This Junk Is a Treasure

San Diego's waterfront has played host to just about every type of sea going vessel imaginable but this is the first time it's rolled out the red carpet for junk. 

For the next few days, San Diegans can see a Chinese junk up close and maybe even go onboard. The ship is named the Princess TaiPing, and she is an exact replica of the kind of craft that was common in and around China in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty. 

The ship was handcrafted using ancient materials and techniques. She is 45 feet long, 15 feet wide and was built without metal bolts or screws. The 35-ton boat is completely "wind-driven"; the ship doesn't even have an engine.

The Princess TaiPing, was built in China and recently sailed from Japan to San Francisco, then on down the coast to San Diego.  As an invited guest of the Maritime Museum, the Princess will be tied up at the Embarcaderro for at least the next week.  With the Star of India celebrating her 145th birthday on Friday, this is as good a time as any to pay the waterfront a visit. 

Want a couple of other reasons?  Well, on Saturday, visitors can take a tour of the USS Midway  for free if they're one of the first 200 to arrive with a new, unwrapped toy.  It's the "Toy for Tots" kickoff, and it starts at 10 a.m.

Another reason to pay the bay a visit on Saturday -- especially if you live in East county -- is to escape the heat. During the expected Santa Ana, inland temperatures are expected to soar into the '90s.

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