While drones might not be delivering pizzas anytime soon, they do make for an interesting hobby. I could clearly see that when I wandered into a cool event by sheer chance. International Drone Day was celebrated today at the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego field near Mission Bay.
I was walking along the San Diego River Trail when I glimpsed something strange flying about behind a line of trees. Whatever it was didn’t behave like a bird. I had to go investigate!
What I discovered was a large gathering of electric drone hobbyists. They were flying their unique propeller aircraft, checking out different equipment, and enjoying hot dogs out in the San Diego sunshine!
In the event you pass by one day, the small field is located on the north side of Sea World Drive, just east of SeaWorld. I had visited once before, the day I blogged about birdwatching along the river estuary. On that day RC model aircraft were circling in the sky. I’ve added one pic from that visit, as you’ll see.
At noon, all the drones took to the air at once! Unfortunately, my pics of the spectacle came out pretty lousy. So use your mind’s eye! According to the announcer, 32 drones hovered above the field at one time. The San Diego team’s High Noon “All Up” took place simultaneously with 150 other teams celebrating International Drone Day around the world.
What will I discover next? It seems that anything is possible!
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Shame on me. I’ve lived in San Diego a good chunk of my life, and I’ve never headed to Fiesta Island to experience the legendary fun of OTL. Well, I finally went early this morning!
Over The Line, commonly called OTL, is a San Diego original, a unique beach game that every year seems to gain in popularity. Played on the sand, it resembles a simple version of softball with no baserunners. You must hit the ball over “the line” and between two foul lines, and not have it be caught, which would result in an out. Three innings, three outs. While the rules are a bit more complicated, that’s the gist of it.
The OTL World Championship has become a local institution. It’s played on Fiesta Island, which is located near the center of Mission Bay. It’s put on by OMBAC, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. The highly anticipated annual summer event is now 61 years old! But you might never guess this spectacle was so venerable, given its outlandish party atmosphere and the sheer raunchiness of the crowd.
Team names are often juvenile and sexually explicit, to the extent you’d probably just roll your eyes. But it’s all very good-natured and amusing. The crowd is composed largely of males in their 20’s and 30’s, and beer is chugged freely everywhere, as it’s BYOB. I suppose as the day progresses, the crowd becomes more randy–I’ll admit that’s one reason I swung by so early in the morning. That and the avoidance of a hot afternoon!
The tournament goes on for two weekends. This first weekend is for the amateurs; on the second weekend the teams and the play become more serious.
I’m glad I checked it out. Now I know what I’ve missed all these years!
Follow me as I arrive from the shuttle bus around seven in the morning. The sun hasn’t broken through the clouds yet…
As you might guess, there’s a bikini contest, and every year the winner is titled Miss Emerson.
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