Star III submersible outside Birch Aquarium.

Should you walk from the parking lot by Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to the popular attraction’s entrance, you’ll see what looks like a small submarine. On its side is written Star III.

Star III is actually a submersible that was used for undersea studies back in the mid-20th century.

I looked at the cool little marvel of technology and wondered about its history.

A nearby sign provides interesting information concerning the submersible, which was built by General Dynamics.

When I got home, I found a book published in 1968 by the Naval Oceanographic Office titled Undersea Studies With the Deep Research Vehicle Star III which you can preview here. It concerns a series of 21 dives off Key West Florida in March 1967…to evaluate the Star III system as a platform from which to conduct underwater photogrammetric and various surveying tasks.

I also found the following old public domain photograph of Star III suspended above the water from a seagoing vessel.

Launched in 1966, Star III was capable of carrying a two-person crew and as much as 1,000 pounds of scientific equipment to a depth of 2,000 feet. The sub and its occupants could remain underwater for up to 120 hours…

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The stunning Ocean Nomads mural in Barrio Logan!

If you haven’t yet seen the Ocean Nomads mural in Barrio Logan, you’ll be surprised at the stunning beauty of this public artwork!

The three dimensional mosaic was created in 2013 by the Rainforest Art Project, with the help of young students from nearby Perkins Elementary School and Our Lady’s School. Hand-cut stained glass pieces glisten in sunlight, depicting a school of tuna swimming in the blue ocean off our coast.

The Rainforest Art Project, based in San Diego, works with schools in our region to create amazing works of art. Such as this!

Ocean Nomads can be found a few steps south of the outdoor fountain at Mercado del Barrio. Walk around a bit and you’ll find it!

If you want to see more great artwork by the Rainforest Art Project, check out their patriotic mosaic in La Mesa here. Or see the gorgeous art decorating their headquarters on National Avenue here. (In that old blog post I had labeled their building Farallon Design, which I believe might have been a previous occupant.)

It’s quite possible I’ve photographed more of their work around San Diego without realizing it!

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The surprising Coral Reef Garden at Scripps!

There’s a surprising garden on the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It’s called The McReynolds Family Coral Reef Garden.

Desert cacti and succulents planted among rocks strongly resemble an ocean’s underwater coral reef!

This isn’t coincidental. I read several information signs around the Coral Reef Garden and learned how two very different environments are alike in many respects.

You can view this fantastic garden for yourself by walking along the Scripps Coastal Meander Trail, where it heads down Biological Grade. Look for it by the Eckart Building.

Fascinated? Read more about this very unique coral reef-inspired garden here!

As I explored the garden, I saw this plaque by a bench. It reads:

Ricky Grigg

Big Wave Surfer

PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Pioneer Coral Reef Ecologist

Devoted his life to the sea and all it’s [sic] splendor

Two different ecosystems compared: a coral reef and a desert environment. Harsh habitat and abundant life. A seeming contradiction called Darwin’s Paradox.
The fore reef, with its many ridges and channels, contains the greatest diversity of corals, fishes, invertebrates and algae.
At the reef drop off, deeper, less turbulent water allows corals to grow taller and make more intricate shapes. Much like plants not subject to strong winds!

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Building a mountain at Grand Canyons of La Jolla!

A second Mount Soledad is coming to La Jolla!

The small mountain will rise from The Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla, in a plaza filled with educational artwork at Kellogg Park.

I learned about this wonderful project on Saturday during my walk along the La Jolla Shores beach boardwalk.

The sculpture will depict canyons running from Mount Soledad down deep into the Pacific Ocean. Those visiting The Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla Educational Plaza will be able to visualize in three dimensions what is shown in two dimensions in the large, colorful mosaic at their feet.

The Grand Canyons of La Jolla project is the work of the Walter Munk Foundation For the Oceans, which is responsible for the The Map mosaic in the plaza, plus signs and another nearby sculpture.

The Map mosaic is the plaza’s extraordinary centerpiece. It beautifully represents the local shoreline and underwater canyons in the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.

Lines drawn in The Map concern ocean wave dynamics, calculated by Walter Munk, a world-renowned scientist who worked and taught for many years at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Over a hundred sea creatures also appear in the mosaic.

Signs at one edge of The Map detail the birds, fish and other marine life one might see above or below the water off La Jolla. A second completed sculpture, near the place where the small Mount Soledad will appear, concerns the Kumeyaay in the coastal region. It also shows intertidal sea life, cast in bronze.

Should you walk down the boardwalk (honorary Walter Munk Way) at La Jolla Shores beach, make sure to visit The Map. And watch for the coming of a second small Mount Soledad!

Walter Munk developed ocean wave prediction theory.

To learn more about Walter Munk’s scientific contribution during World War II, his groundbreaking work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, his worldwide recognition, and why surfers love him, click here.

To watch a Walter Munk Foundation video concerning The Map click here.

Read an article about the mosaic’s debut in 2020 (replacing an earlier “map” at this location) 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!

The Triton Legend at UC San Diego.

The Triton Legend is made visible at UC San Diego in the form of a fountain sculpture. Triton with his trident and conch is located at the bottom of stairs on the south side of Price Center.

I passed the Triton Fountain during a recent walk and took these photographs.

The fine bronze sculpture of UCSD’s mascot was installed in 2008. It was created by artist Manuelita Brown, an alumna of the university.

I’ve photographed two other great sculptures by Manuelita Brown. One, titled Encinitas Child, you can see here. The second small sculpture titled I’ll Fly Away is here.

Triton in Greek mythology is a merman and demigod, the son of Poseidon.

A plaque near the fountain, which was off when I walked past, reads:

The Triton Legend

In Greek mythology, Triton is known as the trumpeter of the deep and son of Poseidon, god of the sea. He is represented as a merman having the upper body of a human and tail of a fish. Like Poseidon, he carries a three prong spear called a trident. However, Triton’s special attribute is the conch shell, which he blows like a trumpet to calm or raise the seas. When blown loudly, its sound is so fearsome, Triton’s rivals imagine it to be the roar of a mighty beast and take flight.

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Shark research vessel in San Diego.

Look at those two big shark cages! I spotted them during my early morning walk along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

The Sharkwater marine research vessel of the organization Fins Attached is now docked in San Diego!

I didn’t see any crewmembers on deck, and when I looked at their social media this evening, I couldn’t tell whether they’re in San Diego for a particular reason. I did see on their website that a special online fundraising event is coming up.

The mission of Fins Attached is primarily the study of sharks and their preservation. If you’d like to help this cause, visit their website 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!

Sea creatures swim in Ocean Beach building!

Dozens of sea creatures make their home on the side of a building in Ocean Beach!

Should you walk down Cable Street a little north of Niagara Avenue, you might think you’re passing small specimens of sea life in a big aquarium!

Swimming in blue and white watery tiles you’ll find schools of fish, seahorses, octopi, eels, rays, sea turtles, whales, sharks and even sand dollars and nudibranchs!

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!

OB Wonderland in Fantasy Seascape Children’s Mural!

The historic OB Wonderland is depicted in a happy Ocean Beach mural that was painted by kids back in 2014.

Wonderland was San Diego’s very first amusement park, operating in Ocean Beach from 1913 to 1916. Read more about this short-lived beachfront attraction here.

The children’s mural also features whales, dolphins, sharks, seahorses, eels, jellyfish, snails, parrots, pelicans and mermaids! And hearts and sunken treasure! And the OB Pier! And the Old Point Loma Lighthouse! And Hodad’s! And a whole lot more!

Last weekend I took the following photos of the Fantasy Seascape Children’s Mural.

The faded mural is painted on a long fence by Sunset Gas and Market, at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Point Loma Avenue.

Fantasy Seascape Children’s Mural. Designed and provided to the community by Young At Art Children’s Creative Center . . . Inspiring, Encouraging and Providing Opportunities in Art to All Children.

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Maritime Museum’s new exhibit of historical photos!

If you haven’t been to the Maritime Museum of San Diego for a long time, this summer would be a good time to go.

Now that most of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have been lifted, the museum is fully open. Fantastic exhibits are plentiful. And a completely new exhibit of historical photographs awaits your eyes inside the Gould Eddy Gallery!

This special exhibition is of The Nancy Dubois Collection of Historic Maritime Photographs. According to one sign: “In 2017 Nancy generously donated some 200 historic and artistic photographs of ships, boats, port scenes, harbors and coastline to the Maritime Museum of San Diego…” Featured are a good many of these vintage photos, which were taken all around the world, many over a century ago.

A few of the photographs have no record of what they depict, and visitors are asked to help the museum curator identify the locale!

If you’re world traveler, a history buff, love photography or have an interest in all things nautical, you really should feast your eyes on this extraordinary exhibit. Then check out the rest of the museum and its collection of world-famous ships!

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!

Girl surfs with dolphins in Imperial Beach!

I like the message in one newly painted mural that I spotted last weekend as I walked through Imperial Beach.

A lady surfer is catching a wave with a pod of dolphins, and written above are the words: “From the land to the sea, we are connected, you and me…”

This mural can be found near the corner of Palm Avenue and 3rd Street, on a wall behind the Pacific Realty parking lot. The art was created last month “for Katy” by Marissa Quinn (@marissaquinn).

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!