SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A group constructing a $6.2 million replica of the San Salvador at Spanish Landing Park Wednesday installed the final wooden plank in the vessel's hull, which is considered a major milestone.
Now that the so-called "whiskey plank" has been put in, the hull can be treated, sealed and painted, and work can begin on the inner fixtures of the full-size replica galleon.
"It's an occasion for a party when you reach this point. It's kind of like launching or commissioning or laying a keel or the other waypoints of construction," said Ray Ashley, president of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
"Everyone's always looking for a reason to mark progress and to celebrate, and so putting the last plank in the bottom of the ship is one of those moments," he told CBS News 8.
More than 200 volunteers with the museum have worked on the replica 16th century, 92-foot-long galleon. The construction of the reproduction, which began three years ago, is giving the public a chance to see an example of historic shipbuilding -- the first modern industrial activity in the Americas.
The San Salvador was the flagship of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 when he sailed into San Diego Bay. Cabrillo, who sailed from Portugal, was the first European to explore the bay -- he named the area San Miguel -- and the coast of California.
Construction of the replica, which is partly funded by a grant from the Coastal Conservancy Commission, is about 65 percent complete, according to the museum.
Once it's finished, the full-size galleon will be opened to museum visitors and host educational programs. Museum officials said it would also sail to ports throughout the state "as a travelling learning platform and symbol of our region's Pacific origins and maritime heritage."
Pop culture videos can be fun to watch on social media until they end in a fail and people get hurt.
The roving teams of forensic anthropologists have come from across the region to find the dead. They wear boots and masks, and use gloved hands and trowels to carefully pick through the ash of the quick-moving inferno.
The San Diego Humane Society on Thursday deployed its emergency response team to Butte County to assist in animal rescues as the Camp Fire continues to devastate Northern California.
Aided by diminishing winds, fire crews expanded the containment line around the deadly Woolsey Fire Thursday, while more evacuation orders were lifted and a firefighter was hospitalized after being run over by a vehicle while sleeping.
Each week, the News 8 Crimefighters help authorities in looking for fugitives in San Diego. This week’s fugitive is: Jennifer Michelle Kidd
Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.
The strong winds we saw this week left a mess in some parts of the county - including at a very special horse-riding facility in Ramona.
Five nurses from Scripps Health, who are part of a medical response team, are traveling to Northern California to care for the people affected by the Camp Fire.