Bottlenose dolphins off San Diego!

Today I headed out into the wide Pacific Ocean aboard the Adventure Hornblower. We were going to look for whales!

Sometimes you can find blue whales–the planet’s largest animal–feeding at the Nine Mile Bank, which is an underwater mountain range deep in the ocean west of San Diego.

You might recall I went summer whale watching last year. I blogged a good description of what the experience is like here.

We didn’t spot any whales on this unusually foggy, hazy summer’s day, but we observed two pods of dolphins.

The first was a small pod of common dolphins not far from the harbor’s entrance.

About four miles out of San Diego Bay we slowed down to enjoy the view of a large pod of very active bottlenose dolphins! The captain said they appeared to be travelling south together, not feeding. There were some baby dolphins, too, but I failed to capture any good photos of them.

It’s hard to photograph suddenly surfacing or leaping dolphins–at least it is for me and my little camera. I’m usually much too late reacting.

But here come several photos you might enjoy!

The cool thing about whale watching in San Diego, you’re almost guaranteed to see lots of dolphins. And if you don’t see any whales, Hornblower Cruises gives you a voucher to enjoy another free trip!

For me, heading out into the wild, beautiful ocean is an amazing experience every single time.

I got my voucher! Maybe I’ll try again this winter, when numerous gray whales are migrating along our coast!

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!

Life returns to Shelter Island!

A busy Sunday at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp.
A busy Sunday at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp.

Life has returned to Shelter Island! How quickly circumstances change!

For several months, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, San Diego Bay was an inactive blank–virtually no boats, almost no people along its shoreline. But now that society is well along in the process of reopening, appearances have radically changed!

I took a walk around the Shelter Island today. It looked like a typical Sunday in June. People picnicked on the grass, fished from the pier, and launched their boats into the bay.

The playground was closed and some people wore facial protection, but otherwise it felt like just another summer day…

As life returns to Shelter Island, a line forms at the boat ramp.
As life returns to Shelter Island, a line forms at the boat ramp.
Various types of boats are gathered inside the recently renovated launching basin.
Various types of boats are gathered in the recently renovated launching basin.
This boat is heading out into San Diego Bay.
This boat is heading out into San Diego Bay.
These guys are coming in. Pelicans stand on the rail across the water.
These guys are coming in. Pelicans stand on the rail across the water.
A cool little wooden sailboat sets out into the bay.
A cool little wooden sailboat sets out into the bay.
Still working to get that sail up!
Still working to get that sail up!
A sea lion goes from boat to boat hoping for fishing bait leftovers.
A sea lion goes from boat to boat hoping for fishing bait leftovers.
I believe this might be Wally the sociable sea lion. I blogged about him a couple times before. He hangs out here.
I believe this might be Wally the sociable sea lion. I blogged about him a couple times before. He hangs out here.
Today is Flag Day, so this sign works perfectly.
Today is Flag Day, so this sign works perfectly.
The huge Stars and Stripes racing yacht is passing the Shelter Island Pier. I haven't seen it on the bay for a very long time.
The huge Stars and Stripes racing yacht is passing the Shelter Island Pier. I haven’t seen it out on the bay for what seems a very long time.
The pier is filled almost end to end with people.
The pier is filled almost end to end with people.
This gull has landed atop a box at the foot of the pier. It would probably like some leftovers from Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle.
This gull has landed atop a box at the foot of the pier. It would probably like some scraps from Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle.
A perfect sunny day on the Shelter Island Pier. Across the bay you can see North Island Naval Air Station.
A perfect sunny day on the Shelter Island Pier. Across the bay you can see North Island Naval Air Station.
Somebody caught a little mackerel!
Somebody caught a little mackerel!
Lots of sails in the distance. Beyond them rises downtown San Diego's skyline.
Lots of sails in the distance. Beyond them rises downtown San Diego’s skyline.
Another sail seen from one of the lath shelters along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park.
Another sail seen from one of the lath shelters along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park.
Walking, bicycling, sailing... What could be better?
Walking, bicycling, sailing… What could be better?
A bright sailboat about to pass Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride. You might remember I took a tour of her when she debuted and blogged about it!
A sailboat about to pass Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride. I took a tour of her when she debuted and I blogged about it!

If you want to see what it’s like inside the oceanographic research vessel R/V Sally Ride, which is in the above photo, click here!

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!

The history of downtown’s Victoria Square.

Have you ever wondered about those Victorian houses that stand together behind a fence near the corner of 2nd Avenue and Ash Street in downtown San Diego?

I walk by these colorful old houses frequently, but apart from seeing “Victoria Square” on a sign in front of one, for years I’ve known absolutely nothing about them. So I finally did a little research on the internet.

Victoria Square Vacation Homes is what they’re called now, but originally the houses together were known as Kiessig Corner. The handsome blue corner house, in the Italian Renaissance style, was built by Charles Keissig in 1894. Keissig was a Gold Rush-era immigrant from Germany who supposedly buried $20 gold pieces under the house in glass jars. The house directly adjacent to it on Ash Street was built in 1904-1906. A third, one-story house on Second Avenue (the yellow one you can see on the left in the next photo) was moved to the site from another location at about the same time. A fourth smaller building, which is difficult to see from the street, was originally a carriage house.

In 1976, the site was declared an historic property by the San Diego Historic Site Board, and the run-down romantic turn-of-the-century buildings were purchased by real estate development attorney Sandor Shapery. The houses were rehabilitated by Del Mar architect Paul Thoryk to be used commercially. Apparently years ago there was a restaurant in addition to offices, but my poor old brain cannot remember it. After 2008 the buildings were converted back to residential use.

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!

Photos of a walk to the end of Oceanside Pier.

Yesterday I walked to the end of Oceanside Pier. It’s another one of my favorite places.

I experienced sunshine, the sparkle of the Pacific Ocean, a fresh sea breeze, the smell of wood, the cry of seagulls . . . and happy people all around: strolling, fishing, listening to music, talking, eating ice cream, leaning over the rail gazing down at the colorful beach and surfers in the blue water awaiting the perfect wave…

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 beach walk to La Jolla Shores tide pools.

Beachgoers have left some flip-flops and shoes at the west end of Avenida de la Playa. Sand feels good under bare toes.
Beachgoers have left some flip-flops and shoes at the west end of Avenida de la Playa. Sand feels good under bare toes.

Here’s a series of photos from my walk down the beach at La Jolla Shores. I began at the west end of Avenida de la Playa and headed south along the sand to the tide pools.

Come along and let’s enjoy another beautiful day!

Looking north along the beach at La Jolla Shores on a winter Saturday. I see part of the famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography up on the hillside.
Looking north along the beach at La Jolla Shores on a winter Saturday. I see part of the famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography up on the hillside.
A group of kayakers receives instruction before heading out onto the Pacific Ocean.
A group of kayakers receives instruction before heading out onto the Pacific Ocean.
People enter the Pacific Ocean with colorful kayaks and paddles.
People enter the Pacific Ocean with colorful kayaks and paddles.
Running along the beach at La Jolla Shores. To the north one can see Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, and beyond the high sandstone cliffs of Black's Beach.
Running along the beach at La Jolla Shores. To the north one can see Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, and beyond the high sandstone cliffs of Black’s Beach.
A friendly San Diego lifeguard driving past waves hello!
A friendly San Diego lifeguard driving past waves hello!
A man carries his kayak across the sand toward the water. It's an overcast winter day, but very pleasant.
A man carries his kayak across the sand toward the water. It’s an overcast winter day, but very pleasant.
Two people walking south along the smooth beach. La Jolla Cove can be seen across La Jolla Bay.
Two people walking south along the smooth beach. La Jolla Cove can be seen across La Jolla Bay.
Now we are walking south along the shore past the sprawling La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club resort.
Now we are walking south along the shore past the sprawling La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club resort. Some people are sitting under umbrellas enjoying the weekend.
The Marine Room is on the left. At high tide, crashing waves come right up to the windows of this elegant restaurant with a stunning ocean view.
I see The Marine Room on the left. At high tide, crashing waves come right up to the windows of this elegant restaurant with a stunning ocean view.
A palatial, almost 16,000-square-foot estate overlooking the beach in La Jolla, called Villa Pelagia. Locals call it the Sand Castle Mansion. The property built in 1929 once looked quite different.
A palatial, almost 16,000-square-foot estate named Villa Pelagia overlooks the beach in La Jolla. Locals call it the Sand Castle Mansion. The property, built in 1929, once looked quite different.
Now we are approaching some tide pools at the south end of the La Jolla Shores beach.
Now we are approaching some tide pools at the south end of the La Jolla Shores beach.
People (and a gull) carefully walk among slippery rocks searching for tiny sea creatures.
People (and a gull) carefully walk among slippery rocks searching for tiny sea creatures.

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!

Outrigger canoe racers launch into Mission Bay.

Outrigger canoes ready to be pushed out into the deeper water of San Diego's recreational paradise Mission Bay.
Outrigger canoes, ready to be pushed out into the deeper water of Mission Bay, San Diego’s recreational paradise.

Today I went for another relaxing walk around beautiful Mission Bay. I was fortunate enough to watch San Diego’s Kai Elua Outrigger Canoe Club launch four boats from the beach. They have opened up a few recent Saturday practice sessions for anybody who might be interested in learning the sport of outrigger canoe racing.

The good-sized group paddled out into Mission Bay this morning just after nine o’clock, near Vacation Isle’s North Cove Public Beach.

Here are a few fun pics. I’ve got more photos coming from today’s long walk!

Looking across a small part of Mission Bay, toward Fishermans Channel and the Ingraham Street bridge, which connects Vacation Island to Pacific Beach.
Looking across a small section of Mission Bay, toward the Ingraham Street bridge, which connects Vacation Isle to Pacific Beach.
Members and guests of San Diego's Kai Elua Outrigger Canoe Club carry an outrigger canoe across the beach toward the water of Mission Bay.
Members and guests of San Diego’s Kai Elua Outrigger Canoe Club carry a large boat across the beach toward the blue water of Mission Bay.
Vacationers watched from the public beach, and the nearby cottages of Paradise Point Resort, as the outrigger canoes were carried to the water.
Vacationers watched from the public beach and the nearby cottages of Paradise Point Resort, as the outrigger canoes were carried to the water.
Some folks enjoying standup paddleboarding on Mission Bay also viewed the fascinating launch.
Some people enjoying stand up paddleboarding on Mission Bay also viewed the fascinating launch.
The four outrigger canoes are soon manned and afloat. They head out for a day of racing practice.
The four outrigger canoes are soon manned and afloat. They head out for a day of racing practice.
Flip-flops left in the sand near two beached outrigger canoes.
Flip-flops left in the sand near two beached outrigger canoes.

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

Sunshine in paradise: a walk about Mission Bay.

The sun glows behind a pair of palm trees at the edge of Mission Bay.
The sun glows behind a pair of palm trees at the edge of Mission Bay.

Late this morning I headed to the Pacific Islander Festival, which took place in the grassy Ski Beach Park near the center of Mission Bay. I’ll get my photos ready and blog about it shortly!

On the way to the festival and afterward, I took a long, leisurely walk. Mission Bay might be the best place in San Diego for an easy saunter through sunshiny paradise.

When I say Mission Bay Park is a paradise, that’s no exaggeration. Grassy parkland, beaches, islands, resorts and marinas are found everywhere you go, whether by foot, bicycle, roller skate, car or boat. Its 4,235 acres make it the largest man-made aquatic park in the nation. Roughly half land and half water, what was originally a lagoon at the mouth of the San Diego River has been transformed into one of our city’s most popular destinations. Especially during the summer.

But summer is over and the crowds have thinned. Perfect for a quiet, thoughtful walk.

Here are a few random pics…

A fisherman rows a kayak near sailboats docked at Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Isle.
A fisherman rows a kayak near sailboats docked at Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Isle.
Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States. Its 4,235 acres is a wonderland of blue water, islands, beaches, resorts, marinas, and tree-shaded grass.
Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States. Its 4,235 acres is a wonderland of blue water, islands, beaches, resorts, marinas, and tree-shaded grass.
Skateboarding over the Ingraham Street bridge between Vacation Isle and Dana Landing. A seagull on every lamp post!
Skateboarding over the Ingraham Street bridge between Vacation Isle and Dana Landing. A seagull on every lamp post!
Looking down from the bridge. It's a quiet Sunday after Labor Day, and few people are about. Mission Bay is a perfect place for a long, sunny walk in San Diego!
Looking down from the bridge. It’s a quiet Sunday after Labor Day, and many benches are empty. Mission Bay is a perfect place for a long, sunny walk in San Diego!
Light reflected on water and shore rocks form a contrast.
Light reflected on water contrasted with shore rocks.
A small pleasure boat glides through South Cove and is ready to pass under the Ingraham Street bridge.
A small pleasure boat glides through South Cove and is ready to pass under the Ingraham Street bridge.
A colorful sail and reflection on smooth water at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Marina.
A colorful sail and reflection on smooth water at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Marina.
Just fishing on a Sunday by the bridge north of Quivira Basin. It crosses over Mission Bay Channel and leads to nearby Mission Beach.
Fishing on a Sunday by the bridge north of Quivira Basin. It crosses over Mission Bay Channel and leads to nearby Mission Beach.
Broad blue water and folks recreating on Mission Bay. Every type of small boat you can imagine can be spotted on any given day.
Broad blue water and folks recreating on Mission Bay.  Kayaks, paddle boards, peddle boats, sailboats, windsurfers and fishing boats can be spotted on any given day.

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Sunrise, palm trees, and Mission Valley Resort.

Sun rises between palm trees above Mission Valley Resort.
Sun rises between palm trees above Mission Valley Resort.

Greetings to the folks at Mission Valley Resort! Thanks for following my blog! My walk to work takes me down Bachman Place, so today I decided to take a small detour and pass by the resort to check it out! Great location! I took several quick pics and the one above turned out best!

Cheers!