Storm brings huge surf to Ocean Beach Pier.

Yesterday I went to Ocean Beach. My walk included a stretch along the water, to the OB Pier. It was late morning, right around high tide.

Huge, unrelenting surf resulting from a stormy Pacific Ocean was pounding like crazy and constantly threatening to break over the pier. So the pier was closed.

I took a few photos of the dynamic waves crashing under the pier.

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!

Morning rain and umbrellas downtown.

Here are a few photos I captured this morning as I walked downtown through gusts of rain.

Keeping an eye on the direction of the wind and slanting raindrops, holding my camera at the ready under my umbrella, I headed down from Cortez Hill to the Gaslamp trolley station. I wasn’t the only one trying to cope with San Diego’s first real rainstorm of the winter.

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!

Rain creates magic in a very special garden.

Raindrops on leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.
Raindrops on leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

During today’s spring rain, the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park shined with magic. Every leaf was enchanted. Every part of the garden was blessed with a profound and mysterious beauty.

Rain nourishes life: every life.

A spring storm creates unexpected beauty.
A spring storm creates unexpected natural beauty.
Wet, bright green leaves.
Wet, very bright green leaves.
Budding spheres of red magic open mysteriously.
Budding spheres of red.  Like magic they open mysteriously.
Water in the grooves of a beautifully marbled stone by the garden path.
Water in the grooves of a beautifully marbled stone by the garden path.
Droplets on a fern, like a curtain of beaded diamonds.
Droplets shining on a fern, like a curtain of beaded diamonds.
Sunlight through magical layers of green.
Sunlight through dreamy, magical layers of green.
More simple beauty at the always wonderful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Simple beauty at the always wonderful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Fragile blooms encrusted with crystal-like rain.
Fragile blooms encrusted with crystal-like rain.
Smooth forms of beaded water on a sloping leaf.
Smooth forms of beaded water on a sloping leaf.
One photograph of beauty in a special garden, on a rainy day in San Diego.
Another photograph of beauty in a special garden, on a rainy May day in San Diego.

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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Photos of San Diego River, after three storms.

The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level--I believe--of around 11 feet.
The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level–I believe–of around 11 feet.

I did some walking in a drizzle this morning before work.

I got off the trolley at the Fashion Valley station and proceeded to investigate the San Diego River in a section of Mission Valley that is often hit with flooding. Three very rainy winter storms were finally coming to an end. What did I see?

Palm trees surrounded by river water. Photo taken between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
Palm trees surrounded by flowing river water. Photo taken from the pedestrian bridge between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
A tall eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
A tall, shallow-rooted eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River's water had subsided to street level.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River’s water had subsided to street level.
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio south of the mall. The short street is appropriately named!
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio just south of the mall. The short, dipping street is appropriately named!
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
No worries about flooding for the trolley--at least right here!
No worries about flooding for the trolley–at least right here!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to work. Good thing I got an early start!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to reach work. Good thing I got an early start!
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname--the Upside Down River.
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname: the Upside Down River.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter river trees.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter trees.
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.

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!

America comes home to San Diego.

Tall ship America, owned by Next Level Sailing, turns about in San Diego Bay as it comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.
Tall ship America, owned by Next Level Sailing, turns about in San Diego Bay as it comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.

Earlier this month, on December 11, America came home to San Diego, after a long and very eventful journey representing The America’s Cup. Its epic America’s Cup Tour included many stops, from the Gulf of Mexico up the East Coast and then south again to the Caribbean. During the tour it hosted throngs of visitors and was welcomed by some of our nation’s finest yacht clubs.

But there was also one very dangerous adventure! In October the ship had to take shelter from Hurricane Matthew by heading up the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, where it docked in a less windy spot behind the large Hyatt building. America survived with little damage!

The beautiful ship is a replica of the schooner America that beat 15 top British racing yachts in a 53 nautical mile regatta around the Isle of Wight in 1851. The Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Guinea Cup, won easily by the New York Yacht Club, became a challenge trophy known as the America’s Cup. Today it is the oldest international sporting trophy in existence.  (San Diego’s own legendary yachtsman Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup four times.)

The replica America that makes San Diego its home is owned by Next Level Sailing, and it is glorious to behold when under sail. Now that the America’s Cup Tour is safely over, it is once again available for charters and whale watching adventures out on the blue Pacific.

This afternoon I happened to catch America out on San Diego Bay, heading in to the Maritime Museum, where it docks. I got a few photos before I hurried back home to take shelter from tonight’s storm! Not a hurricane, thank goodness!

America passes the Maritime Museum of San Diego's Soviet Foxtrot B-39 submarine. It's a cloudy New Year's Eve afternoon, with a storm on the way.
America passes the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Soviet Foxtrot B-39 submarine. It’s a cloudy New Year’s Eve afternoon, with a storm on the way.
America carefully approaches the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley.
America carefully approaches the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley.
Time to tie her up to the dock.
Time to tie her up to the dock.
A member of America's crew leaps through the air to secure the beautiful ship, a replica of the racing schooner that ushered in The America's Cup.
A member of America’s crew leaps through the air to secure the beautiful ship, a replica of the victorious racing schooner that ushered in the America’s Cup.
Welcome home, America!
Welcome home, America!

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!

Bright, magical clouds crown San Diego Bay.

A seagull flies above San Diego Bay as the sun illuminates fantastic, stormy clouds.
A seagull flies above San Diego Bay as the sun illuminates fantastic, stormy clouds.

San Diego’s weather today was stormy.  So the clouds were more amazing than usual. Late this afternoon, they were simply magical.

As I walked along the Embarcadero, gazing out across San Diego Bay, my small camera filled up with images. Here are my best shots!

Amazing clouds above tall ships on the water. The weather has been unsettled lately, creating rare opportunities for the camera.
Amazing clouds above tall ships on the water. The weather has been unsettled lately, creating rare opportunities for the camera.
A cruise ship docked next to downtown San Diego seems small and rather bland compared to the sunlit clouds mounting high above it.
A cruise ship docked next to downtown San Diego seems small and rather bland compared to the sunlit clouds mounting high above it.
Magic seems to crown San Diego's Broadway Pier. The sun is falling as day comes to a close. Light shines through clouds gloriously.
Magic seems to crown San Diego’s Broadway Pier. The sun is falling as day comes to a close. Light shines through clouds gloriously.
A simple photograph taken one spring day in wonderful San Diego.
A simple photograph taken one spring day in wonderful San Diego.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Boats destroyed by El Nino winds in San Diego.

Catamaran driven into the rocks near the Grape Street pier during an El Nino storm in downtown San Diego.
Catamaran driven into the rocks near the Grape Street pier during an El Nino storm in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday and last night an El Nino-driven storm produced very strong winds throughout San Diego. Last night as I lay in bed I listened to the wind howl and powerful gusts shake my building. So this morning I figured I’d get up and see if any damage occurred downtown.

Large branches were down, and one tree lay on the sidewalk on State Street just south of Cedar. But when I reached the Embarcadero, I saw some real devastation. Many boats had been driven aground, and were either submerged or partially submerged.

Here are some photos. They aren’t cool.  But they are newsworthy.  I feel badly for the people who lost their boats.

Masts of a sailboat rise above the water the morning after fierce winds buffeted San Diego's Embarcadero.
Masts of a sailboat rise above the water the morning after fierce winds buffeted San Diego’s Embarcadero.
All the local television news stations had cameras at the scene. The images were truly devastating.
All the local television news stations had cameras at the scene. The images were truly devastating.
Resident of catamaran driven aground on deck of half-submerged boat. I wish her well in this difficult situation.
Resident of catamaran driven aground on deck of half-submerged boat. I wish her well in this difficult situation.
The seagulls were enjoying the stiff chilly morning breeze, but the worst of the gusts seem to be over by sunrise.
The seagulls were enjoying the stiff chilly morning breeze, but the worst of the gusts seem to be over by sunrise.
Another boat was driven up against the boardwalk between the Hornblower dock and Maritime Museum. Just the mast was sticking out from the churning bay.
Another boat was driven up against the boardwalk between the Hornblower dock and Maritime Museum. Just the mast was sticking out from the churning bay.
Several more boats piled up right next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Several more boats piled up right next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
A small boat between the museum's deep diving Dolphin submarine and the pilings. I was told the restored Swift Boat owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego sustained some damage.
A small boat between the museum’s deep diving Dolphin submarine and the pilings. I was told the restored Swift Boat owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego sustained some damage.
The effects of El Nino winds seen up close. The wind howled during the night, and in the morning light, the damage became apparent.
The effects of El Nino winds seen up close. The wind howled during the night, and in the morning light, the damage became apparent.

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