Learn about Maritime Month in San Diego.

A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
The massive yellow Dole Atlantic cargo ship loads containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

May is Maritime Month. In past years, the Port of San Diego has offered public tours of important maritime facilities in San Diego Bay. By observing the massive scale of port operations firsthand, anyone can fully appreciate the waterfront’s economic importance to San Diego and the surrounding region.

Three years ago I went on one such harbor tour. It was narrated by knowledgeable representatives of the Port of San Diego. We got a close look at several large facilities, including the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, probably best known as the place where Dole delivers 3.9 billion bananas each year. We also saw the enormous National City Marine Terminal, where thousands upon thousands of imported cars arrive from Asia.

If you want to learn more about that amazing tour, and see photos of other facilities in San Diego Bay such as our three major shipyards, you can visit my old blog post by clicking here.

Unfortunately, this year is very different. There’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Most public events, including any tours that were planned by the Port of San Diego, have been cancelled in the interest of everyone’s safety.

But there’s still an opportunity for the curious to learn all about the Port of San Diego. They are celebrating Maritime Month online. They explain: “This year, we pay special tribute to the men and women of our Working Waterfront who continue to work hard to ensure the safe and timely delivery of essential goods, providing crucial services in these difficult times.”

By visiting the Port of San Diego’s special Maritime Month web page, which is here, you can: “Meet our dedicated maritime industry employees…Explore our terminals…Become familiar with our specialty cargo and trade…Learn how goods move globally through the supply chain…Read about our environmental initiatives…Plus more!”

Curious? Check out that special web page here!

Vehicles of all type arrive here by huge roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, including trucks and tractors.
New vehicles parked at the National City Marine Terminal. They arrive on enormous roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, which are often seen moving through San Diego Bay.

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!

Fun scenes from the Fern Street Circus!

Today I took a long walk, wrote a little, and kicked back for a while as I enjoyed some entertainment in Chula Vista. Local favorite Fern Street Circus was performing in Bayfront Park as part of a special Port of San Diego event!

Circus in the Park: A South Bay Arts Event attracted a good crowd of happy people. Everyone got to watch jugglers, acrobats, and all sorts of thrilling circus acts. Kids were kept busy with an array of games and art activities, and everyone was treated by the Port of San Diego to some tasty food.

After watching the first circus performance, I walked by the water to a quiet park bench and looked out over San Diego Bay, thinking that much in life is indeed good.

(What I discovered once I resumed my walk was absolutely amazing. It’s something very few in San Diego know about–and one of the coolest things you’ll ever see! Those photos will be in the next blog post.)

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!

Cool photos of Portside Pier construction.

The construction of the new Portside Pier on the Embarcadero is well advanced, and the new structure is beginning to look really cool!

This morning I walked along the Embarcadero near the Cruise Ship Terminal and Star of India. As I approached the Portside Pier’s over-the-water construction site, I was so intrigued by what I saw I decided to take these photos. I was particularly fascinated by the work being done from a floating platform beneath the building!

This project of the Brigantine Restaurant will eventually replace the demolished Anthony’s Fish Grotto, a San Diego landmark that produced many fond memories in the minds of locals and tourists alike. I’m hopeful the new two-story Portside Pier, with its multiple eateries and public observation deck, will produce many more such great memories in the not-too-distant future.

Check out my super cool last photo! I took it through a convenient hole in the surrounding fence!

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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!

Compacting sand for world-class sculptures!

This morning sand is being compacted in wooden forms on the Broadway Pier. That means Labor Day weekend can’t be very far away, along with the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

During this annual festival, fine art will be created by some of the world’s top sand sculptors inside the pier’s Port Pavilion. Meanwhile, I was told that the carving of several sponsored sand sculptures outdoors on the pier begins tomorrow!

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

Huge banner celebrates San Diego’s birthday!

The County Administration Building in downtown San Diego got a gigantic new banner today! It celebrates the 250th Anniversary of San Diego’s founding!

Those who look up at the banner from the Embarcadero are reminded that San Diego–which started very modestly back in 1769 with the construction of a Spanish mission and presidio–was California’s first port and first city!

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!

Memorial Day weekend at Festival of the Sea!

As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.
As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.

There’s a great festival going on this Memorial Day weekend at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The new, family-friendly waterfront event, sponsored by the Port of San Diego, is called Festival of the Sea!

I headed to the Maritime Museum late this morning to see what was going on!

On the deck of the Star of India, I listened to the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival sponsored by San Diego Folk Heritage. Inside the steam ferry Berkeley, I got to see lots of art by local artists, then peruse books, prints and other used items that are being sold in a kind of nautical rummage sale. From the museum’s barge behind the Berkeley, I viewed a cannon battle out on San Diego Bay, then enjoyed free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream!

The Festival of the Sea also includes kids’ educational activities, costumes galore, and the opportunity to enjoy adult beverages while taking in amazing views of San Diego Bay.

Here come a few photos!

A friendly guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
A smiling guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego's barge.
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s barge.
You just knew there would be a pirate!
You just knew there would be a pirate!
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy.
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy. (Yes, that tray you get holds four different flavors!)
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Friendly author Joseph O'Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher's Prize is the first book of a series!
Friendly author Joseph O’Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher’s Prize is the first book of a series!
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much!
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much variety!
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Examples of Norm Daniel's surf and island themed work.
Examples of Norm Daniel’s surf and island themed work.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego's unique Model Shop is busy during the festival.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s unique Model Shop is also active during the festival.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
Beyond the museum's Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Beyond the museum’s Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
The Martime Museum's beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
The Maritime Museum’s beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which you might remember seeing in the great movie Master and Commander.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which starred with Russell Crowe in the great movie Master and Commander.
Back on the Star of India, people enjoy live entertainment.
Back on the Star of India, more people are gathering to enjoy live entertainment.
A kid explores the workings of the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A kid explores the workings of the world’s oldest active sailing ship!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous tunes during the Festival of the Sea!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous nautical tunes during the Festival of the Sea!

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!

Two colorful, fun benches in Pepper Park!

Here are photos of two colorful, super fun benches in National City’s Pepper Park!

Both painted concrete benches were created in 2006 by Doug Snider, member of the San Diego Potters’ Guild. He produces all sorts of amazing art at his Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. Step into his studio and you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a fantasy world full of whimsy and imagination!

I believe Doug has created four of these fantastic benches. In the past I photographed one of two that are located in Coronado. The one I saw is in Tidelands Park, and you can see it 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!

Under Wraps at the National City Marine Terminal!

A van wrapped with many colors stands at one corner of the National City Marine Terminal on San Diego Bay!
A van wrapped with many colors stands at one corner of the National City Marine Terminal on San Diego Bay!

You don’t see this every day!

Under Wraps is unusual public artwork that now stands at one corner of the National City Marine Terminal. It’s best seen by walking out onto the small Pepper Park fishing pier.

Under Wraps is a sculptural intervention on an old work van, which has been wrapped about with colorful nautical fiber. This unique artwork was created by Randy Walker, who also used nautical fiber in his “Sweet Contents” at San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. I recently blogged about that here.

The National City Marine Terminal in San Diego Bay is where up to 400,000 imported cars arrive by immense roll-on/roll-off car carrying ships every year. The 180-acre facility is operated by Pasha Automotive Services.

According to a sign on the pier, Under Wraps will be on view through February 2019. So if you plan to be in San Diego’s South Bay, go check it out while you have the chance!

Under Wraps, an artwork by Randy Walker, is best seen from the Pepper Park pier. A work van is wrapped in colorful nautical fiber at the National City Marine Terminal!
Under Wraps, an artwork by Randy Walker, is best seen from the Pepper Park pier. A work van is wrapped with colorful nautical fiber at the National City Marine Terminal!
Fishing from the Pepper Park pier near public artwork commissioned by the Port of San Diego.
Fishing from the Pepper Park pier near public artwork that was commissioned by the Port of San Diego.
A kid got super excited when these guys caught a mackerel from the pier!
A kid got super excited when these guys caught a mackerel from the pier!
Now that's something you don't see every day! Under Wraps is colorful public art that adds character to National City.
Now that’s something you don’t see every day! Under Wraps is colorful public art that adds a splash of character to the National City Marine Terminal.

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!

Sweet Contents adds color to Marine Terminal!

Sweet Contents is the title of public art that has added color to three storage tanks at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Sweet Contents is the title of public art that has added color to three storage tanks at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

Surprising public art now decorates three large storage tanks at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal just south of downtown San Diego!

Sweet Contents, by artist Randy Walker, adds color to several old, unsightly tanks that used to store molasses and palm oil. The public art was commissioned by the Port of San Diego for their Port Spaces program and will be visible through February 2019.

The three storage tanks have been draped with strands of nautical fiber. From a distance it looks like strings of many different colors are dangling down from the top of each cylindrical structure.

I took these photos from a spot by the gate of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, Cesar Chavez Park and the adjacent pier. A friendly guard at the gate told me he met the artist, that the individual strands are about an inch wide, and that the colors are about as vibrant today as when they were installed last May.

According to a sign, which I photographed near Cesar Chavez Park, similar public art, titled Under Wraps, can be seen at the National City Marine Terminal. That particular artwork is best seen from the Pepper Park pier.

I’ll have to go check that out in the weeks ahead!

Sign describes Sweet Contents, an artwork by Randy Walker. Differently colored nautical fiber hangs over the exterior of the old molasses and palm oil storage tanks.
Port of San Diego sign describes Sweet Contents, an artwork by Randy Walker. Nautical fiber in many colors hangs over the exterior of the old molasses and palm oil storage tanks.
A view of Sweet Contents from Cesar Chavez Park.
A view of Sweet Contents from the grass in Cesar Chavez Park.
I took this zoom photo of Sweet Contents over a wall at Cesar Chavez Park.
I took this zoom photo of Sweet Contents over a wall at Cesar Chavez Park.
Photo of Sweet Contents from the pier at Cesar Chavez Park. Downtown buildings are visible beyond the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Photo of Sweet Contents from the pier at Cesar Chavez Park. Downtown buildings are visible beyond the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

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!

JOY appears on the Broadway Pier!

This afternoon I noted that JOY has magically appeared on the Broadway Pier!

Looks like the Port of San Diego is in the holiday spirit!

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!