GHOSTS OF THE SEA: Early September typically brings two themes to Southern California: ships and spirits. The ships part is due to both the Festival of Sail, which drops anchor at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the Toshiba Tall Ships, which cruises into Dana Point a week or so later. The spirits part? That's easy; we're hedging into fall, and the many haunted attractions and stores that crop up as October grows near. It's rarer, though, that we see those themes come together in one event that appeals to both seafarers and paranormal adventurers. But not totally rare: The Maritime Ghost Conference will be just that haunted happening that caters to both groups of people. The fundraiser, which supports the aforementioned Maritime Museum of San Diego, is set for Saturday, Sept. 15 and focuses on "maritime ghosts." And the place? Why a boat, of course: The Steam Ferry Berkeley in San Diego.
THE DAY'S -- AND NIGHT'S -- EVENTS: A number of speakers who specialize in spirits of the sea will be part of the conference, and topics will range from Queen Mary sightings to tales of ghost ships. There's so much lore surrounding the ocean and the beyond -- Hollywood seems to deliver a new film on the topic every few months, or at least one that mixes in the supernatural and the sea (hello, "Pirates of the Caribbean," we do doth our cap your way) -- so we're betting the conference will bustle with fans interested in both. Oh, and there's a spirited exploration of the historic Star of India, too, as well as the legend-filled Berkeley. While the conference starts earlier in the day, the explorations start long after sundown, offering extra atmosphere. A ticket is $49. (But use the code NBCLA10 and get 10% off a ticket that includes the day conference.)