Cool photos of Star of India in dry dock!

Here’s something few people see!

The oldest active sailing ship in the world, Star of India, built in 1863 in Ramsey, Isle of Man, is presently resting inside a dry dock at San Diego’s BAE Systems shipyard!

I snapped a few photos during a harbor tour today!

I learned from a docent at the Maritime Museum of San Diego that the Star of India must periodically enter dry dock for a hull cleaning and inspection. After the cleaning removes algae and other material from the iron hull, the beautiful old merchant ship, stripped of excess weight, will float higher in the water!

I took these photos at a distance, but you can see the very unusual contrast: one of the world’s most famous tall ships, its masts soaring high above a huge dry dock, between modern Navy vessels!

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!

Holiday wreaths remember Greatest Generation.

Four wreaths of remembrance have been placed at the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial near the USS Midway Museum.
Four wreaths of remembrance have been placed at the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial, not far from the USS Midway Museum.

I was heading along the Greatest Generation Walk this morning when my eyes were surprised by bright color at the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial.

I discovered that four wreaths of remembrance had been recently placed on either side of the bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague. Two were traditional holiday wreaths. It’s now less than two weeks before Christmas.

The image was so striking, and so thought-provoking, I thought I’d share a few photos.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a desperate naval battle in the Pacific Ocean theater during World War II. Few who fought there are still living.

Two of the wreaths say We Remember.

The other two offer hope.

We Remember Task Unit 77.4.3
We Remember Task Unit 77.4.3
The bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague, and two holiday wreaths, on The Greatest Generation Walk in San Diego.
The bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague and two colorful holiday wreaths on The Greatest Generation Walk in 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!

House of USA celebrates in Balboa Park!

During my walk through Balboa Park this afternoon, I observed members of the House of USA setting up for their lawn program at the International Cottages. And suddenly I remembered Independence Day is coming up on Thursday!

After walking a little more about the park, I returned to the International Cottages right at two o’clock, just in time for the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

The crowd wasn’t very large, but everyone was enjoying a fine occasion. The House of USA was serving up hot dogs, and people were stepping inside their cottage to see all sorts of cultural and historical displays. Outside on the stage, Navy Band Southwest’s outstanding Prevailing Winds Ensemble was playing a mixture of classic and popular tunes. I really enjoyed their great rendition of music from The Incredibles!

I checked out a couple of booths on the lawn. The House of USA princess posed for a cool photo. I met a gentlemen promoting the Civil Air Patrol.

Over the years, Civil Air Patrol volunteers have saved thousands of lives. They’re the ones who often transport emergency supplies after a disaster, spot people trapped on rooftops during catastrophic floods, and locate hikers lost in the mountains. I learned they have a cadet program for youth interesting in aviation, personal growth and community service.

The Civil Air Patrol always needs volunteers! Click here to learn more!

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!

Wreath ceremony on USS Midway honors heroes.

This morning I attended a special Memorial Day weekend ceremony on the flight deck of the USS Midway. Heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our precious freedom were remembered and honored.

A community band played. The National Anthem was sung. Two vintage warplanes passed overhead. The colors were retired.

Veterans and those who fell in battle were thanked with moving speeches. Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar, commander of Navy Region Southwest, spoke powerfully about protecting liberty. I jotted down a few of her words. “Our banner of Freedom soaring high . . . others before self . . . honoring their lives and their great sacrifices . . .”

Veterans in attendance were asked to speak into a microphone and tell everyone where they served. Repeated applause.

Four wreaths honoring those who’ve gone before were tossed from the flight deck into San Diego Bay, and a fifth was tossed from the Maritime Museum’s restored Swift Boat.

Harbor Patrol boats signaled their honor with columns of water.

Many salutes.

Fluttering flags in sunlight.

Proud faces.

Faces of those who have served their nation.

Faces of those who remember.

Faces of those who will never, ever forget.

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!

An amazing Peruvian tall ship visits San Diego!

The Peruvian Navy training ship BAP Unión is presently docked at San Diego’s Broadway Pier. I walked out onto the pier late today to check out the enormous, four-masted tall ship!

The 3-year-old BAP Unión is a 378 foot steel-hulled barque, with a crew that includes many Peruvian naval cadets. As young sailors learn about duty aboard an amazing sailing ship, the BAP Unión serves as a fine ambassador for the nation of Peru wherever it goes. The handsome bronze figurehead, which includes symbols from the Inca culture, was created by Peruvian sculptor Pilar Martinez Woodman.

Today the tall ship begins her very first tour of the West Coast, following earlier stops at San Juan, Miami, Mayport, Norfolk and Boston. The BAP Unión will be docked at San Diego’s Embarcadero through this weekend, and visitors can enjoy tours aboard the vessel with an admission ticket to the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

As I walked out on Broadway Pier, I took some cool photos!

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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!

Honoring victims, heroes of USS Bennington disaster.

Today I walked through the historic Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. It’s my first visit to the grove of live oaks since December of 2017, when I observed Boy Scouts and volunteers working to improve the living memorial.

During my walk today, not only was I pleased to see the quiet oak grove was as peaceful and beautiful as ever, but I noted some information has been posted in the kiosk. I took a photograph so you might read it. Click my photo of the sign and the image will expand for easy reading. (Unfortunately, you’ll note the clear plastic protecting the sign was broken by vandals. But thankfully I saw absolutely no litter, graffiti or other signs of disturbance.)

You might notice the sign also features a QR code that opens a dedicated memorial website. To learn much, much more about the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove, please visit BenningtonMemorial.com.

The memorial website honors the lives of the 66 U.S. Navy sailors who tragically died when the USS Bennington’s boiler exploded in San Diego Bay on July 21, 1905. A separate page of the website is dedicated to each victim. You’ll also learn about the 11 courageous men who each earned a Medal of Honor for their heroism that day.

To see inspirational photos from a year and a half ago, when Boy Scouts and crew members of the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt were working to improve the Bennington Memorial, click here and here. For many of those photos, I am grateful to the San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, and historian Kathleen Winchester in particular.

Now please enjoy the following pics taken today by the kiosk, and along the shady footpath that winds through the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Sign at the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove describes one of the Navy's worst peacetime disasters, which took place in 1905 on San Diego Bay. Sixty six live oaks were planted to honor the victims of the USS Bennington boiler explosion.
Sign in kiosk at the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove describes one of the Navy’s worst peacetime disasters, which took place in 1905 on San Diego Bay. Sixty six live oaks were planted in Balboa Park to honor the victims of the USS Bennington boiler explosion.

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!