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(805) 225-5044

About the Morro Bay Maritime Museum

We preserve and interpret the maritime history of California, and beyond.
 
About UsOur Mission

Board of Trustees

View the Board of Trustees working hard to tell the story of Morro Bay’s Maritime Heritage.

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We depend on genrous donations of time & money from individuals like you.

Calendar of Events

Visit our calendar to discover what fun maritime events we have coming up.

Contact Us

Have questions about the museum, our association, or how to volunteer? Contact us.

Mission Statement

The Morro Bay Maritime Museum’s mission is to provide an easily accessible educational venue for maritime history, science and technology.

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

- Wind in the Willows
 

ABOUT US

 

The Morro Bay Maritime Museum was the brainchild of the late Brent Roberts. In the early 1990’s Brent assembled a group of like-minded folks who shared an interest in preserving maritime history. After a few meetings this group decided to call themselves the Central Coast Maritime Museum Association (CCMMA) and in 1995 the group incorporated itself as a a public-benefit, non-profit entity. In the ensuing years the CCMMA board of trustees worked with City leaders and the business community to explore viable locations on the Morro Bay waterfront for a Maritime Museum.  Meanwhile, while this planning was occurring, CCMMA sponsored and participated in other activities such as more than 20 Morro Bay Harbor Festivals as the host of the Maritime Heritage Pavilion.

CCMMA also initiated and sponsored the visits of various tall ships to Morro Bay including the Hawaiian Chieftain, Lady Washington, the replica of the caravel La Nina, and the Australian HMS Endeavour replica. More recently, in 2016, CCMMA partnered with the Maritime Museum of San Diego and sponsored a two week visit of the San Salvador as part of the vessel’s inaugural Pacific Heritage Tour.

The San Salvador galleon, a replica of Juan Cabrillo’s flagship of 1542, was the culmination of years of planning and millions of dollars and Morro Bay was honored by being among the first host ports for this tour. The San Salvador visit also precipitated a small group of local individuals to take a financial leap of faith by making a capital investment of $1542 for the Morro Bay Maritime Museum project. This group became known as the 1542 Navigator’s Circle. Their investment, combined with ticket and merchandise sales, made the October 2016 San Salvador  visit so successful that the project was sufficiently funded to move forward into its current phase.

 

Over the years CCMMA has also partnered with various groups such as the NOAA and the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary in initiating the first manned dive on the SS Montebello, a 440’ long Union Oil tanker torpedoed and sunk near our shores in the opening days of WWII.

CCMMA also worked with California Sea Grant to fund and organize the Central Coast Maritime Oral History Program, capturing and memorializing an important primary source of history and personal stories of individuals connected with local maritime industries.

CCMMA worked with Caltrans, Chevron and the firm Associated Pacific to develop the anchor display at Tidelands Park on the Embarcadero.

CCMMA is also coordinating with the local Salinan Indian tribe to develop outdoor and indoor interpretive elements that will memorialize California’s first watermen.

CCMMA, now doing business as the Morro Bay Maritime Museum, has established itself as a positive force in contributing to Morro Bay’s economy and maritime village sense-of-place.  We invite you to come see the Historic tug Alma and learn about an event that brought WWII to our shores.  Or walk around the DSRV Avalon, one of only two cold-war era rescue submarines developed by the US Navy and featured in the 1990 film Hunt for Red October and the 2018 film Hunter Killer. You can also see a USCG Surf Rescue Boat that was stationed at the small boat station and serviced the sometimes impassable Morro Bay harbor entrance.  But wherever your interest lay, please come and visit Morro Bay and stay awhile. And while you’re here, visit the Morro Bay Maritime Museum at 1210 Embarcadero across from the south T-Pier, on the Morro Bay waterfront. Stop by and say hello and soak up history at the edge of the continent!

 

Museum Trustees

CHARLIE YATES

President

Charlie Yates, a 22+ year resident of the Central Coast has been a boater, fisherman and sailor all his life. Growing up on the coast in San Diego, boating, surfing and fishing were and still are a passion. As a Sea Scout became a volunteer at the San Diego Maritime Museum, working on the Star of India, and the Berkley, falling in love with the tall ships and deep history therein. One of the founders and proud past Vice President of the Avila Beach Sea Life Center, now operated by the Central Coast Aquarium, he continued his love of the ocean and sea life. Charlie and his son Chuck own “The Little Lady” and continue to fish, cruise and enjoy. Sharing and educating all on the significance of our local Maritime history is an ongoing joy for Charlie.

LARRY NEWLAND

EMAIL

Vice President of Museum Operations
Larry has been active in the organization since 1993. A childhood in Morro Bay allowed for fishing, exploring the waterfront and hanging out on the docks. Since getting his introduction to sailing in the 1960’s El Toro fleet at the Yacht Club, he has maintained his relationship with all things boats. Exposure to family boat building projects has come in handy as an adult while rebuilding a 25’ trimaran and working on the museum’s fleet of small craft. Sailing has afforded opportunities to cruise coastal California, the Channel Islands, Mexico, and crew a Trans Pac crossing to Hawaii. Larry and his family have also bareboat chartered in California, the San Juan Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Professionally, he began a career working for the State of California at Hearst Castle while attending college and after service in the US Army returned and transferred to another state agency. Larry has a B.A in history, is an accomplished rock climber, a scuba diver and instrument-rated airplane pilot.

BONNIE JONES

Fundraising Board Member

Bonnie Jones has been a Board member of the Morro Bay Maritime Museum since March of 2018. She and her husband Frank are 1542 members, and although they don’t even own a boat, they believe in the need for honoring the town’s maritime history. Bonnie has owned businesses in the past and hopes to use that knowledge to help the museum expand. She is currently managing the Buy a Brick Program for the museum and has expanded it to encompass memorial benches. 

 

JACK HUNTER

Jack Hunter has a 40 year career as a specialist in maritime archaeology, the last 25 as a District Archaeologist for the California Department of Transportation. He has worked in the Caribbean, Latin America and the South Pacific. He has been a member of the CCMMA Board of Trustees for the past 24 years. He serves on the Finance and Acquisitions Committees.

JUDY ANN CROSS

Judy Ann Cross has been active with CCMMA since 1998 and is currently chair of the membership committee and member of the finance, merchandise and volunteer committees. Her involvement in maritime history began the day the snow brig Pilgrim first sailed into Dana Point, CA. Judy Ann immediately joined the crew, learned to tar rigging, work square sails, and slide down a back stay, until eventually she manned the helm on the Pilgrim’s haul-out voyage to Los Angeles Harbor- the same voyage in which the Pilgrim played the HMS Beagle for a documentary film. Judy Ann has a Liberal Arts Degree from Santa Rosa Junior College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology with a minor in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

TERRY CROSS

Trustee, Terry Cross, began loving the sea as a youth trolling for salmon on Monterey Bay, and whether fishing, spear fishing, free diving, scuba diving, body surfing, or board surfing, he has been  close to the water ever since. He worked two years as a commercial abalone diver and put himself through nursing school teaching basic scuba as a NAUI/PADI instructor. His involvement in maritime history began on the maintenance crew of the Brig Pilgrim of Dana Point, and involvement in the earliest days of the topsail-schooner Californian. He has been active with the Morro Bay Maritime Museum for twenty years, is a published author of the action/sea mystery, Fisher of Men, holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, and his hobbies are writing music and bird watching.

DALE JOHNSON

Board Treasurer

Dale has been a resident of Morro Bay since 1994. He and his
wife (Betty) moved from Lancaster after a career of 37 years in public education as a math teacher, high school principal, director of independent study and adult school principal.  For many years he
was a volunteer in the AARP tax preparation program in Morro Bay. He currently serves as the treasure for the California Coasters, a large recreational organization.  He will join the museum as part of the museum’s financial team.

 

KEITH KELSEY

Keith Kelsey has been a board member since the inception of the CCMMA.  He is a native of Avila Beach and the grandson of Antone Sylvester.  Keith is part of a well-known family that pioneered many of the maritime industries of the central coast, including commercial fishing, abalone diving, and the Antone Sylvester Tug Service.  Keith worked for 30+  years in the family tug service in a multitude of positions and later becoming the vice president of the company.  He worked as vp for Antone Sylvester Tug Service in both central and southern California until the final days of the oil tanker moorage in Estero Bay.  One of Keith’s most notable accomplishments with the Tug Service was on March 1, 1983 when the largest storm hit the central coast, he braved the 20 foot swells on the tug Paul Revere and rescued 3 men off the collapsing Unocal pier.  The United States Coast Guard awarded him with the ‘Meritorious Public Service Award’ for his successful efforts.  Keith has also served as the fire chief of Avila Beach from 1984 to 1992 and a Port San Luis Harbor Commissioner from 1986 to 1990.  Today Keith works as the General Manager in the family business, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards located in San Luis Obispo.

Brad LaRose

Board Member

 

Contact the Museum

Morro Bay Maritime Museum
1210 Embarcadero
Morro Bay, CA 93442
(805) 225-5044

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