The USS Iowa Departing the Bay Area, 26 May 2012


Good Afternoon:

Yet another picture-perfect picture of the picture-perfect Golden Gate Bridge on a picture-perfect day. Oh, look, it even has seabirds and a sailboat.

Or in simple English, booooorrrrrrring.

The same Golden Gate Bridge, with the addition of BB-61, the battleship USS Iowa:

Much better.

The Iowa left the San Francisco Bay Area for the last time on Saturday, a fitting beginning to the Memorial Day weekend here in San Francisco, a city that has alway madly loved the US Navy (you should see our tribute to the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco, one of the most decorated warships in American history). The lead boat, San Francisco’s fireboat the USS Phoenix, kicked up a lot of spray as it escorted the battleship through the San Francisco Bay, creating a fine mist which posed a few problems for the hundreds of photographers and retired sailors who wanted one last look at the ship; as the mist evaporated, it rendered a sort of hazy watercolor look to the scene (and watercolors don’t come to mind when thinking of a ship that fired 16-inch shells during World War II).

As a rule, most photographers brought serious photographic firepower (unlike me, who only had a Nikon Coolpix 9100 and iPhone). The retired sailors brought much less expensive equipment, but they also must have brought their memories, because many of them pressed their lips tightly together as they turned misty- and teary-eyed.

Some more pictures of the afternoon’s activity, including snaps of some old sailboats participating in a regatta.

Me at My Artsy-Fartsy Best

So what do you think is easiest to photograph, babies, kittens, or puppies? Well, what about sailboats?

Of course, not everything in or by the Bay is concerned with the (literal) passing of an era:

Sea Lion Begging for Scraps from the Local Fishermen

I know that the unchecked growth of jellyfish populations around the world are posing a threat to fisheries, but I don’t know if their presence in the Bay is cause for concern.

Jellyfish by Pier, 26 May 2012

A few more more-or-less random shots:

Iowa Passing Angel Island, Extreme Zoom View

The Citadel and Forward 16-Inch Guns of the USS Iowa

USS Iowa, with the North Bay in the Background

A Closer View of the Iowa Passing Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Iowa, with Tour Boat and a Surfer Using Sails for Propulsion

The Golden Gate Bridge, USS Iowa, and Fort Point, 26 May 2012

Note that Fort Point and the Iowa both represent obsolete military technology, but the Bridge, which turns 75 this weekend, is still one of the (peacetime) engineering marvels of the world. Funny how that works.

I hope you have a memorable Memorial Day.

Vonn Scott Bair


One response »

  1. Pingback: West Coast Contractors Services on a Saturday Afternoon « The San Francisco Scene–Seen!

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