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!

Underwater mural in Silver Strand tunnel!

Three pedestrian tunnels pass underneath California State Route 75, connecting the west and east sides of Silver Strand State Beach. If you choose to use the south tunnel, you might want to put on some scuba gear!

That tunnel is home of a long, very cool mural that depicts life above the water and beneath it.

Silver Strand State Beach occupies a section of the peninsula between Coronado and Imperial Beach. Much of the life painted in the mural can be observed from the park’s two shores.

Walking along coastal habitat by either the Pacific Ocean or San Diego Bay, you will observe many birds, including snowy plovers, great blue herons, least sandpipers, black skimmers, marbled godwits, long-billed curlews, snowy egrets, endangered California least terns, brown pelicans, seagulls and a variety of ducks.

Out in the water you might also spot surfacing seals and dolphins! But if you want to see a whale up close, you’ll need to dive into the tunnel!

This very cool environmental mural was painted in 2009 by Imperial Beach artist Jaime Rayon, with some help from young members of The Art Kids, in partnership with the nearby Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

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!

Huge blue whale at Wienerschnitzel drive-thru!

Apparently I’m not the only mammal who loves hot dogs and chili cheese fries. There’s a huge blue whale that likes to hang out at the Wienerschnitzel in Point Loma!

I see this exact same whale swimming right next to their drive-thru every time I head down Rosecrans Street!

This very cool whale mural was created by artist Leonardo Nado (@leonardonado.33) back in 2018. I checked out his Instagram page and noticed he really likes to paint whales!

I went on a long walk around Point Loma today, so I had the opportunity to take close up photographs of this street art. Then I walked up to the Weinerschnitzel window and ordered a big chili cheese fries with lots of napkins!

(Maybe I’ll try the craft beer around the building at Goodbar next time. The whale seems to be heading that way.)

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!

Huge whale spotted beside Pacific Highway!

If you’ve ever driven down Pacific Highway south of Old Town, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted an enormous whale!

That whale was painted by muralist Chris Konecki in 2016 for PangeaSeed Foundation’s environmental project Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans. (Many more amazing murals were created by other artists during this same citywide event.)

The big, colorful whale mural is on the side of BJ’s Equipment Rentals, between Wright Street and Estudillo Street. The title of this mural is Just Passing Through. Look closely and you’ll see scuba divers around the whale, either spray painting graffiti on the whale or removing it!

Vandalizing a beautiful living whale would be a horrible thing to do. Endangering these magnificent creatures with pollution in the oceans would be just as reprehensible.

Let’s keep Earth’s oceans clean!

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!

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!

Colorful nature painted near Fiesta Island.

I discovered some colorful artwork last weekend during my walk around Mission Bay!

As I headed north along East Mission Bay Drive just past the entrance to Fiesta Island, approaching Tecolote Creek, I saw that images from nature had been painted on the low barrier that separates the small parking lot from the walking path. I spotted birds and fish and whales and flowers and all sorts of marine wildlife and native critters.

It appeared all of nature had gathered at my feet!

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!

An amazing Wyland mural cruises into San Diego!

An amazing, gigantic mural by the renowned artist Wyland cruised into San Diego this morning! The mural, titled Cruising with the Whales, is painted on the bow of the positively enormous cruise ship Norwegian Bliss, which was diverted into San Diego due to Hurricane Willa off Mexico.

Robert Wyland, who is based in Laguna Beach and Hawaii, has several works of marine art on display around San Diego. I’ve photographed a few of them, which can be spotted here, here and here.

Welcome to Earth and Imperial Beach!

An astronaut gives a Hang Loose hand signal as he hovers near a satellite high above planet Earth!
An astronaut gives a Hang Loose hand signal as he hovers near a satellite high above planet Earth!

Head into Imperial Beach along Palm Avenue and you’ll be treated to colorful art!

Here are some photos that I took yesterday!

A very cool space mural on one side of the AT&T building on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. By artists Todd Stands and Dave Frink.
A very cool space mural on one side of the AT&T building on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. By artists Todd Stands and Dave Frink.
As drivers head west down Palm Avenue, a mural featuring a gray whale welcomes them to Imperial Beach.
As drivers head west down Palm Avenue, a mural featuring a gray whale welcomes them to Imperial Beach.
Art on fence between Palm Avenue and the old salt ponds of south San Diego Bay, now part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve.
Art on fence between Palm Avenue and the old salt ponds of south San Diego Bay, now part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve.
One side of the AT&T building at 13th Street has colorful, spiritual jellyfish that seem to communicate electrically!
One side of the AT&T building at 13th Street has colorful, spiritual jellyfish that seem to communicate electrically!
The mural on the front of the AT&T building includes a big whale.
The mural on the front of the AT&T building includes a big whale.
And lots of super colorful shore birds.
And lots of super colorful shore birds.
Beautiful public art welcomes visitors to Imperial Beach.
Beautiful public art welcomes visitors to Imperial Beach.
Another whale in the mural.
Another whale in the mural.
A pod of dolphins swims across an electrical box.
A pod of dolphins swims across an electrical box.
More beautiful street art.
More beautiful street art.
I spotted a couple of native Eastern Pacific green sea turtles across Palm Avenue near 12th Street!
I spotted a couple of native Eastern Pacific green sea turtles across Palm Avenue near 12th Street!
Carly Ealey painted Cosmic Tides in Imperial Beach for Pangeaseed's Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.
Carly Ealey painted Cosmic Tides in Imperial Beach for Pangeaseed’s Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.

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!

Sea life mosaics at Solana Beach bus station!

Small sea creatures made of ceramic swim about a tile mosaic bench at a bus station in Solana Beach.
Small sea creatures made of ceramic swim about a tile mosaic bench at a bus station in Solana Beach.

Check out these colorful benches at a Solana Beach bus station on Pacific Coast Highway!

Passengers waiting for a North County Transit BREEZE bus at this station are surrounded by all sorts of sea creatures in the form of ceramic tiles. You can find the public art just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive, on the west side of the Solana Beach train station. Bicyclists heading down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail can also pause to enjoy the artwork.

The fun mosaics, decorating 11 concrete benches, were created by artist Michelle Griffoul.

Here are photos from several benches that you might enjoy!

Two of eleven concrete benches decorated with images of marine life on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
Two of eleven concrete benches decorated with images of marine life on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
A colorful fish, shell and seahorse among small blue tiles.
A colorful fish, shell and seahorse among small blue tiles.
Sit here and you can ride a dolphin that is swimming among abundant sea life.
Sit here and you can ride a dolphin that is swimming among abundant sea life.
More fun public artwork at a Solana Beach bus station.
More fun public artwork at a Solana Beach bus station.
Butterflies! It appears that not all of the images concern aquatic life.
Butterflies! It appears that not all of the images concern aquatic life.
More fish in their watery element.
More fish in their watery element.
More beautiful artwork at the bus station.
More beautiful artwork at the bus station.
A bike rider rolls past public art. This station is part of the Coastal Rail Trail in San Diego's North County.
A bike rider rolls past public art. This station is part of the Coastal Rail Trail in San Diego’s North County.
So much sea life it seems we're somewhere out in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
So much sea life it seems we’re somewhere out in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
A small school of beautiful fish swimming in blue tiles.
A small school of beautiful fish swimming in blue tiles.
Enjoy The Path.
Enjoy The Path.
The sun is shining atop this bench.
The sun is shining atop this bench.
I've spotted a whale!
I’ve spotted a whale!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

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Cool environmental mural on Commercial Street.

Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.
Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.

I got off the Orange Line trolley the other day to capture photos of some cool street art on Commercial Street just east of 20th Street.

Like many other PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans artwork that one can spot around San Diego, this one has an environmental message about taking care of the ocean. The mural, which illustrates the harmful effects of plastic pollution on marine life, was painted in 2016 by Dolan Stearns.

The left side of the mural shows an ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The left side of the mural shows a big, ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic junk.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic bags, bottles, cups and junk.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting trash into the blue ocean.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting waste into the blue ocean.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!