Saturday, December 24, 2011

U. S. Open Sandcastle Competition

One of the things on my Bucket List was to attend the sandcastle building at the Imperial Beach pier.

Each group has a 30ft. X 30ft. space in which to create their masterpiece.

Water is a very important ingredient in making just the right consistency of sand to use in the construction of a sandcastle.

Once the forms are in place, the teams can start loading sand into them.

I followed the team "I.B. Posse" which are all from the same family (the ones wearing the yellow shirts). They were last year's winners and practice building their "castle" before the competition. They all have a specific job on the team and there is no shouting or commands given. Each team has 5 hours to complete their project.

Now the crowd is getting thick. There are this many people on the other side of the pier as well as about this many up on the street at the vendors booths.

It is almost time for "Tools Down".


The American flag is backed up by the troops. The I.B.Posse team won first prize in the Grand Masters class again this year and you can see why. (Click on each picture so you can see the detail.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Twilight In The Park Concerts

San Diego has a plethora of events in the summer time. One of them that I enjoyed was their Twilight In The Park series of concerts that took place on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday late afternoon from 6:15pm to 7:15pm. from late June to the end of August. Some 30 concerts by local musical groups that were held in Balboa Park at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The price was right.... FREE!

I attended about 20 of the concerts and took anywhere from 60 to 100 pictures of each group. I would then take those pictures and synchronize them with either the groups CD music or comparable. Each group was in their field of music.

Here are a few select pictures from my presentation on the Twilight In The Park concert series.

The Navy Band Southwest:

Graceland (an Evils Presley Tribute):

The 300th Army Band:
(50 years ago, I served two years in the 323rd Army Band.)

The Legends:

The San Diego Six:

The Dixie Express Jazz:

The Ron Jermain Big Band:

Some of the audience:

Friday, October 7, 2011


I traveled up to Vista, CA to a bluegrass festival that is called Summergrass.

I meet several of my friends there that were camping at the festival for the week. Among them were Joe Reynolds and Kathleen Johnson. They were having a jam session at their campsite. I spent a couple of hours listening to some fine music. Joe plays the guitar and Kathleen plays the auto harp. They both sing well and have recorded several CDs. As you will notice, several others stopped by to join in.

They use this parachute device to provide shade.

I took listened to a couple of bands before I returned to the San Diego area.

I was a very good day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Whale Watching

To begin my adventures in San Diego, I went out with the San Diego Natural History Museum on a 110-ft. whale watching boat. There were three Naturalists and one Scientist from the museum on board. There were only 18 of us Paid Customers so we had plenty of opportunity to ask questions about what we saw along the way.

We traveled out to sea some 16 miles to edge of the California Shelf where the Blue Whales were feeding. They were not hard to find, because when the whales surface while feeding they bring to the surface a lot of what the Sea Gulls and pelicans love to eat. So there are a swarm of birds over the area of the whales. The Blue Whale is the largest known animal on this planet weighing up to 170 tons and they get up to 150 feet long. The ones that we saw were only in the range of 100 to 120 feet long. They do not come out of the water like the Hump Back Whales but just sort of porous along.

One time the whale rolled onto its side so we were able to see both the dorsal fin and half of the fluke. The next picture is the 12-ft long jaw (under water) and the dorsal fin.

Next is the rest of the whale. We were about 500 feet or so from the whale.

After observing the whale for an hour or so, we traveled into Mexican waters and investigated the Coronado Islands. These were where pirates hid out in the 1850s. We heard many pirate stories along with the saga of the Coronado Yacht Club back in Prohibition days.

We only had time to check out two of the smaller islands. The Coronado del Norte island is were we saw hundreds of Sea Lions, Cormorants and Pelicans.

All lined up ready for inspection as we passed.

Our Captain held the bow of the boat just a few feet off the second island so we could get a close look at the Brown Boobys that are found only on that island.

An adult Brown Booby is about 1.5 times the size of an adult Sea Gull.

A young Brown Booby with baby feathers

They let Captain Bob take the boat back into San Diego Bay.

One the way in, we spotted another Blue Whale.

An End to a fantastic adventure!