The Californian has just returned from a bay outing and we had the ship to ourselves to explore. It was fun getting a ‘deck view’ of this tall ship.
Californian was built from the ground up in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay. She was launched with great fanfare for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In July 2003, the Governor signed a bill into law designating the Californian as the official tall ship of the State of California. She is the only ship to carry this prestigious title.
The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The Revenue Cutter Service, along with four other federal maritime agencies, was consolidated into the United States Coast Guard in 1915.
The ship now known as HMS Surprise began life in 1970 as a replica of the 18th century Royal Navy frigate Rose. During the next 30 years Rose sailed thousands of miles as an attraction vessel and sail training ship prior to her conversion to HMS Surprise. For the academy award winning film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, the filmmakers made a painstaking effort to recreate a 24 gun frigate specific to Great Britain’s Nelson era Royal Navy. The result is a replica vessel unmatched in its authenticity and attention to detail.
On a trip to San Diego last month, I had the opportunity to visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego. These are the sails of the Star of India. It is the world’s oldest active sailing ship. She began her life on the stocks at Ramsey Shipyard in the Isle of Man in 1863. Iron ships were experiments of sorts then, with most vessels still being built of wood. Within five months of laying her keel, the ship was launched into her element. She bore the name Euterpe, after the Greek muse of music and poetry.