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San Diegans build replica sailing ship in honor of first explorer
San Diegans build replica sailing ship in honor of first explorer

John Popp, a retired physics teacher, is making sure the cannons on the 16th century Spanish galleon under construction here are functional and historically precise. Each cannon is more than 9 feet long and weighs more than 1,000 pounds. Each must be fitted into its sliding wooden carriage with great care. "This is my baby," said Popp, 73, who moved to San Diego after teaching at a community college in Illinois for three decades. He stopped for a moment to reflect on his handiwork and that of hundreds of volunteers and skilled craftsmen. "I'll be able to tell my grandchildren: 'I helped build that thing,' " he said. "And when I'm gone, it...

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