Learning the ropes at the Maritime Museum!

Nearly a hundred new hands were “learning the ropes” on San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India today!

During my visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I asked what all those folks on the deck were up to. I was told they’re learning all about sailing a tall ship. It was the first day of the Sail Training 101 class that is held every year.

There’s a ton to learn–can you imagine? Different masts, yards, sails, all those different ropes and cables, different knots, the jargon–all of it crucial in the sailing of a ship. (I’m a museum member and avid reader of nautical fiction, and I still become confused by much of it!)

Many of these new volunteer crew members, once trained, will be sailing several of the Maritime Museum’s tall ships, including Californian and San Salvador. This coming November the Star of India will sail with those other two ships out onto the Pacific Ocean!

In one upcoming photo, someone down in the Star of India’s hold is raising a heavy bucket full of rocks. That’s practice for hauling on a line–a very common activity on a tall ship!

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A short but sunny Embarcadero walk.

I spent a couple hours today reading by the water and strolling along San Diego’s sunny Embarcadero. When I reached Ruocco Park, I was entertained by the above Lone Sound Ranger and decided–what the heck–I’ll continue to take photographs.

Nothing too unusual here. Just a typical day along San Diego’s waterfront.

Bay views . . . boats . . . street entertainers . . . vendor carts . . . monuments . . . downtown buildings rising to one side. It’s mid-January, so no huge crowds.

These photos were taken as I continued my way north, past Tuna Harbor and the USS Midway. You’ll probably recognize the Embracing Peace “kiss” statue.

My final shots were taken out on Broadway Pier, and then a few steps north of it where another street musician was singing with a big smile.

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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!

Smiles before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade!

Look at all the smiles! They could be seen everywhere before the start of San Diego’s big 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade!

MLK Day is tomorrow, so today was a fine day to celebrate the legacy of the great civil rights leader. The rain even paused for the parade and a bit of sun peeked through!

But the sun couldn’t outshine the bright smiles I saw on Harbor Drive!

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Balancing high in the sky above San Diego!

I never tire of tall ships.

When crew members are working aloft, I have to stop and stare.

That was the case this afternoon at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Up in the rigging of visiting tall ship Exy Johnson, members of her crew balanced high in the sky, like circus performers, unfurling sails.

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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!

Exy Johnson tall ship visits San Diego!

The beautiful tall ship Exy Johnson is visiting San Diego. She’s now docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I was told the Exy Johnson arrived in San Diego Bay so that she can be hauled out in Chula Vista for her periodic maintenance and inspection.

The last time I saw the two-masted brigantine was during the 2017 Festival of Sail on the Embarcadero. It’s hard to believe that was almost six years ago!

The Exy Johnson and her twin ship Irving Johnson are based up the coast at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. The two tall ships take students out on educational sailing excursions. What an incredible opportunity for young people! Can you imagine sailing on her?

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!

Why is there no star on this Christmas tree?

Q: Why is there no star on this Christmas tree?

A: Because this Christmas tree is on top of the star!

On top of the Star of India!

A small laugh and smile for this Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!

Richard

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!

Ruocco Park plaque memorializes Deborah Hoffman.

Today I sat on one of the benches in Ruocco Park reading a book. As I stood up and looked around, I discovered a plaque in nearby greenery that I’d never noticed before. It reads:

In loving memory of Deborah Hoffman, of The San Diego Foundation.

Instrumental in bringing together private philanthropy and the public sector to create a park for future generations.

Here’s an article that explains how the idea of Ruocco Park originated in the minds of architect Lloyd Ruocco and his wife, Ilse, art professor at San Diego State University. It then explains how Deborah Hoffman, senior vice president for the San Diego Foundation, worked continuously for five years to meld the Ruocco fund with assistance from local governments, particularly the Unified Port of San Diego, which controls the land.

I’ve spent many hours over many years sitting in this fine park, reading, writing, listening to street musicians, gazing at people walking down the boardwalk past Tuna Harbor and its picturesque fishing boats.

All I can say is thank you.

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!

Greetings Tour mural at Seaport Village.

Early last year, the artists of the Greetings Tour (@GreetingsTour) painted this mural in Seaport Village. I finally got around to photographing it!

If the style seems somewhat familiar, this same artist couple has painted three other postcard-like murals in San Diego: in Little Saigon, North Park, and Liberty Station!

The traveling artists Lisa and Victor have created dozens of “postcard murals” all around the country, but San Diego boasts more of them than any other city!

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!

Rare airplane debuts on USS Midway!

Today a very rare airplane was transported across San Diego Bay. An enormous floating crane carried a restored Vought F7U Cutlass from Naval Air Station North Island and set it down onto the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum aircraft carrier.

Only seven Vought F7U Cutlass aircraft, built in the early years of the Cold War, are known to still exist. One of them was carefully restored at North Island. Today it joined many other historical aircraft on display at the USS Midway Museum.

I saw the tall crane as it was being pushed by a tugboat away from the museum. Then I observed an unusual plane perched on the flight deck by the aircraft carrier’s horns. A docent informed me what had just happened!

The Vought F7U Cutlass is a very odd looking airplane. Its design is unusual–there is no tail! See its Wikipedia page here!

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!