I mentioned yesterday that my nephew was in town for just a couple days. In the afternoon I picked up him and a couple of his buddies, both of whom share the same first name as my nephew, so it made remembering their names really easy.
None of them had ever been to San Diego, so we started with the Cabrillo National Monument, located on Point Loma. The old lighthouse was only in service for 36 years, because it kept being obscured by fog (pictured here in fog), which made it useless. But that became a benefit for the tourist industry. Here it is in sunshine.
We started at the visitor center, where they have a sample section of a fresnel lens (described here).
The lighthouse itself is perched atop a high hill where the prevailing winds bend the trees to their will.
The view from the front door looks over San Diego Bay and downtown. The entrance to the Bay is to the left, along the breakwater. We saw a few Navy ships making their way into or out of the bay while we were there.
The tower is open to just beneath the lens, where a wide grate blocks access, but the openings are wide enough to allow a camera through. Here, the base under the lens catches the split spectrum of light.
The view out the tower windows.
The spiral staircase from the top of the tower.
And from the bottom.
After the lighthouse, we went to the Embarcadero, San Diego's waterfront. The guys were interested in touring the Russian submarine that makes up part of the San Diego Maritime Museum.
The sub had an interesting high voltage warning symbol.
In one section, two racks (sleeping berths) hung beside a high voltage sign, raising the question of who were the unlucky ones to have to sleep beside such danger.
As we passed through the submarine, my nephew and his buddies compared the aged equipment to modern American subs.
I appreciated seeing a teakettle in the galley. That box in front, though, looks like it might be some dreaded oatmeal. Yuck.
Docked in front of the submarine is the HMS Surprise, the actual ship that was used for filming the movie "Master and Commander."
It's a replica, built in the 1970s, and they've got a few items from the film, like the spare wheel below decks that was used for steering the ship while they made it look as though the wood wheel on deck (seen here) was doing the job.
The guys expressed relief that in today's Navy they don't have to deal with all the ropes...
... and all the rigging the way eighteenth century sailors did.
We had dinner at Anthony's Fish Grotto, a seafood restaurant that's been the mainstay for dining on the Embarcadero at least since I was a kid. The food was great, and then we had to get the guys back to base (with a stop at Starbucks--it's been weeks since they've been able to go there).
My nephew said he'd try to give me a bit more notice the next time they come to San Diego. That might give us time for seeing the Zoo or Sea World. We'll have to see.
I bid goodbye to the same name three times and watched as they showed their IDs at the gate and were allowed on base. Then I came back home, tired but happy with the time we were able to spend together.