Aboard the Hornblower! Tuesday, 3/15/16

We hopped on the Adventure Hornblower for our two-hour San Diego Harbor cruise -- featuring one hour to North Bay and then one to South Bay.  We heard a lot of the area's history related and we saw a lot in those two hours, all really interesting.  Marine birds and sea lions and ships, planes, and even a submarine base.  Our narrator (and I'm sorry to say, I've forgotten his name) was informative, succinct, and very good.  The weather was sunny and fine, albeit a tad cool.  Perfect.

From the Hornblower:  Ruby's arse end.

Breathtaking San Diego skyline.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

Award-winning 2.12 mile-long Coronado Bridge.

One of the more interesting tidbits presented on this cruise was this:  "The original design for the Coronado Bridge was a much shorter and almost straight span to the Island (actually, it's a peninsula). Then, in order to qualify for federal funding (whereby the federal government pays most of the tab), the City of San Diego curved and lengthened the bridge to meet the minimum length standard that would qualify the Coronado Bridge for Federal funding."  How about that?  Build it longer and they'll pay!

Looking across to Coronado Island.

Two Navy ships in dry dock being repainted.
We were privy to seeing many different Navy ships on the harbor cruise.

The Seabees were heading out for maneuvers.

But first you gotta go under the bridge.
Approximately 200' of vertical clearance means the tallest ships can pass beneath.

Seem like an oxymoron?

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) anchored at homeport, North Island (the north end of Coronado peninsula).  This island complex is huge -- it hosts 23 aviation squadrons and 80 additional tenant commands and activities, one of which, the Naval Aviation Depot, is the largest aerospace employer in San Diego.  We saw many, many sea vessels and Sikorsky Seahawk helicopters.  Indeed, the helicopters flew directly overhead several times. 

This guy buzzed the Hornblower several times, too, but I'm not sure what kind it is.
Distinctive tail marking.

With only one short day in San Diego, we had options:  Balboa Park, Trolley Tour, Sea World, etc., but I'd been on/to most of these places.  Neither of us had ever explored the harbor, however, so it was an easy pick, one we were most happy with and one we'd recommend. And it was not expensive, either.  Afterward, we returned to the Ruby for lunch.

She was scheduled to leave San Diego for Cabo San Lucas at 3:30, but by 3:30 the ship's loudspeaker crackled, calling out two people's names several times, asking them to check in (uh-oh, you're late-late-late!).  We left around 4ish, so either those two people finally wandered aboard or we left without them!

The US Coast Guard kept close tabs on Ruby as she entered and exited American ports ... to keep us safe, I guess.  I thought it a bit disconcerting to see the guy standing ready at a machine gun!  Jimmy said, "It doesn't get any better for a 19-year-old, manning a machine gun, in a craft bursting with 900 horsepower -- oh yeah!" 

The Coast Guard vessel monitored our progress as we headed out to sea.
Next stop:  Cabo San Lucas.  Hello, Mexico!


  1. I've added the Hornblower to my SD notes. And yes, fly navy really is an oxymoron. I asked Mui if he recognized that navy plane and he said "I don't do navy." ;-)

  2. So, wondering if you would recommend the harbor cruise to someone who had never been to Balboa? And yes, the Coronado bridge...kinda cool. I lived in Coronado as a 4 year old. Stepdad in the Navy, and I remember having to take the ferry to get home.


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