January 10, 2012

The San Salvador: 1

Drilling holes for bolts to attach the ribs to the keel.

Forcing myself to stand up, to whip together a sandwich, and to get on the road was truly difficult. I could so easily just stay sitting here at my computer reading blogs, working on the Nazi pieces, and being comfortable at home.

That wasn’t the goal. I needed to get off my bum and out of my comfort zone. So I packed a picnic and headed to the bay. Unlike Tugster’s New York’s waterways, my bay is a quiet backwater. Sitting for hours of watching would only net me volumes of small craft and a very few even larger navy ships. But action along the edges of the bay is truly interesting.

This was my third visit to the San Diego Maritime Museum’s San Salvador construction site. The first two times I didn’t know that visitors could watch the construction at a closer view point for a fee. Museum members get in free.

The construction site is on a now closed street loop near the airport. The ship itself is being built on the old road near a bridge abutment, and the workshops are underneath the bridge. A good use of a no longer in use paved area.

I ate my sandwich by the bay over a mediocre book….I’m no longer fond of being frightened…then sauntered over to the welcoming tent. Museum members do indeed get in free. The work site is welcoming also. Workers stopped what they were doing to tell me what was happening, and along the way I learned new terms….like “stem.” The bow stem had been installed over the New Year holiday, but it was now down preparatory for the final shaping and bolting together with bronze bolts.

I watched them take it apart for a while then wandered down toward the keel to see what the men were doing there. One was shellacking a gusset like stack of wood between the keel and the stern stem, and another pair were attaching the ribs to the keel. I like photos of people at work.

I’ll go back several more times over this next year to watch the progress of this most daring expeditionary galleon.

Applying shellac near the stern stem.

A model of the San Salvador.


  1. Wonderful ship and what a great way to spend some time.

  2. Oh she's going to be loverly. I am mad about ships. Thanks for the photos. Dianne

    PS why do we have to get out of our comfort zones anyway??

  3. You made a learning experience out of getting out of the house. Thanks for the photos....

  4. Exciting. Will it actually be put into the water or is it just for sitting near the museum. What is the funding?

  5. I forgot to add that I also could sit at home forever and it really takes an effort for me to get out...especially in this cold weather.

  6. What a super outing. I would never have thought of bringing a sandwich, but what a great picnic.

  7. It must have been so nice to get out of the house for a change. I should do that more often.


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George coming down Peter’s hall that’s lined with wood and artifacts from wonderful ocean liners of the past .             We ...