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California Calling

Posted by Tall Ships America on October 21, 2013

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

A few weeks ago, fresh off our summer in the Great Lakes, Patti, Bert and I flew out to Southern California to start planning TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Pacific Coast 2014. Our first stop was the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Home of the 150 year-old Star of India, HMS Surprise (formerly Rose and of Master and Commander fame), and Californian, along with two submarines, a steam ferry, steam yacht, pilot boat, and a replica of the first yacht to win the America’s Cup, the museum has an impressive fleet along the waterfront.

HMS Surprise

Between meetings, we had the opportunity to tour the build site of the San Salvador at Spanish Landing. The original San Salvador was a Spanish vessel which arrived in San Diego in 1542. She was the first recorded European vessel to sail along Southern California and survey the coastline (additional information about the ship and the project can be found here). Since the museum was able to close off part of Spanish Landing, they were able to utilize the space under the overpass for the workshop.

Hull San Salvador

Bert checks out the hull

Workshop under the overpass

After San Diego, we headed up the coast to San Pedro and Los Angeles. Home base to Los Angeles Maritime Institute and the twin brigantines, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, we met with reps from the Port of Los Angeles, then headed into the city of LA for yet more meetings with the tourism & convention board, and various South American consulates. In the beginning of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® process, there are a lot meetings, from the mayor to local business leaders to local Coast Guard and police. Bringing in the community is essential to the success of these events and so, we meet and talk with everyone. It can be a whirlwind of names and faces but the excitement generated is exhilarating and helps to build support for the event.

Our final stop on the trip was Dana Point, right between LA and San Diego. I had heard about Dana Point and the Ocean Institute for years and it was nice to finally (!) have the opportunity to see this wonderful program.

All too soon, it was time to head back East. We had a successful trip as evidenced by the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Pacific Coast 2014 schedule below –

Los Angeles: Tall Ships® Festival, 20-24 August

San Diego: Festival of Sail, 29 August- 2 September

Dana Point: Tall Ships® Festival, 5-8 September

Get excited.

More photos from our trip can be found on Flickr

[This post was updated 11.14.2013]

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