Meet the Californian

She is swift, she is sleek, and she is built after the revenue cutter C.W. Lawrence.  Meet the Californian.

california pic

Official Tallship Ambassador of the State of California, she was built right here in our own backyard in Spanish Landing Park in San Diego.  Today the San Salvador is following in her footsteps with viewing of her progress open to public observation.

A multinational approach was used in her construction–making Californian a truly unique vessel.  Her wood came from Belize, among other places, Master Shipwright Jayford Hazell arrived from Jamaica to work on Californian, and Mexican pesos were even used in lieu of regular metal slugs.

The day of her launch quickly approached and on May 28th, 1984 a crowd gathered to see her set sail for the first time.  Unfortunately the beach was too shallow and the wheels of the launching cradle sank in the silt, preventing her launch #oops.  Californian was towed down Harbor Drive to the Coast Guard Air Station and launched the next day from one of the seaplane ramps instead.

One of her more memorable achievements is leading the 4th of July boat parade celebrating the opening of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

Californian has visited many ports representing the state, made a Millennium Goodwill Voyage through the Panama Canal for the OP-Sail 2000, took eight tons of medial relief supplies to Acapulco to aid victims of the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake, and has make many other goodwill voyages.  She has also been featured in Hollywood.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego acquired Californian from the Nautical Heritage Society in 20o2.  Since then she has been restored, embarked on another goodwill tour, used as an educational vessel, and used for public and private sailing adventures.

I have personally had the pleasure of sailing aboard the Californian and loved every minute of it.  I learned many fun facts about sailing and even got to haul the lines and steer!  It is definitely one of my favorite San Diego memories.  If you’re interested in sailing, Adventure Sails are available to the public through our website:

Come by and meet her!

Fair winds,

Erica Geary

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