Field Trip).
Dad - can you spot the H-34 here? Click on the photo to enlarge.

Tail of one of the meanest-looking fighter jets, F-4 Phantom II

Back at the museum, we explored what would be Allie's favorite ship, the steam ferry Berkeley. Built in 1898, the ferryboat operated for 60 years on San Francisco Bay. Aboard the vessel are the museum's offices, a research library, exhibition space, workshop, store, etc.
upper deck

photos, part of The Art of the Boat exhibit
A quick lunch in Klaus (the living/dining/bedroom on wheels)...
...and we went back to the India to take in more of this extraordinary ship.
Finally we toured the museum's H.M.S. Suprise and Russian Foxtrot-class sub B-39.

H.M.S. Surprise is a replica of an 18th Century Royal Navy Frigate. Built in 1970, the ship was used in the 2004 film Master and Commander. Purchased from 20th Century Fox in 2004, the ship is not currently seaworthy, but the museum plans to restore it.

And the Soviet sub. Ironically, the sub spent a good deal of it's life keeping an eye on US ships. Now it's in the backyard of one of the US's largest Naval areas. It's periscope is set to spy on the USS Midway, docked a mile or so to the south.
she's gotta try out all of the bunks

onboard vodka dispenser

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Celeste sure seems sleepy!
Who was that ghost in the galley? She looks a little familiar... long blonde hair...