Cruise “San Diego”

First off before I start the adventurous portion of this posting, a little talk about the weather. Since getting down here in November. Two weeks after getting here, starting the week of Thanksgiving I think we’ve had rain a little each and every week, this is very unusual for this area. As matter of fact this past week San Diego officially lifted its drought emergency classification. This areas been in drought for 5+ years now, and with the amount of rain we’ve got over the last few months they could finally lift the drought emergency restrictions. They are still not out of a total drug-free situation but with it being the start of the rainy season there is hope that that will happen. Of course what that means is I’ve experienced an unusual amount of rainfall while here at Potrero. But that’s okay the interesting thing about the rain here is doesn’t usually last all day and there are breaks in the rain when you can get out and do a few things. A couple weekends ago we did have five days of pretty much steady rain. So the people here at the park at been giving me credit for helping lift the drought and bringing the rain with me “LOL”.

Well over the last week I’ve gone on different cruises in the San Diego water’s. The first being a two hour harbor cruise which takes you around San Diego Bay highlighting points of interest. The boat is docked right next to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier “Museum”. The Midway was built in the 1940s and retired to San Diego Harbor where now it is a museum open daily for tours, displaying many aircraft. Here’s a couple photos of the carrier.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdsc_0001San Diego Harbor is home to many interesting Marine applications. There is a Navy air base (North Island Navy Air Station “Halsey Field”), Naval Base of San Diego & Navy Amphibious Base, Coronado. Here’s some photos of a few of the Navy ships in the Naval Yard.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s this one I’d looking very boxy battleship, I guess it is very Stealth ship, that’s cost several billion dollars to build.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is also home to one of the two Navy Hospital Ships, which the U.S. Navy has. One stationed here in one on the East Coast. In wartime these would be dispatched to the areas of need. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but because of its size and number of beds and operating rooms it ranks in the top 10 size of hospitals anywhere in the United States. Here’s a photo of it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s also a large shipbuilding yard (NASSCO) where they do of Lot a repairs or building of Navy and commercial ships.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a photo of a couple of their dry docks.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn here’s a new fuel tanker that they are building.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother interesting thing about San Diego is about 80% of all imported cars, coming into the US come through San Diego Harbor. I seen several of these large vessels, a few weeks ago waiting in this Pacific Ocean outside the harbor. At first I thought they were oil tankers and now I realize that they were all car carriers. They haul hundreds of cars per trip. They sit quite high on the water and have many decks park full of cars.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIts home too many personal pleasure craft.dsc_0006dsc_0010It is also home to a Maritime Museum with several tall ships and even a World War II submarine.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s one area where the fishermen keep baitfish pens, and the sea lions love to hang out on them along with seagulls and many other species of sea birds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne other impressive thing is the Coronado Bridge that goes from mainland San Diego to Coronado Island.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bridge is just a little over 2 miles long and was built with the 180° curve so that it could be built to a 2 mile length and be able to receive federal funding. I guess for a bridge to get federal funding it needs to be at least 2 miles long so they built this arch in the bridge making a just over 2 miles. Interesting way to work the system.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere are few photos of the city skyline from out in the bay.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdsc_0004Here’s a couple photos of the beautiful sunset as we came back into the dock.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe harbor is also home to this wonderful statue of the unknown sailor kissing the nurse that was made from a photo taken in New York City after World War II.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn another day I went on a 3 ½ hour whale watching cruise. We left the harbor heading out the deeper water in search of Wales and Dolphins. What you do is when you head out to keep an eye towards the horizon in look for the spray as the whale surfaces and blows out its blowhole. Here’s a photo of one of the many that we saw that day.dsc_0022Then what the captain would do is the worked his way slowly towards the spray to see what would developed. What we saw that day were all gray whales which are the most common this time of the year in the San Diego area. They are not as large as the Blue or Sperm whales. These are the ones that make their migration down from Alaska thousands of miles to Baja California where they winter and breed. Here’s some photos of some we saw that day here’s three of them together.dsc_0029Tales of a couple as they drove down.dsc_0048dsc_0049Also got a good shot of one as its head came up out of the water.dsc_0060dsc_0059Another one as it took a dive and I got some more tail shots.dsc_0046dsc_0044dsc_0045It was a beautiful day to be out on the water, relatively calm and not to cold here’s a photo of Tijuana Mexico way off in the distance.dsc_0035We also got to see a few dolphin swimming along but I did not get any photos of them. I’m sure as my time continues here in the area I will be going out on other whale excursions. The plan is to do so when my daughter Jennifer and her boyfriend (Paul) come down to visit towards the end of March. I always enjoy a trip out on the water even if it’s just for a few hours. On another day I went back to Cabrillo National Monument, to see the tide pools at low tide. I was in town one day riding around and check to see and found out that tide low tide was at 2:30 in the afternoon. Most of the time low tide falls either before the park opens or after it’s closed. It was just before two so I headed over the check it out it’s one of the areas where you can go explore and see all the sea creatures that live in these tide pools. In this photo you can see some of the people exploring the areas.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the tide is higher all of these rocks are covered with water several feet deep.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a photo of one of the large shells I found in one of the pools.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were also lots of sea urchins and smaller hermit crabs swimming around in these pools it was an interesting area to explore. Well that’s it for now that’s just some of the highlights of some of the interesting things I’ve done in the last couple weeks, in between the rain showers. The next few days are predicted to be very nice and I’m hoping to get out to do some more exploring.

Safe travels to all take care, Rick.

 

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