Sunset above USS Theodore Roosevelt.

This evening after work I walked to the end of Broadway Pier.

As sunset approached, slanting rays of light seemed to crown the USS Theodore Roosevelt, now docked across San Diego Bay at North Island.

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!

Bright sailboats race across San Diego Bay.

This evening, just before sunset, I stood on the Embarcadero and watched more than one hundred sunlit sailboats race across the north part of San Diego Bay.

From May 21 through August 1, the Cortez Racing Association, in partnership with the Silver Gate Yacht Club (which is based on Shelter Island), puts on Wednesday races called the San Diego Bay Beer Can Series.

As the sailboats began across the water, and late sunlight slanted over Point Loma, the colorful sails were so bright they seemed like a dream. The race was too distant for my camera to take sharp photos–so I have increased the contrast to make the images even more dreamy!

In case you’re curious, those two active aircraft carriers you see in my photos are docked at Naval Air Station North Island. They are the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).

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 view of the bay from the horns of USS Midway.

A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier's projecting horns.
A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the dizzying view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s projecting horns.

This morning I paid a visit to San Diego’s amazing USS Midway Museum.

During my short visit I ascended to the flight deck and walked around a bit. I couldn’t resist walking out to the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s bridle-arrest horns. The two downward sloping projections at the bow of the USS Midway allow visitors to stand high over San Diego Bay, with wide views across the water.

I took some photos!

Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980's. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980’s. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I'm standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I’m standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
A helicopter passes overhead. A frequent sight near three large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base Point Loma.
A helicopter passes overhead. Active aircraft are a frequent sight near the four large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and Naval Base Point Loma.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation, which originated at North Island across the bay.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation–a history that originated at North Island across San Diego Bay.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water below.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water far below.
After drinking in the views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
After drinking in the incredible views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the carrier's Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the aircraft carrier’s Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. At North Island across the water I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. Across the water at North Island I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

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!

Lots of photos from Coronado’s Fourth of July parade!

Color guard leads the way during the Coronado Independence Day parade on Orange Avenue.
Color guard leads the way during the Coronado Independence Day parade on Orange Avenue.

While this blog post contains a whole bunch of photos, they only represent a small fraction of today’s Independence Day parade in Coronado. This Fourth of July parade is one of the biggest and best in the nation. Coronado is about as apple pie as a town can get, as it’s home to two very important military bases: Naval Air Station North Island and the Naval Amphibious Base.

Before the parade began, I walked about checking out the sights, smells and sounds. Hopefully I captured a bit of the experience with these photographs…

Welcome to Coronado . . . A Star Spangled Summer!
Welcome to Coronado . . . A Star Spangled Summer!
I believe these runners raced earlier in the Crown City Classic that started and ended at Tidelands Park, a few blocks away.
I believe these runners raced earlier in the Crown City Classic that started and ended at Tidelands Park, a few blocks away.
Almost everyone I saw was wearing clothing or costumes befitting a Fourth of July celebration!
Almost everyone I saw was wearing clothing or costumes befitting a Fourth of July celebration!
Someone wrote on the sidewalk with chalk: Happy Fourth of July!
Someone wrote on the sidewalk with chalk: Happy Fourth of July!
Tent in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Orange Avenue was raising money selling parade-worthy treats.
Tent in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Orange Avenue was raising money selling parade-worthy treats.
The Lions Club had a stand at Spreckels Park near the center of patriotic Coronado.
The Lions Club had a stand at Spreckels Park near the center of patriotic Coronado.
People check out art on display in Spreckels Park.
People check out art on display in Spreckels Park.
What could be more American than tossing a baseball while waiting for the big parade to begin.
What could be more American than tossing a baseball while waiting for the big parade to begin?
A shop window had a dog with a red, white and blue bow!
A shop window had a dog with a red, white and blue bow!
Humans and canines were all decked out for the occasion!
Humans and canines were all decked out for the occasion!
And what could be more American than a hot dog. A hot dog draped by a flag!
And what could be more American than a hot dog? A hot dog draped by a flag!
The businesses along Orange Avenue had all sorts of Independence Day wares and decorations outside.
The businesses along Orange Avenue had all sorts of Independence Day wares and decorations outside.
There is no greater love than this--that a person would lay down his life for his friends.
There is no greater love than this: That a person would lay down his life for his friends.
Kids with flags follow a big wagon full of lawn chairs, as the parade is almost ready to start.
Kids with flags follow a big wagon full of lawn chairs, as the parade is almost ready to start.
Finishing touches are put on the poop circles. Should a horse poop in your chalk circle, you win a special prize!
Finishing touches are put on the poop circles. Should a horse poop in your chalk circle, you win a special prize!
Tens of thousands are ready now along the entire length of Coronado. I think I hear the parade coming.
Tens of thousands are ready now along the entire length of Coronado. I think I hear the distant parade approaching.
Actually, it's the pre-parade entertainment. These performers are swirling and dancing to the delight of the crowd!
Actually, it’s the pre-parade entertainment. These performers are swirling and dancing to the delight of the crowd!
A colorful costume gets onlookers in the mood for a big, fun parade.
A colorful costume gets onlookers in the mood for a big, fun parade.
These guys are the Emilio Wallace Panamanian Marching Band of California!
These guys are the Emilio Wallace Panamanian Marching Band of California!
The Escondido Mounted Posse carry flags.
The official parade has begun.  The Escondido Mounted Posse carries flags.
Red, white and blue flowery carts are pulled by miniature horses!
Red, white and blue flowery carts are pulled by miniature horses!
The Grand Marshall this year was Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The Grand Marshall this year was Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
And here comes the San Diego County tax collector, waving cheerfully to all!
And here comes the San Diego County tax collector, waving cheerfully to all!
Beautifully groomed long-tailed horses and a poodle strut their stuff down the parade route.
Beautifully groomed long-tailed horses and a poodle strut their stuff down the parade route.
A color guard precedes honored Pearl Harbor survivors.
A color guard precedes honored Pearl Harbor survivors.
A veteran who served during Pearl Harbor. He and other fellow heroes received the loudest applause all day.
A veteran who served during Pearl Harbor. He and other fellow heroes received the loudest applause all day.
A Pearl Harbor survivor waves to a crowd. Many were shouting Thank You.
A Pearl Harbor survivor waves to the crowd. Many were shouting “Thank You”.
Applause for the Pearl Harbor survivors as they pass on by for the Fourth of July.
Applause for the Pearl Harbor survivors as they pass on by for the Fourth of July.
Here comes the Marine Corps band!
Here comes the Marine Corps band!
An American military veteran rides his motorcycle down Orange Avenue.
An American military veteran rides his motorcycle down Orange Avenue.
Gold Star Mothers, with signs of loved ones killed in action. The people of Coronado understand that defending freedom can require sacrifice.
Gold Star Mothers, with signs of loved ones killed in action. The people of Coronado understand that defending freedom can require sacrifice.
Wounded Warriors are welcomed home.
Wounded Warriors are welcomed home.
Remembering our local fallen. Some gave all.
Remembering our local fallen. Some gave all.
San Diego Young Marines march. A future generation of heroes.
San Diego Young Marines march. A future generation of heroes.
An avenue of proud, billowing flags.
An avenue of proud, billowing flags.
Reenacting raising the flag at Iwo Jima, The United States Marine Corps War Memorial.
Reenacting raising the flag at Iwo Jima, The United States Marine Corps War Memorial.
San Diego heroes carry a large American flag.
San Diego heroes carry a large American flag.
Here come the Valley Center Rodeo Queens on horseback.
Here come the Valley Center Rodeo Queens on horseback.
Welcome Home Seth. Your country thanks you.
Welcome Home Seth. Your country thanks you.
Welcome Home Rodger. Our returning warrior.
Welcome Home Rodger. Our returning warrior.
Cool old cars from the Avenue of Heroes.
Cool old cars from the Avenue of Heroes.
Now that's an antique.
Now that’s an antique.
Of course, the big parade includes the Wells Fargo stagecoach.
Of course, the big parade includes the Wells Fargo stagecoach.
Even the Coronado Lawn Bowling Club was a part of the big Independence Day parade.
Even the Coronado Lawn Bowling Club was a part of the big Independence Day parade.
Meet the canine Vice Mayor of Coronado. I'm not sure which dog is the Mayor.
Meet the canine Vice Mayor of Coronado. I’m not sure which dog is the Mayor.
It's the Castle Park High School marching band.
It’s the Castle Park High School marching band.
Some medieval knights did battle on the parade route. Seems one has emerged the victor.
Some medieval knights did battle on the parade route. Seems one has emerged the victor.
Pink flamingos greet the crowd. I wonder if they wandered over here from the Marriott Coronado Resort's flamingo pond.
Pink flamingos greet the crowd. I wonder if they wandered over here from the Marriott Coronado Resort’s flamingo pond.
Coronado is one of the most patriotic places you'll find. Naval Air Station North Island and the Naval Amphibious Base where Seals train are located here.
Coronado is one of the most patriotic places you’ll find. Naval Air Station North Island and the Naval Amphibious Base where Seals train are located here.
An unrestored FJ-3 Fury from the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at MCAS Miramar was towed to Coronado for the parade!
An unrestored FJ-3 Fury from the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at MCAS Miramar was towed to Coronado for the parade!
Historic fighter jet heads down Orange Avenue as Fourth of July parade onlookers honor the troops.
Historic fighter jet heads down Orange Avenue as Fourth of July parade onlookers honor the troops.

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Bronze plaque marks birthplace of naval aviation.

Bronze plaque in Coronado marks birthplace of naval aviation.
Bronze plaque in Coronado marks birthplace of naval aviation.

In Coronado’s beautiful Centennial Park, just north of the Coronado Ferry Landing, you can find this relatively new bronze plaque. It marks the birthplace of naval aviation, Rockwell Field, which no longer exists.

The historical marker reads:

BIRTHPLACE OF NAVAL AVIATION

In 1910, on the unoccupied brushland of North Coronado Island, inventor and entrepreneur Glenn Hammond Curtiss opened his winter flying school for prospective “aeroplane pilots.” Among his first class of students was Navy Lieutenant Theodore G. “Spuds” Ellyson, who would become the first Naval Aviator. In 1917, the U.S. Congress appropriated the island to support the World War I effort and two airfields occupied its sandy flats–the Navy’s “Camp Trouble” and the Army Signal Corps’ Rockwell Field. The Army vacated Rockwell Field in 1935, at which time the Navy expanded its operations to cover the whole island. Many aviation milestones originated from North Island including the first seaplane flight in the United States in 1911.

San Diego, California was designated the “Birthplace of Naval Aviation” by the Armed Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives on 24 March 1961.

Marker Placed By

California State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution

2011

Historical marker is located near east end of Centennial Park.
Historical marker is located near east end of Centennial Park.
Rockwell Field in 1924.
Rockwell Field in 1924.

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Shelter Island pier, photos and reflections.

Shelter Island pier seems to stand on watery reflections.
Shelter Island pier seems to stand on watery reflections.

The above photo of the Shelter Island pier is interesting to me.  I like how the angled concrete pilings, reflected on San Diego Bay, seem to project in three dimensions downward into the rippled water.

The light blue structure that you see is vacant.  In the past it has been the home of a small fishing store and cafe.  To its left you can see an aircraft hangar at Naval Air Station North Island.

Distant Coronado Islands seen beyond the Shelter Island pier.
Distant Coronado Islands seen beyond the Shelter Island pier.

When you stand on Shelter Island and gaze south beyond the pier, you can spy the distant Coronado Islands on a clear day.

The Coronado Islands (not to be confused with nearby Coronado) are four barren islets just west of Tijuana, Mexico.  The home of numerous sea birds, sea lions and sea elephants, they are mostly uninhabited.  A few Mexican caretakers live on the largest island and maintain a modest lighthouse.

Fisherman at one end of Shelter Island pier.
Fisherman at one end of Shelter Island pier.

Cool car carrier ship in San Diego Bay.

cool car carrier cargo ship in san diego bay

Check out the Lyra Leader, a massive box-like car-carrying ship as it heads down San Diego Bay toward the National City Marine Terminal. These cool, very unusual type of roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships are often seen passing close to downtown. They’re bringing in thousands of new cars from Asia–Japan and South Korea–which are driven off a ramp into a massive parking lot. Many of the vehicles are then loaded into car-carrying freight trains and sent off toward their final destinations.

In this photograph, note the active aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson docked at the North Island naval base on the left.

UPDATE–I finally got a couple more pics of another ship while I was crossing San Diego Bay on the ferry. All the passengers were excited to be so close to the massive thing!

Sailboats, skyscrapers and one super enormous ship!
Sailboats, skyscrapers and one super enormous ship!
Swift Ace car transport ship leaves San Diego Bay.
Swift Ace car transport ship leaves San Diego Bay.

ANOTHER UPDATE–Here are more photos that I took at later times…

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