Mexico's Tall Ship Cuauhtemoc - 03 NOV 2017

Cuauhtemoc (Daily Breeze image)
Visiting the Port of Los Angeles for the third time, the above ship is celebrating "The Year of Mexico in Los Angeles."
This windjammer is a Mexican Navy sail training vessel built in 1982 in Bilbao, Spain.
It is a steel-hulled, three-masted barque. Build with a single 1125hp diesel engine with a single shaft, allowing for speeds up to 10 knots.
On the average she carries 220 tons of fuel and 110 tons of fresh water. Due to the lack of space for a water purification system, she is limited to 45 days at sea before needing to resupply.
Its rig is over 16 stories high and carries 23 sails, over half an acre of cloth. It is 297 feet in length and weighs 1,800 tons.
Bearing the name of the last Aztec emperor, it has a large bright brass figurehead of Cuauhtemoc.
Her crew contains 9 senior officers, 44 officers, 43 cadets, 122 enlisted personnel and invited officers from foreign navies. 
Some of the foreign navy patches we saw, included Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and the United States.
They teach traditional nautical arts including astronomical navigation and magnetic compass as well as modern day navigation systems.
Translation: The School Ship "Cuauhtemoc" - The day of its flagging is born as Mexican, with the mission of exalting the sailor spirit of the future officers of the armada of Mexico and with the oath of its endowment of offering until its last effort to make it a worthy and noble cradle where it can continue to strengthen the minds and spirits of those who embark in their bosom. Pursuing the goal of education to better serve your country. The crew of the "Cuauhtemoc" school is prepared to transmit the message of friendship and good will of Mexico, as well as proudly fly the Mexican flag in the ports and seas of the world. H. Veracruz, Ver. 25 September 1982.
Emblems from some of the sailing events, in which they participated.
The stern was roped off, it looked like they were preparing for a VIP reception.
The person we spoke to, said they have a crew of 234 of which 13 are female. I just happen to catch all of them posing for a photo op.
We had trouble finding anyone who speaks English. First (below, on left) was an officer from Brazil who speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. Then we found a US officer from Texas (on right). 
We saw four different uniforms:
When we arrived there were men hanging off the bow polishing the figurehead (see below, right).
Notice all the bowed heads (above, left); everyone who wasn't entertaining guests was on their cell phone.
I had to ask the Texan what the white macrame lanyard meant.
It holds the whistle (bosun's pipe) used by the Petty Officer (usually three of them) who relay commands via whistle signals.  
As we were leaving, I noticed several men stringing lights, I went back at sunset to see the results.

Paranormal RMS Queen Mary - 23 OCT 2017

Each year, Rob and I try to have a new Halloween related experience. In years past, I haven't been able to photograph any of the haunted houses, but this year I was allowed to bring a camera to a real haunted hotel, the RMS Queen Mary.
Launched in 1934, the QM sailed the North Atlantic from 1936 to 1967, when she was retired and purchased by Long Beach to become its' tourist attraction.
Considered the 6th most haunted place in the United States, there are many documented sightings of apparitions. Not surprising since there have been close to 60 on board deaths.
Our tour guide was Kelly, enthusiastic young woman, self-described as a "Scaredy-Cat" who once locked her boyfriend out of their shared apartment for pulling a spooking prank. She has worked on the Queen Mary for nearly two years and was very knowledgeable about all things QM related, including its ghosts. 
We started our tour on Deck M (level 4) in the Mauretania Room, where the 'Woman-in-White' has been seen many times by different people. This room is rented out for small parties/receptions. Three staff members were setting up the room in 1989, when they noticed a woman in a white evening gown sitting on the other side of the room, with her hands in her lap and her head down. They started cleaning and when they reached the unknown woman, one of them said to her, "Madam, we need you to move so we can mop the dance floor." The women just sat there, didn't look up or acknowledge the workers. One of the staffers went to call security and when she returned, the woman was gone. She asked her co-workers, "Where did she go?" "We don't know. After you left the room, she looked up, looked to her right, looked to her left and then just disappeared." All three workers reported seeing this apparition and said it lasted for about 10 minutes, making it the longest recorded ghost sighting. There have also been several complaints from customers using this room, which claim an uninvited women dressed in white appears in their party pictures.
We walked pass the Third Class Nursery, now a storage room for the gift shops. Over the years, several guests have complained about the sound of a child crying, coming from that room. One guest was so insistent that they had to have a janitor open the room to prove it only contained boxes.
These doors were once the entrance to a Barbershop and a Beauty Parlor and a woman has been seen walking through the locked doors.
The First Class Swimming Pool (dry since it docked here) has the most paranormal activity with a supposed vortex for spirits in the locker room.
Unfortunately it was closed for repairs, so I could only shoot the above image through the window of the door.
To get to the bow we had to walk through part of this years' "Dark Harbor" new Halloween maze inspired by the real QM murder of a chef who was locked in his own walk-in oven by disgruntled sailors. No photos were permitted of the maze.
The forward room storage in the bow is used to store the rope used to tie up the ship when in port. This is the part of the ship that was damaged in 1942 when the QM, acting as a WWII troop carrier, dissected the HMS Curacao, killing 338 men.
Also in this area is a grate that looks down several levels to where WWII prisoners of war were crammed into a very hot, dark storage area with buckets for toilets. Hence this area has had several documented paranormal activities.
Our last stop was the broiler room.
The narrow cat walks and ladders have been replaced with sturdy walk ways and stairs suitable for tourist.
A massive, eerie room with several ghost sightings. 
During a routine drill in 1966, automatic watertight doors were closed and a young engineer was crushed to death by this No 13 door.
Considering its long history, many deaths, it is not surprising the Queen Mary is a hotbed for all types of paranormal activities. Many of which have been captured on several TV and Internet shows.

San Salvador - 6 OCT 2017

Image: Maritime Museum of San Diego
Visiting San Pedro on October 6-11, was this replica of the San Salvador.
It was built by craftsmen and volunteers of the San Diego Maritime Museum and was first launched in 2016.
The original San Salvador set sail in June 1542, on a voyage for California with Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in command.
It was a 200 ton galleon built in Guatemala in the late 1530's.
Looking for a new trade route to China, it arrived in San Diego on September 28, 1542.
It was the flagship of a small squadron and carried supplies and 100-120 men.
They are believed to be the first Europeans to come ashore in California, landing near present-day Point Loma.
Cabrillo named it San Miguel (today called San Diego Bay) and claimed the land for Spain.
The ships later continued up the coast stopping at Santa Catalina and San Clemente and passed through the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.
When strong winds forced them back to Point Conception, the ships anchored at one of the Channel Islands now call San Miguel.
During their week stay, Cabrillo broke his leg. 
It is believed he died from gangrene from this injury (January 3, 1543) and was buried on Catalina Island. 
His second-in-command brought the ships back to Navidad, arriving on April 14, 1543.
It is hard to imagine 100 men on this small ship, much less cargo, supplies, weapons, and animals (chickens, pigs, horses).
Cabrillo is a popular name in San Pedro. We have Cabrillo Beach (with two separate beach areas), Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Cabrillo Way Marina, Cabrillo Avenue Elementary School, and Cabrillo Liquors & Fine Wine.