"Shoemaker was among the passengers aboard a replica of the historicschooner, America, as it made its inaugural whale-watching voyage during gray-whale migration season. The yacht is modeled after an 1851 sailboat with the same name that represented the United States in the first world's fair in England, said Warren Allan, director of marketing and sales for Dennis Conner's America's Cup Experience. Sailing's most prestigious competition, the America's Cup, was named after the original sailboat, Allan said.
The replica schooner, which is privately owned, was built in 1995 and has been based in San Diego since 2006.
The America will make daily whale-watching trips through March 29, and the boat is available for private charters the rest of the year. The whale-watching trips launch from a dock behind the Maritime Museum of San Diego downtown on North Harbor Drive. The trips are being promoted as “green” whale-watching tours because the sailboat is powered largely by wind and uses less fuel than traditional power boats."