Learning the ropes at the Maritime Museum!

Nearly a hundred new hands were “learning the ropes” on San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India today!

During my visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I asked what all those folks on the deck were up to. I was told they’re learning all about sailing a tall ship. It was the first day of the Sail Training 101 class that is held every year.

There’s a ton to learn–can you imagine? Different masts, yards, sails, all those different ropes and cables, different knots, the jargon–all of it crucial in the sailing of a ship. (I’m a museum member and avid reader of nautical fiction, and I still become confused by much of it!)

Many of these new volunteer crew members, once trained, will be sailing several of the Maritime Museum’s tall ships, including Californian and San Salvador. This coming November the Star of India will sail with those other two ships out onto the Pacific Ocean!

In one upcoming photo, someone down in the Star of India’s hold is raising a heavy bucket full of rocks. That’s practice for hauling on a line–a very common activity on a tall ship!

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A short but sunny Embarcadero walk.

I spent a couple hours today reading by the water and strolling along San Diego’s sunny Embarcadero. When I reached Ruocco Park, I was entertained by the above Lone Sound Ranger and decided–what the heck–I’ll continue to take photographs.

Nothing too unusual here. Just a typical day along San Diego’s waterfront.

Bay views . . . boats . . . street entertainers . . . vendor carts . . . monuments . . . downtown buildings rising to one side. It’s mid-January, so no huge crowds.

These photos were taken as I continued my way north, past Tuna Harbor and the USS Midway. You’ll probably recognize the Embracing Peace “kiss” statue.

My final shots were taken out on Broadway Pier, and then a few steps north of it where another street musician was singing with a big smile.

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Balancing high in the sky above San Diego!

I never tire of tall ships.

When crew members are working aloft, I have to stop and stare.

That was the case this afternoon at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Up in the rigging of visiting tall ship Exy Johnson, members of her crew balanced high in the sky, like circus performers, unfurling sails.

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A fun harbor tour on both land and sea!

Two tours in one! That’s what it felt like today when I explored San Diego’s harbor on a SEAL Tours boat with wheels!

It was my very first time experiencing one of these unique tours.

Passengers boarded the amphibious SEAL vehicle at Seaport Village and started down Harbor Drive along San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero. We passed the airport and Spanish Landing and entered Point Loma. All the while, our tour guide (the boat’s first mate), provided a fun and spirited narration. My love of San Diego was renewed once again.

At the Shelter Island boat ramp we seamlessly entered San Diego Bay and headed out across the sparkling water!

Of course there were amazing views of downtown San Diego across the gentle water. And, of course, we had to swing by the bait dock near the entrance to the bay where sea lions entertained kids with their antics.

We saw several Navy facilities and were surprised to learn how super high-tech robot ships are autonomously interdicting drug smugglers. We also saw where the Navy trains sea lions and dolphins to detect underwater objects. And we saw the R/P FLIP, a very long, very strange Scripps research vessel that plunges 90 degrees into the ocean to become a sort of floating tower! There was so much cool stuff to see, I couldn’t begin to describe it all.

The tour was a lot of fun. Our guide, Bret, was a ham and everyone was always smiling and laughing. Personally, I learned quite a lot about my city that I hadn’t known before.

Are you a San Diego resident? This month–January–Old Town Trolley Tours is offering locals free rides. That includes the SEAL Tours, which they operate!

If you do partake of this harbor experience, make sure to bring a jacket. The wind out on the bay can be quite chilly!

Here’s a tiny taste of the experience…

Both the captain and first mate were really nice. As we got started visual aids helped to explain the coming attractions.

Two huge cruise ships were docked on the Embarcadero today.

Passing the beautiful, historic Star of India, world’s oldest active sailing ship.

We’ve arrived at Shelter Island, where we saw many boats moored in America’s Cup Harbor.

About to enter San Diego Bay! How cool is this?

The transition to water is so smooth you hardly notice it.

Another perfect San Diego day.

Hello!

The bait dock had everyone taking a million photos. Those sea lions are digesting their breakfast.

How cute!

A bunch of cormorants were hanging out on this section.

A view of downtown San Diego skyscrapers over the large naval air base on Coronado’s North Island.

That narrow ship on the right operates autonomously. If it detects a drug runner out on the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard is notified.

Here’s where sea lions are trained by the U.S. Navy. We learned they are actually a bit more intelligent than dolphins.

Here comes another SEAL Tour! That’s Harbor Island behind it.

Back to land! Before heading again down city streets, our captain checked for seaweed caught in the wheels!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Exy Johnson tall ship visits San Diego!

The beautiful tall ship Exy Johnson is visiting San Diego. She’s now docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I was told the Exy Johnson arrived in San Diego Bay so that she can be hauled out in Chula Vista for her periodic maintenance and inspection.

The last time I saw the two-masted brigantine was during the 2017 Festival of Sail on the Embarcadero. It’s hard to believe that was almost six years ago!

The Exy Johnson and her twin ship Irving Johnson are based up the coast at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. The two tall ships take students out on educational sailing excursions. What an incredible opportunity for young people! Can you imagine sailing on her?

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Ex-Russian superyacht in National City!

Have you seen that superyacht docked very strangely down in National City?

I walked to Pepper Park today, and when I ventured out onto the fishing pier, I took photos of the large yacht tied up on one side of the National City Marine Terminal. The ships you usually see around here are those gigantic sheer-sided roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships that transport cars.

When I got home, I found this article!

I learned that this superyacht, Amadea, was seized by the United States off of Fiji earlier this year. It had allegedly belonged to sanctioned Russian billionaire oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

According to the article, the superyacht might be auctioned off. Anyone out there looking for a nice boat?

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Penelope awaits Odysseus at Coronado Tidelands Park.

In 2019, this sculpture of Penelope, from Greek mythology, was placed beside the boardwalk in Coronado Tidelands Park.

The bronze head of Penelope gazes across the water toward the Coronado Bridge and South Bay, as if awaiting the return of her husband Odysseus. Odysseus (the Romans called him Ulysses) was fated to wander from adventure to adventure after the Trojan War.

I guess I hadn’t walked this way for over three years, because I didn’t notice Penelope here before. But I did see this same sculpture many years ago. It stood for a while just north of Seaport Village, where Ruocco Park was eventually developed.

The amazing work of public art was created by artist Michael Stutz in 2009. (Looking at his website, I note he also created the Flame Flower in front of the Westin Gaslamp, which you can see here.)

I love the artist’s representation of Penelope. The mask-like face, gazing out over San Diego Bay, appears windblown but firm. The sculpture evokes human patience, anticipation, nobility…

Weaving by day, Penelope would be forced to choose a…

…new husband when her tapestry was complete. But all…

…the while she waited, unraveling her work by night…

…steadfastly sure of Ulysses’ return.

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Amazing views from the top of Grant Hill!

Amazing views of San Diego can be enjoyed from the top of Grant Hill.

To the west lies downtown San Diego and its skyscrapers; to the northwest one can spy distant Point Loma; to the southwest the Coronado Bridge spans San Diego Bay, and boats can be seen as tiny dots in Glorietta Bay; to the south one can view Navy ships and much of South Bay; to the southeast rises distant San Miguel Mountain.

Today, after a long walk through Logan Heights and Sherman Heights, I turned east and moved into the Grant Hill neighborhood. There was a short steep climb up J Street to reach Grant Hill Neighborhood Park. It was a beautiful day with little haze, perfect for seeing almost to horizon–even over the Pacific Ocean. These photos resulted.

When I finally completed my exploration and walked back across the grass among the gigantic eucalyptus trees, someone was getting ready to fly a kite. It can be breezy atop Grant Hill!

Approaching Grant Hill Neighborhood Park from the west.

Heading up a walking path, looking at giant eucalyptus trees atop Grant Hill.

Several people were sitting on the park’s grass, enjoying the wide outdoors in the middle of a busy city.

Downtown can be seen when turning back west. That’s J Street, which I climbed.

Downtown San Diego seen from the top of Grant Hill.

Turning a little to the left, there’s the Coronado Bridge!

Coronado Bridge seen from the top of Grant Hill.

A zoom photo shows Glorietta Bay and Coronado Shores buildings.

A zoom photo over Coronado reveals distant Point Loma jutting into the Pacific Ocean.

Walking down the Grant Hill Neighborhood Park path heading east.

San Miguel Mountain seen from Grant Hill.

I turned back west and passed this old tree in an interesting planter.

Grant Hill Neighborhood Park is a beautiful grassy retreat in urban San Diego.

I have numerous photographs on my computer which I need to share!

Stay tuned in the next week or two for blog posts concerning Solana Beach, Cardiff, Escondido, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, and more!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Rare airplane debuts on USS Midway!

Today a very rare airplane was transported across San Diego Bay. An enormous floating crane carried a restored Vought F7U Cutlass from Naval Air Station North Island and set it down onto the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum aircraft carrier.

Only seven Vought F7U Cutlass aircraft, built in the early years of the Cold War, are known to still exist. One of them was carefully restored at North Island. Today it joined many other historical aircraft on display at the USS Midway Museum.

I saw the tall crane as it was being pushed by a tugboat away from the museum. Then I observed an unusual plane perched on the flight deck by the aircraft carrier’s horns. A docent informed me what had just happened!

The Vought F7U Cutlass is a very odd looking airplane. Its design is unusual–there is no tail! See its Wikipedia page here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Christmas trees fill ferryboat Berkeley!

Christmas trees and bright holiday decorations now fill the passenger deck of the historic ferryboat Berkeley! It appears to me that for 2022 there are more decorated trees and strung lights and snowflakes and magic than ever before!

Anyone who has stepped aboard the Berkeley at the Maritime Museum of San Diego knows how special the old ferryboat is. The ship’s cathedral-like passenger deck, with its colored windows and varnished wooden benches and views of the bay, is one of my favorite places in all of San Diego.

Imagine the spectacle after dark produced by the many Christmas trees and lights. Guests aboard Berkeley watching the Parade of Lights will be dazzled!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!