A golden Christmas present on Broadway Pier.

A golden Christmas present stands at the foot of Broadway Pier. It’s an enormous holiday gift for all of San Diego!

The cheerful structure is made of shiny gold disks and tiny lights. With a bright ribbon of red on top.

Do you see the full moon?

Early this morning I circled the magical present, then stood inside it while taking photos!

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!

Oil painted sails from the end of Broadway Pier.

Dozens of beautiful sails out on San Diego Bay yesterday. In the afternoon I sat at the end of Broadway Pier and lazily snapped photos.

I spotted tall ship Californian sailing gently past, and a host of shining sailboats racing across the blue water in the San Diego Yacht Club’s Lipton Cup fall regatta.

This morning, toying around with GIMP’s “oilify” filter, I created some dreamy images. I’ve never oil painted anything . . . but with the help of my trusty old computer, now I can pretend otherwise!

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!

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Ships of every type converge on the Embarcadero.

A sailboat glides between beautiful yacht America docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the shining downtown skyline.
A sailboat glides between beautiful yacht America docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the shining downtown skyline.

Ships are like small islands of human activity. So it’s interesting when a variety of different ships, each serving a unique function, converge and dock in one place.

Yesterday evening many different ships were huddled together on the Embarcadero. There were the usual museum ships and harbor tour ships that call San Diego their home. I also saw: the enormous Disney Wonder cruise ship; The World, which is the largest residential yacht on the planet, containing 165 apartments; the Coast Guard cutter Stratton, which recently offloaded around 50,000 pounds of cocaine and heroin intercepted at sea; and the Maersk Launcher, which assisted in the drug operation.

I walked to the end of Navy Pier and watched different vessels come and go, as the sun set.

The sails of Star of India rise beyond one cathead of HMS Surprise.
The sails of Star of India rise beyond one cathead of HMS Surprise.
Late sun through the colored glass at Carnitas Snack Shack on the very busy Embarcadero.
Late sun through the colored glass at Carnitas’ Snack Shack on the very busy Embarcadero.
The World and the Disney Wonder at dock in San Diego.
The World and the Disney Wonder at dock in San Diego.
The illegal drug intercepting Coast Guard cutter Stratton is docked at the Broadway Pier next to the San Diego Festival of Beer.
The illegal drug intercepting Coast Guard cutter Stratton is docked at the Broadway Pier next to the San Diego Festival of Beer.
A bustle of activity seen from Navy Pier. The Spirit of San Diego harbor tour ship and a bus converge near parked cars.
A bustle of activity seen from Navy Pier. The Spirit of San Diego harbor tour ship and a bus converge near parked cars.
The Maersk Launcher at anchor in San Diego Bay.
The Maersk Launcher at anchor in San Diego Bay.
A photo of The World and Disney Wonder as sunset approaches in San Diego.
A photo of The World and Disney Wonder beyond the Port Pavilion as sunset approaches in San Diego.
Late sunlight on shining downtown buildings.
Late sunlight on shining downtown buildings.
The Disney Wonder backs away from the B Street Pier as it departs on another cruise. Many ships and boats cross paths on San Diego Bay.
The Disney Wonder backs away from the B Street Pier as it departs on another cruise. Many ships and boats cross paths on San Diego Bay.

Yesterday evening I posted photos of the amazing sunrise over Balboa Park on my Beautiful Balboa Park website. Follow the link if you’d like to see them!

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 share and enjoy!

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

Amazing works of art are being created by the world's top sand sculptors at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego!
Amazing works of art are being created by the world’s top sand sculptors at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego!

This morning I headed to the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge. Here are photographs of ten amazing pieces of art that were being worked on by some of the world’s top sand sculptors. These amazing artists have won numerous sand sculpting championships. It’s easy to see why!

The theme this year is Now and Then. The sculptures all had something to say about the passage of time. I saw youth and old age. I saw glimpses of eternity. I saw essential human beauty: profound, elegant, alive. Carved in mere sand.

If you want to be awestruck, go see these sculptures before time (and a broom) sweeps them away. They’re down on the Broadway Pier inside the Port Pavilion through Labor Day.

Susanne Ruseler, sand artist from the Netherlands, works on a fine sculpture that juxtaposes youth and old age.
Susanne Ruseler, top sand artist from the Netherlands, works on a fine sculpture that juxtaposes youth and old age.
Bringing a profound vision to life using compacted sand and a few simple tools.
Bringing a profound vision to life using compacted sand and a few simple tools.
A careful touch to bring out inner feeling.
A careful touch to bring out inner feeling.
World Master sand sculptor Ilya Filimontsev from Moscow, Russia creates a exquisite work of art. He won the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in 2016.
Master sand sculptor Ilya Filimontsev from Moscow, Russia creates an exquisite work of art. He won the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in 2016.
World Master sand sculptor Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri is creating a large, fantastic face.
Master sand sculptor Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri is creating an expressive, fantastic face.
Thoughtful eyes gaze at each other.
Thoughtful eyes gaze at each other.
Abram Waterman is a Sand Master from Prince Edward Island, Canada. His sculpture is amazing, too.
Abram Waterman is a Sand Master from Prince Edward Island, Canada. His sculpture is amazing, too.
Looks like circuits in silicon that have come to life.
Looks like circuits in silicon that have come to life.
Sue McGrew of Tacoma, Washington works on some monumental sand art that represents the continuum of time.
Sue McGrew of Tacoma, Washington works on some monumental sand art that represents the continuum of time.
Sue's sketchbook provides some insight into her piece. The dividing line between past, present and future is an illusion.
Sue’s sketchbook provides some insight into her piece. The dividing line between past, present and future is an illusion.
Numbers representing time whirl in the mind.
Numerals representing time whirl in the mind.
Sand Master Thomas Koet, from Melbourne, Florida, creates amazing artwork that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
Sand Master Thomas Koet, from Melbourne, Florida, creates amazing artwork that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
Another fantastic work of art at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Another fantastic work of art at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Rusty Croft from Carmel, California is carving an amazing horse's head made of sand.
Rusty Croft from Carmel, California is carving a fantastic horse’s head made of sand.
The horse's interior appears to be made of mechanical parts!
The sand horse’s interior appears to be made of mechanical parts!
Sand Master Fergus Mulvany from Dublin, Ireland is creating a cool sculpture that is abstract and layered.
Sand Master Fergus Mulvany from Dublin, Ireland is creating a cool sculpture that is abstract and layered.
Stepping back with shovel to have a good look.
Stepping back with shovel to have a good look. Fluid links seem to represent the flowing nature of time.
Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California is creating some great sand art representing campers gazing from a mountaintop into the distance.
Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California is creating some great sand art. It shows campers gazing from a mountaintop into the far distance. Looks to me like she’s just getting started.
Melineige Beauregard from Montreal, Canada shows what time does to even the most mighty.
Melineige Beauregard from Montreal, Canada demonstrates what time does to even the most mighty.
The most beautiful, amazing sand art on the planet right now can be found in San Diego--through Labor Day!
The most beautiful, amazing sand art on the planet right now can be found in San Diego–through Labor Day!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Three cool sand sculptures at the Broadway Pier!

People at the foot of Broadway Pier pause to watch three sand sculptures being created for the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this Labor Day weekend.
People at the foot of Broadway Pier pause to watch three sand sculptures being created for the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this Labor Day weekend.

Three cool sand sculptures are being created this very moment at the foot of the Broadway Pier. They will welcome visitors to the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this Labor Day weekend! Master sand artists from around the world will participate, as well as many talented local sand sculptors.

The three sand sculptures I photographed this morning promote the upcoming LEGO Ninjago movie, the San Diego public transit system, and welcome visitors to the annual competition, which is sponsored by the Port of San Diego. The large central sculpture will include images of the USS Midway and the Star of India!

Check it out!

These local sand artists belong to the I.B. Posse. They're working on a sculpture for MTS that will include San Diego's skyline.
These local sand artists belong to the I.B. Posse. They’re working on a sculpture for MTS that will include San Diego’s skyline.
I see some buildings taking form.
I see some buildings taking form.
You can see the three sand sculptures in this photo and a bit of the Broadway Pier.
You can see the three sand sculptures in this photo and a bit of the Broadway Pier.
The big sand sculpture in the middle by the Port of San Diego will feature images of the USS Midway and tall ship Star of India, which I see taking form in this photo.
The big sand sculpture in the middle by the Port of San Diego will feature images of the USS Midway and tall ship Star of India, which I see taking form in this photo.
Master sand artists are at work in San Diego, getting ready for a big international sand sculpture competition!
Master sand artists are at work in San Diego, getting ready for the upcoming international sand sculpture competition!
Melineige Beauregard, a champion sand sculptor from Quebec, is working on this super cool LEGO Ninjago piece!
Melineige Beauregard, a champion sand sculptor from Quebec, is working on this super cool LEGO Ninjago piece!
Several cool works of sand art are being created this very moment on San Diego's Embarcadero!
Several cool works of sand art are being created at this very moment on San Diego’s Embarcadero!

UPDATE!

I got photos late Monday of the three sand sculptures. The finishing touches were being carefully applied!

The Port of San Diego is presenting Labor Day on the Bay! I love the central sculpture, complete with the USS Midway!
The Port of San Diego is presenting Labor Day on the Bay! I love the central sculpture, complete with the USS Midway!
All that's left is to carve in several sponsors beneath the Star of India!
All that’s left is to carve in several sponsors beneath the Star of India!
Melineige Beauregard finished the Ninjago sculpture. Now she's putting the finishing touches on the MTS sculpture!
Melineige Beauregard finished the Ninjago sculpture. Now she’s putting the finishing touches on the MTS sculpture!
And here's the super cool LEGO Ninjago Movie sand sculpture--all done!
And here’s the super cool LEGO Ninjago Movie sand sculpture–all done!

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!

Getting ready for 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

Putting sand into wooden forms, preparing to make sand sculptures that will welcome visitors to the Broadway Pier!
Putting sand into wooden forms, preparing to make sand sculptures that will welcome visitors to the Broadway Pier!

Look what I spotted during my walk along the Embarcadero after work today! Preparations are underway for the big 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge which takes place this coming Labor Day Weekend!

As you can see, sand is being put into large wooden forms at the base of the Broadway Pier. I learned from a friendly guy scooping sand that the competing sculptures will actually be created inside the Broadway Pier’s Port Pavilion! (In past years they were outside, along the south edge of the nearby B Street Pier.)

I also see that this year, outside on the Broadway Pier, there will be all sorts of food, cool “dimensional art” and live music, much like the past events.

Finally, I learned that the three sand sculptures just getting started today will welcome visitors to the Broadway Pier. One sculpture will depict the USS Midway and Star of India. Another has something to do with LEGOs. A third will promote MTS, San Diego’s public transit system.

I’m getting excited! The best sand artists in the world will be here next weekend! I’m going! It will be cool to see their masterpieces!

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is coming to San Diego's Broadway Pier during Labor Day Weekend!
The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is coming to San Diego’s Broadway Pier during Labor Day Weekend!
Meanwhile, this afternoon during my walk, I saw some folks enjoying the pier, watching two harbor cruise ships coming in from the bay.
Meanwhile, this afternoon during my walk, I saw some folks enjoying the pier, watching two harbor cruise ships coming in from the bay.
This friendly guy told me there will be three sand sculptures here at the base of the pier. The competing sand sculptures will actually be created inside the Port Pavilion this year!
This friendly guy told me there will be three sand sculptures here at the base of the pier. The competing sand sculptures will actually be created inside the Port Pavilion this year!
Quarry sand mixed with water will be compacted, and then carved into some cool sculptures during the coming week!
Quarry sand mixed with water will be compacted, and then carved here into three cool sculptures during the coming week! Stay tuned!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Beautiful morning photos at Broadway Pier.

Someone gazes from the Broadway Pier across the water toward Coast Guard Air Station San Diego, whose buildings shine, reflecting the early morning sun.
Someone gazes from the Broadway Pier across the water toward Coast Guard Air Station San Diego, whose buildings shine, reflecting early morning sunlight.

I was surprised at the number of beautiful photos I was able to capture this morning during my leisurely walk out on the Broadway Pier. All was quiet. The sun was rising…

The sun is about to rise above a part of the San Diego skyline.
The sun is about to rise above a part of the San Diego skyline.
A gull glides over still water.
A gull glides over still water.
Early morning light turns aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) golden. It is docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
Early morning light turns active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) golden. It is docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
Colorful reflection on San Diego Bay of the USS Midway Museum, seen from the Broadway Pier.
Colorful reflection on San Diego Bay of the USS Midway Museum, seen from the Broadway Pier.
Bronze plaques create an historical timeline as one walks toward the pier's end. The construction of the Broadway Pier took place in 1913.
Bronze plaques create an historical timeline as one walks toward the pier’s end. The construction of the Broadway Pier took place in 1913.
An exquisitely beautiful seagull feather on the wet concrete at my feet.
An exquisitely beautiful seagull feather on the wet concrete at my feet.
Someone rides out to the end of the Broadway Pier early one Friday morning. Few people are about.
Someone rides out to the end of the Broadway Pier early one Friday morning. Few people are about.
Water droplets cling to the metal seats and tables at the end of the Broadway Pier.
Water droplets cling to the metal seats and tables at the end of the Broadway Pier.
Three large maps on the Broadway Pier show the shape of San Diego Bay in different eras. This outline of the modern bay shows where I now stand on the Embarcadero!
Three large maps on the Broadway Pier show the shape of San Diego Bay in different eras. This outline of the modern bay shows where I now stand on the Embarcadero!
Beautiful clouds and morning light frame a United States Coast Guard Cutter in the middle of San Diego Bay.
Beautiful clouds and morning light on blue water frame a United States Coast Guard Cutter in the middle of San Diego Bay.
A dreamlike vision one morning at San Diego's magical Broadway Pier.
A dreamlike vision one morning at San Diego’s magical Broadway 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!