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."
Metropolitan Transit System is scheduling extra service starting Monday for a three-day game series between the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs at Petco Park, a spokesperson said.
Veterans are being honored across San Diego County during Memorial Day weekend and dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were among those spending their Saturday placing American flags at burial sites at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Commencement was held Sunday for seniors at the University of San Diego, with ceremonies featuring a pair of distinguished alumni.
Cool and cloudy conditions start off Friday morning, but the sun will break through in the afternoon. Strong winds in San Diego County's deserts are also expected to ease up Friday morning.
A 30-year-old was knocked out and stabbed three times at the Beyer Trolley Station early Sunday morning, according to Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department.
A bird was responsible for an outage that left thousands without electricity Sunday, a San Diego Gas & Electric spokesperson said.
The remains of a U.S. Navy pilot killed when his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War have been brought to San Diego for burial.
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego.
With thousands of San Diegans expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, lifeguards are on high alert and a have a few warnings for those headed to the water.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is scheduled to visit local Navy personnel in San Diego and Coronado next week, her office announced Saturday.