Sunday, November 30, 2008

Field Trip - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Since our last Field Trip had us going north, it was time to head south again to the San Diego area.

We considered hitting another one of the museums at Balboa Park, but wanting to see something new, we changed our minds at the last minute. A little Googling was done and the Maritime Museum of San Diego was picked.

The Maritime Musem is on San Diego Bay and offers a world-class collection of historic ships and offers tours of the bay.

We started out briefly exploring the main attraction - the Star of India. The Star of India is the oldest ship in the world that still maintains a regular sailing schedule. Launched on the Isle of Man in 1863, the ship has served as both a cargo and passenger transporter and has made 21 trips around the globe.

It's been in San Diego since 1923. Steam had made sailing ships obsolete and a San Diego reporter led the charge to purchase the ship for $9000.

For the next three decades, the ship languished as the depression and WWII delayed her restoration. It wasn't until 1976 until the ship sailed again - for the first time in fifty years. The ship is still taken out at least once a year by the museum.

A ghost in the galley

Skylights above the dining table

Captain's quarters

Captain's quarters, pt II

Celeste trying out the reproduction of a passenger bunk

Looking up at a mast & volunteers hanging xmas lights

After our brief visit to the Star of India, we had to head over to the museum to board the Pilot for a tour of San Diego Bay. The 45 minute boat tour only adds $3 to the ticket price and is well worth the cost.

The Pilot was launched in 1914 as the official pilot boat for San Diego Bay. Harbor pilots are responsible for steering large vessels safely into and out of the bay. Pilots board the ship, take command and return the veessel to the captain after it has docked or left the bay.

Pilot served for 82 years, and after a restoration it entered the museum's fleet.

We took in the sights of the bay, including Naval Air Station North Island...

USS Ronald Regan (CVN-76) & USS Nimitz (CVN-58)
...the San Diego skyline...
...Coronado Bridge...
and the USS Midway Museum.
In fact, we were able to get right up under the Midway Museum (definitely a future Field Trip).
Dad - can you spot the H-34 here? Click on the photo to enlarge.

Tail of one of the meanest-looking fighter jets, F-4 Phantom II

Back at the museum, we explored what would be Allie's favorite ship, the steam ferry Berkeley. Built in 1898, the ferryboat operated for 60 years on San Francisco Bay. Aboard the vessel are the museum's offices, a research library, exhibition space, workshop, store, etc.
upper deck

photos, part of The Art of the Boat exhibit
A quick lunch in Klaus (the living/dining/bedroom on wheels)...
...and we went back to the India to take in more of this extraordinary ship.
Finally we toured the museum's H.M.S. Suprise and Russian Foxtrot-class sub B-39.

H.M.S. Surprise is a replica of an 18th Century Royal Navy Frigate. Built in 1970, the ship was used in the 2004 film Master and Commander. Purchased from 20th Century Fox in 2004, the ship is not currently seaworthy, but the museum plans to restore it.

And the Soviet sub. Ironically, the sub spent a good deal of it's life keeping an eye on US ships. Now it's in the backyard of one of the US's largest Naval areas. It's periscope is set to spy on the USS Midway, docked a mile or so to the south.
she's gotta try out all of the bunks

onboard vodka dispenser

And it can't open soon enough!

I'm thinking we should wait a few weeks for their pans to get properly seasoned.

Anyone know of a good thin crust pizza joint out here? One that properly cuts the pizza into SQUARES?!?

Aurelio's needs a Carlsbad location.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Beach Trip

With low tide being pretty low today and occurring at 4:27 PM, we headed on out to the beach to do some exploring. 63 degree air and water and a relatively small surf.

We actually started out at Grandview Beach in Leucadia.

But decided to hop back in the van and go to North Ponto as there's a small, rocky outcropping that Allie wanted me to see.

Roll with the pix...

Celeste on the rocky outcropping

Sea anemone (thank you spell check)

Klaus had a view

Goodnight sun

Friday, November 28, 2008

O tannenpalm, o tannenpalm

How lovely are your, um, mini-lites.
I can't say I had ever put up xmas lights while wearing shorts prior to this afternoon.

Turkey Day Wrap-Up

We loaded up Klaus with a fresh-off-the-grill bird, fresh-outta-the-oven pies and rustic potato bread and fresh-off-the range mashed potatoes and headed north up to Mission Viejo for dinner.

Having lived in the Madison area for five years, we had forgotten about traffic - and how it can suck. About the only time Madison traffic is bad is during a rush hour and snow or a crash on the Beltline. Thankfully I was spared from the Beltline most of the time, but that's a story for another boring post.

Anyway, we were moving at an average speed of about 20 MPH for the first 10 miles or so - up until about the I-5 Border Patrol checkpoint at Camp Pendleton. Thankfully they weren't checking on a busy holiday. After the checkpoint, traffic picked back up again.

Okay, so we were a little late, taking away from prime eating and playing time. The car smelled great with a good chunk of dinner wrapped in foil and rags.

Good times overall, a fun "orphan" Thanksgiving with our family, a family recently transplanted from PA at Jason and Tami's (from New Zealand and Orange County).

Photo time...

We had never eaten Thanksgiving dinner outdoors before. We can get used to this.

The kid's table

Girls n' guns

Most good meals end with a squirt gun fight

Adam, making my grrrl cry

Adam (aka Terminator) with evil red eyes

After the squirt gun fight, we ate pie and played air hockey.

Good times! Of course any gathering with at least three members of the bike industry involves a mandatory exchange of SWAG ("stuff" we all get); I went home with a pair of sweet Hutchinson Tire socks. They nicely complement the two sets of badly needed mountain bike tires I picked up from him last Sunday.
Thanks for the sox, Jason!