Huge banner celebrates San Diego’s birthday!

The County Administration Building in downtown San Diego got a gigantic new banner today! It celebrates the 250th Anniversary of San Diego’s founding!

Those who look up at the banner from the Embarcadero are reminded that San Diego–which started very modestly back in 1769 with the construction of a Spanish mission and presidio–was California’s first port and first city!

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!

Memorial Day weekend at Festival of the Sea!

As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.
As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.

There’s a great festival going on this Memorial Day weekend at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The new, family-friendly waterfront event, sponsored by the Port of San Diego, is called Festival of the Sea!

I headed to the Maritime Museum late this morning to see what was going on!

On the deck of the Star of India, I listened to the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival sponsored by San Diego Folk Heritage. Inside the steam ferry Berkeley, I got to see lots of art by local artists, then peruse books, prints and other used items that are being sold in a kind of nautical rummage sale. From the museum’s barge behind the Berkeley, I viewed a cannon battle out on San Diego Bay, then enjoyed free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream!

The Festival of the Sea also includes kids’ educational activities, costumes galore, and the opportunity to enjoy adult beverages while taking in amazing views of San Diego Bay.

Here come a few photos!

A friendly guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
A smiling guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego's barge.
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s barge.
You just knew there would be a pirate!
You just knew there would be a pirate!
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy.
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy. (Yes, that tray you get holds four different flavors!)
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Friendly author Joseph O'Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher's Prize is the first book of a series!
Friendly author Joseph O’Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher’s Prize is the first book of a series!
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much!
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much variety!
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Examples of Norm Daniel's surf and island themed work.
Examples of Norm Daniel’s surf and island themed work.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego's unique Model Shop is busy during the festival.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s unique Model Shop is also active during the festival.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
Beyond the museum's Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Beyond the museum’s Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
The Martime Museum's beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
The Maritime Museum’s beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which you might remember seeing in the great movie Master and Commander.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which starred with Russell Crowe in the great movie Master and Commander.
Back on the Star of India, people enjoy live entertainment.
Back on the Star of India, more people are gathering to enjoy live entertainment.
A kid explores the workings of the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A kid explores the workings of the world’s oldest active sailing ship!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous tunes during the Festival of the Sea!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous nautical tunes during the Festival of the Sea!

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!

Dancing in the rain, wet Corvettes, and a smile!

A few diehards hang out as the North County Corvette Club's Plastic Fantastic car show comes to an end on an early rainy Sunday afternoon.
A few diehards hang out as the North County Corvette Club’s Plastic Fantastic car show comes to an end on a drizzly Sunday afternoon.

San Diego was a wee bit damp today. Light showers off and on. May has been unusually wet this year, not unlike our winter.

Early this afternoon I walked along the Embarcadero with my hood up and my camera protected from water and wind. We residents of San Diego are spoiled by our city’s near perfect weather. When a drop or two falls, many become discombobulated. But others relish the change.

During my walk what did I discover?

Dancing in the rain--or light, steady showers--by the gazebo in Seaport Village.
Dancing in the rain–or light showers–by the gazebo in Seaport Village.
An umbrella is at the ready near the Marriott Marina.
An umbrella is at the ready near the Marriott Marina.
One last look at some remaining Corvettes.
One last look at some remaining Corvettes.
Cool cars under overcast skies.
Cool cars under overcast skies.
A few cars remain parked on the grass of Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A few cars remain parked on the grass of Embarcadero Marina Park North.
See you next year. Hopefully the weather is sunny.
See you next year. Hopefully the weather is sunny.
A big puddle awaits a good number of visitors at Seaport Village.
A big puddle awaits a good number of visitors at Seaport Village.
But the nearby pier is almost empty.
But the nearby pier is almost empty.
Some fishermen docked at the pier are busy working. A little rain is just water.
Some fishermen docked at the pier are busy working. A little rain is just a little more water.
Someone near the USS Midway has taken shelter under a tarp.
Someone near the USS Midway has taken shelter under a tarp.
A scooter and its reflection in another puddle.
A scooter and its reflection in another puddle.
The showers have torn purple jacaranda blooms from nearby trees.
The showers have torn purple jacaranda blooms from nearby trees.
An interesting pattern in wet wood on the Broadway Pier.
An interesting pattern in wet wood on the Broadway Pier.
The wind was blowing hard, and flags were flapping wildly.
The wind was blowing pretty hard, and flags were flapping wildly.
Few were walking or running along the wet, chilly Embarcadero.
Few were walking or running along the wet, chilly Embarcadero.
Some tourists take a look at San Diego Bay from the dry comfort of an Old Town Trolley.
Some tourists take a look at downtown and San Diego Bay from the dry comfort of an Old Town Trolley.
The Port of San Diego and Maritime Museum are hosting a big Festival of the Sea this coming Memorial Day weekend. You can bet I'll be there!
The Port of San Diego and Maritime Museum are hosting a big Festival of the Sea this coming Memorial Day weekend. Rain or shine, you can bet I’ll be there!
Clouds and wind observed from the passenger deck of the Maritime Museum's steam ferry Berkeley.
Clouds and wind observed from the passenger deck of the Maritime Museum’s steam ferry Berkeley.
My musician and artist friend Carlos assured me the sun would soon come out . . . and he was right!
My street musician and artist friend Carlos assured me the sun would soon come out . . . and he was right!

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 dance, Wonder Woman, empty shoes, roses.

An exhausted face looks out from the window of Via Pia restaurant.
An exhausted face looks out from the window of Via Pia restaurant.

This afternoon, feeling restless, I went on a random walk through downtown San Diego.

It’s Mother’s Day.

If this blog post seems vaguely philosophical, I’ll let you decide what it all means…

I spotted a City Ballet of San Diego poster in the lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building. Carmina Burana is coming soon.
I spotted a City Ballet of San Diego poster in the lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building. Carmina Burana is coming soon.
City Ballet of San Diego is looking for donations for their Pointe Shoe Fund.
City Ballet of San Diego is looking for donations for their Pointe Shoe Fund.
A glass container full of pointe ballet shoes. Each provides an unknown number of dances.
A glass container full of pointe shoes. Each provides an unknown number of dances.
William Dorsett, a street artist who often hangs out near the USS Midway, created this cool painting of Wonder Woman.
William Dorsett, a street artist who often hangs out near the USS Midway, created this cool painting of Wonder Woman.
A couple walks along Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A couple walks along Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Mexican dolls for sale on the boardwalk.
Mexican dolls for sale on the boardwalk.
A spinning yellow sunflower at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
A yellow sunflower at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
Someone mediates on the wall near Rock Man, the amazing stone balancer.
Someone mediates on the wall near Rock Man, the amazing balancer.
A faded flower at the foot of the Merchant Seamen Memorial.
A fading flower at the foot of the Merchant Seamen Memorial.
Walking along by the water one afternoon.
Strolling along by the water one afternoon.
A duck disregards a sign by the Children's Park fountain.
A duck disregards a sign by the Children’s Park fountain.
A restored PCC streetcar of the Silver Line arrives at the Convention Center trolley station.
A restored PCC streetcar of the Silver Line arrives at the Convention Center trolley station.
Checking out a cool classic car in the Gaslamp.
Checking out a classic car in the Gaslamp.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Shoes with no walker.
Shoes with no walker.
Carrying a bouquet of red roses.
Carrying a bouquet of red roses.

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!

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Waterfront Park!

Today is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s wonderful Waterfront Park!

A special event celebrating the anniversary will be held today on the park’s south side lawn from 3 pm to 10 pm. There will be live music, kids activities, food trucks, and a whole lot of family fun!

Waterfront Park remains one of my favorite spots in San Diego. It’s a sunny place where I can sit on a bench to eat or read a book. Fountains splash, people play on the grass, and sails move gracefully in the distance on San Diego Bay.

Five years ago I attended the big grand opening of Waterfront Park and took loads of photographs. To see them, click here!

UPDATE!

I swung by Waterfront Park this evening to experience a little of the anniversary event!

I checked out a couple of information tables and learned about San Diego County Parks and Recreation, and the supportive non-profit San Diego County Parks Society. Both are looking for volunteers!

I saw food trucks, bounce houses, kids running wild through the huge, awesome Waterfront Park playground, and lots of happy people by the splashing fountains and on the grass. I saw a red-tailed hawk, the Pad Squad and the Swinging Friar, and the 80s pop music cover band FlashPants.

Great fun!

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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!

Take a tour aboard a new Coast Guard cutter!

This weekend the general public has the rare opportunity to take a free tour aboard a brand new United States Coast Guard cutter! The USCGC Benjamin Bottoms, which is scheduled to be commissioned in San Diego this week, is presently docked on the Embarcadero just north of the Maritime Museum.

USCGC Benjamin Bottoms (WPC-1132) is a Sentinel-class or Fast Response cutter that has very advanced capabilities. The vessel will be based in San Pedro and will spend most of its time off the coast of Southern California engaging in maritime rescues, drug interdiction, and a variety of other missions.

I stepped aboard today and was greeted by smiling crew members, heroes who have saved the lives of many. I was permitted to take photos everywhere but inside the pilothouse, which contains the latest technology. I was told that almost everything on the cutter is computerized, with sensors and controls just about everywhere. This type of cutter is unique in that it is equipped with a bow thruster which allows for very nimble maneuvering.

After checking out the pilothouse, our tour headed to the rear of the cutter where a small Cutterboat – Over the Horizon inflatable boat can be quickly released into the ocean or pulled back aboard. With its jet drive, the cutterboat has the ability to pursue and overtake very fast vessels.

We then went inside the Benjamin Bottoms to see its galley, a central dining and meeting area, and some officer quarters.

When you take a tour of the vessel, a friendly crew member will also tell you how the ship got her name. To summarize, using the words of Wikipedia: “Benjamin Bottoms was a United States Coast Guard radio operator who died while attempting to rescue the crew of a USAAF bomber that had crashed-landed in Greenland in November 1942.”

Head down to the Embarcadero tomorrow between 9 am and 2 pm and enjoy a fascinating tour and say Thank You to some genuine heroes!

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 aboard Peruvian Navy tall ship BAP Unión!

Many cool sights await visitors who come aboard Peruvian Navy training ship BAP Unión.
Many cool sights await visitors who come aboard Peruvian Navy training ship BAP Unión.

This morning I stepped aboard an amazing ship. The enormous Peruvian tall ship BAP Unión visited San Diego for the weekend!

The BAP Unión is a beautiful sailing vessel that is used to train cadets in the Peruvian Navy. The 378 foot, four-masted barque also operates as a floating goodwill ambassador, uniquely representing the nation of Peru.

San Diego is the first stop of BAP Unión’s first ever tour of the West Coast!

I took photographs of the tall ship from Broadway Pier late Thursday. Today I took the opportunity to go aboard and walk around the deck on a self-guided tour.

Please read the photo captions for more interesting information. Click the signs and they will enlarge for easy reading.

Four-masted barque BAP Unión docked at Broadway Pier in San Diego, during its 2019 tour of the West Coast.
Four-masted barque BAP Unión docked at Broadway Pier in San Diego, during its 2019 tour of the West Coast.
People explore the impressive tall ship during its visit to San Diego's Embarcadero.
People explore the impressive tall ship during its visit to San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Sign explains the BAP Unión's figurehead, which represents emperor Túpac Inca Yupanqui, who led a fleet of rafts on a voyage of exploration across the Pacific Ocean.
Sign explains the BAP Unión’s figurehead, which represents emperor Túpac Inca Yupanqui, who led a fleet of rafts on a voyage of exploration across the Pacific Ocean.
The bronze figurehead was sculpted by Peruvian artist Pilar Martínez.
The bronze figurehead was sculpted by Peruvian artist Pilar Martínez.
A gangway welcomes curious visitors during a sunny San Diego weekend.
A gangway welcomes curious visitors during a sunny San Diego weekend.
Bienvenidos a bordo al BAP "Unión"
Bienvenidos a bordo al B.A.P. “Unión”
On the main deck of BAP Unión, near the aft mainmast and its many ropes.
On the main deck of BAP Unión, near the aft mainmast and its many working ropes.
The ship's shining bell.
The ship’s shining bell.
Tilting my head upward to gaze at the tall ship's masts, yards and rigging.
Tilting my head upward to gaze at the tall ship’s masts, yards and rigging.
I've turned about to face the ship's stern. I see plaques, the ship's wheel and the ship's bridge.
I’ve turned about to face the ship’s stern. I see plaques, the ship’s wheel and the bridge.
Sign explains Peru's coat of arms, a national symbol used by the nation's armed forces.
Sign explains Peru’s coat of arms, a national symbol used by the country’s armed forces.
Plaque commemorates the launching of BAP Unión on December 22, 2014. The ship was commissioned on January 27, 2016. At the time of her commissioning, she was the largest sailing ship in Latin America.
Plaque commemorates the launching of BAP Unión on December 22, 2014. The ship was commissioned on January 27, 2016. At the time of her commissioning, she was the largest sailing ship in Latin America.
Artistic metalwork can be found all over the perfectly maintained tall ship, including these medallion-like designs.
Artistic metalwork can be found all over the perfectly maintained tall ship, including these medallion-like designs.
Shining plaques in the wooden deck at the foot of some steps.
Shining plaques in the wooden deck at the foot of some steps.
Climbing up the steps that lead to an area near the ship's bridge.
Climbing up the steps that lead to an area near the ship’s bridge.
Engraved at the edge of each step is BUQUE ESCUELA UNION.
Engraved at the edge of each step is BUQUE ESCUELA UNION.
Looking back down at the wooden deck around the aft mainmast.
Looking back down at the wooden deck around the aft mainmast.
A visitor aboard the BAP Unión checks out the impressive ship's wheel.
A visitor aboard the BAP Unión checks out the impressive ship’s wheel.
The shining words BUQUE ESCUELA A VELA UNION.
The words BUQUE ESCUELA A VELA UNION.
A sign provides a description of the ship's wheel.
A sign provides a description of the ship’s wheel.
Looking forward along the ship. Many downtown San Diego buildings rise in the background.
Looking forward across the amazing ship. Many downtown San Diego buildings rise in the background.
Mounted above the ship's bridge is Peru's proud coat of arms.
Mounted above the ship’s bridge is Peru’s coat of arms.
Walking past the bridge toward the stern of BAP Unión.
Walking past the bridge toward the stern of BAP Unión.
Visitors pose for a photo at a second wheel at the rear of the enormous tall ship.
Visitors pose for a photo at a second wheel at the rear of the large tall ship.
Looking straight up into the San Diego sky at the billowing flag of Peru.
Looking straight up into the San Diego sky at the billowing flag of Peru.
Starting forward, about to pass the ship's bridge.
Starting forward, about to pass the ship’s bridge.
Sign explains the bridge, where modern navigation and steering controls are located. The ship's watch is constant under the command of an officer.
Sign explains the bridge, where modern navigation and steering controls are located, and where naval cadets train. The ship’s watch is constant under the command of an officer.
About to descend steps, as I continue forward along the port side of the tall ship.
About to descend steps, as I continue forward along the port side of the ship.
A crew member on deck tends to some ropes.
A crew member on deck tends to some ropes.
Another look upward before heading into an internal part of the ship.
Another look upward before heading into an internal part of the ship.
Inside a comfortable cabin, visitors enjoy looking at many cultural displays concerning Peru, including exquisite crafts and textiles.
Inside a spacious cabin, visitors enjoy looking at many cultural displays that concern Peru, including exquisite crafts and textiles.
A fantastic work of art represents Peruvian culture.
A fantastic work of art represents Peruvian culture.
A colorful Peruvian folk art figurine.
A colorful Peruvian folk art figurine.
An officer's cap, books, and more artwork on a shelf.
An officer’s cap with books and more artwork on a shelf.
A photo through a window into the ship's kitchen, where Peruvian dishes are prepared for the crew and foreign guests.
As the self-guided tour proceeded, I took a photo through a window into the ship’s kitchen. This is where Peruvian dishes are prepared for the crew and foreign guests.
Sign describes the kitchen of BAP Unión.
Sign describes the kitchen of BAP Unión.
I see food being prepared!
I see some food being prepared!
Back outside in sunlight on a more forward part of the main deck. Souvenirs and wares from Peru could be purchased by visitors.
Back outside in sunlight on a more forward part of the main deck. Souvenirs from Peru could be purchased by visitors.
Another flight of steps leads toward the ship's bow.
Another flight of steps leads toward the ship’s bow.
I couldn't stop looking up.
I couldn’t stop looking up.
Visitors learn a bit about the tall ship's operation, including how an anchor is lowered.
Visitors learn a bit about the tall ship’s operation, including how an anchor is lowered.
An anchor chain, winch and other equipment on the deck near BAP Unión's bow.
An anchor chain, winch and other equipment operated by naval cadets near BAP Unión’s bow.
Looking backward across the upper deck of the picturesque Peruvian tall ship.
Looking back across the upper deck of the picturesque Peruvian tall ship.
One last sets of steps to descend before the self-guided tour ends.
One last sets of steps to descend before the self-guided tour ends.
The incredible Peruvian tall ship BAP Unión visits San Diego.
The incredible Peruvian tall ship BAP Unión visits 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!

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!