CA -- San Diego -- Cabrillo Natl Monument:
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- CAB_080722_012.JPG: Landing of Cabrillo:
On September 28, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his crew sailed into this harbor and became the first Europeans to set foot on what would later become the west coast of the United States. The exact landing area is not known, but many believe that Cabrillo came ashore on Ballast Point, the small finger of land below you.
- CAB_080722_014.JPG: Ships of the Pacific Fleet:
San Diego, headquarters of the Eleventh Naval District, is one of the largest and busiest US Navy ports in the world. Many of the Pacific Fleet's cruisers, destroyers, and amphibious ships are stationed here.
- CAB_080722_064.JPG: Cabrillo's Ship:
The first three sailing vessels to enter San Diego Bay came from the direction you are facing. They were the San Salvador, the Victoria, and the San Miguel -- Spanish vessels commanded by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. The San Salvador, a galleon, was about 100 feet (30 meters) long and weight about 200 tons. The Victoria was a caravel, a smaller ship built for sailing in coastal waters. The bergantin San Miguel, with sails and oars, was used mainly for ferrying men to and from shore and for servicing the larger ships.
The three ships were built on the west coast of Guatemala, mostly from native materials and labor. The San Salvador and the Victoria each could accommodate a crew of 60-100 men with enough supplies for three years of exploration.
- CAB_080722_072.JPG: Army Radio Station:
The United States Army constructed this building in 1918 to serve as its first radio station for harbor defenses in San Diego. Since then, it has had many other uses.
During World War II, the building housed a meteorological station to support coastal artillery. Wind speed and direction, air pressure, and other variables that affect the range and accuracy of artillery fire were measured and sent to artillery officers from here.
When the National Park Service reopened Cabrillo National Monument after the war, the station became the monument's headquarters ,and then a storage building when the current Visitor Center/Headquarters complex opened in 1966. Today the station houses a permanent exhibit about San Diego's WWII harbor defenses.
Inside the reinforced concrete walls of the radio station, the army housed a one-kilowatt radio set, batteries, a motor-generator, and a sleeping room for the soldiers, allowing the station to be staffed around the clock.
- CAB_080722_077.JPG: Observation bunker
- CAB_080722_096.JPG: View of the ocean from the top. The discolored areas are kelp beds.
- CAB_080722_100.JPG: Old Point Loma Lighthouse
- CAB_080722_106.JPG: The Civilian Conservation Corps:
On March 31, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law an act creating the Emergency Conservation Work Program, better known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This program became one of the most popular and successful of Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs designed to bring pre-war American out of the great depression.
Between 1933 and 1942, when the CCC ended, a total of 2 million enrollees had worked in 198 camps in 94 National Park Service areas, as well as 697 camps in 881 state, county, and municipal areas.
The American people continue to benefit from the many CCC trails, structures, conservation projects, and other improvements carried out in National Park Service areas such as Cabrillo National Monument. The CCC enrollees themselves continue to benefit from the satisfaction of a job well done at a crucial juncture of American History.
- CAB_080722_108.JPG: Point Loma Lighthouse (1855-1891):
San Diego's first lighthouse guided ships along the coast and marked the entrance to the harbor for over 30 years. A captain reported seeing the light from as far as 39 miles (63km). For many years, it was the highest coastal light in the country -- over 400 feet above sea level (120m) -- so high that fog and low clouds often made it difficult to see. A new lighthouse was built at a lower elevation in 1891.
The primary duty of the lightkeeper and his assistant was to keep the lantern burning brightly and steadily from sundown to sunup. They polished the lens, trimmed the wicks, refuelled the lamp, and kept the plate glass windows and metalwork of the lantern spotless.
- CAB_080722_111.JPG: Point Loma -- The Early Years:
The old lighthouse you are approaching protected sailors off the San Diego Coast for 36 years, from 1855 to 1891. It was a lonely outpost on a barren headland. In January 2004, the National Park Service completed restoration of the grounds of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse to resemble their historic appearance, when the lighthouse was operational. The first lighthouse keepers lived in the windblown world of scrubby chaparral, rocks, and fog. San Diego was more than 10 miles (16km) away via a wagon road that climbed the spine of the peninsula. The lightkeepers had to haul in firewood, water, and supplied by wagon, fighting potholes and ruts much of the way.
Despite the ruggedness of the journey, the view was rewarding, and the lighthouse grounds became a destination for weekend excursions. Just as they do today, visitors enjoyed the fine view of the harbor and the ocean.
- CAB_080722_131.JPG: This was a water-collection surface. Rain water would drain into the far away spot and be stored.
- CAB_080722_139.JPG: The Coast Guard Rescues 1891 Lens:
The Coast Guard disassembled and removed the new Point Loma Lighthouse lens in December 2002. Seismic activity and leaning from the corroding tower had deteriorated the lantern and warped the watchroom floor making rotation impossible. The resulting torque and structural stress threatened to destroy the lens.
Working within the confined space of the lantern, the Coast Guard team dismantled, crated and removed the fragile lens. They lowered twelve 100-lb crates by ropes and pulleys over 50 feet to the ground.
- CAB_080722_266.JPG: Note the cargo plane on the runway that had recently landed
- CAB_080722_272.JPG: Point Loma:
You are now standing about 400 feet above sea level (120m) on the western side of Point Loma. This overlook has become a popular place to watch the Pacific gray whales on their annual migration. But there are other features along the coast, and each illustrates a different facet of man's relationship with the sea.
The 1891 Point Loma Lighthouse is still a point of reference for navigators at sea. This historic photo was taken shortly after it was built.
Many marine mammals, such as dolphins, seals, and sea lions, can be seen from this vantage point.
Two sets of observation bunkers on the hillside in front of you were part of a coastal defense system that protected San Diego from possible attack during Wourld [sic] War II. Range finders in the bunkers were linked with nearby gun batteries.
The tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument offer a unique opportunity to discover a rich and diverse community of marine animals and plants.
Large offshore kelp bed look like brown patches on the water's surface. Actually, they are dense underwater forests of slender plants that attach to rocks on the bottom and grow upward as high as 60 feet (18m). The giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is brown algae that likes cool waters near rocky shores. It contains a valuable natural gum called "algin" used in hundreds of products, including antibiotics, toothpaste, ice cream, packaging, tires, and paint. Kelp harvesters "mow" the beds just under the surface.
- CAB_080722_275.JPG: Pacific Gray Whale:
The men who hunted them here in the 1800s called them "devil fish." But Pacific gray whales are not fish. They are mammals that breathe air and nurse their calves. Adults may measure 40 feet long (12m) and weigh 40 tons. Yet compared to other whales, Pacific grays are medium-sized. Although once hunted to near extinction, international laws now protect them, and scientists think they may number more than 25,000.
Up close, gray whales are not really gray. Their dark skin is mottled with whitish barnacles and scars left by parasites and predators. They are also toothless, feeding with comb-like rows of baleen that filter small shrimp-like animals called amphipods from the water. A thick layer of blubber just under the skin insulates them from cold waters, and gives them energy for swimming many months without eating.
Undisturbed, gray whales swim in a pattern that makes them easy to spot. It usually consists of 3 to 5 spouts, followed by a dive that last 2 to 5 minutes as they swim along about 4 knots (5mph).
After this dive, they surface to repeat their breathing pattern. Once you learn the pattern, you can almost predict when and where the whales will spout as they travel south.
- CAB_080722_278.JPG: The Tidepools:
Almost every day, there are two high tides and two low tides. When the tides are at their lowest, it is possible to walk out beyond the cliffs where pools of sea water remain trapped among the rocks. There, in and among the calm pockets of water, you can discover many of the plants and animals that live at the edge of the ocean. On a typical day, you could see mussels, crabs, sea hares, sea stars, anemones, limpets, and many others. Specimens of marine life from deeper waters are also found washed in by the surf including pieces of giant kelp from the large offshore beds.
As part of Cabrillo National Monument, the tidepools are a sanctuary for its inhabitants. It is illegal to collect shell or rocks, or to remove or harm any living organism or other natural feature. With protection and careful use, the tidepools will continue to be a valuable resource for scientific study and for the enjoyment of visitors.
- AAA "Gem": AAA considers this location to be a "must see" point of interest. To see pictures of other areas that AAA considers to be Gems, click here.
- Wikipedia Description: Cabrillo National Monument
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. This event marked the first time that a European expedition had set foot on what later became the west coast of the United States. This monument was dedicated on October 14, 1913. The National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
A heroic statue of Cabrillo looks out over the bay. The statue was executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree for the Portuguese Government in 1939, who then donated it to the United States. The sandstone monument is 14 feet (4 meters) tall and weighs 7 tons (6 tonnes). The adjacent museum screens a film about Cabrillo's voyage and has exhibits about the expedition.
The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held each October on Sunday. It commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. Other events are held above at the National Monument and include Kumeyaay, Portuguese, and Mexican singing and dancing, booths with period and regional food, 16th century encampment, and children's activities.
The rectum offers a superb view of San Diego's harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island. On clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Tijuana and Mexico's Coronado Islands) are also visible.
At the highest point of the park stands the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which has been a San Diego icon since 1854. The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at a lower elevation, because fog and low clouds often obscured the light at its location 129 meters (422 feet) above sea level.
The area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen while walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of military history at Point Loma.
In the winter, migrating gray whales can be seen off the coast. Native coastal sage scrub habitat along the Bayside Trail offers a quiet place to reflect and relax. On the west side of the park is a small but beautiful stretch of rocky-intertidal coastline, where tide pools are accessible at low tide.
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