On Tuesday July 12, 2016, the Vietnam War era Swift Boat PCF-816 will depart San Diego for a month-long cruise up the coast of California. The captain and crew will consist of Vietnam War veterans. The “Cast Off All Lines – Swift Boats on Patrol” cruise will set sail from the Maritime Museum of San Diego at 9:00 a.m. The cruise is expected to last through August 6, 2016 stopping at many ports along the way before returning to the homeport at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. At each port, visitors will be able to meet Swift Boat Sailors, listen to educational talks regarding its history, the history of Swift Boat Sailors during the Vietnam War and even tour the Swift Boat. The scheduled dates and ports for the cruise are below. All scheduled departures times are 9:00 a.m. and arrival times at approximately 12:00 noon. The Swift Boat will be available for tours shortly after docking and until dusk while in each port.
Leg 1 July 12-July 14 Maritime Museum of San Diego to Oceanside Harbor
Leg 2 July 14-July 17 Oceanside Harbor (South end) to American Legion Yacht Club Newport Harbor
Leg 3 July 17-July 21 American Legion Yacht Club to Port of LA – Downtown Harbor north of the L.A. Maritime Museum
Leg 4 July 21-July 23 Port of LA to Port Hueneme/Oxnard
Leg 5 July 23-July 26 Port Hueneme/Oxnard to Santa Barbara Yacht Club
Leg 6 July 26-July 26 Santa Barbara Yacht Club to Channel Islands
Leg 7 July 26-July 29 Channel Islands to Marina del Rey
Leg 8 July 31-Aug 3 Marina del Rey to Long Beach Rainbow Harbor
Leg 9 Aug 3-Aug 6 Long Beach Rainbow Harbor to Ocean Institute Dana Point
Leg 10 Aug 6 arrival Ocean Institute to Maritime Museum of San Diego
Swift Boats were in Vietnam from 1965 thru 1970 and were fifty feet long constructed of ¼ inch aluminum alloy and had a crew of six. The initial mission was to maintain a continuous 24 hour sea surveillance of the 1,200 mile South Vietnam coastline, including boarding and search, to deny infiltration of arms and contraband by sea. Its’ later mission was to conduct inshore raider operations on enemy redoubts and sanctuaries boarding the deep water rivers and canals of South Vietnam to keep the enemy on the defensive and denying these vital waterways for their operations, supply and communications.
PCF 816 was one of ten Swift Boats used to train Swift Boat Sailors at Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, CA. In February 1971, the U.S. Navy donated PCF 816 (and PCF 813) to the Republic of Malta and renamed P24 (and P23, respectively). Her duties included coast guard duty, interdicting smugglers, harbor security, and search & rescue. She served for 40 years and was finally decommissioned in 2011. She was one of the last two PCF’s to be in service. The Swift Boat Sailors Association received PCF 816 from the Maltese Government in 2012 and she is currently restored, on display, and available for sea tours, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The arrival of PCF 816 from Malta to her home port of California in 2012 was just the beginning of her restoration. She needed a complete overhaul to restore her back to original. Swift Boat Sailors answered the call and returned once again to bring her back to her natural beauty.
For more information, contact Mark Gallant, Maritime Museum of San Diego, at
Office: 619-234-9153 ext. 148
In honor of World Trade Week, “Waves N’Wheels” – a display of vintage and modern watercraft and vehicles – will be on display outside the Museum on Saturday, May 21, from 10-3. The Museum tug ANGELS GATE will be tied up at the Downtown Harbor (next to the Museum). While there will be no public boarding of the display boats, the Port of Los Angeles will be offering free boat rides courtesy of Harbor Breeze Cruises. The tours will leave from the Downtown Harbor and Banning’s Landing in Wilmington.
The Port of Los Angeles will be the host for a flotilla of active duty Navy Ships! Don’t miss this historic and fun event beginning the last week of August and ending on Labor Day.
More details will be posted as they become available.
The second annual Lunar New year celebration will be Saturday, February 6, from 2 – 7 pm at the “Downtown Harbor” – next to the Maritime Museum. Enjoy lion dancers, food, and a fireworks finale! The Museum will have crafts and fun activities from 3-5 pm. Click here for the event program. And enjoy the preview on YouTube!
Saturday, December 5 is the annual Port of Los Angeles boat parade, from 6-9 pm. The Museum will be open and will host a toy drive from 6-9 pm. Stop by, donate a toy, enjoy the parade, and catch a special screening of the movie “Elf” in the downtown harbor next to the Museum. For more information, check the community calendar for updates.
Visit us on Saturday, November 7 at 11am to watch artist Karel Beck create a tattoo from start to finish. Admission to the demonstration is free.
Karel Beck has been a tattoo artist for 13 years. She has worked at Atomic Tattoo in Hollywood, Slideshow Tattoo in Venice Beach, and was a founding artist of Transitions Tattoo shop in Huntington Beach. Her specialties include color, photo realism and portraiture. You can see more of her work on instagram.
Don’t miss the visit Tattoo and Scrimshaw exhibit, on view until December 13.
Sustainable Seafood Expo is October 11th!
On Sunday, October 11, the Maritime Museum will be among the exhibitors at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Expo. Learn how the fish in your dish was caught or farmed, and how you can make sustainable seafood choices! Visit our booth to learn the history of the local fishing industry, and win a prize or two!
The 10th Annual Archives Bazaar is October 17th!
Saturday, October 17th, from 9am-5pm will be the 10th annual Archives Bazaar, held on the University of Southern California Campus. The Museum will be showcasing some of our treasures from the library and artifact collections. Admission is free, and over 80 archives will be participating. Explore the diversity of stories that make Southern California a place of discovery!
Museum Day Live is September 16. The Museum is proud to participate in Smithsonian Magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live by offering free admission to all visitors on Saturday, September 26. Free tickets and a full list of participating institutions are available for downloading at the Smithsonian website.
The Mexican Naval Ship ZAPOTECO will be visiting Berth 46 (in the outer harbor) and will be open for free public tours June 27-30. ZAPOTECO (MP02) is a Huasteco Class logistics vessel commissioned in 1986. The ship is 2,650 tons displacement (full load),
and has a crew of 57. Maximum Speed: 17 knots
ZAPOTECO is also used as hospital and disaster relief vessel.
(Information courtesy shipspotting.com)
Click here for the schedule and free shuttle information
The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.
The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. “Parents of young children tell us that they go together to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums helps them do both, by helping military families learn about the cultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.”
The complete list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
On Saturday, February 21, the Museum joins the Port of Los Angeles in welcoming the Lunar New Year. The center of activity will be the Downtown Harbor (next to the Museum), and will include entertainment, lion dancers, food trucks, and fireworks. The Museum will offer free family-friendly activities including a scavenger hunt and crafts from 3:00 – 5:00pm.
Mexican Naval Training Ship Offers Free Visits October 27-30
ARM Cuauhtémoc, a Mexican Navy barque, also known as the Ambassador and Gentleman of the Seas, will sail into the Port of Los Angeles next week and offer free public tours throughout the week on the LA Waterfront.
The historic vessel, with a crew of approximately 200 aboard, will arrive at Berth 46, also known as the Outer Harbor, on Monday, October 27 and be available for free public tours through Thursday, October 30.
Tour hours are:
· Monday, October 27 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
· Tuesday, October 28 – Thursday October 30 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations or tickets are not required. Free parking is available at the Outer Harbor, located at 3011 Miner Street in San Pedro.
As a sail training ship, Cuauhtémoc has operated for more than three decades and trained generations of officers, cadets and sailors in navigation and sailing maneuvers. The vessel last visited the Port of Los Angeles in 2005 as part of Tall Ships Festival LA.
Cuauhtémoc is the last vessel of a series of four windjammers. Other ships include Gloria from Columbia,Guayas from Ecuador and Simón Bolívar from Venezuela. Cuauhtémoc bears the name of the last Aztec emperor who was imprisoned and executed in 1528 by order of Herman Cortés, the conquistador.
Cuauhtémoc is a Class A, three-masted barque built in Bilbao, Spain in 1982. It was the first ship of its kind in Mexico. The ship is 297 feet in length, and weighs 1,800 tons with a rig height of 168 feet. She carries 23 sails with a maximum sail area of .6 acres. The vessel’s home port is in Acapulco, Mexico.
For more information, call the Port of Los Angeles Public Affairs office at 310-732-3508.
Kids of all ages are cordially invited to try out the Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s new children’s exhibit: “What’s Going on in the Harbor Today?” during an open house on Saturday, September 27 from 1:00pm to 4:30pm. Enjoy exploring the new, permanent exhibit, designed with the help of teachers, parents, and children. Discover the modern harbor, learn to load cargo, test your knowledge of ships, play dress up, and get ready for an afternoon of fun! Admission is free.
The exhibit was made possible by the generosity of the following: Friends of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Port of Los Angeles Community Benefit Grants, City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks, The Lee (Sher) and Joseph M. Mardesich, III Children’s Education Fund (in memoriam), Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, Southern California ILWU Pensioners, Local 13, San Pedro Retired Elks, The Corner Store, San Pedro
Of the thousands of voyages transporting Mormon migrants across the Atlantic and Pacific between 1840 and 1932, only one – the JULIA ANN – wrecked and resulted in loss of life. Now, after several years of research, Professor Fred Woods of Brigham Young University reveals an amazing story of shipwreck, faith, and perseverance. Join us on Saturday, October 4th at 1:00pm and discover the history of the 1855 shipwreck of JULIA ANN, her ties to San Pedro, and the fate of her passengers and crew in Dr. Woods’ new book and accompanying documentary: “Divine Providence: the Wreck and Rescue of the JULIA ANN”.
The presentation and film viewing are free. Dr. Woods’ book: “Divine Providence: The Wreck and Rescue of the JULIA ANN” (DVD included) will be available for sale in the Sea Chest Museum shop for $24.99 plus tax. Friends of the LA Maritime Museum receive at 10% discount.
About the Author: Dr. Fred E. Woods is a professor at Brigham Young University in the department of Church History and Doctrine and earned his Ph.D. in Middle East studies from the University of Utah with an emphasis in Hebrew Bible. His recent works include “Finding Refuge in El Paso: The 1912 Mormon Exodus from Mexico”, and he has also produced several documentaries. Dr. Woods’ specialty is the Mormon maritime migration to American in the nineteenth century, and he is the compiler and editor of the Mormon migration website http://mormonmigration.lib.byu.edu/
News: Summer 2014
Even though the Tall Ships Festival has ended, the world’s largest rubber duck will continue to visit the harbor from August 25th through September 7. After “resting” over the Labor Day weekend, the duck will return to the downtown harbor (next to the Museum) on Tuesday, September 2. It will remain here through next Saturday, and make a final appearance in Wilmington (Banning’s Landing) on Sunday, September 7.
Grand Opening of Downtown Harbor on Friday, June 20th
Celebrate the Opening of the New “downtown harbor” and plaza on Friday, June 20th from 5-8pm. Enjoy music, food, and entertainment, check out the new marina, and enjoy the new plaza at the Museum’s front door! The Museum will remain open until 7pm, so be sure to stop in for a visit and see how our exhibit renovations are shaping up.
The event is free to the public!
You can find more information and the official press release here:
News: Fall 2013
Museum to Celebrate 50th Birthday of Vincent Thomas Bridge on November 16th
On Saturday, November 16th from 1pm-3pm, the Museum will host a birthday celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Vincent Thomas Bridge. The 2.2 mile bridge, which opened in 1963, links San Pedro to Terminal Island and was the first welded suspension bridge in the United States.
Festivities include crafts, games, and a special birthday cake. A special exhibit of bridge and ferry artifacts will be on view. Admission is free.
Torrance Parker to Make Deep Dive on October 23
Renowned deep sea diver and author Torrance R. Parker, 85, will perform a live diving demonstration in a canvas diving suit with brass helmet on Wednesday, October 23 at 1:00 pm at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum followed by a book signing and reception for his second book: 20,000 Divers Under The Sea: A History of the Mediterranean and Western Atlantic Sponge Trades with an Account of Early Deep Diving.
Ms. Elisabeth Fotiadou Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles is honorary host for the event. All proceeds from book sales will go to the Friends of Los Angeles Maritime Museum.
The book presents a deep and thorough account of sponge diving from ancient Greece to its current epicenter in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Parker chronicles the history of sponge diving, an ancient trade for an ancient organism 600 million years old beneficial for humans through time — from the first sponge trade in the Aegean Sea – to its expansion into the greater Mediterranean area – to the technological change introduced to the Greek sponge fishermen in 1863 with compressed air diving apparatus. Parker connects Greek immigration to America and the establishment of the sponge diving industry in Florida.
A native of Oklahoma, Parker began his diving career on a Greek sponge diving vessel at age 16 during World War II. In 1947 he arrived in San Pedro and founded Parker Diving Service Inc., a general engineering and commercial diving firm. Since its founding, the company has performed work in many parts of the United States, as well as Central and South America. Still operating under the Parker name, it is now the oldest continuously operating commercial diving company in California.
The presentation is free, and the book will be available for purchase in the Sea Chest Museum Shop. (Friends of the LA Maritime Museum receive a 10% discount)
Learn more about Torrance’s amazing career here.
Links to Media Coverage of the Event are here
Photos from the October 24th edition of the Daily Breeze are here
The Museum has received a grant from the US Navy Cruiser Sailors Association to purchase audio equipment in order to record oral histories from officers, crew, and families of the men who served aboard the USS Los Angeles CA-135. Portions of interviews will be made available on our website and will be incorporated into the Museum’s CA-135 exhibit. If you would like to participate please contact us.
The Steamship Historical Society has named the Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s tugboat ANGELS GATE as the 2013 Tugboat of the Year. The award was presented on Saturday, May 4th, during the Society’s annual conference held in Long Beach, California.
“Each year the Steamship Historical Society of America recognizes vessels, people or entities that have exemplified or made a significant contribution to the history of engine-powered vessels. ANGELS GATE was selected in recognition of her approaching 70th anniversary and the Museum’s devoted efforts to preserve her and make her available for educational and enjoyment purposes”, stated CDR John Hamma, USN (Ret), President of the Society.
See the Library’s Blog, “Adventures in Maritime History”, and a post on tattoos on blogspot.
A generous donation of several hundred books on the subject of deep diving was received in late summer, 2014. Of the many titles, ones that stand out as unique in this collection are eminently readable, such as “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough, who also wrote “The Path Between the Seas”, a history of the Panama Canal.
You can see this title and more at the LibraryThing web pages for the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library here.
Model of the fishing vessel DEL RIO, 1936.
The scratch-built model was given to Paul Petrich Sr. by modeler John Jack Greget between 1937 and 1940. At the time, Petrich was a part-owner of the real DEL RIO, a purse seiner built in 1935 by the J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA. DEL RIO worked in Los Angeles Harbor in the 1930s. In 1940 the US Navy purchased Del RIO and converted her to minesweeper AMc 19 Grosbeak, patrolling the vicinity of San Francisco Bay. After WW II, GROSBEAK was returned to the owners, and resumed her original name of DEL RIO and her original mission of fishing. On October 28, 1952, while fishing for sardines near Anacapa Island, she caught on fire and sent out a distress call. The crew was rescued but DEL RIO sank.
According to Paul Petrich, Jr. in his article Shipwreck of the Purse Seiner DEL RIO, “The DEL RIO was a representation of the life’s blood of the commercial fishing enterprise then based in San Pedro. Fishermen were recorded in San Pedro’s first U.S. Census count in 1850, and by 1909 the port town was annexed to the City of Los Angeles, in part due to its growing fishing industry. The DEL RIO was an example of a type of boat designed to use a purse seine net. The purse seine was a round-haul net which was set to circle the fish, but it could also be closed at the bottom, like a purse, when hauling the fish in.”