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San Salvador Visits the Central Coast


The complex rigging on the San Salvador. Photo by Anne Petersen.

by Anne Petersen

On September 15, staff of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation visited an exciting new mobile living history exhibit, the replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s ship the San Salvador, which was docked for a few days at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum.

The original San Salvador sailed up the coast of California in 1542 to aid Spain’s search for trade routes, and made the first European contact with many Native Californians. Though period ships are not available to inform the reproduction, the San Salvador team conducted exhaustive and fruitful research and used period appropriate tools and materials wherever possible.


SBTHP staff get comfortable in the ship’s galley. Photo by Anne Petersen.

The San Salvador’s permanent home is at the San Diego Maritime Museum, where it was constructed. SBTHP staff visited the ship during one of three stops on its first excursion, which also included Monterey and Morrow Bay.   We are assured that the ship will be traveling again in 2017, maybe to a port near you! If you are able to see it you will not be disappointed.  It is an experience not to be missed.


The San Salvador stands proudly in the harbor.


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