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!

Christmas carol performance at Waterfront Park.

Early this afternoon people converged upon Waterfront Park to listen to Christmas music, including many favorite carols.

I walked up a few minutes after the performance began. The festive Christmas Carol Sing concert was put on by the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego, with joyful music provided by their Westminster Orchestra.

I walked around the group taking these photos, often capturing the County Administration Building and tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the background. I then settled in to listen for a while.

Many of the adults I saw were smiling. Many of the children were dancing.

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!

Live webcam of Star of India on San Diego waterfront!

Sunrise above the city. EarthCam image of tall ship Star of India on San Diego’s waterfront, from the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s steam ferry Berkeley.

There’s a new live webcam that features a stunning view of the Maritime Museum’s beautiful tall ship Star of India and the Embarcadero!

The downtown skyline rises behind historic Star of India, as it appears from the city’s waterfront.

The cool EarthCam camera is mounted on the smokestack of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic steam ferry Berkeley.

To view the live webcam, click here!

Then, while your at it, cruise around the museum’s website and learn more about one of the top three maritime museums in the world, which is located right here in San Diego!

A short walk north of the Maritime Museum.

Yesterday morning I took a short walk north of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I headed up the boardwalk at the edge of San Diego Bay past the Hornblower fleet and Grape Street Pier and finally turned around in an area of the North Embarcadero called The Crescent.

The following photographs were taken as I walked from the Maritime Museum to a small dinghy pier in The Crescent. You’ll see many sailboats and other small vessels moored in the water. People live in them.

Should you continue north up the boardwalk, you’d pass the Coast Guard station, Harbor Island and San Diego International Airport, the beautiful and historically important Spanish Landing Park, and eventually reach Point Loma near Liberty Station. Four years ago I blogged about that long, interesting walk and posted photos 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!

Bowsprit of Forester in front of Maritime Museum.

Have you ever wondered about that massive timber that lies in front of the Maritime Museum? The one people will sit on to gaze across San Diego Bay or at several of the museum’s nearby ships?

That’s the bowsprit of the old four-masted schooner Forester, built in 1900 to transport lumber from the Pacific Northwest to ports along the West Coast and destinations all around the Pacific Ocean, including China, India, Australia, South Sea islands and Peru.

The old ship, when her life of carrying logs of spruce and fir came to an end, was used as a tidal break near the northeastern end of San Francisco Bay. Eventually it was towed to a mudflat west of Antioch (the city stated in the plaque I photographed) and beached. There it became home of its long-time captain.

In 1975 fire swept through the abandoned ship and it burned to the waterline. The remains of Forester can still be seen along the shoreline of Martinez, California.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Forester, and see several interesting old photographs of the ship, there’s a great web page that you can check out by clicking 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!

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!

Varnishing the beautiful Star of India.

Boats require a lot of maintenance. The 157-year-old Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, is no exception!

This afternoon I walked around the Star of India’s main deck and saw that new coats of varnish have been applied to some of the historic tall ship’s rails, posts, belaying pins, various panels, signs, the ship’s wheel and other wooden elements. And the work continues!

A friendly volunteer explained there’s a lot of sanding to do first.

Once the varnish is applied and dries, San Diego’s beloved Star once again shines brightly.

To my eyes more beautiful than ever!

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!

A world’s “top three” maritime museum needs help!

Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego has been rated one of the top three maritime museums in the entire world, and the best in the United States.

For many museums that rely on a stream of paying visitors, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing financial strain. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is no exception.

I received a letter in my mail today from the museum’s President and CEO, Dr. Ray Ashley. You can read it online by clicking here.

The current COVID-19 crisis has placed the historic ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the doldrums–that region just north of the equator where there’s little or no wind.

Without visitors, the museum is struggling. They’ve had to lay off 80% of the staff. They are relying on volunteers and new donations as they try to sail through a region that is “far more complex, ominous, and intimidating that a few degrees of latitude ever were.”

I know there are people reading this blog who love San Diego and its treasured Maritime Museum as much as I do, if not more. At this moment in time, the museum really needs our help.

Click here!

A fun idea for Fourth of July weekend!

Looking for something fun to do this Fourth of July weekend? Are you disappointed that most public events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic? I’ve got a great idea!

Head downtown to the Embarcadero and enjoy an hour or two at the Maritime Museum of San Diego! You know, that cool attraction on the bay with the tall-masted ships, including world-famous Star of India. They’re going to be open all weekend long!

I visited the museum this afternoon (I’m a member) and learned they reopened yesterday. Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, they and other local museums might be ordered to close again as soon as next week if cases continue to rise in San Diego. So now might be your best chance to visit this year.

Much of your museum adventure will be spent in the healthy, sunny outdoors, exploring the Maritime Museum’s beautiful, historic ships. I noticed that plenty of measures have been taken to ensure everyone’s safety. Make sure to bring your face covering–it’s required.

Sadly, you will not be allowed to enter inside the two submarines, or step aboard the HMS Surprise, because of her ongoing redecking. But there’s plenty else to see and experience!

Those of you who follow my blog know that the Maritime Museum of San Diego is one of my favorite destinations. If you like history and the sea, and standing over the bright water, gazing up at white sails while imagining you’re on a journey across the wide blue ocean, you might love it, too!

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!

Yes, even Athena and Euterpe wear face masks!

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is a serious matter. But this morning I didn’t expect to see two powerful Greek deities wearing face masks!

I spotted the great Olympian goddess Athena and the Muse of music Euterpe wearing face coverings during my walk along the Embarcadero!

Athena is the figurehead of HMS Surprise, and Euterpe graces the bow of Star of India. Both famous tall ships belong to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

UPDATE!

I’ve now been told the figurehead of HMS Surprise is actually Boadicea, who, according to Wikipedia was “queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire.” This probably makes more sense, as HMS Boadicea was a ship commanded by fictional character Jack Aubrey during the Napoleonic Wars in the series of novels by Patrick O’Brian. Aubrey also commanded HMS Surprise.

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 waterfront walk before the shutdown.

Much in San Diego will shut down starting tomorrow. I’ll still be working, but many San Diegans will not.

Schools throughout the city and county will be closed temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic. So too will popular attractions, including the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the USS Midway Museum.

I walked along downtown’s waterfront today, wondering what I might see. A cruise ship was docked at the Broadway Pier, but I saw no passengers. I noticed that the Portside Pier construction is well along. It’s Sunday, so lots of volunteers were busy at the Maritime Museum, but I was one of very few visitors. The usual lines at the USS Midway ticket booth were practically nonexistent.

A few tourists were enjoying a day on the Embarcadero, snapping selfies, but I saw no parked tour buses.

Several people were fishing.

I’m afraid I couldn’t resist buying an ice cream.

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!