Dave McVean – 6/9/15

On September 28, 1542, the San Salvador sailed into San Diego Bay, under command of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.  He brought with him the first European explorers to visit the west coast of California.  They were cautiously welcomed by the local Kumeyaay Native Americans.  Today, a replica of the 200 ton, Spanish Galleon is nearing completion at the Spanish Landing Park, along North Harbor Drive.  The plan is to move the San Salvador to a barge within the next 30 days.  Then move the barge down to NASSCO where a large crane will set the ship afloat!

San SalvadorDave McVean is the former Chair of the Maritime Museum, an avid supporter, historian and volunteer for the San Salvador build, he provided the Optimist Group with an update on the San Salvador project.  Did you know the cargo of the San Salvador included about 150 crew members, numerous goats, chickens and two horses?  How did they fit all those people and animals in a ship that is 100 feet long and 24 feet wide?  The build operation has cost about $6.5 million in lumber, supplies and paid staff, and over 90,000 hours of donated labor.  There are more than 20 varieties of wood used in the construction of the vessel.  Some coming from as far away as Nigeria and Central America.

According to Dave, “San Salvador was the most powerful war ship on the west coast of the Americas when she set sail from Guatemala in 1539.  In 2015, she will be the most powerful educational tool on the West Coast.”  The San Salvador will offer insights into the history of San Diego and California, allowing teachers and students to explore the social, political, cultural and economic growth of the state.

We are all awaiting the successful launch of the San Salvador and wish to congratulate and thank the San Diego Maritime Museum on the near completion of this mighty venture.


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