Celebration of Memorial Day by the USS Midway.

Around noon today there was a unique outdoor celebration of Memorial Day in downtown San Diego. The spectacle could be viewed in San Diego Bay and the sky above the USS Midway Museum!

A small crowd that had gathered by the iconic “Kiss” statue saw a Harbor Police patrol boat water cannon salute and a parade of personal watercraft arriving from across the bay bearing large American flags.

Then, after the patriotic parade had gathered in the water between the USS Midway and The Greatest Generation Walk, four vintage World War II aircraft belonging to Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force flew twice overhead, and departed with the missing man formation.

Much of the event was at a distance from where I stood, but my small camera managed to get a few good photographs…

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!

Enormous pipe laying ship docked in San Diego!

Take a look at this enormous ship! I saw it today docked at San Diego’s B Street Pier, across from the Cruise Ship Terminal. The vessel, with what appears to be a helicopter pad high above its bow, is so huge I spotted it several blocks from San Diego’s Embarcadero!

The Normand Energy is a Pipe Layer vessel built in 2007, sailing under the flag of Norway. I was curious why such an unusual ship is visiting San Diego, so I searched the news.

It turns out the Normand Energy was chartered by Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) to test the Patania II, a deep-sea mining prototype. But on April 25 Patania II became detached from its 5 kilometer (over 3 miles!) cable and became stranded on the Pacific Ocean floor!

According to this article, the “25-tonne mining robot prototype was trialed in the Clarion Clipperton Zone in the Pacific since April 20. The machine was supposed to collect nodules rich in cobalt and other battery metals…such minerals would be used to supplement in-demand electronic products and energy storage such as smartphones, laptops, solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles…”

According to this article, a recovery mission successfully retrieved Patania II on April 29.

Environmentalists including Greenpeace oppose deep-sea mining and the damage to the ocean bottom that would result, but ironically the rare earth elements that could be extracted are required for various components in clean energy technology.

If you’re curious about the whereabouts of the Clarion Clipperton Zone and what this “geological submarine fracture zone” is exactly, here’s a fascinating Wikipedia article.

Check out additional photographs of the Normand Energy that I took from various angles. The next two are from the 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!

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Soviet submarine at Maritime Museum nears end of life.

A sign posted on San Diego’s Embarcadero near the Maritime Museum of San Diego indicates their Russian Foxtrot Class attack submarine B-39 has continued to rust, causing the historic vessel to near the end of its life.

A storm this winter that tore away sections of the outer metal skin has accelerated the submarine’s degradation. I believe it was the storm that I recorded back in January here. You can see waves in usually calm San Diego Bay breaking against the submarine.

It’s hoped that as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, museum visitors will have one more chance to take a look inside the B-39. I learned that once the submarine has reached the end of its life, it will likely be taken to a shipyard to recover whatever might be salvageable. I also learned the Maritime Museum has thoroughly recorded the interior of the vessel, to preserve a very important part of Cold War history.

Learn more about this submarine by checking out the museum web page concerning it here.

I enjoyed a self-guided tour inside the Foxtrot-class submarine nearly five years ago, and posted some interesting photographs. If you’d like to see them, click 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!

Demolition of Navy Broadway Complex resumes.

The demolition of the immense, old Navy Broadway Complex on San Diego’s Embarcadero has resumed!

This morning I happened to notice a good chuck of the large remaining Navy building has vanished!

In 2017 demolition began on an adjacent section of the complex, to make room for the new 17-story U.S. Navy Region Southwest Headquarters, which was completed in September of 2020.

Four years ago I posted photographs of that phase of the demolition, and other construction activity along San Diego’s waterfront, here.

Once the last remnants of the Navy Broadway Complex are finally removed, construction can begin in earnest of the Manchester Pacific Gateway, which will feature a total of six new buildings.

According to the site plan, there will be a 1.9 acre plaza across Harbor Drive from the Broadway Pier and USS Midway Museum, a 34-floor Convention Center hotel with retail on Broadway by Pacific Highway, and office space in the five other, smaller buildings.

If you want to learn more about this project, which has evolved over its many years of planning, click here.

It appears the new bayfront hotel and its outdoor park will be called One Broadway Hotel & Plaza.


One of my blog’s readers has informed me that I’m not quite up-to-date about this project. An article in the Union Tribune last September relates how “IQHQ real estate investment group…completed its acquisition of around two-thirds — or five city blocks — of the development site known as Manchester Pacific Gateway. The transaction paves the way for what IQHQ is calling the San Diego Research and Development District…”

So it seems the plans for this property have continued to evolve…


I took more photographs a couple weeks later…


And here are a four more pics that I took one morning in early June from Harbor Drive…

…and a couple days later…

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!

Bike to Explore the Shore in April!

Bicyclists are encouraged to Explore the Shore during the month of April!

As I walked along the Embarcadero today, I saw an interesting sign just south of the USS Midway Museum.

Residents are being urged by Circulate San Diego to bike the Bayshore Bikeway, which circles San Diego Bay. The sign explains: “The Bayshore Bikeway is a 24-mile bicycle circuit with 13 miles of car-free bicycle paths and a number of scenic points.”

The route leads from downtown San Diego through Barrio Logan, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, the Silver Strand and Coronado. To return to downtown San Diego from Coronado, people can transport their bikes on the Coronado Ferry.

Of course, you can also ride in the opposite direction!

I took some photos of the sign, but to see a better, easier to read interactive Google map of the Bayshore Bikeway, click here.

Check this out! When you ride the Bayshore Bikeway through Chula Vista, you’ll see a series of amazing, huge outdoor murals that almost nobody else can see!

Or you can click here and see them right now!

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!

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.
A line of people is waiting to catch the ferry back to Coronado!

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Photos of high winds downtown.

San Diego is now experiencing very unsettled winter weather. High winds, rain, even thunderstorms and a funnel cloud or two. Lots of snow in the mountains to the east.

Today the wind throughout downtown was unusually strong. Especially by the water. Not quite the devastating winds we experienced one night five years ago, when numerous boats were driven into the rocks along the Embaracadero and sank. (You can see those tragic photographs here.)

But I saw flags flapping wildly, palm trees bending as if they were made of rubber, and I had to constantly hold onto my hat!

When I reached San Diego Bay, which is usually calm, I was surprised by the stormy, foaming waves. It always amazes me that deep water can be disturbed powerfully by wind along its surface.

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!

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!

What’s wrong with this picture?

The other day I was walking along the Embarcadero past Ruocco Park when I took this rather bizarre photograph.

What’s wrong with this picture?

If that fellow wearing orange is a huge soccer fan playing golf on an urban course that features five foot diameter holes, clearly nothing is wrong!

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!