Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

San Diego: A Harbor Tour

The Coronado Bridge curves 80 degrees as it nears Coronado, an island-like community that
boasts more retired admirals than any other community in the country and where the
average home price is reported to be $1.4 million. 
  San Diego Bay is a 12-mile-long J-shaped mix of military ships and bases, sports and commercial fishing boats, yachts, tour boats and sailboats.  On Dec. 23, Jane and I joined the other goobers aboard the Admiral Hornblower, one of several boats that take tourists out from the Embarcadero near our apartment building, for a two-hour cruise of the southern and northern portions of the bay.
     The Coronado Bridge is the line between the southern closed end of the bay and the northern bay, which opens onto the Pacific Ocean at Point Loma. The bay is formed by the Coronado and the Point Loma peninsulas. The bridge is just over two miles long, a length achieved by its curved design, a curve needed to make it long enough to qualify for federal funding back when Ronald Reagan was governor of California. (That's when he saw government as the solution, not the problem.)
       Below are snapshots from our tour.
Our tour boat's dock is near the USS Midway. These cars are parked on a dock. The entrance, above,
is actually in the side of the ship. 
U.S. Navy ships dominate most of the southern part of the bay, where some of
them are built or repaired or updated. The drafts on the ships are
as deep as 40 feet and as shallow as 15. 

Another view of the Midway and its parking lot. 

The Midway as seen from the southwest with the waterfront skyline in the background. 

This is the boat we were on.

Even on a chilly winter day (temperatures in the 60s), people were out sailing on the bay.
That's part of the commercial fishing fleet at left, and the
Coronado Bridge in the background. It's tall enough
for aircraft carriers to pass beneath it. 

Sail boats and military ships co-exist peacefully.

In the center is a Navy ship under construction. At right is a tri-hull Navy ship in a dry dock.

Another Navy ship in dry dock.

There are too many ships to count and too many types of ships to keep track of, though the tour
narrator told us what many of these ships are.

A research ship operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. They help with the research on global warming.

Catamarans are common here. 

The battered-looking commercial fishing fleet keeps San Diego restaurants supplied with fresh
seafood. There's also a public fish market on Saturday mornings on a dock off the Embarcadero.

Not sure I'd venture from the dock on this tub, but
apparently it's a working boat.

The Midway looms over Seaport Village and the fishing fleet.

The historic Star of India is docked at the foot of Ash Street.

A Southwest flight comes into Lindbergh Field, America's busiest one-runway
airport. It is startlingly close to downtown.

Another Southwest flight. That's Bankers' Hill in the background.

Here we are along Harbor Island, a T-shaped artificial island filled with hotels and restaurants.
Marinas for pleasure craft can be seen on the far side.

Naval Air Station North Island occupies
the northernmost point of Coronado.

One of Harbor Island's hotels.

Another view of Harbor Island, which is quite narrow at this point.

A replica of the famous racing yacht America sales past the half-dome hangars
of Naval Air Station North Island. 

A replica of a 16th-century Spanish ship cruises the bay. 

The Sally Ride, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel, is docked on Point Loma.

Cormorants and California sea lions enjoy the sun on a floating dock off Point Loma.

There's also a submarine base on Point Loma. Most of this vessel is underwater even at the dock.

A woman aboard our boat waves at people on a "Seal" boat, a land-and-sea bus-boat
that takes people out to see the sea lions (not seals!). Jane and I did that tour once.

A Sigorsky helecopter sits with other aircraft at Naval Air Station North Island.

The Henry J. Kaiser is an oiler, a ship that refuels other ships at sea.

The semester-at-sea ship World Odyssey is docked where cruise ships usually come in.

That's Point Loma in the distance as we headed back
to the dock. We could also see hills in Mexico during the

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