National Park in The City

Almost tucked away behind the tourists, shops, restaurants, traffic and street hustlers of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco lies the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park and Museum, home to a number of 100 year old ships. Whereas most parks are about the physical tangible land their boundaries lie in, SF Maritime is also about the general subject of sailing on the West Coast… while also being connected to the largest wilderness on the planet (the ocean!). My first week was a little fractured, as I had a 3 day break after my first day and got to sneak in a camping trip to Pinnacles National Park just a couple of hours south. For my first day, I sat in on the 1st of 3 Docent training sessions where we learned about Interpretation.  Interpreting tangible primary sources like the actual ships and museum artifacts into what the rangers called intangible values, we were taught the value of facilitating connections between the meanings of the resource and the interests of the visitors. They stressed to us to find our own interests in the park and give them relevancy for diverse audiences. On the second day we got see some of these primary sources on our visit the park library and archives. Later on we visited the park museum where we learned the history of the art deco building and the artifacts and art found throughout. The next two days I’ll be out on the water! First I’ll do a training on sailing then we’ll be going on the bay aboard the Alma The following day will be spent kayaking. I wonder how much my lack of swimming skills will play out with this whole seafaring scene 😮

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