Bayfair racing action viewed from a bridge!

One of the best places to watch super high speed boats racing in Mission Bay during San Diego Bayfair is from a bridge!

The Ingraham Street bridge on the south side of Vacation Isle provides a view of the race “docks” located south of Ski Beach, the tower near the Bill Muncey Memorial, and the entire oval race course. The farthest end of the course is in the distance, but the height provides a great panorama of all the action! And it’s free!

Today during a walk around Mission Bay I paused for a good hour on the Ingraham Street bridge to watch several classes of boats compete, including the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes, which are the fastest racing boats in the world. Mission Bay, which was originally designed for thunderboat racing, is said to be the fastest such course in the world.

As the super fast boats turned corners, huge plumes of white spray would rise up behind them!

I and a small crowd of pedestrians and bicyclists who were watching from on high gave a conciliatory shout out to one racer below who had to be towed in to the docks when his engine conked out. He must’ve heard us, because with good humor he threw up an arm in acknowledgement.

It was fascinating to see how boats would be placed into the docks with three large cranes, then removed from the water and hosed off at the end of each race. During the racing, other boats would be prepared, testing their engines. Everywhere I looked there was interesting activity.

I guess next year I’ll have to get a ticket and check out the action up close!

Here are my photos from various spots on the bridge…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Mural of diverse women in a canoe.

A beautiful, thought-provoking mural was painted earlier this year on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. I saw it last weekend on the parking lot wall of Little Lion Cafe. The mural, I learned, was painted by Aaron Glasson, an artist who lives in Ocean Beach just a few blocks away.

Next to the mural I found an article printed in the Point Loma-OB Monthly concerning the artwork and its creation. You can read the article online here. The four women in the canoe form a racially diverse group. If there’s a basic message in the mural it’s that Ocean Beach is a diverse and welcoming community.

The mural is located just north of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Should you visit this scenic coastal stretch of Point Loma, keep your eyes peeled for the Little Lion Cafe!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Mystery art at the County Administration Building!

I’m sure somebody out there knows the story behind the above art. Even after extensive searches on the internet, it’s a mystery to me!

Two identical artworks are mounted on the north and south side of San Diego’s 1938 County Administration Building. Whenever I walk near the building, I look up at these medallion-like discs and try to figure out what is depicted.

This morning I finally took zoom photos. Now that I can scrutinize the design up close, I’m still baffled. The anchor suggests the design has a maritime theme.

If I had to guess, the art combines a 1930’s era flying boat splashing down on nearby San Diego Bay with the sail of a Chinese junk. The latter type of fishing boat was commonly seen on the bay in the early days of San Diego.

Or I might be completely wrong!

The best source I can find that describes the County Administration Building’s external ornamentation is a San Diego County government publication titled Bridging the Centuries: The Jewel on the Bay. Read it here. Check out page 20. Everything on the building’s exterior is described . . . all except this mystery artwork!

It appears to me this colorful disc might have some sort of mechanical action. Why is there a lever of some type projecting from the sun? Does the plane tilt upward as if taking off?

Please leave a comment if you are knowledgeable. I’m sure many are curious!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Afternoon light and life at Tuna Harbor.

At the Embarcadero’s picturesque Tuna Harbor, photography is easy. Aim your camera in almost any direction and you’ll capture light, life and fascinating complexity.

I walked around Tuna Harbor late this afternoon and pointed my camera at workers loading equipment onto Gutsy Lady 4 (near a cool vintage truck), the usual crowd of commercial fishing boats docked side-by-side, and youth fishing on the pier by Seaport Village.

(In the final photograph you can glimpse three active aircraft carriers in the distance. Docked across San Diego Bay at North Island are the USS Carl Vinson, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and the USS Theodore Roosevelt.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Hidden mural celebrates Little Italy!

There’s a hidden mural very few people see that celebrates downtown’s Little Italy community.

Neither drivers nor pedestrians can see it well, unless they head down little-used, alley-like California Street just south of Laurel Street.

I first saw this Little Italy mural because I often ride the Green Line trolley. As the San Diego Trolley rises high in the air to pass over busy Laurel Street, passengers looking down can see the artwork on a parking lot wall. The small lot is located behind a Valero gas station and Fairway Golf USA store, which are both on Pacific Highway.

I walked down California Street last weekend to get a good look at this great mural. It depicts the Little Italy landmark sign above fishing boats in a row by a pier.

Little Italy was once a center of the tuna fishing industry, which was very big in San Diego for much of the 20th century.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

These photographs were taken during a walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

I began where Harbor Drive descends to the water and intersects with North Harbor Drive.

The walk proceeds west along the South Harbor, then curves to the North Harbor, taking in many interesting sights along the way.

At a point across the water from the Jolly Roger restaurant, I turned about, retraced my steps, then explored the South Harbor’s various shops and attractions.

I then made my way west to North Pacific Street, next to Oceanside Harbor Beach, and headed past the boat ramps to the jetty that juts out into the Pacific Ocean beyond a parking lot.

Hopefully you’ll get a taste of what this walk on a sunny, late February weekend afternoon was like!

Descending Harbor Drive to beautiful Oceanside Harbor.
Looking past Joe’s Crab Shack and boats in the South Harbor marina toward the picturesque lighthouse.
Across from the Oceanside Harbor boat ramps, which we’ll see close up later in the walk.
Turning north, walking past the Oceanside Broiler restaurant, where diners sit outdoors gazing at boats in the Southern California sunshine.
Many benches along Oceanside Harbor are dedicated to loved ones, or feature inspirational messages.
Monument to Erwin Sklar, 1910-1974. During his term as Mayor and City Councilman this harbor was designed and built, fulfilling a Dream of Erwin Sklar and the People of Oceanside.
Small boats pass stand up paddleboarders near the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
Watching activity on the water from the end of the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier.
Monument by the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier. Remember Pearl Harbor.
Fishermen wait patiently for a bite on the pier. I was told many types of fish can be caught here, especially when the water warms up later in the year.
A large ship’s anchor with a small plaque across from the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
In memory of those lost at sea. Dedicated January 9, 1979.
Along North Harbor Drive, large blue and white letters spell OCEANSIDE.
Many along the boardwalk were watching Sea Lion Island, where there appeared to be a lot of napping.
Sea lions relax in the Oceanside sunshine.
A better view of the OCEANSIDE sign, which is visible to boaters entering the harbor.
Continuing the walk, now along the North Harbor.
People pass me on the boardwalk carrying a kayak.
I pass the Oceanside Weighing Station. No fish being weighed at the moment.
The Jolly Roger restaurant across the North Harbor.
Kayaks stacked on the nearby dock.
Right around here I turned about to retrace my steps.
Back by Joe’s Crab Shack. The walk now proceeds in that direction.
People walk out onto the docks.
Some sportfishing vessels can be boarded nearby.
Approaching shops and restaurants and other touristy attractions of the New England-style Oceanside Harbor Village.
Sportfishing and whale watching trips are available at the Oceanside Sea Center.
A great view from up there.
I like this mail box!
Interesting photo of the red and white faux lighthouse, which is actually home to Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill.
Lots of beachy souvenirs attract passersby.
Looking back at the lighthouse and Oceanside Harbor Village.
We’ve arrived at North Pacific Street, which runs between the harbor and the beach.
Heading north again, but on the west side of Oceanside Harbor.
We’ve come to the boat ramps, which are very active on a sunny weekend day.
Marker at the Oceanside Harbor Boat Launching Facility.
Curtis Landing, dedicated September 17, 2005, honors two people named Curtis. Jon W. Curtis was a harbor police officer hero. Joe V. Curtis contributed as a community leader.
Photo taken across the harbor from beside the boat ramps.
Another photo.
Continuing north.
Kites were flying near the harbor entrance.
I’ve turned west and am heading toward the jetty which protects Oceanside Harbor from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance past a sailboat you can see the Oceanside Marina Suites.
A right turn on the water leads to Camp Pendleton Harbor’s boat basin.
That sailboat we just saw is now entering the harbor.
Near the foot of the T-shaped jetty. The beach is on the left.
People by the shining Pacific Ocean.
And to the south, far beyond this surfer on the beach, juts the long Oceanside Pier.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mural depicts boats in Oceanside Harbor.

This mural painted by artist Caleb Smith depicts Oceanside Harbor. Elements include two boats, the harbor lighthouse and an American flag. You can see it as you drive south down the Coast Highway near Neptune Way, not long after you pass over the San Luis Rey River. It was painted on the side of Harbor Liquors.

After I took a look at this mural on Saturday, I walked north over the river bridge, turned west toward the Pacific Ocean, and descended to beautiful Oceanside Harbor, where I took many photographs. Those photos will be coming up shortly!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Riding the ferry from Coronado to downtown.

What do you see when you ride the ferry across San Diego Bay, from Coronado to downtown’s Broadway Pier? Well, come along and I’ll show you!

Early this afternoon I stepped aboard Flagship’s venerable ship Cabrillo, which for many years has served as a Coronado ferry. We got underway from the Coronado Ferry Landing at 12:30. (The ferry that goes to the Broadway Pier departs every bottom of the hour.)

It’s winter. Even though it was mostly overcast today, and a bit chilly, this is San Diego after all, so of course the trip was pleasant. But I’m glad I wore a jacket out on the bay in the brisk sea breeze.

Passengers begin to board Cabrillo from the pier at the Coronado Ferry Landing. My one way ticket was only five dollars. Slowly crossing San Diego Bay is like a scenic harbor tour, without the narration.
Lots of passengers bring bicycles. Coronado is a fine place for biking. Many enjoy the dedicated bike lane which leads down the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach. It’s part of the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway, which loops around the South Bay.
The pier at the Coronado Ferry Landing is a perfect place for fishing or simply relaxing. You don’t need a saltwater fishing license when you’re on a pier in San Diego!
A couple leans against the rail and looks toward the small beach by the Coronado Ferry Landing.
Here we go!
Across the bay you can see downtown San Diego’s beautiful skyline. This photo shows the Embarcadero, from the USS Midway Museum to the San Diego Convention Center!
I was surprised at all the boating activity today. The COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for about a year, and I think more and more people want to be outside in the fresh air enjoying life.
There they go.
I see three very different sets of white sails. The sails of a passing sailboat, the sails of The Shell–the San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor concert venue, and the distinctive sails of the San Diego Convention Center.
Here comes the ferry that runs between the convention center and Coronado. That small vessel is the Silvergate, which I love to ride!
This guy was out on the water on a stand up paddle board.
Here comes Pilot, one of the many historic vessels in the collection of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. If you want a great narrated tour of San Diego Bay, I definitely recommend buying a ticket. Better yet, become a member of the Maritime Museum and you get a couple complimentary tickets for their harbor tour!
A wave as they pass by!
That blue building over the water is the San Diego Pier Cafe at Seaport Village.
Here come two small U.S. Navy patrol boats at a high rate of speed!
Guarding naval ships and bases in San Diego Bay.
A couple passes by in a little boat. I believe that’s the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier docked at North Island in the distance.
She steers as he prepares the fishing gear.
If the Pier Cafe appears odd to you, that’s probably because it was brown for decades. Many of Seaport Village’s buildings have recently been repainted under new ownership.
What’s all that activity on the pier by Seaport Village? People are eyeing fresh fish at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. That means today must be Saturday. Meanwhile, a couple of kayakers paddle by…
I see four blue seiners docked at the G Street Pier. These vessels use nets to catch live bait for boats heading out to the Pacific Ocean on sportfishing trips.
Beyond the seiners and the pier I see the USS Midway aircraft carrier, a very popular museum and San Diego attraction.
On the G Street Pier you can see stacked lobster traps. I love to photograph them from time to time.
A tiny yellow boat zips past a very, very large boat! An absolutely immense boat with numerous aircraft on its flight deck!
Here comes a whole line of tiny boats! Looks like a fun, guided harbor tour.
As we pass by the horns of the USS Midway aircraft carrier, museum visitors look down at us from the flight deck.
A zoom photo of more sailboats out on San Diego Bay. I see Harbor Island in the distance. We’re almost to the Broadway Pier now.
Downtown straight ahead!
Our ferry trip across San Diego Bay is almost over. It’s always a lot of fun.
Tying up at the dock.
Disembarking.
A line of people is waiting to catch the ferry back to Coronado!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A quiet January walk along the Embarcadero.

I took these photographs this afternoon during a long, slow walk along the Embarcadero.

It’s early winter. On such a pleasant January day, during an ordinary year, one would expect to see more people about. But the COVID-19 pandemic has altered life on San Diego Bay.

Closed attractions. Fewer tourists. Few boats on the water. A quiet boardwalk and sleepy Seaport Village. An almost empty fishing pier…

A lone sailboat passes the presently closed Maritime Museum of San Diego.
From the boardwalk I took a photo of Star of India’s cathead. This sturdy beam, used to raise and lower the ship’s anchor, has a cat’s head!
Walking past a mostly closed Portside Pier.
Many empty benches and tables can now be found along the Embarcadero.
Light sparkles from the wake of a turning Coronado Ferry.
Play of light on rippled water, reflected onto the hull of the USS Midway.
Hanging out on the grass, gazing across the bay.
I raised my camera to take this photo of the USS Midway aircraft carrier’s island. The USS Midway Museum is also closed now.
Long shadows cast by the two figures in Seward Johnson’s sculpture Unconditional Surrender, which is now more often called Embracing Peace.
Walking by the water.
Cool photo taken of Tuna Harbor.
Bright floats on a rusty fishing boat.
A family walks along near Seaport Village. Few people are about this sunny January afternoon.
A kite zips around making fast aerial circles, to the delight of both young and old.
Quietly reading on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A fine day for riding bicycles!
Marriott Marquis tower reflects bright sunlight into the hotel’s marina.
I’m still getting used to Seaport Village’s new color scheme. It’s growing on me.
Looking skyward.
A snowy egret searches for dinner in shallow water at the edge of the Marriott Marina.
More walkers, and a runner.
Light makes for an interesting photo at the Marriott Marina.
The San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor concert venue, The Shell, seems nearly complete. I believe you’ll walk up here to buy tickets.
Beyond the ticket office you can see the acoustically designed structure where the musicians will play.
Walking out on the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Not much fishing activity today.
From one end of the pier I took this photo of The Shell. A grassy slope descends toward the concert stage. Structures for lighting and speakers have also been erected.
Turning on the almost empty pier, facing the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Another guy quietly walking along. A perfect day for that.
But this pelican will have to wait a long time if it’s expecting a free morsel!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Cool photo memories from December 2015.

An entire month full of fun events could be enjoyed in San Diego five years ago. (No COVID-19 pandemic back then to put a damper on the holiday season.)

It’s time to travel back in time and revisit some past blog posts from December 2015!

Cool San Diego Sights paid a visit to December Nights in Balboa Park, met Santa Claus and learned about the history of Christmas in San Diego, enjoyed a special tour at the San Diego Museum of Art, watched tiny sailboats on the model boat pond in Mission Bay, sang Christmas carols in Old Town and at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, discovered a cool mural in North Park, boarded a famous tall ship, walked through the Egyptian Quarter of Hillcrest, and watched preparations for the Holiday Bowl Parade!

Let’s live those experiences once again!

To go back five years and see lots of fun photos, click the following links:

Fun photos of 2015 December Nights in Balboa Park!

Read the joyful history of Christmas in San Diego!

The Art of Music lives in San Diego!

Fun sailing on Mission Bay’s model boat pond.

Singing Christmas carols in San Diego’s Old Town!

Super cool mural in North Park at 30th and Gunn!

Public sings Christmas carols at Spreckels Organ!

Photos aboard Master and Commander’s HMS Surprise.

Photos of a walk through Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter.

Inflating balloons for the Holiday Bowl parade!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.