From March 19 through March 27, adults and children alike can visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego for “Sailor Days,” and experience a taste of life at sea.
During these days, you can experience firsthand various activities such as what it is like to make rope for sailing, move cargo, raise and lower huge sails, tie sailors knots, visit a steam engine and many more fun things to see and do. These activities vary each day. Each child can participate in a scavenger hunt around the ships learning about history while having fun, and each child will earn a prize of his or her choice from the museum’s treasure chest. All activities are included with regular admission prices.
For an additional $5.00 per person, families can sign up for a Historic Bay Cruise on San Diego Bay aboard the museum’s historic 1914 harbor pilot boat Pilot. From her launching in 1914 to her removal from regular service in 1996, the Pilot enjoyed an active career as San Diego’s chief pilot craft – assisting almost every one of the thousands of major commercial ships to enter or leave the bay during that time. Pilot was built in San Diego at a small local yard and in the years since served exclusively on the waters of San Diego Bay and its approaches. Generations of San Diego harbor pilots steamed Pilot out to sea in all conditions of weather to meet the incoming merchantmen, which, in turn, provided the flow of cargoes and passengers to support the development of a rising urban seaport.
The years since 1914 constitute virtually the entire rise of San Diego as a world center for maritime enterprise and concur precisely with the career of this vessel. San Diego possesses very few artifacts that link to the maritime past of even the early years in this century. Pilot is not only one of the few such items remaining, but arguably the most significant and evocative. No other single artifact in existence can be linked so directly to the economic rise of the region and the diverse culture supported by its economy.
The mission of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to serve as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world. The history of human achievement is defined in large measure by our historical relationship with the sea. Not only has the sea determined the progress and shape of civilization, our understanding of that relationship and our responsibilities for stewardship of the oceans will determine our future. This relationship cannot be understood or defined in purely scientific terms; culture exerts a dominating influence. The role of any maritime museum is translation between human experience of the oceans and our understanding of their nature.
The purpose of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to preserve the traditional knowledge, skills, and folk culture of the enterprise of the sea; to provide a safe repository for material culture; and to illustrate how the maritime enterprise has touched and continues to influence our daily lives through innovative and engaging educational programs, exhibits, publications, and cultural events.