A quiet December morning on the Broadway Pier.

It's early December in San Diego. JOY has returned to the foot of Broadway Pier for the holiday season.
JOY has returned to the foot of Broadway Pier for the holiday season.

It’s early December and San Diego’s latest rainstorm has passed. This morning I walked out onto the Broadway Pier.

What did I see?

A United States Coast Guard buoy tender is docked at Broadway Pier.
A United States Coast Guard buoy tender is docked at Broadway Pier.
It appears a navigational buoy is being replaced in the bay, or the ocean off San Diego. A very unusual sight!
It appears a navigational buoy is being replaced in the bay, or perhaps in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego. A very unusual sight!
A reflection in a puddle of downtown high-rises.
A reflection in a silver puddle of downtown high-rises.
Looks like a food truck might be missing their menu board!
Looks like a food truck might be missing their menu board!
Early morning at the end of Broadway Pier. All is quiet.
A little after sunrise at the end of Broadway Pier. All is quiet.
Dew drops on the outdoor chairs and tables.
Dew drops on the outdoor chairs and tables.
Here comes the Coronado Ferry, passing the USS Midway Museum.
Here comes the Coronado Ferry, passing the USS Midway Museum. Not many passengers this early in the day.
A gull takes flight as I turn on the pier back toward Broadway. Time to catch the trolley for work.
A gull takes flight as I turn on the pier to head back toward Broadway. Time to catch the trolley for work.

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!

Oil paintings of the Embarcadero at night.

These aren’t actual oil paintings. They’re photographs that I took last night along the Embarcadero, made to look like impressionistic oil paintings with GIMP graphic software.

Can you recognize many of these beautiful nighttime sights 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!

Scenes from Without Walls Festival 2019!

This afternoon I headed to Liberty Station in Point Loma to experience some of the La Jolla Playhouse’s annual WOW event!

The Without Walls Festival 2019 features all sorts of cool outdoor performances, many of which are free for the public to enjoy. It continues tomorrow!

The first production I watched, titled Tall Tales of the High Seas, was a very unique visual drama that seemed part circus act, part aerial dance. The athletic performers raised the flexible masts of a rotating Viking longship, then climbed skyward to dip, fly and swerve through the sky! One could sense a bit of a story unfolding as the ship seemed to become lost at sea and the actors hung limp from the crow’s nests without hope; then land is sighted and excitement takes hold!

After that, I walked around the grassy North Promenade of Liberty Station, tried to peer into the intimate little Theatre on the Move, and stood for a few minutes enjoying the Montalban Quintet at the Festival Stage.

Then, as I made my way toward the South Promenade, I paused to watch kids sail in colorful Boats about Legacy Plaza!

Finally, a production titled Peregrinus was ready to begin. The actors marched across the street in a very businesslike way, as you can see in my photos.

At first each individual actor showed a unique personality, but as they put on their corporate attire, ordinary people were transformed into conforming, business suited employees. They could select their own color of tie, but no more.

The actors bowed before their enormous masks, inserted their heads, rose up in a row, and suddenly each head was identically serious, grim, tired and sad. They filed about in a circular hurry, did the corporate dance, bowed to their boss, became jackasses when commanded to do so, engaged in power plays and subterfuge–you know, all that ridiculous, demeaning stuff that pains the heart when people shed their dignity in their desire for power, position or money.

The act was hilarious!

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!

Model ship builders restore family heirlooms!

Is there an old model ship in your attic? Perhaps a treasured family heirloom? Is it falling to pieces or in a terrible tangle? Would you like to restore it?

Today, during a visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I learned of a group of dedicated model ship builders who are busy repairing and restoring old model ships!

The members of the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild love their hobby and hold regular meetings aboard the Maritime Museum ship Berkeley. I happened to be walking around the museum today before one of their evening meetings. I struck up a conversation with Guild Master James Pitt and was fascinated as he told me about various aspects of model ship building.

The San Diego Ship Modelers Guild, which was formed in 1971, has dozens of members hailing from all around Southern California and even Arizona. They have partnered with the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and guild members can often be seen working in the museum’s specially equipped Model Makers Workshop.

What interested me most was how the modeler’s guild has been repairing and restoring an increasing number of model ships of late. Many are family heirlooms passed down from previous generations, and are treasured for the memories and special meaning they embody.

If you have any sort of model ship that needs expert repair, check out the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild website by clicking here! Send them an email! I met a couple of the members and all were really nice guys!

I took some photos of a display for today’s meeting. You can see examples of model ships that have undergone restoration.

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 slightly unusual morning by the water.

A seagull hopes for a morning morsel while I eat breakfast outdoors on the Embarcadero, not far from the USS Midway.
A seagull hopes for a morning morsel while I eat breakfast outdoors on the Embarcadero, not far from the USS Midway.

This morning I walked along the Embarcadero, from Broadway Pier to Tuna Harbor.

My camera captured some of the usual beauty, plus a few unusual images!

Research vessel JOIDES Resolution (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling), a scientific drilling ship used by the International Ocean Discovery Program, docked in San Diego.
Research vessel JOIDES Resolution (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling), a scientific drilling ship used by the International Ocean Discovery Program, docked in San Diego.
Here come Cabrillo, the Coronado Ferry, across a very smooth San Diego Bay.
Here comes Cabrillo, the Coronado Ferry, across a very smooth San Diego Bay.
Someone exercises by the water on a beautiful early San Diego morning.
Someone exercises by the water on a beautiful early San Diego morning.
Some colorful lobster traps were stacked at the edge of the parking lot beside Tuna Harbor.
Some colorful lobster traps were stacked at the edge of the parking lot beside Tuna Harbor.
Strange reflections on the smooth water of Tuna Harbor.
Mysterious reflections on the still water of Tuna Harbor.
Trees and downtown buildings upside down on the water.
Trees and downtown buildings upside down on the water.
A worker casually stands on the plank above the water. An odd and mysterious image!
A worker casually stands on the plank above the water. A rather strange image!

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!

Raising a heavy yard on HMS Surprise.

During my Sunday walk along the Embarcadero today, I paused at the Maritime Museum of San Diego to watch some fascinating activity. Crew members and museum volunteers were carefully raising one of HMS Surprise’s very heavy mizzenmast yards. They hauled ropes, checked critical knots, hauled some more, swung the yard up and across the quarterdeck, then lifted it straight into the sky.

The strenuous, methodical work aboard a tall ship is a complex dance.

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 summer whale watching trip in San Diego!

Wow! Talk about a fun summer adventure! Today, thanks to Hornblower Cruises and Events, I enjoyed a summer whale watching trip out in the beautiful Pacific Ocean off San Diego!

I and other passengers aboard the Adventure Hornblower cruised out of San Diego Bay and continued many miles west of Point Loma in search of blue whales, the largest animal on planet Earth.

Spotting these enormous mammals, which move through the oceans in a constant pursuit of food, can be a hit or miss proposition, but it was such a sunny, perfect day and the wide ocean was so calm and blue, I didn’t really care what we might happen to discover!

We did see numerous pods of dolphins almost everywhere we turned. They fed and played in the gentle swells nearby, and didn’t seem to mind the big ship full of pointing humans passing overhead.

I took lots of photos, but dolphins break the surface unexpectedly then quickly melt back into the water, so my small camera just managed to get a few decent pics. You have to be there to feel the excitement, not to mention the fresh wind and bright sunshine. It’s an incredible, magical experience!

Had this been a winter whale watching trip, we would likely have seen gray whales as they migrate along the California coast to and from Mexico. During the summer it’s possible to spot a variety of other whales, including blue whales and humpback whales, but these species don’t follow a predictable route of migration.

Our captain took us a good distance out into the open ocean. All hands searched the horizon when we reached the Nine Mile Bank–an underwater mountain range teeming with sea life where blue whales often feed. On our way out we spotted the distant spout of a Fin Whale–the second-largest species on Earth–but were unable to successfully see it up close.

On our way back to San Diego we approached another boat that might have sighted a whale. We turned off our motor and silently drifted in, watching carefully, but we saw only dolphins and a group of feeding gulls and pelicans. The other boat had a drone hovering over the water, but it didn’t seem to find what it was looking for.

As we neared the channel into San Diego Bay, friendly people from the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park gave a short educational presentation, complete with close up photos of blue whales, an example of the filter-like baleen that these huge whales use to collect four tons of tiny krill per day, and a toothy dolphin skull. Kids enjoyed learning about all the cool marine life and had many questions!

I should mention, the summer whale watching trip included a narrated tour of the north part of San Diego Bay, where you always see something new. Including sea lions! It’s just as fun and interesting as a regular harbor cruise.

Because we didn’t spot a whale today, every passenger got a voucher for another free whale watching trip, or a harbor cruise on San Diego Bay. You can bet I’ll use mine!

Find out more about this awesome four hour summer whale watching adventure by visiting Hornblower’s San Diego website here!

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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!