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Media Day At The Maritime Museum Of San Diego

HMS Surprise Sets Sails

Surprise_John_Campbell0080098.JPGSURPRISE -- As AZBW representative John Campbell said, "They'll let anyone drive." He is shown at the helm of HMS Surprise on Dec. 29 when members of the media were invited aboard to preview this January's "Battle of Sails," an exciting and popular production of the Martime Museum of San Diego.

By John Campbell
Arizona Boating & Watersports Representative

Dec. 29 was Media Day, and I had the privilege of representing Arizona Boating & Watersports for this preview of the Maritime Musuem of San Diego Battle of Sails set for the weekends of Jan 17-18 and Jan 24-25. The decks will roll, sails will catch the wind and the cannons will roar!!

Our ship for the day was HMS Surprise. Her sparred length is 175 feet, and her rig: a fully rigged ship. She was originally built as a replica of the historic British frigate HMS Rose. She was renamed Surprise whan she was cast for the movie rendition of Patrick OíBrienís novel Master and Commander, Far Side of the World. Built in 1970 in Nova Scotia, Canada, she is true to the age of fighting sail in the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800s.

We were honored to be aboard Surprise, which was skippered by Capt.Chris Welton. He has had a Captainís License for 25 years and has been captaining the tallships for the past eight years. We had a crew of 22, but Surprise can have as many as 45 aboard. The Maritime Museum of San Diego has 150 volunteers, and 130 are sail qualified. They performed their tasks efficiently and were very personable and helpful to all of the passengers.

For more information, see the related story on page A4 of this issue or visit the Web site:

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