Barge moves San Salvador replica across San Diego Bay

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SAN DIEGO -- A full-sized replica of the San Salvador, which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542, was transported today to a shipyard in Chula Vista in preparation for launching next month.

The vessel was built by around 500 volunteers associated with the Maritime Museum of San Diego over four years at Spanish Landing Park, across from Lindbergh Field. A plan to transfer the vessel onto a barge Sunday afternoon was scrapped because of inclement weather.

With better conditions today, the move to Marine Group Boat Works was accomplished.

"This is a truly monumental day for the Maritime Museum of San Diego, our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, the San Diego region and the state of California,'' said Dr. Ray Ashley, CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. "Recreating the San Salvador has been years in the making.''

The San Salvador, which will sail along the California coastline as a floating classroom, matches the original in size, weighing 150 tons and measuring 92 feet long by 24 feet wide.

The materials used to construct the San Salvador came from across the globe, including: Angelique wood from Suriname, Sapele wood from Nigeria, Southern live oak from the U.S. state of Georgia and Douglas fir from the Pacific Northwest.

"You can see the dedication in every bit of the San Salvador, from the keel to the deck,'' said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "We are thankful to the Maritime Museum for their resolve in building such a fine ship and offering it to the region as an educational opportunity for not only our children, but every San Diegan and visitor interested in exploring our origin story.''

The San Salvador will make its public debut over Labor Day weekend, during the museum's Festival of Sail.

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