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Reconstructing San Salvador talk by Dr. Ray Ashley

January 29, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Reconstructing San Salvador, Cabrillo’s galleon of 1542 – California’s Origin Story

Salvador Group in San Diego

With San Salvador’s framing nearly complete and the stem and beakhead fitted, it’s easy to imagine the ship that she will become. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is building a full-sized, fully functional, and historically accurate replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship, San Salvador.

For generations the 1542 voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo – the first incursion of Europeans into the waters off the US West Coast – has served as California’s origin story. This talk will provide a glimpse into the medieval world of Cabrillo, a figure shrouded in mystery, and explain the modern process of reconstructing his ship for which no plans were ever drawn, from which no remains exist, and for which the only surviving image is a mysterious pertroglyph located in a remote and isolated desert canyon – possibly the earliest image of an historic event in all of American history. Spend an evening on a voyage of discovery!  Project Website.

Northwest Seaport and the Steamship Virginia V Foundation co-hosts this talk by renowned museum director, Dr. Ray Ashley.

FREE.  Donations to support program costs.

Dr. Ray Ashley is President/CEO of the San Diego Maritime Museum. Growing up lo-cally, he became director of the San Diego Maritime Museum in 1995. He holds a BA in Anthropology from UCSD, an MA in Maritime History and Museum Studies from East Carolina University, and a PhD in History from Duke University, specializing in the his-tory of science, technology and medicine. He also has a degree in Philanthropy manage-ment from the center on Philanthropy at Inidana University. He has taught courses in his-tory and archeology at UCSD and USD, has published papers in American Neptune and a number of other professional journals, and writes a quarterly column for the Maritime Museum’s peer reviewed journal Mains’l Haul.

Dr. Ashley has been sailing for most of his life since spending his senior year in high school on the schooner Westward and has sailed, built, restored, renovated and preserved ships for many years before he came to the Maritime Museum and in the years since. He is a licensed captain for sail, steam and auxiliary vessels of 200 tons domestic (500 tons international) registry, is the Star of India’s navigator and sails as relief captain for the other vessels of the Museum’s active fleet including the State tallship Californian, steam yacht Medea, and Pilot.

Dr. Ashley is a member of many civic and professional organizations and serves or has served on the Boards of the Council of American Maritime Museums, Sea Education As-sociation of Woods Hole, MA, the North American Society for Oceanic History, the Nautical Research Guild editorial board, the American Sail Training Association, Cabrillo Festival, and the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the World Ship Trust, and is Presi-dent of the American Ship Trust. In 2007, Dr. Ashley was Conference Chair for the Eighth International Maritime Heritage Conference, hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

He lives in Chula Vista with his wife Carlynn (with whom he sailed a 25’ boat through the South Pacific) and daughters Brienne and Neva.



January 29, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Northwest Seaport


Virginia V at the Historic Ships Wharf in Lake Union Park
860 Terry Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109
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