Sunday, December 13, 2009
Call me Ismael.
I am still walking like a drunken sailor on land for the first time in months, my pony tail tipped in tar, and my parrot squawking in protest.
We set sail on a three and a half hour tour (are we all singing the theme from Gilligan's Island now?) aboard the Hornblower. It was a rainy day and the seas were rough. Our mission: Find the Great Gray Whale. Hunt her down to the far reaches of Mission Bay...and snap a ton of pictures.
Our captain was Captain Bill, a jovial man who only needed whiskers to look like St. Nick, who called himself a bus driver (but looked nothing like Ralph Cramden) and told us we were the whalers and to keep a sharp eye out for flukes and puffs of water and shout out "Thar She Blows!" when we spotted our whale.
We stayed on the top deck in the rain. Hardy sailor types don't notice the inclement weather. And the snack bar sold me a bloody good Bloody Mary so I was all warm and toasty. Finally, my black beanie was soaked, my tennis shoes were getting water logged and my muffin was getting wet, we decided to duck downstairs for a little shelter. The steps were wet and Mr. Gadget Man shouts out to me to be careful. Well, yeah, of course I will and turn around to say something sarcastic.
Oh my god. Eighteen inches from nose was a nasty loud seagull squawking "Mine, Mine, Mine." I almost threw my muffin at it. Do you have any idea how big those stupid birds are? And then Captain Bill informs us if we feed the birds we would be in BIG trouble with the Feds and get arrested and all. Feed the birds. Hah! What if they pester and steal from us?
The rain stops and we return to our stations in the crow's nest or the forecastle or whatever. We motor past sea lions lounging on barges and buoys. Great swaths of kelp float by. A Coast Guard boat goes by towing someone they rescued.
But not a single whale...not even a dolphin.
We did sail past the carrier Ronald Reagan currently in the San Diego port for fixin' up. Did you know it is 1000 feet long? And that the tallest building in downtown San Diego right across from the carrier is only 500 feet? So, if you stand the Ronald Reagan up on its hiney, it would be twice as tall as the tallest building? It would be like a warped scene from Titanic.
Since sailors on leave like to party, we went off to Coronado Island and visited the Hotel Del Coronado. Such a beautiful building. A giant Christmas tree in the lobby. We ate downstairs, watched the ice skaters skate on a rink they made for the holidays, bought some yummy desserts. (Was there any doubt?) It is slightly drizzling, the beach is about 20 feet away and the ocean is probably about 100 feet or so away, but there it is...people wearing ice skates zipping past palm trees and the ocean.
All in all, a good way to help celebrate my baby brother's soon to be 40th birthday. Yes, the baby of the family turns 40 on the 17th. Being the know-it-all big sister, I will have to razz him a little. Being the obnoxious little brother, he will have to remind me that I will ALWAYS be 12 years older.
Too bad I forgot to make him walk the plank.
Posted by Happy Hour...Somewhere at 9:13 AM