Beauty rises after sunset in San Diego.

San Diego is beautiful.

I never grow tired of walking through my city.

This evening I arrived at Waterfront Park right as the sun was setting behind Star of India and the ships of the Maritime Museum.

I walked to the inky bay, then turned south and strolled along the Embarcadero as the sunset slowly faded above the horizon.

I passed the Cruise Ship Terminal and paused near the foot of Broadway Pier to listen to some musicians, and gaze out at the Port Pavilion and USS Midway.

I then turned east down Broadway and quickened my pace as I headed for home.

My camera doesn’t take the best photographs in growing darkness, but I got a few pretty good ones this evening that I’d like to share…

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!

Photos of Chinese warship visiting San Diego.

The Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego at the Cruise Ship Terminal. It is part of a four day visit by ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy.
The Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego at the Cruise Ship Terminal. It is part of a four day visit by ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

This morning I got a few photos of a Chinese Navy warship that will be visiting San Diego for four days. The ship I saw docked at the Cruise Ship Terminal is the frigate Yancheng, which is part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. Two additional Chinese Navy ships arrived during the day. I saw them in the darkness after work during an evening walk along the Embarcadero. Those two other ships are the frigate Daqing and the oiler Tai Hu.

The intent of the visit is to foster trust and mutual understanding between two military powers–the United States and China. In addition to cultural exchanges, visiting Chinese and local American sailors will enjoy playing games of table tennis and basketball together. In a small, sometimes turbulent world, perhaps it is good to make friendships.

United States military personnel walk along the B Street Pier during a visit of the Chinese Navy to San Diego.
United States military personnel walk along the B Street Pier during a visit of the Chinese Navy to San Diego.
Another photo of the Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego Bay on December 6, 2016.
Another photo of the Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego Bay on December 6, 2016.

The once-mysterious origin of a U. S. Navy bronze plaque on display in San Diego has come to light. Learn more about this fascinating bit of San Diego and Navy history by checking out my blog post Creating a plaque: Navy history in San Diego revealed!

College sailing: Women’s National race on San Diego Bay!

ICSA Women's Semifinals on San Diego Bay. Competing sailboats approach downtown's Cruise Ship Terminal.
ICSA Women’s Semifinals on San Diego Bay. Competing sailboats approach downtown’s Cruise Ship Terminal.

Check out these cool photos!

I was walking along the Embarcadero early this evening when I saw dozens of tiny sailboats out racing on silvery San Diego Bay. I noticed the sails featured the letters SDYC, which stands for San Diego Yacht Club.

When I got home, an internet search revealed that I had been observing the first day of ICSA Women’s Semifinals action. San Diego is the location of the 2016 College Sailing / Sperry Women’s Nationals. The 36 sailboats that I watched represent top universities from all around the United States, which are competing through Friday right here on our beautiful bay! Winner takes home the coveted Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association’s Gerald C. Miller Trophy!

Small sailboats float on a sheet of silver, beneath dramatic clouds.
Small sailboats float on rippled silver, beneath dramatic clouds.
Shining sails dance in the wind, as paired sailors from 36 colleges around the country compete in the Women's Nationals.
Shining sails dance in the wind, as paired sailors from 36 colleges around the country compete in the Women’s Nationals.
A zoomed photo of the sailboats dancing across San Diego Bay.
A zoomed photo of the sailboats dancing across San Diego Bay.
The San Diego Yacht Club sailboats approach the Embarcadero, having just passed the finish line.
The San Diego Yacht Club sailboats approach the Embarcadero, having just passed the finish line.
These sailors were among the leaders. The top 18 semifinalist teams will move on to the finals.
These sailors were among the leaders. The top 18 semifinalist teams will move on to the finals.
A very cool sight during a random walk along the water before sunset!
A very cool sight during a random walk along the water before sunset!
The leading sailboats approach San Diego's Cruise Ship Terminal, as gleaming skyscrapers rise in the background.
The leading sailboats approach San Diego’s Cruise Ship Terminal.  Gleaming skyscrapers rise in the background.
The leaders from this race lined up in finishing order. Fascinated, I watched from the Broadway Pier.
The leaders from this race appeared to line up in finishing order. Fascinated, I watched from the Broadway Pier.
And then a few minutes later they are off again! A seagull watches the sails dip and tack over the water like white wings.
And then a few minutes later they were off again! A gull watches sails dip and tack in the sea breeze, like fluttering white wings.
A team that competed in College Sailing's ICSA Women's Semifinals starts back across San Diego Bay before night falls.
A team that competed in College Sailing’s ICSA Women’s Semifinals starts back across San Diego Bay before night falls.

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

Photos of amazing, incredible sand sculptures!

Many of the world's best sand artists are in San Diego for the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Many of the world’s best sand artists are in San Diego for the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.

Right now, the world’s most amazing sand sculptures are standing on the B Street Pier on San Diego’s Embarcadero. They were created by a select group of international sand masters for the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge. These talented sculptors are world-class artists, as you can see from the following images. My photos were taken on Saturday morning shortly after the gate opened.  All of the competing artists were on the pier adding the final touches to their incredible artwork. The sculptures will be officially judged this afternoon.

The theme of the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this year is the Olympic Games. Many of the sand masterpieces had a classic, sculptural relief appearance. Every one was sensational.

The competitive event, which takes place downtown at the edge of our beautiful bay next to the Cruise Ship Terminal, continues through Labor Day weekend. If you can’t make it, enjoy these photos!

John Gowdy, Jersey Boy, now living in Italy, has been sand sculpting since 1990. He was winner of Sand Wars on the Travel Channel.
John Gowdy, Jersey Boy, now living in Italy, has been sand sculpting since 1990. He was winner of Sand Wars on the Travel Channel.
John Gowdy's Olympics-themed sculpture features Bruce Jenner, men's decathlon winner in 1976, and his transformation to female Caitlyn.
John Gowdy’s Olympics-themed sculpture features Bruce Jenner, men’s decathlon winner in 1976, and his transformation to female Caitlyn.
Bruce Jender. I am Cait...now.
Bruce Jender. I am Cait…now.
Unzipping a past gold-winning athlete. A new person emerges.
Unzipping a past gold-winning athlete. A new person emerges.
John Gowdy is interviewed by a video production crew at the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
John Gowdy is interviewed by a video production crew at the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Sue McGrew, from Tacoma, Washington, is also accomplished in snow and ice sculpting.
Sue McGrew, from Tacoma, Washington, is also accomplished in snow and ice sculpting.
Sue McGrew's sand sculpture titled Father of the Game, a statue-like image of Zeus, Greek king of the gods of Mount Olympus.
Sue McGrew’s sand sculpture titled Father of the Game, a statue-like image of Zeus, king of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus.
Amazing artistic skill is required to sculpt sand so perfectly. These sand masters, like Olympians, are the best in the world!
Amazing artistic skill is required to sculpt sand so perfectly. These sand masters, like Olympic athletes, are the best in the world!
Zeus seems to be sitting at the edge of the B Street Pier in downtown San Diego! The Port Pavilion and the Broadway Pier are in the background.
Zeus seems to be sitting at the edge of the B Street Pier in downtown San Diego! The Port Pavilion and the Broadway Pier are in the background.
JOOheng Tan, of Singapore, won last year's competition! He has been called Vincent Sand Gogh!
JOOheng Tan, of Singapore, won last year’s competition! He has been called Vincent Sand Gogh!
JOOheng Tan's sculpture, Game Over, is a striking work of art that immediately caught and held my eye.
JOOheng Tan’s sculpture, Game Over, is a striking work of art that immediately caught and held my eye.
Just an amazing, breathtaking work of art. You don't see something like this everyday! In a few days it will be swept away.
Just an amazing, incredible work of art. You don’t see something like this everyday! In a few days it will be swept away.
The artists are still at work, getting their pieces ready to be judged this afternoon.
The artists are still at work, getting their pieces ready to be judged this afternoon.
Ilya Filimontsev, from Moscow, Russia, is competing here for the first time, and I predict he will win an award! I voted for him and saw others doing the same.
Ilya Filimontsev, from Moscow, Russia, is competing here for the first time, and I predict he will win an award! I voted for him and saw others doing the same.
Ilya Filimontsev's sculpture is titled Never Give Up!!! Wow! Now that's an impressive sand sculpture. And he wasn't finished!
Ilya Filimontsev’s sculpture is titled Never Give Up!!! Wow! Now that’s an impressive sand sculpture. And he wasn’t finished!
Carefully working beneath a wing and Olympic olive wreath on a sunny San Diego Labor Day weekend.
Carefully working beneath a wing and Olympic olive wreath on a sunny San Diego Labor Day weekend.
A masterpiece of sand is being created as the public watches and takes photographs.
A masterpiece of sand is being created as the public watches and takes photographs.
Fergus Mulvany is from Dublin, Ireland. He studied fine art and became a sand artist as a student by chance!
Fergus Mulvany is from Dublin, Ireland. He studied fine art and became a sand artist as a student by chance!
Fergus Mulvany is working on his creation called The Threshold of Momentum. It's a fantastic piece, one of my favorites.
Fergus Mulvany is working on his creation called The Threshold of Momentum. It’s a fantastic piece, one of my favorites.
Closer photo shows superb detail work of the kinetic sand sculpture.
Closer photo shows superb detail work of the kinetic sand sculpture.
Back side of The Threshold of Momentum is simple and stylish.
Back side of The Threshold of Momentum is simple and stylish.
The artists were all friendly and didn't seem to mind chatting with folks who were admiring their works in progress.
The artists were all friendly and didn’t seem to mind chatting with folks who were admiring their works in progress.
Dan Belcher, of St. Louis, Missouri, is 14 time world champion sand sculptor!
Dan Belcher, of St. Louis, Missouri, is 14 time world champion sand sculptor!
I can see why Dan Belcher has won so many world championships. The artistry of his piece, Citius, Altius, Fortius, is exceptional.
I can see why Dan Belcher has won so many world championships. The artistry of his piece, Citius, Altius, Fortius, is exceptional.
Citius, Altius, Fortius is Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger. It's the Olympic Motto.
Citius, Altius, Fortius is Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger. It’s the Olympic Motto.
Human figures shaped from sand have bold form and physical presence.
Human figures shaped from sand have bold form and physical presence.
Susanne Ruseler, from the Netherlands, studied biology and thereby learned to represent and beautify human beings and all creatures. She has won many contests.
Susanne Ruseler, from the Netherlands, studied biology and thereby learned to represent and beautify human beings and all creatures. She has won many contests.
Susanne Ruseler's sculpture is called Long Jump. An Olympic athlete leaps like a rabbit!
Susanne Ruseler’s sculpture is called Long Jump. An Olympic athlete leaps like a rabbit!
Flowing hair made of sand. Incredible.
Flowing hair made of sand. Incredible.
I saw lots of water hoses, buckets, shovels and carving tools being used on the large sand creations.
I saw lots of water hoses, buckets, shovels and carving tools being used on the large sand creations.
Morgan Rudluff is from Santa Cruz, California. She considers herself to be quite fortunate and rich in many ways. Sand sculpting has her heart.
Morgan Rudluff is from Santa Cruz, California. She considers herself to be quite fortunate and rich in many ways. Sand sculpting has her heart.
Morgan Rudluff's sand sculpture is Perseverance. It appears to be a tower of Greek columns and abstract human forms.
Morgan Rudluff’s sand sculpture is Perseverance. It appears to be a tower made of a Greek column and abstract human forms.
We're nearing the end of the B Street Pier, gazing out at blue San Diego Bay.
We’re nearing the end of the B Street Pier, gazing out at blue San Diego Bay.
Many hours of hard work and perseverance combined with imagination and skill produces a fine result.
Many hours of hard work and perseverance combined with imagination and skill produces a fine result.
The steady hand of a world-class sand artist.
The steady hand of a world-class sand artist.
Kirk Rademaker comes from Stinson Beach, California. His nickname is The Sand Guy. Fantastical mechanical machines are his trademark.
Kirk Rademaker comes from Stinson Beach, California. His nickname is The Sand Guy. Fantastical mechanical machines are his trademark.
Kirk Rademaker is creating a piece called Anchor Leg, which indeed resembles an anchor. How appropriate, because it's by the water!
Kirk Rademaker is creating a piece called Anchor Leg, which indeed resembles an anchor. How appropriate, because it’s by the water!
The skyline of downtown San Diego can be seen to the east. It's a warm day and promises big crowds.
The skyline of downtown San Diego can be seen to the east. It’s a warm day and promises big crowds.
This sand sculpture was quite fantastic and left much to the imagination
This sand sculpture was quite fantastic and left much to the imagination
Melineige Beauregard is from Quebec, Canada. Some believe sand sculpting is art, some believe it's a sport. She believes it's a spiritual experience.
Melineige Beauregard is from Quebec, Canada. Some believe sand sculpting is art, some believe it’s a sport. She believes it’s a spiritual experience.
Melineige Beauregard's artwork is called In The Zone. I believe it was the most original creation of all the entries. You'll see why.
Melineige Beauregard’s artwork is called In The Zone. I believe it was the most original creation of all the entries. You’ll see why.
An interesting face decorates one end of the complicated multi-part sand sculpture.
An interesting face decorates one end of the complicated multi-part sand sculpture.
The opposite end features a circle, like an eyepiece, through which visitors are meant to look.
The opposite end features a circle, like an eyepiece, through which visitors are meant to look.
And this is what we see! An Olympic runner ready to race at the starting blocks!
And this is what we see! An Olympic runner ready to race at the starting blocks!
Jorvis Kivits, of the Netherlands, believes that in art, beauty should shine through. He has recently begun sculpting marble.
Jorvis Kivits, of the Netherlands, believes that in art, beauty should shine through. He has recently begun sculpting marble.
Photo Finish is the name of Jorvis Kivits' curvy piece. It's an unusual, wonderful thing to behold!
Photo Finish is the name of Jorvis Kivits’ curvy piece. It’s an unusual, wonderful thing to behold!
Gazing through some world-class sand art across San Diego Bay toward North Island.
Gazing through some world-class sand art across San Diego Bay toward North Island.
Eleven amazing works of art on the B Street Pier. Plus there are other team sand sculptures getting started, and a few finished pieces by event sponsors. Lots of cool stuff!
Eleven amazing works of art on the B Street Pier. Plus there are other team sand sculptures getting started, and a few finished sculptures by event sponsors. Lots of cool stuff all over!
As of this moment, these are the finest sand sculptures in the whole wide world. In a few days...they vanish! Go see them now, if you can!
As of this moment, these are the finest sand sculptures in the whole wide world. In a few days…they vanish! Go see them now, if you can!

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Japanese Self-Defense Force ships visit San Diego.

Three Japanese warships are visiting downtown San Diego's waterfront.
Three Japanese warships are visiting downtown San Diego’s waterfront.

This afternoon I spotted three ships of the Japanese Self-Defense Force in San Diego. They were docked at the downtown Cruise Ship Terminal on the busy Embarcadero. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force must be training with the US Navy off our coast, although I find nothing about any joint naval exercises when I do a quick search of Google News.

A year ago I spotted three warships belonging to Japan docked in the same spot. I see the big training ship Kashima, of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, has returned. (Last year an article I researched referred to it as a landing ship.)  I suspect the other two are destroyers, like last time.

It’s an interesting sight you don’t often see up close, so I took a few pics!

A sailboat on San Diego Bay checks out an unusual sight on a cloudy day.
A sailboat on San Diego Bay checks out an unusual sight on a cloudy day.
Bow of big training ship Kashima, of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Bow of big training ship Kashima, of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

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Two beautiful princesses cruise into San Diego.

The huge Crown Princess cruise ship docked on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The huge Crown Princess cruise ship is docked on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Everyone has seen photos of cruise ships, but two beauties were docked on San Diego’s waterfront this morning and gleaming in the sunshine, so I had to whip out my camera!

Once in a while, two or three cruise ships visit downtown at the same time. Some of these vessels are so huge that stood on end they’d dwarf many nearby skyscrapers. The two ships I saw in port today are operated by Princess Cruise Line. Both are classified as Grand-class cruise ships and have nearly identical lengths. Even after seeing them in person, it’s hard for me to grasp that these ships are 950 feet long! The Crown Princess can carry 3,080 passengers with a crew of 1,201. The Star Princess accommodates 2,590 passengers and a crew of 1,150. Incredible!

Two luxurious Grand-class cruise ships gleam on either side of the Cruise Ship Terminal.
Two luxurious Grand-class cruise ships gleam on either side of the Cruise Ship Terminal.
Gull checks out an amazing morning sight. Photo taken from the Broadway Pier.
Gull checks out an amazing morning sight. Photo taken from the Broadway Pier.
Man gazes at the sunlit bay near what soon will be an observation platform.
Man gazes at the sunlit bay.  The fenced area is where the Bay Cafe used to stand.  It soon will be an observation platform.

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US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Expo!

People arrive at the 2014 US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Expo in San Diego.
People arrive at the 2014 US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Expo in San Diego.

Here comes one more cool blog post concerning the 2014 US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Expo!

If you haven’t yet, please check out the SUPER AWESOME previous photos of the solo Sand Master competition at this event!

Now I’m going to cover the rest of what I saw. In addition to the incredible top international individual sand sculptors, a number of great teams also competed for fame and prizes. They started on their unique artwork today, so their creations seem in these early morning pics to have barely begun. I also enjoyed looking at many art exhibits, and a few sand sculptures dedicated to event sponsors.

The fun event on the B Street Pier was sponsored in part by Chevrolet.
The fun event on the B Street Pier was sponsored in part by Chevrolet.
Teams create fantastic sand sculptures out toward the end of the pier.
Teams create fantastic sand sculptures out toward the end of the pier.
Many displays of art dotted the exhibition, as well as food trucks and a stage.
Many displays of art dotted the exhibition, as well as food trucks and a stage.
The teams began their sculpting on Saturday, the day of my visit.
The teams began their sculpting on Saturday, the day of my visit.
This funny dude sifting sand said he hadn't found gold yet!
This funny dude sifting sand said he hadn’t found gold yet!
Teams from far and wide get started on their wonderful creations.
Teams from far and wide get started on their wonderful creations.
Some of the artwork you could enjoy was really sensational!
Some of the artwork you could enjoy was really sensational!
I saw the Sandcastle Man at the Imperial Beach event, too!
I saw the Sandcastle Man at the Imperial Beach event, too!
Now that's about as advanced as I am--a pail and shovel!
Now that’s about as advanced as I am–a pail and shovel!
These sand heaps will be two demons cast into heaven by Buddha.
These sand heaps will be two demons cast into heaven by Buddha.
MakerPlace was there demonstrating their creative local facility.
MakerPlace was there demonstrating their creative local facility.
What a beautiful Labor Day weekend by the bay on the Embarcadero!
What a beautiful Labor Day weekend by the bay on the Embarcadero!
A close look at an artist sculpting with great care.
A close look at an artist sculpting with great care.
Gazing back toward downtown, adjacent to the cruise ship terminal.
Gazing back toward downtown, adjacent to the cruise ship terminal.
The live entertainment hadn't started yet early this morning.
The live entertainment hadn’t started yet early this morning.
Another sponsor, Foster Farms, had their own very cool sand sculpture!
Another sponsor, Foster Farms, had their own very cool sand sculpture!

Tomorrow I’m checking out the equally awesome Festival of Sail, so stay tuned!

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