Friday, September 25, 2009

Philadelphia Has its Ducks

San Diego its Seals.

We arrived at the section along San Diego's Harbor Drive that was the home of the Maritime Museum, the cruise ship terminal, the USS Midway, the ferry to Coronado Island, and harbor cruises. We had planned to sign up for one of the Harbor Tours of San Diego Bay, but when we saw the tour that included a land tour plus a sea tour past sea lions, a few California brown pelicans and several other wildlife species that make the bay their home, the San Diego Seal Tour became our tour of choice.

The land portion in the amphibious vehicle took us past the USS Midway. Launched on March 20, 1945, the 1,000 foot Midway was the largest warship in the world for the first decade of her service. The Midway carried a crew of 4,500 and up to 70 aircraft; it was retired after 47 years of service.

A few yards from the Midway is the statue "Unconditional Surrender," a 25-foot sculpture that brings to life a famous black-and-white photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, New York City on Aug. 14, 1945, following the announcement of V-J Day.

Several visitors posed for photos at this popular spot. When this woman stood at the base of the statue, it provided an opportunity to show the scale of the statue created by renowned artist J. Seward Johnson.

Nearby was this sculptural artwork titled “A National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military.” Beginning in 1943, Bob Hope dedicated himself to entertaining members of the armed forces in the many battle fronts throughout the world. The National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military features a grouping of sixteen larger than life-size bronze figures in a 48-foot diameter circular plaza. The focal point is a bronze of Bob Hope himself by renowned sculptor Eugene Daub.

We traveled past Lindbergh Field (airport), the shops at Seaport Village, and the Maritime Museum.

Then we drove into San Diego Bay. We first passed several anchored sail boats in "Rock and Roll Alley," so named because of the effect on these boats in the wake of the naval ships when entering or leaving the Bay.

As if on cue, this ship and its two companions passed our hydra-terra vehicle. We had moved further toward the Pacific, so our rockin' and rollin' was relatively mild.

The development, training, veterinary care, and research facility that supports today's Navy Marine Mammal Program is centered in the Biosciences Division of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific). Here some team members can be seen (faintly, at the left) working with dolphins.

I have included this photo simply because I liked the juxtaposition of the yellow rope and lumber. (I also like the word "juxtaposition.")

The ship on the left in the photo is from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Falmouth, MA. WHOI and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego will team up to better understand and predict the impact of climate change on the interlinked ocean-atmosphere system and on marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and community structure, especially in remote, poorly sampled parts of the world’s ocean.

And just ahead were the sea lions and pelicans . . . .

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