At 138 feet, with two massive raked masts and 5,000 square of feet America is impressive. Just sitting at the San Diego dock beside the historic ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, she looks like a million bucks. (She ought to. This replica, built in 1995, cost $6 million to build.)
When you climb aboard and listen to her wooden hull creak as she turns into the wind and she takes your breath away.
America, a replica of the sailing vessel that in 1851 won the very first America’s Cup race (hence, the cup’s name) offers a most pleasant day on the waters around San Diego. For a sunny afternoon, we joined a group and felt as the wind lifted her as she glided along the choppy bay. We passed U.S. Navy ships and even a sub, along with lots of graceful sailboats that seemed as mere dots in the water next to this handsome yacht.
The San Diego-based boat offers all kinds of day trips, including whale watching adventures. Take a look at their FAQ sheet, written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Yeah, the crew was fun to sail with.
However, beginning in April and for the next year or so, America will be away from home, cruising through Panama Canal to visit the East Coast and the Caribbean as the ambassador for the 2017 America’s Cup race in Bermuda. I’m crossing my fingers I’ll see her again in Baltimore. For sure, in Annapolis.
ⓒ Text and photos by Mary K. Tilghman