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!

Honoring victims, heroes of USS Bennington disaster.

Today I walked through the historic Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. It’s my first visit to the grove of live oaks since December of 2017, when I observed Boy Scouts and volunteers working to improve the living memorial.

During my walk today, not only was I pleased to see the quiet oak grove was as peaceful and beautiful as ever, but I noted some information has been posted in the kiosk. I took a photograph so you might read it. Click my photo of the sign and the image will expand for easy reading. (Unfortunately, you’ll note the clear plastic protecting the sign was broken by vandals. But thankfully I saw absolutely no litter, graffiti or other signs of disturbance.)

You might notice the sign also features a QR code that opens a dedicated memorial website. To learn much, much more about the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove, please visit BenningtonMemorial.com.

The memorial website honors the lives of the 66 U.S. Navy sailors who tragically died when the USS Bennington’s boiler exploded in San Diego Bay on July 21, 1905. A separate page of the website is dedicated to each victim. You’ll also learn about the 11 courageous men who each earned a Medal of Honor for their heroism that day.

To see inspirational photos from a year and a half ago, when Boy Scouts and crew members of the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt were working to improve the Bennington Memorial, click here and here. For many of those photos, I am grateful to the San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, and historian Kathleen Winchester in particular.

Now please enjoy the following pics taken today by the kiosk, and along the shady footpath that winds through the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Sign at the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove describes one of the Navy's worst peacetime disasters, which took place in 1905 on San Diego Bay. Sixty six live oaks were planted to honor the victims of the USS Bennington boiler explosion.
Sign in kiosk at the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove describes one of the Navy’s worst peacetime disasters, which took place in 1905 on San Diego Bay. Sixty six live oaks were planted in Balboa Park to honor the victims of the USS Bennington boiler explosion.

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!

Star of India, painted by light and by hand.

The STAR, by artist Marie Huggin.
The STAR, by artist Marie Huggin.

I was drawn to the Star of India today. I sat on a wooden bench of the historic tall ship and gazed out at sailboats gliding across the sparkling water of San Diego Bay.

Finally I stood up and walked about the Star of India’s sunny deck, trying to frame interesting effects of light and shadow with the lens of my camera.

Later, as I walked through the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s other vessels, I halted inside the Compass Gallery of the steam ferry Berkeley. My eyes were held fast by an exhibition of paintings titled Sea and Shore. Many of the canvases, painted by the hands of local artists, all members of the Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego, depict the Star of India.

I thought that contrasting a few of my photos with some of the dreamlike artwork might be fun.

Dozens of pieces in the Compass Gallery are available for purchase! If you’d like to sail through an ocean of beautiful nautical paintings, and perhaps take one home, head downtown to the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

Bert and Wes Working on the STAR, by artist Jeffrey Remmer.
Bert and Wes Working on the STAR, by artist Jeffrey Remmer.

She Rests, by artist Pamela Ingwers.
She Rests, by artist Pamela Ingwers.

Aloft on STAR of INDIA, by artist Norm Daniels.
Aloft on STAR of INDIA, by artist Norm Daniels.

The STAR of INDIA at Sunset, by artist Pamela Ingwers.
The STAR of INDIA at Sunset, by artist Pamela Ingwers.

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 fun walk along Shelter Island Drive.

Fun shark street art on a utility box at the corner of Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street.
Shark street art on a utility box at the corner of Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street.

This morning I headed to Point Loma to visit three sites participating in the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO. All three are located in a neighborhood at the foot of Shelter Island–an area once populated by many Portuguese fishermen. I think you might enjoy a look at Little Portugal’s history and some of its landmarks.

Before I sort through all those photographs, however, please enjoy others photos I took during a fun walk down Shelter Island Drive, from Rosecrans Streets to the recently improved Shelter Island boat ramp.

(To see additional street art I photographed along Shelter Island Drive a couple years ago, click here!)

The Union Bank on the same corner has a colorful mural depicting fishermen near its entrance.
The Union Bank on the corner of Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street has a colorful mural near its entrance. Tuna fishermen with poles out on the Pacific Ocean.
Plaque describes the artwork. Sean Wells - Art Teacher. Mural completed Spring 2010 depicting historic scenes of the Point Loma region.
Plaque describes the above artwork. Sean Wells – Art Teacher. Mural completed Spring 2010 depicting historic scenes of the Point Loma region.
As I began walking along Shelter Island Drive, a gigantic yacht passed down the street!
As I began walking along Shelter Island Drive, a gigantic yacht passed down the street!
A few benches overlook a corner of the Shelter Island Yacht Basin. It's a nice place to sit and relax.
A few benches overlook a corner of the Shelter Island Yacht Basin. It’s a nice place to sit in the sun and relax.
I spotted this cool stained glass panel in a window of The Marlin Club.
I spotted this cool stained glass panel in a window of The Marlin Club.
I remember seeing some huge fish suspended here years ago, before I began taking photos for this blog.
I remember seeing several huge fish suspended here years ago, before I began taking photos for this blog.
Someone bikes past a huge boat lift at the Shelter Island Boatyard.
Someone bikes past a huge boat lift at the Shelter Island Boatyard.
Those yachts being repaired seem to be up in the sky!
Those yachts being repaired seem to be up in the sky!
People bicycle near the Ocean Song sculpture in front of Humphreys Half Moon Inn.
People bicycle near the Ocean Song sculpture in front of Humphreys Half Moon Inn. This cool public art was created by Alber De Matteis.
As I approach San Diego Bay, I see the Pacific Portal sculpture by local artist James T. Hubbell.
As I approach San Diego Bay, I see the Pacific Portal sculpture by local artist James T. Hubbell.
I've arrived at the recently improved and enlarged Shelter Island Launch Ramp. Many recreational watercraft enter San Diego Bay here.
I’ve arrived at the recently improved and enlarged Shelter Island Launch Ramp. Many recreational watercraft enter San Diego Bay here.
Looks like these guys backing their boat into the water intend to spend the day fishing.
Looks like these guys backing their boat into the water intend to spend the day fishing.
Someone hangs out nearby, sitting among beached dinghies.
Someone hangs out nearby, sitting among beached dinghies.
Looking across the boat launch basin, the San Diego downtown skyline in the distance.
Looking across the boat launch basin, the San Diego downtown skyline in the distance.
I see some sailboats racing in the distance, between here and Harbor Island.
I see some sailboats racing in the distance, between here and Harbor Island.
Here comes an amphibious SEAL tour boat. These cool boats head out toward the entrance to the San Diego Bay channel and turn about near the submarines at Naval Base Point Loma.
Here comes an amphibious SEAL tour boat. Tourists float out toward the entrance of San Diego Bay, then turn around near the submarines at Naval Base Point Loma.
These cool vessels drive right out of the water and up onto the boat ramp!
These cool vessels drive right out of the water and up onto the boat ramp!
After walking a bit, I'm nearer those small sailboats that were racing in the distance.
After walking a bit, I’m nearer those small sailboats that were racing in the distance.
Some people by the rocky shore watch even more distant sailboats with binoculars.
Some people by the rocky shore watch even more distant sailboats with binoculars.
My camera zooms and just manages to capture a nice image.
My small camera zooms and just manages to capture a nice image.
Look! Here comes San Salvador, the Maritime Museum of San Diego's amazing Spanish galleon replica!
Look! Here comes San Salvador, the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s amazing Spanish galleon replica!
Now that is one very cool sight!
Now that is one very cool sight!

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!

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A fine Sunday walk along the bay.

Another perfect day in San Diego for a walk, ride or four-legged run by the bay!
Another perfect day for a walk, ride or four-legged run by San Diego Bay!

Favorite sights (plus a few surprises) greeted my eyes as I enjoyed a slow walk along San Diego Bay this afternoon!

Many others were out and about. The breeze was pleasantly cool. Blue sky and sunshine peeked through dramatic clouds.

I walked from the Maritime Museum of San Diego down to the Hilton San Diego Bayside, before turning for home.

Guys at the Maritime Museum of San Diego were busy cutting a chain on the barge.
Guys at the Maritime Museum of San Diego were busy cutting a chain on the barge.
Another volunteer cleans the top of Steam Ferry Berkeley. Good progress is being made on this historic ship's exterior restoration!
A museum volunteer cleans the top of Steam Ferry Berkeley. Good progress is being made on this historic ship’s exterior restoration!
Cool guy Gary Reid provides soulful music by the USS Midway.
Cool guy Gary Reid provides soulful music by the USS Midway.
Visitors to San Diego move through the Greatest Generation Walk toward the Embracing Peace statue.
Visitors to San Diego move along the Greatest Generation Walk toward the Embracing Peace statue.
Bright flowers in the garden by The Fish Market restaurant.
Bright flowers in the garden by The Fish Market restaurant.
A couple pauses to gaze at fishing boats in Tuna Harbor.
A couple pauses to gaze at fishing boats in Tuna Harbor.
I aim my camera through stacked lobster traps.
I aim my camera through stacked lobster traps. I believe the fuzzy white stuff is dead, sun-bleached algae.
I think I recognize that pedicab driver.
I think I recognize that pedicab driver.
A bright sailboat on San Diego Bay, with Coronado in the background.
A bright sailboat on San Diego Bay, with Coronado in the background.
I knew I recognized her! It's Diane!
I knew I recognized her! It’s Diane!
Kyler MacKenzie plays gypsy music on his guitar near Seaport Village.
Kyler MacKenzie plays gypsy music on his guitar near Seaport Village.
A balloon twister guy heads off on his bike.
A balloon twister guy heads off on his bike.
Kids examine a kite near a tree at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Kids examine a kite near a tree at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Almost like a dream. Perhaps you can tell why I love San Diego.
Almost like a dream. Perhaps you can tell why I love San Diego.
People with dogs on the grass, the Coronado Bay Bridge in the distance.
People with dogs on the grass, the Coronado Bay Bridge in the distance.
A crow on some roots.
A crow on some roots.
The silvery Marriott Marquis and Marina.
The silvery Marriott Marquis and Marina. No rain in the afternoon, but dramatic clouds linger.
Back near Seaport Village, I spotted this cool Popcorn Bar!
Back near Seaport Village, I spotted this cool Popcorn Bar!
Today is the second day of Seaport Village's annual busker festival. George Gilbert from Fort Myers Beach, Florida entertains a good crowd.
Today is the second day of Seaport Village’s annual busker festival. George Gilbert from Fort Myers Beach, Florida entertains a good crowd.
I always seem to see a snowy egret at this same spot in the Marriott Marina.
I always seem to see a snowy egret at this same spot in the Marriott Marina.
Workers string some lights near the Marina Terrace.
Workers string some lights near the Marina Terrace.
A pinwheel and a smile! You can't go wrong with that combination!
A pinwheel and a smile! You can’t go wrong with that combination!
It's a Wonderful Life.
It’s a Wonderful Life.
But getting old does present difficulties.
But getting old does present difficulties.
The Flame of Friendship sculpture gleams up on the San Diego Convention Center.
The Flame of Friendship sculpture gleams up on the San Diego Convention Center.
Walking along.
Walking along.
Trees and clouds seen from Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Trees and clouds seen from Embarcadero Marina Park South.
A large gull near diners at Burgers, Bait and Beer.
A large gull near diners at Burgers, Bait and Beer.
Here come Spirit of San Diego and Admiral Hornblower. Both are coming from South Bay on a harbor tour.
Here come Spirit of San Diego and Admiral Hornblower. Both are coming from the South Bay on a harbor tour.
A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Those empty containers being loaded by the ship's crane will fill up with bananas eventually and come on back to San Diego.
Those empty containers being loaded by the ship’s crane will fill up with bananas eventually and come on back to San Diego.
A look up at the Hilton San Diego Bayside from the side that faces away from downtown.
A look up at the Hilton San Diego Bayside from its side that faces away from downtown.
Near this bayside entrance to the Hilton there's a place to take photos. Greetings from San Diego.
Near the bayside entrance to the Hilton there’s a place to take photos. Greetings from San Diego.
Another perfect early March day on San Diego Bay.
Another perfect early March day on 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!

Mysterious reflections of ships on water.

Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise.
Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise.

Early this morning I walked from Cortez Hill down to San Diego Bay. I spent a few quiet minutes between the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the Grape Street Pier.

The sun was very bright. It wasn’t long before I noticed wavy reflections of ships on the water!

Without reading the photo captions, can you identify each ship by its mysterious reflection?

Reflection on the water of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise and Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of HMS Surprise and Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water near USS Dolphin of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water near USS Dolphin of Steam Ferry Berkeley.
Reflection on the water of Medea, Pilot, America, San Salvador, and Californian.
Reflection on the water of Medea, Pilot, America, San Salvador, and Californian.
Reflection on the water of Admiral Hornblower.
Reflection on the water of Admiral Hornblower.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.
Reflection on the water of Star of India.

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!

Rising and shining on the Embarcadero!

I walked slowly along the Embarcadero this morning. As I started along San Diego Bay, the February sky was gray and occasionally drizzly.

For a Saturday relatively few people were about. The popular Tuna Harbor Dockside Market was busy, of course, but the first part of my walk was rather quiet. A couple firefighters were jogging on the grass near their fire engine at Seaport Village. I saw some birds, including a beautiful snowy egret. A few fisherman were trying their luck on the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

I said hello to some familiar people.

As I turned back north, I noted a bit more activity. Guys in scuba gear were at work cleaning the hulls of boats in the Marriott Marina. Workers were getting tables ready at various waterside restaurants. Vendors were setting up booths at Ruocco Park’s new Saturday farmers market. Tourists were gathering at the foot of the Embracing Peace statue (originally called Unconditional Surrender) and atop the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum.

And, best of all, the street performers were out and smiling.

As usual the sun came out.

San Diego is magical.

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!