A short tour of San Diego Bay on the Pilot boat.

Ready to board the small Pilot boat, one of many historic vessels at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. We're going to enjoy a short harbor cruise!
Ready to board the small Pilot boat, one of many historic vessels at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. We’re going to enjoy a short harbor cruise!

A couple months ago I went on a short tour of San Diego Bay on the Pilot, a historic vessel owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. When you buy a ticket for the museum, you can pay a little extra and enjoy a fun look at San Diego’s harbor in the open air aboard the Pilot. I recommend it!

Come with me and get a small taste of what you’ll experience. Obviously, these few photographs are no substitute for the ocean breeze, sunshine and sparkling blue water.

A plaque indicates the 1914 Pilot Boat has 82 years of service and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A plaque indicates the 1914 Pilot Boat has 82 years of service and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For decades it helped thousands of ships safely enter and exit San Diego Bay.
Captain of the Pilot is getting ready to pull away from the floating museum.
Captain of the Pilot is getting ready to pull away from the floating museum.
Here we go out onto San Diego Bay! I see Californian, the official tall ship of the state of California, to our left.
Here we go out onto San Diego Bay! I see Californian, the official tall ship of the state of California, to our left.
It's a pleasant day out on the water. We head initially in the direction of Shelter Island and Point Loma.
It’s a pleasant day out on the water. We head initially in the direction of Shelter Island and Point Loma.
We've turned southward and pass the ships of the Maritime Museum. Some of San Diego's skyline is visible in this photo.
We’ve turned southward and pass the ships of the Maritime Museum. Part of San Diego’s skyline is visible in this photo.
There are two big cruise ships in port today. Some of these ships are larger than downtown buildings!
There are two big cruise ships in port today. Some of these ships are larger than downtown buildings!
Out toward Point Loma many sailboats are participating in a regatta.
Out toward Point Loma many sailboats are participating in a regatta.
We're continuing south and now I see the second cruise ship by the Port Pavilion.
We’re continuing south and now I see the second cruise ship by the Port Pavilion.
We've passed the USS Midway. Just enjoying the blue water and sunshine.
We’ve passed the USS Midway. Just enjoying the blue water and sunshine.
Yay! We get to slow down to photograph sea lions sleeping on a harbor buoy.
Yay! We get to slow down to photograph sea lions sleeping on a harbor buoy.
Beautiful sailboats were tilting in the breeze and many passed so close we could hear the canvas flapping.
Beautiful sailboats were tilting in the breeze and many passed so close we could hear the canvas flapping.
Looking south as we approach the Coronado Bay Bridge. Way off in the distance I see Mexico. Nearer, to the right, is a part of Coronado--the Naval Amphibious Base where Navy Seals train.
Looking south as we approach the Coronado Bay Bridge. Way off in the distance I see Mexico. Nearer, to the right, is a part of Coronado–the Naval Amphibious Base where Navy Seals train.
Under the bridge we go, looking east at two Navy ships.
Under the bridge we go, while looking east at two Navy ships.
Shortly after passing under the bridge, we turn around and head back north near the shipyards. I see BAE Systems Ship Repair's huge dry dock. These two folks were visiting San Diego.
Shortly after passing under the bridge, we turn around and head back north near the shipyards. I see BAE Systems Ship Repair’s huge dry dock. These two friendly passengers were visiting San Diego.
Back north of the Coronado Bay Bridge, now passing the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
Back north of the Coronado Bay Bridge, now passing the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
A magical look west toward sails, clouds and the descending sun.
A magical look west toward sails, clouds and the descending sun.
Here comes a speedy sailboat behind us!
Here comes a speedy sailboat behind us!
The handsome Manchester Grand Hyatt buildings. One can observe San Diego from special windows on the 40th floor. They are in the tower on the right. This Hyatt is the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast.
The handsome Manchester Grand Hyatt buildings. One can observe San Diego from two large windows on the 40th floor. They are in the tower on the right. This Hyatt is the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast.
Our tour guide points toward Seaport Village. I see the silvery Marriott Marquis to the right.
Our tour guide points toward Seaport Village. I see the silvery Marriott Marquis to the right.
I love the G Street Pier and the fishing vessels that dock by it. Just beyond is Tuna Harbor. Sometime I post photos of lobster traps and other cool stuff piled on this working pier.
I love the G Street Pier and the fishing vessels that dock by it. Just beyond is Tuna Harbor. Sometimes I post photos of lobster traps and other cool stuff piled on this working pier.
This harbor tour is going fast! We're already passing under the immense bow of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum.
This harbor tour is going fast! We’re already passing under the immense bow of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum.
Some guys watch us from the end of Navy Pier near the USS Midway Museum.
Some guys watch us from the end of Navy Pier near the USS Midway Museum.
We've returned to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There's the beautiful Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, one of our city's prized gems.
We’ve returned to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There’s the beautiful Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, one of our city’s prized gems.
And here's HMS Surprise. If this replica Royal Navy frigate looks familiar, you might have seen Russell Crowe walking her decks in Master and Commander.
And here’s HMS Surprise. If this replica Royal Navy frigate looks familiar, you might have seen Russell Crowe walking her decks in the great movie Master and Commander.
It's the distinctive County Administration Building.
It’s the distinctive County Administration Building.
About to tie up near the museum's restored Swift Boat. I went on a ride aboard her some time ago. We went further south in the bay on that tour and got a good look at many active Navy ships.
About to tie up near the museum’s restored Swift Boat. I went on a ride aboard the Swift Boat some time ago. We went further south in the bay on that tour and got a good look at many active Navy ships.
While I linger at the museum and check out lots of cool nautical stuff, the Pilot takes off on another fun tour. Should you visit San Diego, I recommend buying a ticket!
While I linger at the museum and check out lots of cool nautical stuff, the Pilot takes off on another fun tour. Should you visit San Diego, I recommend buying a ticket!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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