Edit Blog Post
Published: January 31st 2014
at Birch Aquarium
at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
Thursday, 30 January, 2014
We drove through downtown San Diego to the waterfront, specifically to the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier built in the 1940’s. We first visited the statues honoring Bob Hope and his many years of entertaining our troops in war zones. Next is a huge statue of the iconic photo taken in Times Square of a sailor kissing a nurse on VE Day. Then we boarded the Midway, my first step aboard a US Navy vessel. Kerry spent some time aboard ship (LSD Ashland) and it was interesting to see the size of the bunks (berths) assigned to enlisted personnel. It’s hard to see how he fit in the bunk, much less how he ever was able to turn over once in it. While the Midway seems small compared to carriers of today, though Kerry says it’s not much smaller, but it is still quite impressive. We didn’t go up on the flight deck because it was raining, limiting ourselves to the hangar deck. The narrow passageways and step-up-through hatches would have had me lost if not for arrows placed for the benefit of visitors. There was quite an assortment of aircraft that flew off of
There were recordings of his jokes and the laughs and cheers he received.
the Midway over the years, too.
From the Midway we drove along Harbor Drive to Point Loma and on to Cabrillo National Monument. This monument is in honor of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who sailed a Spanish ship into San Diego Bay in 1542 and became the first European to set foot on the west coast of what is now California. This was after he took part in the conquest of the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan with Hernan Cortes, and the conquest of Guatemala with Pedro de Alvarado. From the Visitor Center you can see the entrance to San Diego Bay, most of Coronado, the Pacific Ocean, and of course downtown San Diego. The old lighthouse became operational in 1855 and the light could be seen up to 32 miles at sea. Unfortunately, fog and low clouds would often block the light and it was closed in 1891 and a new light station opened at the bottom of the hill. We watched a Navy battleship (?) enter the bay and saw two more at sea. There were numerous helicopters flying both in and out. It is the time of the year for the gray whales to swim past on
their migration south, but we did not see any. This day we managed to beat the rush hour traffic back to camp.
Friday, 31 January, 2014
This morning, after a hearty breakfast, we drove to La Jolla, only a 20 mile drive. We went to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. It is not a big aquarium and their kelp forest exhibit was undergoing renovations, but it was very nice. They had a wonderful sea horse exhibit and several kinds of fish, jellies and other creatures we had never seen before. They had a few school groups there and it was a bit crowded at times, but we really enjoyed it. I was surprised how many mothers with small children were there.
We’re back at camp, it’s early afternoon, so we’re going to do laundry and prepare to move on tomorrow.
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