Yankee Baleeiros whaling exhibit opens at Cabrillo.

Looking out the rear of the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center on a beautiful day.
Looking out the rear of the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center on a beautiful day.

I saw on the morning news that an important exhibit was opening today in the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center. I haven’t been up that way since I blogged about the park’s centennial, so I figured I’d go check things out!

The traveling exhibition is called Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers. That’s quite a long title, but it’s fitting for the epic displays that occupy about half of the sizable visitor center. Developed by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the exhibit “celebrates the interwoven Luso-American stories of the Azorean, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian communities in the United States from early immigration in the 18th century through the latter half of the 20th century.” Sounds like a long and tedious thesis! But it’s actually fascinating! Basically, it shows the rich history of Portuguese speaking whalers in the Northeast, primarily New Bedford, and how they interacted with Yankee whalers.

As San Diego is one of the world’s best places to encounter a large variety of whale species, and as this is the season for migrating gray whales, the exhibit is more than appropriate. The displays also address how whaling techniques evolved over the years, the success of modern conservation efforts, and how whale-watching is now a much larger industy than whaling.

After listening to a short opening presentation by Park Superintendent Tom Workman and Christina Connett, PhD, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, I headed out to Cabrillo’s excellent Pacific Ocean viewing areas to scan the horizon for spouts. I didn’t see any, but there were a bunch of boats off Point Loma whale-watching on this sunny Sunday afternoon. I got more pics from my visit coming, so stay tuned!

If you haven’t been to Cabrillo National Monument in a while (or ever), head on over! The special exhibit will be on display through April 12, 2015.

Park Superintendent Tom Workman talks while Christina Connett of the New Bedford Whaling Museum listens.
Park Superintendent Tom Workman talks while Christina Connett of the New Bedford Whaling Museum listens.
People listen to presentation at opening of Yankee Baleeiros whaling exhibit.
People listen to presentation at opening of Yankee Baleeiros whaling exhibit.
Displays recount the history of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) whalers in America.
Displays recount the history of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) whalers in America.
New Bedford was the major port for whalers in the Northeast.
New Bedford was the major port for whalers in the Northeast.
Inside the visitor center is a section of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington.
Inside the visitor center is a section of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington.

Portions of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington were on display inside and outside the visitor center. The complete work is 1,275 feet long and eight and a half feet tall! It’s believed to be the longest painting in the world! The piece went on a national tour shortly after completion, and appeared at the 1964 New York World’s Fair! Cool!

The fantastic displays are museum quality and extremely informative.
The fantastic displays are museum quality and extremely informative.
Photos of sailors rowing out to hunt whales, and a harpooner at the ready.
Photos of sailors rowing out to hunt whales, and a harpooner at the ready.
A dead whale is hauled to the ship's side and stripped of blubber by many hands.
A dead whale is hauled to the ship’s side and stripped of blubber by many hands.
People point out spots on a map of historical whaling grounds.
People point out spots on a map of historical whaling grounds.
The opening presentation is over and folks head out to take in the many sights around Cabrillo.
The opening presentation is over and folks head out to take in the many sights around Cabrillo.
Is there a whale out there? Probably not. This back door faces San Diego Bay!
Is there a whale out there? Probably not. This back door faces San Diego Bay!

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Bike share stations pop up around San Diego.

DecoBike bikeshare location on Broadway between Santa Fe Depot and America Plaza.
DecoBike bikeshare station on Broadway between Santa Fe Depot and America Plaza.

During my walks around San Diego in the past few months, I’ve noticed new bike sharing stations popping up at various locations. The green-signed docks still contain no bikes, but according to articles I’ve read the program is supposed to finally begin this month, after many delays.

Bike sharing in San Diego will be facilitated by DecoBike, a company based in Miami, where a similar system has been installed. They plan to eventually have around 180 electronic rental stations and 1,800 standardized bicycles.

San Diegans and city visitors will be able to rent bicycles for one-time use, or purchase a monthly or annual membership. The number of bikes available at any station will be visible in real time on DecoBike’s online station map.

According to signs at each bikeshare station, renting a bike will cost $5 per half hour, $7 per hour, or $12 for two hours. Memberships will cost $15 for one day, $35 for one week, or $50 for one month.

Looks interesting. Perhaps I’ll do a little more bicycling!

New bike sharing locking docks in East Village just north of Petco Park.
More locking bicycle docks in East Village, just north of Petco Park.
DecoBike bikeshare stations feature a touchscreen, instructions and a row of bike docks.
DecoBike bikeshare stations feature a touchscreen, instructions and a row of bike docks.
Sign shows rental and membership rates.
Sign shows rental and membership rates.
Another bike sharing station on El Prado near the west end of Balboa Park.
Another bike sharing station on El Prado near the west end of Balboa Park.

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Cool mechanical shark street mural in East Village!

Cool mechanical shark on parking lot wall behind Undisputed Fitness Center in East Village.
Cool mechanical shark on parking lot wall behind Undisputed Fitness Center in East Village.

A super cool street mural was recently painted in downtown San Diego’s East Village. I checked it out this morning!

Located on a parking lot wall behind Undisputed Fitness, at the corner of 16th Street and K Street, this large work of art really catches your attention and draws you in for a closer examination!

The image of a mechanical shark, operated from the inside by some sinister-looking people, was painted by Sheffield-based muralist Phlegm. I’ve never seen his work before, but apparently he often depicts similarly weird scenes, described as half-childlike, half-menacing. This particular mural was created as an act of “artivism” for PangeaSeed, an international environmental organization whose mission is to help preserve sharks and other marine species, through art and education. Sharks are being maimed and killed in large numbers for their fins, which are cut off the still-living animals and used to make shark fin soup and traditional medical cures in China.

Street artist Phlegm painted this for PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.
Street artist Phlegm painted this unusual shark  for PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans.
Shadowy, mysterious people secretly operate the black and white mechanical shark.
Shadowy, mysterious people secretly operate the black and white mechanical shark.
Phlegm often paints masked figures controlling odd contraptions in this illustrative style.
Phlegm often paints masked figures controlling odd contraptions in this illustrative style.

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Scuba divers help clean up San Diego waterfront!

Volunteers help clean up San Diego Bay near the Star of India.
Volunteers help clean up our San Diego Bay near the Star of India.

The annual San Diego Bay Downtown Cleanup was held this morning! Local scuba divers cleaned up underwater garbage at the edge of our beautiful waterfront, while other volunteers assisted gathering trash above water.

I walked along the Embarcadero from the San Diego Maritime Museum down to Tuna Harbor and took a bunch of cool photographs. Hopefully these pics provide a little inspiration! Let’s make the world more clean and beautiful!

This guy was assisting divers removing trash along the Embarcadero.
This guy was assisting divers removing trash along the Embarcadero.
Power Scuba and Control Group teamed up for downtown waterfront cleanup event.
Power Scuba and Control Group teamed up for downtown waterfront cleanup event.
Looking out at diving boat from inside Anthony's Fishette.
Looking out at dive boat from inside Anthony’s Fishette.
Many San Diegans assisted in various ways, or just watched with curiosity.
Many San Diegans assisted in various ways, or just watched with curiosity.
Bags of garbage were gathered throughout the morning to be hauled away later.
Bags of garbage were gathered throughout the morning to be hauled away later.
A participant checks out what's going on in the water below.
A participant checks out what’s going on in the water below.
The boardwalk near the USS Midway was full of activity.
The boardwalk near the USS Midway was full of activity.
New trash compacting and recycling cans along the Embarcadero are solar powered.
New trash compacting and recycling cans along the Embarcadero are solar powered.
Old and young were helping out making our fine city even better.
Old and young were helping out the environment, making our fine city even better.
Scuba divers checked in here before beginning their underwater mission.
Scuba divers checked in here before beginning their underwater mission.
Piles of garbage found in the bay include construction cones and a shopping cart.
Piles of garbage found in the bay include construction cones and a shopping cart.
Bags of trash are collected as the morning progresses.
Bags of trash are collected as the morning progresses.
Pool skimming nets were handy for removing floating litter and debris.
Pool skimming nets were handy for removing floating litter and debris.
Port of San Diego's boat Tsunami II is used to help clean the bay.
Port of San Diego’s boat Tsunami II is used to help clean the bay.
Scuba diver gets hosed off on Tuna Harbor dock after gathering trash.
Scuba diver gets hosed off on Tuna Harbor dock after gathering trash.

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Earth Day and EarthFair 2014 in Balboa Park.

Activist at EarthFair fights the Keystone Pipeline.
Activist at EarthFair fights the Keystone Pipeline.

I couldn’t resist heading over to EarthFair today. What’s EarthFair? It’s a gigantic annual event that celebrates Earth Day in Balboa Park!

Put on by San Diego EarthWorks, this year’s EarthFair featured more than 300 exhibitors, promoting pro-environment concepts, policies, programs, business and education. The event is billed as a big tent celebration, and so the multitude of participants often seem an unlikely hodgepodge. From more traditional viewpoints, to those that are truly radical, all sorts of ideas and visions are expressed. It’s a colorful, thought-provoking and entertaining event with endless photographic opportunities!

Here are some pics!

Old objects reused to create art and jewelry.
Old objects reused to create art and jewelry.
Learning to make yarn from plastic bags.
Learning to make yarn from plastic bags.
Crafts at EarthFair include tennis racket mirrors.
Crafts at EarthFair include tennis racket mirrors.
Kids have fun with great big bubbles.
Kids have fun with great big bubbles.
Costumed characters greet a child at EarthFair.
Costumed characters greet a child at EarthFair.
Booth in Balboa Park promotes camping nude.
Booth in Balboa Park promotes camping nude.
Hemp enthusiasts check out wares at EarthFair.
Hemp enthusiasts check out wares at EarthFair.
Meat eaters enjoy barbeque for Earth Day.
Meat eaters enjoy barbeque for Earth Day.
1912 Baker Electric Car fitted with solar panels!
1912 Baker Electric Car fitted with a solar panel!
Kids learn how to set up teepees on a Balboa Park grassy area.
Kids learn how to set up teepees on a Balboa Park grassy area.
Big Mama Earth provides green lessons for kids.
Big Mama Earth provides green lessons for kids.
San Diego Public Library's booth with many interesting books.
San Diego Public Library’s booth with many interesting books.
A lovely blue recycle bin poses for my camera!
A lovely blue recycle bin poses for my camera!
SoCal Parrot lady and a bright green friend.
SoCal Parrot lady and a bright green friend.
Earth Day activists conceal anti-abortion sign with banners.
Earth Day activists conceal anti-abortion sign with banners.
Toyota shows hybrid vehicles in front of Museum of Art.
Toyota shows hybrid vehicles in front of Museum of Art.
Old hiking gear can be fixed up and used again.
Old hiking gear can be fixed up and used again.
Table with information about pest control using copper.
Table with information about pest control using copper.
Two rescued raptors shown to crowd on El Prado.
Two rescued raptors shown to crowd on El Prado.
Huge canvas interprets the reflecting pool with vivid colors.
Huge canvas interprets the reflecting pool with vivid colors.
Mellow steel drum entertainment during EarthFair.
Mellow steel drum entertainment during EarthFair.
Balboa Park's trashcans were blocked with flower pots.
Balboa Park’s trashcans were blocked with flower pots.
Looking west down El Prado at huge Earth Day crowd.
Looking west down El Prado at huge Earth Day crowd.
Advocating for the protection of seals.
Advocating for the protection of seals.
Activists oppose new power plant at Mission Trails Park.
Activists oppose new power plant at Mission Trails Park.
A table demonstrates the benefits of composting.
A table demonstrates the benefits of composting.
Smokey the Bear stands near Surfrider Foundation booth.
Smokey the Bear stands near Surfrider Foundation booth.
Man painted blue advocates for lower carbon emissions.
Man painted blue advocates for lower carbon emissions.
High school student with Save the World Fridays sign.
High school student with Save the World Fridays sign.
Scripps Aquarium brought some big shark jaws.
Scripps Aquarium brought some big shark jaws.
Peace sign and coexist sign in the crowd.
Peace sign and coexist sign in the crowd.
Banner in booth opposes eating animals.
Banner in booth opposes eating animals.
Petitions include dividing California into six states.
Petitions include dividing California into six states.
Secret chemtrail and HAARP programs are opposed.
Secret chemtrail and HAARP programs are opposed.
Free hugs are offered to visitors of Balboa Park's EarthFair!
Free hugs are offered to visitors at Balboa Park’s EarthFair!

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East Village’s SMARTS Farm, a cool urban garden!

A friendly greeting from the folks at downtown's SMARTS farm.
A friendly greeting from the folks at downtown’s SMARTS Farm.

This morning I headed out for a short walk along F Street in downtown San Diego’s East Village, with the intention of photographing some awesome murals and street art. As I was strolling along, my feet carried me into a super cool place I really hadn’t noticed before.

SMARTS Farm is an urban garden run by the nonprofit organization Humane Smarts. In addition to being a community garden, SMARTS Farm offers educational programs aimed at local kids. Children plant their own produce, watch it grow and learn about our environment. Photography classes are also offered!

How appropriate that I randomly discovered this cool place on Earth Day!

Happiness is working in a beautiful urban garden.
Happiness is working in a beautiful urban garden.
Lots of stuff to see, including some photo art.
Lots of stuff to see, including some photo art.
An educational community garden in the concrete jungle.
An educational community garden in the concrete jungle.
SMARTS farm is located on F Street in downtown San Diego.
SMARTS Farm is located on F Street in downtown San Diego’s East Village.
Children learn to love gardening and being outside.
Children learn to love gardening and being outside.
New beds where salsa ingredients will be grown.
New beds where salsa ingredients will be grown.
Lots of fun stuff to see!
Lots of fun stuff to see!
Look at this big old tub of color!
Look at this big old tub of color!
Grow, Cultivate, Learn, Share.
Grow, Cultivate, Learn, Share.

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Urban Corps mural shows an optimistic future.

South end of long Urban Corps mural on Jefferson Street.
South end of long Urban Corps mural on Jefferson Street.

San Diego’s Urban Corp is a nonprofit dedicated to providing a high school education and green job training to young adults. Whenever I ride the trolley to work, I usually see a number of youth in green uniforms disembarking at the Old Town station. They’re heading off to begin another day developing new skills, while working to improve San Diego’s environment.

A long, colorful mural was recently painted along Jefferson Street, right across from the Urban Corps. You can find this public art near Rosecrans at Interstate 5.

Here are some pics I took as I walked north!

Mural depicts youth bettering San Diego's environment.
Mural depicts youth bettering San Diego’s environment.
Urban Corps provides valuable employment training.
Urban Corps provides valuable employment training.
Eliminating graffiti is one important activity.
Eliminating graffiti is one important activity.
Youth have a second chance to earn a high school diploma.
Youth have a second chance to earn a high school diploma.
Urban Corps mural shows conservation efforts.
Urban Corps mural shows conservation efforts.
Education is the key to moving forward to success.
Education is the key to moving forward to success.
Young people have an opportunity to earn a paycheck.
Young people have an opportunity to earn a paycheck.
Segment of Urban Corps mural near Rosecrans and Jefferson.
Segment of Urban Corps mural near Rosecrans and Jefferson.
Optimism and opportunity on a long, colorful mural.
Optimism and opportunity on a long, colorful mural.

San Diegans donate used textiles for charity.

san diegans donate used textiles for charity

I just got home from my walk today, when lo and behold, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street right next to the Tweet Street playground are a couple of friendly folks collecting used and unwanted textiles. Here’s a pic!

Their website is www.rippletextilerecycling.com and they raise money by collecting old, stained or torn clothing, bedding, towels, shoes, stuffed animals . . . you name it! Wearable and useable items are sent to developing nations. The other stuff is ground up and converted into new products. They earn 10 cents a pound, and the proceeds are donated to local charities.

The money raised today will go to the YWCA Cortez Hill Family Center!

Please check out their website and make a note of their upcoming events!

More photos from the ribbon of life mural.

ribbon of life mural 02

Here are more photographs that I took of the wonderful mural Our River, which depicts a sinuous blue ribbon of life, symbol of the San Diego River.  The long blue ribbon is held up and cherished by those who live along it. The flowers, tree, cloud and happy children give this fine example of public art amazing vitality. The surprising parking lot mural contains joy from one end to the other!

Two figures hold up the long blue ribbon of life.
Two figures hold up the long blue ribbon of life.
Small portion of the Our River mural in Mission Valley.
Small portion of the Our River mural in Mission Valley.
A figure from the extensive Our River mural.
A figure from the extensive Our River mural.
Happy faces at the beach on an outdoor mural.
Happy faces at the beach painted on an outdoor mural.