Murals in Little Italy show history of tuna fishing.

An early 1900's Italian fishing boat looking for tuna off the coast of San Diego.
An early 1900’s Italian fishing boat looking for tuna off the coast of San Diego.

Some new murals have appeared in Little Italy on a construction site fence along Kettner Boulevard, between Beech Street and Cedar Street. The artwork, created by Elisabeth Sullivan, depicts the history of tuna fishing in San Diego.

The series of images tell the story of an industry that once prospered in our city, and that shaped the colorful downtown neighborhood of Little Italy.

Italian and Portuguese fishermen bamboo pole fishing at the peak of the industry in the late 1920's.
Italian and Portuguese fishermen bamboo pole fishing at the peak of the industry in the late 1920’s.
After a lengthy fishing expedition these tuna clippers head home with their catch.
After a lengthy fishing expedition these tuna clippers head home with their catch.
Fishing boats docked for the night in San Diego Harbor after unloading their catch.
Fishing boats docked for the night in San Diego Harbor after unloading their catch.
Women of Little Italy fishing families work to remove hooks, stretch dry and mend the nets.
Women of Little Italy fishing families work to remove hooks, stretch dry and mend the nets.
The tuna is unloaded at the wharf and delivered to San Diego fish markets and canneries.
The tuna is unloaded at the wharf and delivered to San Diego fish markets and canneries.
During World War II many tuna clippers were converted to Yacht Patrols by the U.S. Navy.
During World War II many tuna clippers were converted to Yacht Patrols by the U.S. Navy.
In the late 1950's the efficient modern purse seiner began replacing most of the bait boats.
In the late 1950’s the efficient modern purse seiner began replacing most of the bait boats.
The history of tuna fishing in San Diego can be observed on a series of new murals in Little Italy!
The history of tuna fishing in San Diego can now be observed on a series of beautiful murals in Little Italy!

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!

Walking by the water on New Year’s Day.

Time moves forward.

I spent another New Year’s Day by sparkling San Diego Bay. My feet seemed drawn to the water, as predictably as the Earth orbits the Sun. The rippling water and sea breeze always makes me feel reborn.

Today I walked from the Hilton San Diego Bayfront to a spot north of the Grape Street Pier, not quite as far as the Coast Guard Station.

Come along and we will relive the journey. Even on a relatively quiet New Year’s Day, we’ll observe fishermen, boaters, bicyclists, musicians, artists, friends and families. We will move through life.

One forward step leads to another.

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!

Sea Grant California exhibit at the Dockside Market.

These friendly people with Sea Grant California showed me all sorts of fascinating creatures that reside off our coast! They encourage using locally sourced food.
These friendly people with Sea Grant California showed me all sorts of fascinating creatures that thrive off our coast! They encourage using locally sourced food.

During a walk last weekend, I headed out onto the pier just north of Seaport Village where the ever-growing Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is held on Saturday mornings. In addition to the local fishermen selling a wide variety of freshly caught seafood, I noticed one table with an interesting exhibit. Folks were demonstrating a few of the many different sea creatures that can be caught off San Diego’s coast.

I learned this display was created by Sea Grant California, an organization that connects government agencies, California universities, nonprofit organizations, local businesses and residents in our coastal community. Their mission is to conduct impartial research, disseminate knowledge, encourage best practices for environmental stewardship and optimize sustainable economic development.

Lots of people on the pier were checking out the live marine creatures on display, and learning which species are most common in the Pacific Ocean off our coast. I was told that most of San Diego’s commercial fishermen are conscientious and highly responsible. There are about 131 commercial fishing vessels licensed in the county. Many are based in Tuna Harbor, which occupies a picturesque stretch of San Diego’s Embarcadero.

In addition, I learned that the Port of San Diego is testing an aquaculture project at the end of one of Tuna Harbor’s docks. The port’s Oyster Nursery Research Project is part of an expanding effort to try out new Blue Economy technologies in San Diego Bay. The concept of a Blue Economy is to use innovative methods to maximize resources that are locally available in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Very cool!

Fresh locally caught fish on ice for sale at San Diego's Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Fresh locally caught fish on ice for sale at San Diego’s Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
The Port of San Diego's Oyster Nursery Research Project at the end of a dock inside Tuna Harbor.
The Port of San Diego’s Oyster Nursery Research Project at the end of a dock inside Tuna Harbor.
What's for dinner?
What’s for dinner?

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 good day to catch mackerel in OB.

Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.
Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.

Today was a good day to catch mackerel in Ocean Beach. Fishermen were pulling up shining prizes all along the OB Pier.

What was their secret? Cut bait, a little patience, slathered sunscreen, and perhaps a cool beverage and some music. Nothing more. (Not even a fishing license. It’s free to fish from a San Diego pier.)

The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
Young and old alike were having success!
Young and old alike were having success!
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as mackerel in the ocean.
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as fish in the ocean.
Some kids at the OB Pier's T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
Some kids at the OB Pier’s T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
This guy caught one, too!
This guy caught one, too!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!

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!

Huge catch of fish arrives in San Diego!

Fresh opah is prepared on the fishing vessel Pacific Horizon docked at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market!
Fresh opah is prepared on the fishing vessel Pacific Horizon docked at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

Look what I happened upon during my walk this morning! The fishing vessel Pacific Horizon was unloading a huge catch of opah and bigeye tuna at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market!

I lingered to watch some of the fascinating 2017 Opahthon action!

Opahthon 2017 was held this morning on San Diego's Embarcadero at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market!
Opahthon 2017 was held this morning on San Diego’s Embarcadero at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
A crowd had gathered around the Pacific Horizon to watch a bustle of activity.
A crowd had gathered around the Pacific Horizon to watch a bustle of activity.
Guys were cleaning fish caught 800-1200 miles off San Diego in the Pacific Ocean--halfway to Hawaii! The Pacific Horizon is back after one month of fishing.
Guys were cleaning fish caught 800-1200 miles off San Diego in the Pacific Ocean–halfway to Hawaii! The Pacific Horizon is back after one month of fishing.
A curious dog on deck watches the action!
A curious dog on deck watches the action!
The guys are now filleting bigeye tuna, which were caught along with the opah. More bigeye tuna are being hoisted onto the pier!
The guys are now filleting bigeye tuna, which were caught along with the opah. More bigeye tuna are being hoisted onto the pier!
Some of the whole fish are put into large coolers.
Some of the whole fish are put into large coolers.
Working hard to prepare your tasty seafood meal!
Working hard to prepare your tasty seafood meal!
The cutting table was frequently hosed off.
The cutting table was frequently hosed off.
Lots of ice was shoveled into the coolers.
Lots of ice was shoveled into the coolers.
Today the Pacific Horizon brought an amazing haul of fish to San Diego!
Today the Pacific Horizon brought an amazing haul of fish to San Diego!
More bigeye tuna! These might be going to a restaurant near you!
More bigeye tuna! These might be going to a restaurant near you!

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 taste of San Diego’s historic Little Portugal.

Design on tiles indicates Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.
Image on tiles indicates Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.

The history of the Portuguese community in Point Loma is fascinating. During a walk along a block of Avenida de Portugal, I got just a small glimpse of it.

Many have heard of Little Italy in San Diego, but I suspect few have heard of a neighborhood that some call Little Portugal. It can be found near the entrance to Shelter Island, an area settled by many families of Portuguese fishermen when the tuna industry flourished in our city. The neighborhood was once called Tunaville. Two landmarks that were built by the Portuguese almost a century ago still exist today: the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall where the community gathers and a small Catholic chapel beside it.

I spotted some round plaques in the sidewalk and images on tile on the hall’s exterior during my walk beside these two buildings. They provide a small taste of Little Portugal’s history. I thought you might enjoy taking a look at a few of them.

Small Catholic chapel in Point Loma, in a neighborhood sometimes called Little Portugal.
Small Catholic chapel in Point Loma, in a neighborhood sometimes referred to as Little Portugal.
Front of the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall on a sunny San Diego day.
Front of the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall on a sunny San Diego day.
Plaque in the sidewalk is a Tribute to our Immigrants. Determination, hard work and strength of character are only a few of the gifts you have given us.
Plaque in the sidewalk is a Tribute to our Immigrants. Determination, hard work and strength of character are only a few of the gifts you have given us.
In admiration of their loyalty and commitment to the Fishing Industry and never ending support of our Portuguese Community.
In admiration of their loyalty and commitment to the Fishing Industry and never ending support of our Portuguese Community.
Age of Exploration. In thoughtful memory of God and our parents who so successfully contributed to our Festas do Espirito Santo, the tuna industry and our lives in America.
Age of Exploration. In thoughtful memory of God and our parents who so successfully contributed to our Festas do Espirito Santo, the tuna industry and our lives in America.
The flag of Portugal flies proudly in San Diego near Shelter Island.
The flag of Portugal flies proudly in San Diego near Shelter Island.
Map of the island of Madeira and image of Santo Amaro.
Map of the island of Madeira and image of Santo Amaro.
Image of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's galleon San Salvador and his statue at Cabrillo National Monument, a gift from the government of Portugal. Exploring on behalf of Spain, Cabrillo was Portuguese.
Image of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s galleon San Salvador and his statue at Cabrillo National Monument, a gift from the government of Portugal. Exploring on behalf of Spain, Cabrillo was Portuguese.

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A short hike along Lake Poway Trail.

Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.
Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.

This morning, before checking out the new Tony Gwynn statue, I took a short hike up the Lake Poway Trail.

Here are some photographs…

Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
A trail marker.
A trail marker.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Looking back at how far I've come so far.
Looking back at how far I’ve come so far.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
More hikers climbing skyward.
More hikers climbing skyward.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sun comes through and touches a hill.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sunshine comes through and touches a hill across the lake.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
Almost back to lake level.
Almost back to lake level.
Some kids were fishing.
Some kids were fishing.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake's shore.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake’s shore.
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It's dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It’s dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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!