Sailboats, fishing boats and sparkling water!

Sailboats pass live bait fishing boat docked at Tuna Harbor Pier.
Sailboats pass live bait fishing boat docked at Tuna Harbor pier.

Venture anywhere along San Diego Bay and you’re in for a show!

Look at these pics of huge blue fishing boats, colorful sailboats, and the big gray Navy ships glimpsed in the distance!

Of course, sailboats are easily recognized, and everyone loves watching them dance on the big bay. On any given day you’ll see many white sails. Often you’ll see a group of sailboats racing together, tacking, tilting, running on the sea breeze.

The big blue fishing boats with the square wells that we seem to be standing beside are commercial live bait boats docked at Tuna Harbor’s G Street Pier. Seine nets are utilized to gather schools of small fish, which are then dumped into the deep wells. The live bait is then used by fishermen who depart from several sportfishing locations around San Diego. Pelicans, egrets, black-crowned night herons and gulls often perch on the sides of idle live bait boats. Perhaps they think something tasty will magically appear!

The distant Navy ships are an oiler and two active aircraft carriers docked at Naval Air Station North Island, situated on the northern half of Coronado Island. The two homeported carriers that you can glimpse are the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan.

Sailboats pass a commercial live bait fishing boat.
Sailboats pass a commercial live bait fishing boat.
Fishing boat nets stretched on Tuna Harbor Pier.
Seine net with floats stretches along edge of Tuna Harbor pier.
Sailboats and a Navy oiler docked at North Island in the background.
Sailboats and a Navy oiler docked at North Island in the background.
Pelican and gulls on the edge of Tuna Harbor Pier.
Pelican and gulls on the edge of the Tuna Harbor pier.
Small sailboat passes live bait boat on San Diego Bay.
Small sailboat passes live bait boat on San Diego Bay.
The rusted bridge of a large live bait fishing boat.
The rusted bridge of a live bait catching fishing boat.
Dangling ropes and the fishing net coiled on a huge cylinder.
Dangling ropes and the seine net coiled on a huge cylinder-like winch drum.
Live bait boat docked at Tuna Harbor Pier on San Diego Bay.
Live bait boat Cougar docked at the picturesque Tuna Harbor pier on San Diego Bay.
White egret perched on square well perhaps hopes to find a fish.
Snowy egret perched on square well perhaps hopes to find a fish.
One live bait boat is named Rival.
One live bait boat is named Rival.
Cougar tied to pier between hunts for small fish.
Cougar tied to G Street Pier between watery hunts for small fish.
San Diego Bay and many colorful boats!
San Diego Bay and many colorful boats!

Boats fill the San Diego Marriott Marina.

Marriott hotel rises behind the marina.
Marriott hotel rises behind the busy marina.

Here’s another look at the beautiful San Diego Marriott Marina. Hundreds of boats find safe harbor in this large expanse of water between a grassy park to the west and the silvery Marriott Marquis hotel. You can see boats of every size and description: sailboats, speedboats, small yachts…

Around Christmas, many of these watercraft are decked with strings of colored lights, glowing Santas, and other illuminated decorations, making for a festive scene at night. Dozens of boats participate in the holiday Parade of Lights, cruising merrily around San Diego Bay.

Throughout the year, it’s fun to watch individual boats gliding slowly in and out of the marina. You can also spot rented Jet Skis, people enjoying kayaks, and others standing on paddleboards.

Marriott Marina with nearby Hilton hotel in the background.
Marriott Marina with nearby Hilton hotel in the background.
Man on paddleboard enjoys calm water in the marina.
Man on paddleboard enjoys calm water in the marina.
One of several ramps to the San Diego Marriott's marina.
One of several ramps to the San Diego Marriott’s marina.
Watercraft for rent at the Marriott Marina.
Watercraft for rent at the Marriott Marina.
Inflatable Christmas dog decorates boat in Marriott Marina.
Inflatable Christmas dog decorates boat in the marina.

San Diego skyline and Tuna Harbor boats.

Fishing boats in Tuna Harbor and downtown skyscrapers.
Fishing boats in Tuna Harbor and downtown skyscrapers.

The above photograph was taken near the public pier that stretches into San Diego Bay from the G Street Mole. It can be found next to the top rated Fish Market restaurant, a bit south of the USS Midway. The picturesque skyline rises behind a number of inactive fishing boats in the always interesting Tuna Harbor this fine sunny summer day.

San Diego’s Tuna Harbor decades ago was home to the largest tuna fishing fleet in the world. That was before fishing regulations and tuna populations shifted, sending most of the boats away. The American Tuna-Boat Association office is still located near the foot of the pier.

Here are a variety of pics taken at different times…

Fisherman heads to a boat in Tuna Harbor.
Fisherman heads to a boat in Tuna Harbor.
Ramp down to docks in San Diego's Tuna Harbor.
Ramp down to docks in San Diego’s Tuna Harbor.
Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton rise behind Tuna Harbor fishing boats.
Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton rise behind Tuna Harbor fishing boats.
A number of fishing vessels docked inside San Diego's Tuna Harbor.
A number of fishing vessels docked inside San Diego’s Tuna Harbor.
This typical small boat is part of the large local fishing fleet.
This typical small boat is part of the large local fishing fleet.
Colorful floats of different sizes tangled over the railing at edge of Tuna Harbor Pier.
Colorful floats of different sizes tangled over the railing along edge of the G Street Pier.
Fishing boats docked in Tuna Harbor next to downtown San Diego.
Fishing boats docked in Tuna Harbor next to downtown San Diego.
Lobster traps lined up on a Tuna Harbor dock.
Turning a bit to the right.  Lobster traps are lined up on a Tuna Harbor dock.
Fishermen sort sea urchins from large tank, to be sold at nearby public fish market.
Fishermen sort sea urchins from large tank, to be sold at nearby public fish market.
Gazing down one dock at a line of fishing vessels in San Diego.
Gazing down one dock at a line of fishing vessels in San Diego.
Small boat painted with various names, including Rambo!
Small boat painted with various names, including Rambo!
A clutter of work gear all along the wooden dock.
A clutter of work gear all along the wooden dock.
Downtown highrises in the blue sky behind a Tuna Harbor boat.
Downtown high-rises in the blue sky behind a Tuna Harbor boat.
USS Midway aircraft carrier museum can be seen beyond the fleet of fishing vessels.
USS Midway aircraft carrier museum can be seen beyond the fleet of fishing vessels.
Sun, wind, salt water and frequent use take a toll on these hard-working boats.
Sun, wind, salt water and frequent use take a toll on these hard-working boats.
Old navy boat has been converted for civilian purpose.
I believe this is an old Navy boat which has been converted for civilian purpose.
A couple more fishing boats tied up in beautiful San Diego Bay.
A couple more fishing boats tied up in beautiful San Diego Bay.
Many boats are out on Friday afternoon, seeking fresh fish for Saturday morning market.
Many boats are out on a Friday afternoon, seeking fresh fish for Saturday morning market.

That shiny cylinder-like drum will be mounted on the rear of a fishing boat, and used to unspool then haul in a very large net!

Big crowd at San Diego’s 2013 Festival of Sail!

big crowd at festival of sail

Sunday afternoon brought a gigantic crowd to San Diego’s sunny waterfront. The 2013 Festival of Sail appears to be a resounding success! This photo was taken at the annual event’s busy entrance just south of the Star of India.

A huge mass of humanity also surged along the Embarcadero in the vicinity of the sand sculpture event on the cruise ship pier, and by the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Lines were long everywhere, and street vendors and performers were raking in the money!

One often hears that America’s Finest City is a top destination for tourists on Labor Day weekend…I certainly believe it!

UPDATE!

It’s almost a year later and the 2014 Festival of Sail is a couple days away! This year I’ll actually attend, brave the huge crowds and take a bunch of pics!

Banner is up a few days before the 2014 Festival of Sail!
Banner is up on Star of India a few days before the 2014 Festival of Sail!

Classic figurehead of historic ship Star of India.

Female figure at the bow of San Diego's historic Star of India.
The Greek muse Euterpe graces the bow of San Diego’s historic Star of India.

Here’s the oft-photographed figurehead of San Diego’s famous tall ship Star of India. I learned from a Maritime Museum of San Diego docent that the figurehead represents Euterpe, one of the Muses from Greek mythology. Euterpe was the muse of music. Euterpe was also the original name of the Star of India, when it was built at Ramsey in the Isle of Man in 1863. Her name was changed from Euterpe to Star of India in 1906 by the Alaska Packers’ Association, which had purchased the ship in 1901.

Closer look at Star of India’s classic figurehead.
Closer look at Star of India’s classic figurehead.

Here’s a cool pic with high contrast applied…

Figurehead of tall ship Star of India.
Figurehead of tall ship Star of India.

San Diego loves the beautiful Star of India.

star of india 01

During today’s morning walk I took a couple other photographs which I will share. Here’s a pic of San Diego’s beloved tall ship Star of India! Many visitors don’t realize that this iron-hulled three-masted bark is the oldest active sailing ship in the entire world! If you ever swing by America’s Finest City, you can go onboard and enjoy a memorable glimpse of maritime history.

With clouds of white sails fluttering in the breeze, she remains the queen of The Big Bay! She’s 150 years old and still appears to be in great condition!

Star of India’s California Historical Landmark plaque.
Star of India’s California Historical Landmark plaque.

Bonus pics taken at various later times:

A familiar sight along Harbor Drive on San Diego's Embarcadero.
A familiar sight along Harbor Drive on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Bow of Star of India includes the classic female figurehead.
Bow of Star of India includes a classic female figurehead representing Euterpe. That was this ship’s original name.
Early morning photo of San Diego's Star of India.
Early morning photo of San Diego’s Star of India.
Star of India captain's wheel and tangled Maritime Museum rigging.
Star of India steering wheel.
Beautiful sails and clouds.
Beautiful sails and clouds.
Ticket booth and entrance ramp next to the Star of India.
Maritime Museum of San Diego ticket booth next to the Star of India.
American flag flutters in the breeze at stern of the historic old ship.
American flag flutters in the breeze at stern of the historic old ship.
People out for a stroll by the Star of India.
People out for a stroll on San Diego’s Embarcadero by the Star of India.

Masts of tall ships docked on San Diego Bay.

festival of sail early morning 02

Here’s another pic taken in downtown San Diego this morning while I strolled along the Embarcadero. The intricate masts, yards and rigging projecting into the early morning sky belong to tall ships that will be participating in the 2013 Festival of Sail. I like how mysterious these ships can appear just after sunrise, as if they’re nautical ghosts visiting from the past! I wouldn’t have been surprised to glimpse Captain Ahab or The Ancient Mariner striding toward me along the bayside sidewalk!

UPDATE!

It’s a year later, and visiting tall ships have begun to arrive a couple days before the 2014 Festival of Sail. Here’s a pic I took early in the morning! This year I’ll make it a point to attend the big Labor Day weekend event and take loads of photos!

Two tall ships have arrived a couple days early for the 2014 Festival of Sail.
Two tall ships have arrived a couple days early for the 2014 Festival of Sail.