Whale Watching – 23 FEB 2014

I took the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium whale watching adventure. 2014 has been a record year for sightings as seen in this chart by the American Cetacean Society which has volunteers at Point Vicente Interpretative Center recording observation each season.

The day started with a very informative 40 minute lecture/slide show. The Whales we might see would be the gray whales which at 50 feet and 40 tons are in the middle range of all whales. They migrate from the Bering and Chukchi Seas (Alaska) to the calving lagoons in Baja California and Mexico.
This was the third whale watching cruise I have taken and for me it’s 2 hours of cold windy boredom and 2 minutes of excitement when the dolphins show up.
We only saw the nose of one whale...no rising fluke or blowhole sprays, but what was incredible was the number of dolphins we encountered.

At one point there were hundreds surrounding the boat...I was not able to catch the activity on the still camera, but this short video shows more action: http://youtu.be/HoQcWfBsJUM
FEB 2006
In 2006, my second whale watching cruise, I got the above shot of a dolphin and a few images of the one whale we saw:
 Grey Whale - FEB 2006
 Fluke - 2006
 Grey Whale - FEB 2006
My first two whale watching trips were out of Long Beach; this trip was out of San Pedro (Ports o' Call) which gave me the opportunity to photograph some of the local landmarks from a different vantage point, the water:


  Ocean View 2014 (Municipal Fish Market)
 Land View 2009 (Municipal Fish Market)
Land View 2008 (Point Vicente Lighthouse)
Ocean View 2014 (Point Vicente Lighthouse)
Land View 2014
Ocean View 2014
Land View 2008 (Point Fermin Lighthouse)
Ocean View 2014 (Point Fermin Lighthouse)
Land View 2011 (Landslide)
Ocean View 2014
Lobster Trap Marker

Warehouse # 1

Lane Victory
Westway/Pan-Am Oil Pump House

The above building is currently hidden from view on land by a large fence...for over fifty years it was hidden from view by large storage tanks.

Fire Boat Hanger
Ferry Building
SS Iowa



Korean Friendship Bell - 10 JAN 2014

Located at Angel’s Gate Park, 3601 South Gaffey Street in San Pedro, California, it was a bi-centennial gift from the Republic of Korea and was first dedicated on October 3, 1976.
Today was the Re-Dedication and Bell Ringing Ceremony, celebrating the restoration of the Korean Bell of Friendship.
Due to weather, age and neglect, the bell has not been rung for several years.
The $365,000 restoration took over two years to complete.
Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, was present for the ceremony where several certificates, bell models and kudos were exchanged.
This was my first time to hear it ring.
You can hear the bell and the drummers:  
  

It will ring five times a year: Korean Liberation Day, US Constitution Day, Korean-American Day, Fourth of July and New Year's Eve.
It is struck 14 times, once for each of the 13 colonies plus once for good luck.
The bell weighs over 17 tons, is made of copper and tin with gold, nickel, lead and phosphorus; it was modeled after the bell cast for the Bongdeok Temple in 771 AD. These two bells are considered the largest in the world.
7½ feet diameter, 8 inches thick, 12 feet high, the bell has four images of the Goddess of Liberty: The Statue of Liberty and Seonyeo holding hands.
In each panel, the Korean spirit figure holds a different item: a dove, a branch of Rose of Sharon, a branch of laurel and the Taegeuk.
In 1978, the bell and its' structure became Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument #187.
Located on the former Upper Reservation of Fort Mac Arthur, you can still see the old access to the underground tunnels.
 West End
 East End
Below are two images I took in the late 70's inside the underground tunnel. It was pitch dark and I was creating ghost images using a tripod, flashlight  and timed exposures:
Update: I was watching an episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that aired on 03/04/2014 and noticed the lab hidden in an old World War Two underground bunker looked familiar:
They were using this same entrance (West End). The interiors where shot elsewhere and they graphically changed the background, adding a mountain, but this is the same door.