Mural at entrance to Silver Strand tunnel.

Back in 2020, I posted photos of a long two-sided mural depicting sea life. The artwork was painted many years ago inside a pedestrian tunnel that passes under California State Route 75 at Silver Strand State Beach.

Today I went down to the Silver Strand for a walk and I noticed a new mural had been painted in 2021 at the west end of the same tunnel!

The mural presents images of boats, beach, ocean and birds. Both sides of the tunnel entrance were painted by Imperial Beach artist Esmeralda Robles.

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A fun harbor tour on both land and sea!

Two tours in one! That’s what it felt like today when I explored San Diego’s harbor on a SEAL Tours boat with wheels!

It was my very first time experiencing one of these unique tours.

Passengers boarded the amphibious SEAL vehicle at Seaport Village and started down Harbor Drive along San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero. We passed the airport and Spanish Landing and entered Point Loma. All the while, our tour guide (the boat’s first mate), provided a fun and spirited narration. My love of San Diego was renewed once again.

At the Shelter Island boat ramp we seamlessly entered San Diego Bay and headed out across the sparkling water!

Of course there were amazing views of downtown San Diego across the gentle water. And, of course, we had to swing by the bait dock near the entrance to the bay where sea lions entertained kids with their antics.

We saw several Navy facilities and were surprised to learn how super high-tech robot ships are autonomously interdicting drug smugglers. We also saw where the Navy trains sea lions and dolphins to detect underwater objects. And we saw the R/P FLIP, a very long, very strange Scripps research vessel that plunges 90 degrees into the ocean to become a sort of floating tower! There was so much cool stuff to see, I couldn’t begin to describe it all.

The tour was a lot of fun. Our guide, Bret, was a ham and everyone was always smiling and laughing. Personally, I learned quite a lot about my city that I hadn’t known before.

Are you a San Diego resident? This month–January–Old Town Trolley Tours is offering locals free rides. That includes the SEAL Tours, which they operate!

If you do partake of this harbor experience, make sure to bring a jacket. The wind out on the bay can be quite chilly!

Here’s a tiny taste of the experience…

Both the captain and first mate were really nice. As we got started visual aids helped to explain the coming attractions.

Two huge cruise ships were docked on the Embarcadero today.

Passing the beautiful, historic Star of India, world’s oldest active sailing ship.

We’ve arrived at Shelter Island, where we saw many boats moored in America’s Cup Harbor.

About to enter San Diego Bay! How cool is this?

The transition to water is so smooth you hardly notice it.

Another perfect San Diego day.

Hello!

The bait dock had everyone taking a million photos. Those sea lions are digesting their breakfast.

How cute!

A bunch of cormorants were hanging out on this section.

A view of downtown San Diego skyscrapers over the large naval air base on Coronado’s North Island.

That narrow ship on the right operates autonomously. If it detects a drug runner out on the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard is notified.

Here’s where sea lions are trained by the U.S. Navy. We learned they are actually a bit more intelligent than dolphins.

Here comes another SEAL Tour! That’s Harbor Island behind it.

Back to land! Before heading again down city streets, our captain checked for seaweed caught in the wheels!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Saturday morning at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

Look at all the activity today at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market!

Every Saturday morning, local fishermen bring their fresh catches to the pier between Seaport Village and Tuna Harbor, and lovers of seafood line up to buy fish and crabs and sea urchins and other edibles found in the ocean off San Diego.

I walked out on the pier this morning, marveling at how this outdoor fish market has grown. Can you believe it? Eight years have already passed since Tuna Harbor Dockside Market’s grand opening.

Anyone into photography would love strolling through this market with camera in hand.

There’s the whirl of life all around: diverse people from every walk of life rubbing elbows; families at tables devouring fish and chips; the picturesque commercial fishing boats; the human ebb and flow of commerce; circling gulls; playful sea lions barking down in the bay (I observed none today); and all those different species of fish, some of which can appear quite strange…

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post fresh blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Tar, varnish and paint on San Diego Bay!

Have you read those classic nautical stories where sailors are tasked with tarring ropes in a ship’s rigging?

Well, if you visited the Maritime Museum of San Diego today, you might have seen this age-old activity in practice. A museum volunteer was tarring the shrouds of Californian, official tall ship of California!

As I walked about the museum’s historic ships, I noticed the forward hatch of the 1904 steam yacht Medea had been recently varnished. And another volunteer was busy applying the second of three coats of paint to the railing of the San Diego harbor’s 1914 Pilot boat!

Even in calm San Diego Bay, the daily weather, salt and sun slowly ravage ships. The sun’s ultraviolet rays eventually break down everything, even tar. To maintain the beautiful vessels of a world-famous maritime museum requires elbow grease!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Morning at the International Dragon Boat Race!

Today is the second and final day of the 11th Annual San Diego International Dragon Boat Race. Lots of action can be seen out on Mission Bay!

Enthusiastic teams from across the nation (including Southern and Northern California, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota and New York) plus international teams (I noted Vancouver, Canada) have come together on this sunny San Diego weekend to race in traditional dragon boats.

I arrived at the event in the early morning just as things were getting started. Team members were stretching and warming up, the boat captains were having their meeting, and then the action began!

As the first boats paddled out to the starting line, just beyond the dock of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort, a group of Scouts presented the colors for the National Anthem.

Then here came the dragon boats, each team furiously paddling to the beat of a big drum!

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!

World’s largest single-masted yacht returns!

The world’s largest single-masted yacht has returned to San Diego!

The M5, originally called the Mirabella V, is now docked on the Embarcadero near the Maritime Museum of San Diego. You can find it directly across from the County Administration Building.

I spotted the towering mast while walking nearby, so I had to go take a look. That mind-blowing mast, over 290 feet high, is visible from many streets downtown!

I first saw the M5 in San Diego eight years ago behind the convention center and blogged about it here. Read that old blog post (including its comments) to learn more about this incredible sailboat.

It took these photographs this morning. It’s hard to depict the staggering size of this sloop-rigged super yacht. Suffice it to say, the mast rises higher than many downtown San Diego buildings!

You can see the mast from the other side of the County Administration Building in the next photo. (The exterior of the historic building is being painted.)

UPDATE!

The first weekend of October I noticed the M5 had moved to a spot behind the San Diego Convention Center–where I first saw it eight years ago…

Yes, it’s enormous!

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!

Oldest locally built yacht in San Diego is restored.

The old 1902 yacht Butcher Boy has returned to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. And the historically important boat is in perfectly restored condition!

Butcher Boy is our city’s oldest locally built yacht and workboat.

For many years, as it was being restored, Butcher Boy was located at Spanish Landing under the North Harbor Drive Bridge. I posted a blog with some early stage photographs of it being worked on almost four years ago here.

Now that Butcher Boy is back in perfect sailing condition, the handsome sloop has been visiting local yacht clubs and participating in races.

Butcher Boy was built to be very fast on the water. A hundred years ago it would fly across San Diego Bay to meet incoming ships and offer them fresh provisions. Speed gave the boat a winning advantage over all would-be competitors!

I took a few photographs of the restored yacht this weekend as I walked along the Embarcadero.

You can find detailed descriptions and many photographs concerning Butcher Boy’s restoration on the Maritime Museum website here. Then read about its return to life here!

I took the following photo of a stripped down Butcher Boy at Spanish Landing back in 2018…

Here is Butcher Boy now docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego…

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!

Fourth of July afternoon on the Embarcadero.

Today is the Fourth of July. Our nation’s Independence Day.

This afternoon I walked along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Families from neighborhoods throughout the city were streaming into downtown’s waterfront, setting up tents and canopies and lawn chairs, preparing barbeque, throwing footballs, getting ready to view the Big Bay Boom fireworks show this evening.

Flags were everywhere: flying from shops, restaurants, pedicabs, boats on the water…

As I walked along, I tried to capture a little bit of the color.

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!

Endless bright sailboats on San Diego Bay!

This beautiful Sunday afternoon, there seemed to be an endless procession of bright, colorful sailboats down San Diego Bay!

I took photographs from the Embarcadero as a crowd of small dreamlike sails approached from distant Shelter Island. The billowing, many-colored sails grew larger and larger as the boats filed past North Island.

I believe most of these sailboats were participating in the San Diego Yacht Club’s CR914 WINTER SERIES II. Correct me if I’m mistaken!

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!

Sparks, scrapes and chisels at the Maritime Museum!

Lots of fascinating activity today at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

As I walked about, I noticed volunteers and sail crew members were working on several very different vessels in the museum’s world-famous collection.

Sparks were flying from the black sail of the B-39 Soviet-era Russian submarine. Its life, sadly, has come to an end. Preparations are underway to tow the badly rusted Foxtrot-class diesel electric submarine to Mexico where it will be scrapped.

After watching guys using a torch on the sub’s outer hull, I walked to the far end of the Maritime Museum’s barge where the Robert Sharp’s stern was being restored. A friendly worker with a heat gun was crackling old varnish, which was then scraped off.

When I stepped onto the deck of the historic steam yacht Medea, I noticed a woodworker carefully repairing the boat’s wooden rail where it had split.

The elegant Medea has a fascinating history.

Did you know that, in addition to Medea being a pleasure yacht that cruised the isles and lochs of Scotland, it was used by France during World War I, and by the British Royal Navy and Norwegian Navy during World War II?

Learn much more here!

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!