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!

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!

Dramatic clouds from atop convention center!

A stormy day today. Dramatic clouds marched across the sky.

After work I climbed to the top of the San Diego Convention Center for a sweeping view.

To the south, the Coronado Bay Bridge and Hilton caught a few late rays from the sun. To the north, magnificent clouds glowed above the Flame of Friendship sculpture and Marriott. In the distance, beams of light touched the bay, making the water shimmer.

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!

Take a tour aboard a new Coast Guard cutter!

This weekend the general public has the rare opportunity to take a free tour aboard a brand new United States Coast Guard cutter! The USCGC Benjamin Bottoms, which is scheduled to be commissioned in San Diego this week, is presently docked on the Embarcadero just north of the Maritime Museum.

USCGC Benjamin Bottoms (WPC-1132) is a Sentinel-class or Fast Response cutter that has very advanced capabilities. The vessel will be based in San Pedro and will spend most of its time off the coast of Southern California engaging in maritime rescues, drug interdiction, and a variety of other missions.

I stepped aboard today and was greeted by smiling crew members, heroes who have saved the lives of many. I was permitted to take photos everywhere but inside the pilothouse, which contains the latest technology. I was told that almost everything on the cutter is computerized, with sensors and controls just about everywhere. This type of cutter is unique in that it is equipped with a bow thruster which allows for very nimble maneuvering.

After checking out the pilothouse, our tour headed to the rear of the cutter where a small Cutterboat – Over the Horizon inflatable boat can be quickly released into the ocean or pulled back aboard. With its jet drive, the cutterboat has the ability to pursue and overtake very fast vessels.

We then went inside the Benjamin Bottoms to see its galley, a central dining and meeting area, and some officer quarters.

When you take a tour of the vessel, a friendly crew member will also tell you how the ship got her name. To summarize, using the words of Wikipedia: “Benjamin Bottoms was a United States Coast Guard radio operator who died while attempting to rescue the crew of a USAAF bomber that had crashed-landed in Greenland in November 1942.”

Head down to the Embarcadero tomorrow between 9 am and 2 pm and enjoy a fascinating tour and say Thank You to some genuine heroes!

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!

Dogs enjoy a harbor cruise on San Diego Bay!

A dog and two friends enjoy Pet Day on the Bay aboard the Adventure Hornblower.
A dog and two friends enjoy Pet Day on the Bay aboard the Adventure Hornblower.

This morning I went on a fun harbor tour–with dozens of tail-wagging dogs!

Hornblower Cruises and Events was having their annual Pet Day on the Bay, which benefits the Helen Woodward Animal Center!

This year the Pet Day on the Bay’s costume theme was mermaids and pirates. In addition to lots of cool sights, I photographed four-legged passengers dressed for the occasion!

Any dog owner who would like to have a memorable experience with their pet should go on one of these unique cruises. The Hornblower ship is equipped with everything a canine or human could desire, including drinks and snacks and a live narration describing all that you see during the one hour harbor tour. A couple of pet experts were also aboard offering lots of helpful advise.

I could tell the dogs were enjoying themselves. A bunch of their human companions were smiling, too!

People wait in line for the first of four very unique harbor tours. It's the annual Pet Day on the Bay!
People wait in line for the first of four special harbor tours. It’s the annual Pet Day on the Bay!
These furry passengers meet each other before boarding for a cruise on San Diego Bay.
Furry passengers meet each other before enjoying a cruise on San Diego Bay.
The theme this year for Pet Day on the Bay was mermaids and pirates. Looks like a mermaid to me!
The theme this year for Pet Day on the Bay was mermaids and pirates. Looks like a mermaid to me!
All sorts of local celebrities joined us on the fun cruise. That's Dave Scott of KUSI News!
All sorts of local celebrities joined us on the fun cruise. That’s Dave Scott of KUSI News!
We're at the foot of Hornblower's pier, almost time to board the ship.
We’re at the foot of Hornblower’s pier, almost time to board the ship.
Here comes a pair of colorful pirates!
Here come some colorful pirates!
I'm greeted with a big smile. I see another celebrity! It's world-famous Chopper, San Diego's motorcycle riding therapy dog!
I’m greeted with a big smile. I see another celebrity! It’s world-famous Chopper, San Diego’s motorcycle riding therapy dog!
Helen Woodward Animal Center was there, too, with a lot of love and some puppies to adopt.
Helen Woodward Animal Center was there, too, with licks of love and some puppies to adopt.
Mary Read hangs out with a tail-wagging friend, waiting for a forever home.
Mary Read hangs out with a tail-wagging friend, waiting for a forever home.
Open up your home--save a life. Foster homes are urgently needed for canines and felines. The Helen Woodward Animal Center with your help saves thousands of precious lives. Please visit animalcenter.org
Open up your home–save a life. Foster homes are urgently needed for canines and felines. With your help, the Helen Woodward Animal Center saves thousands of precious lives. Please visit AnimalCenter.org
Heading along the Grape Street Pier, about to board the Adventure Hornblower for a one hour harbor tour!
Heading along the Grape Street Pier, about to board the Adventure Hornblower for a one hour harbor tour!
Some of the passengers have a pre-boarding meet and greet.
Some of the passengers have a pre-boarding meet and greet.
Photos are taken for Pet Day on the Bay.
Photos are taken for Hornblower Cruises’ Pet Day on the Bay.
A friendly greeting by the ship's captain!
A friendly greeting by the ship’s captain!
Doggie bags with lots of cool stuff from Petco were handed out to those participating in Pet Day on the Bay.
Doggie bags with lots of cool stuff from Petco were handed out to those participating in Pet Day on the Bay.
Up some steps onto the upper deck...
Up some steps onto the upper deck…
Some dog-friendly turf and great views await the pooch passengers.
Some dog-friendly turf and great views await the pooch passengers.
New friends are made on deck, as we await our departure.
New friends are made on deck, as we await our departure.
Is this sailor one of the crew?
Is this sailor one of the crew?
As we waited to begin our cruise, the Admiral Hornblower left the dock and headed out onto the bay.
As we waited to begin our cruise, the nearby Admiral Hornblower headed out onto the bay.
Sunshine breaking through the morning clouds turns the Admiral Hornblower bright white.
Sunshine breaking through the morning clouds turns the Admiral Hornblower bright white.
Here we go! We leave downtown San Diego behind.
Here we go! We leave downtown San Diego behind.
We head out toward the entrance to San Diego Bay, with views of Point Loma, North Island and the distant Coronado Islands.
We head out toward the entrance of San Diego Bay, with views of Point Loma, North Island and the distant Coronado Islands.
Some people rowing outrigger canoes flew past us on the calm water of San Diego Bay.
Some people rowing outrigger canoes flew past us on the calm water of San Diego Bay.
Approaching the live bait dock, where sportfishing boats stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.
Approaching the live bait dock, where sportfishing boats stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.
Sea lions lounge on the floating dock along with a motley group of sea birds.
Sea lions lounge on the floating dock along with a motley group of sea birds.
A group of kayakers were passing Naval Base Point Loma, not far from four nuclear submarines.
A group of kayakers was passing Naval Base Point Loma, not far from four nuclear submarines.
The dogs enjoy the amazing views just as much as the humans.
The dogs enjoy the amazing views just as much as the humans.
All sorts of characters are hanging out on the ship's deck.
All sorts of characters are hanging out on the ship’s deck.
There seem to be happy dogs everywhere!
There seem to be happy dogs everywhere!
As we headed back toward the Embarcadero, I poked my head inside the ship to see some displays, including one presented by Petco. They also provided doggie treats.
As we headed back toward the Embarcadero, I poked my head inside the ship to check out some displays, including this one presented by Petco, who also provided doggie treats.
The Petco Foundation is helping to save the lives of animals. Learn how you can put your love for animals into action at PetcoFoundation.org
The Petco Foundation is helping to save the lives of animals. Learn how you can put your love for animals into action at PetcoFoundation.org
The billowing Hornblower flag and the approaching San Diego skyline.
The billowing Hornblower flag and the approaching San Diego skyline.
As we approach the dock, a dog supervises the maneuvering of the ship.
As we come beside the dock, a dog carefully supervises the maneuvering of the ship.
Passengers disem-bark after a wonderful one hour cruise.
Passengers disem-bark after a wonderful one hour cruise!
Pet Day on the Bay is a great annual event for those with two or four legs!
Pet Day on the Bay is a great annual event for those with two or four legs!

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!

Another beautiful evening on the Embarcadero.

Sun shines through late clouds, splashing light across San Diego Bay in its peaceful Crescent Area.
Sun shines through late clouds, splashing light across San Diego Bay in its peaceful Crescent Area.

It was another beautiful evening on San Diego’s Embarcadero. I went for a slow walk.

What more can I say?

Boat moored in San Diego Bay becomes darkly mysterious in the late light.
Boat moored in San Diego Bay becomes darkly mysterious in the late light.
Inspiration Hornblower heads out into San Diego Bay near the Grape Street Pier on an early Friday evening.
Inspiration Hornblower heads out into San Diego Bay near the Grape Street Pier on an early Friday evening.
The new Coast Guard vessel USCGC Benjamin Bottoms will soon be commissioned. The public can tour the Sentinel-class cutter tomorrow on San Diego's Embarcadero, just north of the Maritime Museum.
The new Coast Guard vessel USCGC Benjamin Bottoms will soon be commissioned. The public can tour the Sentinel-class cutter this weekend on San Diego’s Embarcadero, just north of the Maritime Museum.
Some of the vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego splashed with late sunlight.
Some of the vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego splashed with late sunlight.
Glowing clouds through the rigging of Star of India.
Glowing clouds through the rigging of Star of India.
Rays of light crown Star of India's female figurehead, the Greek Muse of lyric poetry, Euterpe.
Rays of light crown Star of India’s female figurehead, the Greek Muse of lyric poetry, Euterpe.
A gull swoops down onto Broadway Pier to investigate some seated people.
A gull swoops down onto Broadway Pier to investigate some seated people.
The reflections of downtown skyscrapers shine in the Port Pavilion's windows, a few minutes before sunset.
The reflections of downtown skyscrapers shine in the Port Pavilion’s windows, a few minutes before sunset.
Flags and a sail illuminated by late light.
Flags and a sail illuminated by late light.
Tables and seats at the end of Broadway Pier are empty at the close of another day.
Tables and seats at the end of Broadway Pier are empty at the close of another day.
Another beautiful evening on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Another beautiful evening on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

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 photographic adventure by the water.

I enjoyed a small photographic adventure yesterday evening.

Walking along the Embarcadero, camera in hand, I gazed out toward San Diego Bay and the descending sun. Occasionally I paused to frame long shadows, glowing clouds, silhouettes and bright reflections on the water.

These photographs represent a segment of my walk from Broadway Pier to the Greatest Generation Walk, just south of the USS Midway.

The exaggerated contrasts in these photos were produced by my camera’s automatic mode. When I shoot into the sun, many of the resulting images can appear very dramatic. And darkly mysterious!

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!