San Diego Bay Walkabout

Exploring your own backyard

Trip Report 20121129

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The Experience

We have been dealing with some stressful issues at home, so I decided that a lunch out somewhere was in order.  So, we hopped into the M5 and headed toward San Diego bay.  It is odd that when you live in an area you have a tendency to ignore its finer points.  This is a situation that I intend to resolve.  With that in mind, I headed toward the Fish Market Restaurant on the bay next to the Midway Aircraft Carrier museum.

The photos below are what we saw.

The Midway is a piece of work and if you are in the area, you should visit and take the tour.  We have been several times but are probably due for another iteration.  The decommissioned carrier is docked right next to downtown and in this case right next to the restaurant we were seeking.  Note the various aircraft on the upper deck.

The Midway is a popular tourist destination and hosts many ceremonies.  Above, it appears that the flag detail has just completed some actions and are securing the colors.

The Midway is a large ship and impossible to see in one frame except from a distance.

Visible at the aft end of the ship is the aircraft elevator used to get planes from the flight deck to the storage areas below.

Now it appears that the flag detail is preparing for another ceremony as they are unfurling the colors.  You can get a feel for the height of the flight deck by looking at the relative height of the people on the deck.  Ten, perhaps eleven body heights = about 60 feet.

Across San Diego bay we could see a patrol boat in front of the white barracks barge.

Over on North Island, CVN-70 is under refurbishment.  The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is the third United States Navy Nimitz class super-carrier and is named after Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia, in recognition of his contributions to the US Navy. The Vinson was launched in 1980.

We sat at a table on the upper deck of the Fish Market and got a view of one of the tour boats taking folks around the harbor.

There were plenty of other pleasure craft out on the bay.  I never figured out what the orange craft were, but perhaps a viewer of this page will contact me and let me know.

The story here is not the Vinson, but rather the jet ski in the foreground of the photo.  Also note the man hoists on barges next to the carrier.

After we finished lunch we headed toward the western end of San Diego bay for a better view of things.  From Harbor Island, we got a nice view of the Coronado Bridge that spans San Diego bay and connects Coronado with metro San Diego.

Bay-side view of the San Diego skyline and Coronado Bridge.

The harbor waterfront has the iconic tall ship "Star of India" which is a popular tourist attraction.  They will rent out the Star for nighttime activities.  We had a company Christmas party there many years ago.  Traversing the narrow passageways and steep stairs after a couple of cocktails was "interesting".

From Harbor Island, we could see the starboard side of the Midway.

The Fish Market restaurant is right on the water.  Lunch was good, excellent in fact, if a bit pricey.  Note the cranes in the shipyards to the south of the Coronado Bridge.

The eastern end of Harbor Island gave us another perspective on the downtown skyline.

I have heard it said that the skyline looks like a bunch of tools: chisels, star drills and wedges.

Commercial pilots hate flying into San Diego airport, AKA Lindbergh Field.  The reason is simple: the approach goes very close to the high rise buildings of downtown and right over homes.  The Alaskan plane on final approach tells the story.  As a passenger, it is disconcerting to look out the window and see into the windows of buildings and apartments.

From the eastern end of Harbor Island you can see the many live-aboard sailboats that are moored in the harbor.

The large tan building is the San Diego County Administration building and it has perhaps the best location of any building in town.  The upper floors have great views of the bay.

The Star of India is docked next to other sailing ships.  Most of those craft are actually functional and may be rented if you have deep enough pockets.

The building at the left with the sloped roof has a hexagonal shape and looks like an Allen wrench when seen from a plane.  The "star drill" building is relatively new.  The small Spanish Cathedral-looking building is actually the Santa Fe train depot for Amtrak.

From Harbor Island we also could see across the bay to Coronado Island.  Beyond, in the haze, are the hills of Tijuana, Mexico.

San Diego is a great place and we have been lucky to be able to have lived here for as long as we have.  We frequently remind ourselves that we live in a place that others visit to vacation.  That pretty much says it all.

If you visit San Diego, you really have to hike, bike or drive around San Diego Bay; you will not be disappointing.

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Copyright Bill Caid 2012.  All rights reserved.